FOGCE Federal Credit Union holds Annual Meeting; Assets exceed $1.4 million; Savings at $923,381

IMG_0508.JPGOn December 15, 2016, the Federation of Greene County Employees (FOGCE) Federal Credit Union held its 2016 Annual Meeting.
Rodney Pham, Credit Committee Chair, on behalf of the Manager reported that the credit union had $1.416,308 in assets as of November 30, 2016. Of this amount $ 923,381 are shares deposited by members and $200,000 in non-member deposits from other credit unions and non-profit organizations. The balance of the assets are in reserve funds and undivided earnings.
As of November, the credit union had $452,346.57 out in approximately 300 loans to members. The credit union makes loans against shares, personal loans, education, new and used car loans and other loans of benefit to members. Pham said, “The delinquency rate on loans was under 1%, which means our members understand that we are borrowing from each other and have a responsibility to pay back loans.”
Carol Zippert, President of the credit union reported that the credit union began in 1975 with 25 members and less than $10,000 in assets and has grown to 848 members and $1.4 million in assets. “This is a great achievement for a Black owned financial institution in one of the smallest and poorest counties in Alabama, “ she said.

The FOGCE – FCU is open to all people who live, work and worship in Greene County There is a ten dollar membership fee to join and a minimum share deposit of $25.00 then all other money you put in goes to your saving shares. FOGCE-FCU is regulated by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), which reviews the credit union annually and guarantees member’s savings to a maximum of $250,000 per account.
Members of the credit union are the owners and have one vote towards electing the Board of Directors and Credit Committee of the FOGCE Federal Credit Union. The organization is a financial and economic development organization democratically controlled by its members. At the annual meeting, Willie Carpenter, Earnest Edmond and Carol P. Zippert were re-elected to the Board of Directors and Mary Dunn, Rodney Pham and Vonda Richardson were elected to the Credit Committee.
The FOGCE-FCU has direct deposit of payroll for some Greene County employers and payroll deduction with most others. Members can save systematically and automatically through the payroll mechanism. Loan payments may also be made by payroll deduction.
Darleen Robinson, Chair of the Supervisory Committee conducts annual reviews and internal audits of the credit union to insure that all funds are used properly and are accounted for correctly. “ We welcome members suggestions and questions so we can improve the work and performance of the credit union,” she said.
John Zippert and Pamela Madzima of the staff of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives of which FOGCE-FCU is a member also attended the meeting and made supportive remarks.
Carol Zippert said that FOGCE-FCU must increase its membership and attract more young adults and millennials to our membership. “We need to set a goal for 2017, to have $1 million dollars in membership savings. This will require new members and old members depositing at least $ 75,000 in new savings into the credit union. I believe we can do this if we work together,” said Zippert.

21st Century youth attend leadership camp

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Senator Hank Sanders leads discussion on leadership traits with participants
at 21st Century’s Youth Leadership Development Winter camp.

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L to R: Harambe participants at 21C Winter Leadership Camp held at the Selma Center for Non violence, Truth and Reconcilliation. Justine Morton, Akeem Hardy, Alphonzo Morton, IV, Ivan Peebles, Alphonzo Morton, III, Destiny Dancy, Jamia Jackson, Carol Zippert, Daijah Means.

Approximately 40 students, representing five counties, participated in the annual 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement Winter Camp in Selma, AL, December 2-4, 2016. The week end activities opened on Friday evening with the usual pep rally of freedom and leadership songs composed over the years by 21C founder, Attorney Faya Rose Toure.
This was followed by a special presentation by Mrs. Annie Pearl Avery on her coming of age and continuing activities in the Civil Rights and Freedom Movement.

Mrs. Avery, a former SNCC worker, held engaging exchanges with the students who were in awe of the risks she and so many others took in the struggles across the South.
Saturday’s activities included Mindful Movements led by April Caddell, Co-Coordinator of the Winter Camp. April also led a session on Mindfulness is a Super Power. A core session on leadership traits was presented by Senator Hank Sanders, utilizing the leadership strategies in the story of Gideon from the Bible.
The students viewed a documentary, entitled 13th, on the prison industrial system produced by Ava Duvernay. The following discussion was led by Alphonzo Morton, III, Camp Co-Coordinator. The film brought out how the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution condones the slavery of persons incarcerated. Slave labor of convicted felons became a big enterprise in this country.
Pep rallies with original 21C songs were inserted throughout the day, which was capped off with a trip to the movies for entertainment. All camp participants, students and adults, enjoyed Almost Christmas at the Walton Theater in Selma.
The week end camp closed out by noon on Sunday with a Takeaway Session where the young people shared their experiences and leadership lessons learned.
21st Century Youth Leadership Movement was founded in 1986 as a non profit organization dedicated to developing young people as community directed leaders. The various county chapters are led by volunteers who are committed to the vision and goals of the organization.

School board members sworn into office; schools accreditation affirmed

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L to R: Mrs. Janette Cockrell holds Bible as her daughter Kashaya Cockrell is sworn-in; John Zippert holds Bible for his wife Dr. Carol Zippert as Judge Lillie Jones Osborne administers the Oath .

