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Forging New Opportunities Together!

First United Credit Union & North Central Area Credit Union — Forging New Opportunities Together

March 29, 2023

A Stronger, Better Credit Union Awaits!

Special Merger Announcement

Last October, we announced our intent to partner with First United Credit Union, a strong and growing credit union headquartered in Grandville, Michigan. For the past year, I’ve served dual roles as CEO of First United CU and CEO of North Central Area Credit Union. After receiving board approval for the merger, we submitted our application to merge with the State of Michigan and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

We’ve received excellent news! 

In March, we received approval to merge from both entities, the state and NCUA. Now that we have approval, we can begin moving forward with this exciting opportunity.

We have started the merger process and have joined forces with First United Credit Union, with the formal change occurring as early as July. Both credit unions will unite into a single, strong entity, resulting in a $230 million organization serving more than 20,000 members across Michigan.

Our name will stay North Central, and we will move First United’s branding to our current standards.

There are only positives. 

A combined organization will offer enhanced products and services while bringing more services in-house. The merger will lead to cost savings, greater efficiencies, and improved service workflows for an enhanced member service experience. You’ll also gain access to the Grandville Branch in the greater Grand Rapids Metro area.

You will have a total of five full-service locations!  

Rest assured: 

Both credit unions are financially strong and healthy. You’ll see a collaboration of efforts, talents, and systems upon merging. Greater efficacy will be seen at all levels, providing new opportunities for members and staff. We plan for the First United merger to be a seamless change for you, particularly as both credit unions use the same core computer system.

To reiterate, you will see no impact at the local level — only new opportunities!

Under the new partnership, our exceptional service culture will continue, and I (Mark Richter) will remain CEO of the combined credit union.

To recap:

The current Board of Directors will expand with members of the First United Board of Directors to ensure your local voice is represented at the highest level of the combined organization.

  • There will be no downsizing or loss of jobs.
  • We foresee additional growth for everyone, including more service options, improved branch access, and increased staff availability.
  • A combined organization can offer more products and services, bring more products in-house, and assist with member workflows.
  • No branches will close.
  • Going forward, our name will be North Central Area Credit Union.

We’re honored that you have chosen us as your financial institution, and our mission remains the same — providing you with the best financial options in our area. We will take great care with this new partnership, and your accounts will remain safe and secure.

Our commitment to our local communities will not waiver, and the merger will be a win-win for all concerned!

Please review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on our website for more detailed information.

Kind Regards,
Mark Richter
President & CEO


November 16, 2022 – North Central Area Credit Union (NCACU) and First United Credit Union are excited to announce their intent to partner. The cooperative spirit that is the basis of the credit union philosophy makes the partnership between the two organizations an excellent fit.

First United CU and NCACU have a shared mission of serving their members with innovative financial solutions that better their members’ financial well-being. Key to the partnership, Mark Richter has been serving as CEO for both credit unions: He has been the President and CEO of First United CU since 2010 and the interim President and CEO for NCACU since March 2022. Under Richter’s leadership, the partnership will be a harmonious transition for both organizations.

Together, First United CU and NCACU can forge more financial solutions for members while reinvesting in the areas they serve. Communities range from the Houghton Lake Area to Roscommon, Standish, Grayling, and the Grand Rapids Metropolitan Area, Grandville. Charitable giving will remain a focus, and as partners, the organization will continue to give back and support local initiatives throughout Michigan.


  • First United CU: The credit union’s CEO has been working with NCACU for six months, fostering exciting growth. This strengthened culture will continue with a partnership between the two credit unions allowing for additional growth, more service options, and increased staff availability. Both credit unions also operate under the same core computer system, CU*Answers. Members will gain access to four additional branches in North Central Michigan.
  • North Central Area CU: The credit union’s interim CEO is from First United CU and has been serving NCACU for six months, bringing his expertise and knowledge to the credit union. Since his assistance, the credit union has experienced exciting growth. There will be little to no impact on NCACU staff while the combined organization gains a unique sales and service culture from First United CU. The combined organization can offer more products and services, bring more items in-house, and assist with member service workflows. Members will also gain access to a Grand Rapids service location.

“This is an exciting partnership for our members, staff, and Board of Directors,” reiterates Richter. “Bringing both institutions together will allow us to deliver more services to members and assist in expanding our technologies and improving efficiencies. Members will also benefit from five total locations, business services, business lending, robust mortgage lending services, and more. I’m also excited for staff who will have a tremendous opportunity to grow with a strong and innovative organization with greater potential for advancement. We are incredibly excited!”

Randall Baker, First United CU Board Chairperson, also notes: “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.”

The combined organization will feature six offices across Northern and West Michigan (five-member lobbies and one Administration Building). The credit union will also continue serving members through convenient and innovative digital banking solutions.

Upon regulatory approval and a positive member vote from First United Credit Union members, First United Credit Union will partner with North Central Area Credit Union next year.

We know you have questions, so in anticipation of some of those questions, we have a NCACU Member Merger FAQs v4 FINAL page. As we move forward and for updated information, watch your email or visit our website or