Many inside the credit union industry and in public-policy circles thought the image was purely nostalgic and obsolete: a small credit union, operating part-time with largely volunteer staff in its sponsoring church, open a few days a week. But the NRS Community Development Federal Credit Union in Birmingham, Alabama, is just such a credit union – and its dynamic CEO, Eunice Johnson Rogers, is proof that there is a lot of life in these institutions.
Managing a credit union is Mrs. Rogers’ second career. With a degree in engineering from Vanderbilt University, this Birmingham native was a trail blazer at a time when few African American women could be found in the field; she was a charter member of the Birmingham, Alambama chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. Mrs. Rogers worked for nearly 20 years for Bell South, before joining the NRS (New Rising Star) Community Development FCU, which was chartered in 1996.
She threw herself into the credit union movement as if making up for lost time. She attended both CUNA Management School and the Federation’s CDCU Institute™. She is active in the Alabama Credit Union League and serves as a liaison to state policymakers, representing District 7. Nationally, she serves on CUNA’s Cooperatives Alliance Committee, and this June, she will be participating in the Development Educators program. Mrs. Rogers made a strong impression on a large credit union audience as a featured speaker at the NCUA PALs workshop in Orlando, FL, in February 2005. Her credit union is a member of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU), and she is a member of the African American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC), a close ally of the Federation.
Remarkably enough, despite all her national work and her unsalaried duties managing the NRS Community Development FCU, Mrs. Rogers finds time to serve as Chairman of the Planning Commission of the City of Birmingham.
Prior to assuming the chair of the Federation, Mrs. Rogers served as vice-chair, also heading its Annual Meeting Committee. She also served on the Federation's Education and Training Committee, Membership Committee, and has participated actively in its Faith-Based Credit Union Task Force. She leverages her volunteer commitment to the Federation by enlisting her husband, Bernard Rogers, a photographer by trade who has lent a hand at many Federation meetings. “She’s a remarkably accomplished, dedicated, and gracious person,” said Federation Executive Director Cliff Rosenthal. “We’re sure she will add to the legacy of our immediate past chair, Mrs. Rita Haynes.”