Friends gather at annual meeting


Family Trust welcomed one new board member and honored another at the 58th Annual Meeting held Tuesday at the Baxter Hood Center, where Lee Gardner, President and CEO announced plans to retire in late 2016.

Erika Bell, chairman of the Supervisory Committee, was elected to the board of directors during the voting that, for the first time, took place online and by paper ballot prior to the meeting. Incumbents Elizabeth “Ann” Reid and Ron Russell were reinstated. Brown Simpson will remain chairman of the board.

The online vote was approved by the board last summer to increase member participation. Held from Feb. 23 to March 18, the number of votes cast increased more than three times, with a total of over 1,400.

Departing board member Carol Weichman was named Director Emeritus and recognized for her 20-plus years of service. She was chairman from 1999 to 2012. A portrait of her that will hang in the credit union’s board room was unveiled. “This credit union is very special to me and to my family,” Weichman said. “I appreciate the honor.”

Gardner reported the credit union ended 2014 with $356.3 million in assets, up 11.5 percent from the previous year. Income was up 28 percent and loans increased 10.2 percent.

He said he’s pleased that he’ll end his Family Trust career where it started – on White Street where our new headquarters is expected to be opened in August. “The future of Rock Hill is on that street,” he said, referring to the Knowledge Park initiative. “We’re excited to be part of that.”

London Minor, 19, of Rock Hill received the Eddie Reeves Volunteer Leadership Award and $1,000 scholarship. Minor, a sophomore at the University of South Carolina, has volunteered at the YMCA, Sunset Park Elementary School and Cheer 4 Children. The daughter of Sheila and Gary Minor, she volunteers with food banks, Habitat for Humanity in Columbia and provides transportation to students on the USC campus who don’t feel safe walking.

Scholarship finalists receiving $500 were Justin Norwood of Rock Hill and Hugh Curtin of Clover.

Gloria Good of Rock Hill, who was among the 419 members and guests, said the meeting gives her a chance to be informed about her money. And, she likes to hear how Family Trust is making a difference so she can help.

“We’re building something for my children that is very important,” she said. “I want to share in the vision.”

The Fort Mill High School JROTC presented the colors; The Tim Hartis Group entertained and sang the National Anthem.

Eddie Reeves Community Commitment Scholarship Winner London Minor (pictured left) with Wayne Reeves, son of Eddie Reeves.

Carol Weichman, long-time Family Trust board member pictured with Lee Gardner.