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Shown L to R displaying Schools Accreditation Plaque: Superintendent James Carter,Sr., School Boardmembers Carrie Dancy, Kashaya Cockrell, Leo Branch, Carol Zippert, William Morgan, Principals Sharon Jennings and Frederick Square.

 

Ms. Kashaya Cockrell, representing School Board District 2, and Dr. Carol P. Zippert, representing District 1, were sworn into office at the Board of Education meeting held, Monday, November 28, 2016. Greene County District Judge Lillie Jones Osborne conducted the ceremony. Cockrell and Zippert were elected to six year terms each following the November 8, 2016 general election. Zippert served on the school board for the past two years completing the term vacated by Lester Brown when he was elected to the Greene County Commission in 2014, representing District 1.

Superintendent James H. Carter, Sr. presented the board with a plaque affirming the accreditation of the Greene County School System by the AdvanceEd Accreditation Commission. Following an intensive examination of the school system’s total operations in April, 2016, the AdvanceEd External Review Team recommended Greene County Schools for accreditation.
In other business the school board approved the following personnel items.
Employment of Tweela Jordan as Part-time Teacher-Aide at Greene County Career Center; Ivory Robinson as Elementary Teacher at Robert Brown Middle School; Eddie Coats as Bus Driver for the system; Wennoa Peebles as Bus Driver for the system; Adding TreDemis Davis to the current Bus Driver Substitute List 2016-2017. November 14, 2016 approved as the last working day for Ms. Brenda Grant (Retirement was approved October 17, 2016).
The board approved the following administrative services recommended by Superintendent Carter.
* Acceptance of bids for a wrought iron fence, brick column, and gate for Greene County High School when funds are available.
* Permission to research cost of building an athletic field house on Greene County High School campus (Rationale: To be able to utilize the practice field).
* Agreement between Greene County Board of Education and Integra Realty Resources – Birmingham for Valuation and Consulting Services for the former Paramount Jr. High School and Carver Middle School properties.
* Contract with West Central Official Association of Livingston, Alabama for basketball officials during the 2016 -2017 school term.
* Contract with Criterion Consulting LLC for Formative Administrator Evaluation Support Services for 2016 – 2017 school year.
* Permission for Dr. James Carter, Superintendent, to attend the National Superintendent Conference in New Orleans, LA on March 2 – 4, 2017.
* Surplus old athletic uniforms for Paramount Jr. High and Carver Middle School or allow coaches to decide how to use them.
* Request to install a security fence at football stadium at Robert Brown Middle School Stadium
* Surplus and sale inventory at Paramount Jr. High and Carver Middle School.
Field trip Request for students and teachers at Greene County High to attend Education Day at Carowinds in Charlotte, NC on April 21, 2017.
Field Trip Request for Robert Brown Middle School’s 4 – 6 grade to participate in the Disney YES (Youth Educational Series) Program in Orlando, FL on May 7, 2017.
Field Trip Request for Drama Class to travel to New York City during Spring Break.
Field Trip Request for students and teachers at Robert Brown Middle School to travel to Atlanta, Ga to visit a Civil Rights Museum and have a College Tour on April 25, 2017.
Field Trip Request for students and teachers at Robert Brown Middle School to visit Ruby Falls and Rock City in Chattanooga, TN on April 21, 2017.
Out of School Violent Criminal Conduct Policy.
Black History In the School Curriculum Policy.
Resolution to remove authorized signers, Shane Martin and Emma Louie and add Leon Dowe and James Carter as authorized signers at Bank of Tuscaloosa.
Closing Carver Middle School’s account at Merchants and Farmers Bank.
Bid submitted by ADS Security in the amount of $19, 980.00 for Camera System at Robert Brown Middle School when funds are available.
Payment of all bills, claims, and payroll.
Bank reconciliations as submitted by Mr. Leon Dowe, CSFO.
In his report, Dr. Carter noted the following:
* Attended the World of Work Conference at Shelton State.
* Participated in the Red Ribbon Week Activities.
* Participated in the Breast Cancer Awareness Program.
* Attended and Toured Mercedes Automobile Plant.
* Performed structured interviews with Principals to enhance student achievement
* Reviewed test data with staff. This should help us better plan our instructional goal of 5% increase on the ACT Aspire.
* Ordered 40 jackets to help parents of students who were unable to pay for jackets at the time the uniform dress code for the 9th grade academy was established.
* Participated in the homecoming parade and several school coronations
* Attended and participated in the Induction Ceremony at Greene County High School Mu Alpha Theta honor society and Rho Beta history honor society
Attended West Alabama Works – a Workforce Development Council meeting hosted by Mercedes Benz.
Inquire about a partnership with city and county government to build or to organize a technology center.
“In order for the Greene County School System to continue improving, teachers must develop measurable goals for all students. It is my opinion that this system needs refining, better data and better assessments instruments. We must get empowerment right starting with teachers, parents, school community and above all, the students. Our leadership must find a vision that yield positive results.
“The leadership in our schools and classrooms must perform a self assessment and ask the tough question. Do I want a world class school and district or am I satisfied with the status quo.
Robert Brown Dedication Ceremony held November 10. Brown was honored by the recently organized middle school being officially named in his honor, Dr. Carter stated.