Chronicle of the Credit Union
The first credit union was established in Manchester, N. H. in 1909 and is still operating as St. Mary’s Cooperative Credit Association. Edward Filene was the Founding Father of the U. S. Credit Unions. The Haverhill Teachers Credit Union was formed in 1937 as a member owned, state chartered, non-profit organization. It was opened in the basement of Haverhill High School (currently City Hall). Following the established pattern as a savings and loan service, members took advantage of the newly developed programs of Summer and Christmas Clubs along with the second week pay option account.
Many Board Members have been active members for over sixty years. Enrico (Ed) Sasso, was our part-time treasurer until 1963 at which time he stepped down to become the high school Business Department Head. Ed recalls when the credit union was robbed in the late 1950’s and the challenge of working in a tiny one person cubicle.
Don Poole then took over as part-time Treasurer for the following twelve years. He recollects the maximum amount of deposit per account holder was $6,000 and the dividends paying approximately six percent. There were many challenges in running such a small office. One would remember the members’ account numbers through face recognition but not always their name. This stays true to today.
Andy Vasilakis took over as our first full-time Treasurer/Manager for nearly fifteen years until his untimely death in December, 1989. During Andy’s employ Michelle Giuvelis became our part-time Assistant Manager in 1987 and continues to serve our members, twenty five years later. Michelle remembers dividends paying close to eight percent, what a change from today’s rates. All transactions were being posted by hand until technology was introduced in 1990.
Ed Sasso then stepped in to become full-time Treasurer for the Credit Union. The Credit Union was growing and with the assistance of Phil Kosmes a larger office space was acquired which we still occupy. Ed stated the reason that the HTM Credit Union is still housed in City Hall is thanks to the many extremely supportive Mayors over the years and the very accessible location for our members.
Departing her position at the Haverhill Municipal Credit Union, Diane Bevilacqua, joined our staff in 1992 upon the retirement of Ed Sasso. Diane has implem ented numerous changes that expanded our services to members. Some of which include check cashing mortgages, equity loans, VISA Cards, online banking, eStatements and overseeing the merge of the Teachers and Municipal Credit Unions to form the HTM Credit Union in 2008.
Our assets have grown to over $16 million with 2,365 members. We wish to thank all those instrumental past/present employees and Board Members who have contributed to the success of the HTM and for making our Credit Union what it is today.