Forging New Opportunities!

First United Credit Union is excited to announce an intent to partner with North Central Area Credit Union, a credit union headquartered in Houghton Lake, Michigan. We are currently in the process of applying to the state of Michigan and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to approve our partnership. Once accepted, we will ask for your vote to approve the merger and a potential name change. We also anticipate taking the North Central Area Credit Union name — or NCACU.

As your CEO, I’ve served First United Credit Union since 2010, and during the past year, we have been collaborating to help grow both credit unions.

In the last six months, I have partnered and served as CEO at North Central Area Credit Union (NCACU) as well as continuing to be CEO here at First United Credit Union. I have worked to instill an enhanced sales and service culture and implement new strategic initiatives at NCACU, which will continue in the new combined organization. During our work together, and after careful consideration, your Board of Directors decided that partnering with North Central Area Credit Union would be the best solution to ensure the needs of our members are met for generations to come.

North Central Area Credit Union was chosen because it shares the same commitment to member service and has the same values and culture. After all, this cooperative spirit is the basis of the credit union philosophy.

We also have a shared mission of delivering innovative financial solutions that put your needs first.

As partners, we will focus on providing new financial solutions while reinvesting in the communities we serve. In addition to our lobby in Grandville, our service area will now include Houghton Lake, Roscommon, Grayling, and Standish in Northern Michigan.

Key points:

As a member, there are only positives. Our exceptional First United CU culture will continue under this proposed partnership between the two credit unions, and Mark Richter will remain CEO of the combined credit union.

  • Members of our Board of Directors will be appointed to the Board of Directors of the combined credit union to ensure your voice is represented at the highest level of the combined organization.
  • There will be no downsizing or loss of jobs. As a larger combined credit union, we will have greater financial strength to provide competitive wages, benefits, and career opportunities.
  • We foresee additional growth for everyone, including more service options, improved branch access, and increased staff availability.
  • Because we operate under the same core computer system, the transition will be smooth and worry-free.
  • A combined organization can offer more products and services, bring more products in-house, and assist with member workflows. We’ll also be in a position to expand our technologies and gain internal efficiencies.
  • You will gain access to four additional full-service branches in North Central Michigan — in addition to our current office in Grandville. This brings us a total of five service locations! No offices will close.

All of us are incredibly excited!

Randy Baker, First United CU Board Chairperson, shares that “First United Credit Union and NCACU are committed to their members and communities. This commitment will only be enhanced through our partnership. We are excited to work with NCACU to serve members throughout Michigan as we forge new opportunities together.”

Steve Witt, NCACU Board President concurs. “We have been thrilled to have Mark Richter serve our credit union as interim CEO these past six months. Now that our two credit unions have shown the intent to partner, and with an extremely talented staff from both organizations, our potential for future growth is unlimited.”

Upon regulatory approval and approval from First United Credit Union members, we will partner with North Central Area Credit Union next year. The partnership will result in an over $233 million organization serving over 20,000 members. To reiterate, you will see no impact at the local level — only new opportunities.

As our member, we appreciate you and are honored that you have chosen us as your financial institution. Please be assured we will take great care with this new partnership, your accounts will remain safe and secure, and you will see only benefits and an enhanced level of service.

We know you have questions, so in anticipation of some of those questions, we have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page on our website and in our lobby. As we move forward and for updated information, watch your email or visit

Kind Regards,
Mark Richter
President & CEO