President/CEO, Freedom First Federal Credit Union
Paul Phillips is President/CEO of Freedom First Federal Credit Union, where he has served since 1998. During Paul’s tenure, Freedom First has grown from a small employer-based credit union to a 47,000-member community-chartered credit union with assets of $450 million. Freedom First’s service area includes counties in the Roanoke and Blacksburg MSA’s located in southwest Virginia (est. pop. 360,000). With more than 70 percent of its membership considered low/moderate income and a demonstrated commitment to serving community and economic development goals, Freedom First earned designation as a Low Income Credit Union by the National Credit Union Administration and a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
Under Paul’s leadership, Freedom First’s mission and vision have broadened beyond helping its members prosper to include developing sustainable solutions to persistent community challenges. The Credit Union’s unique suite of Impact Banking products and services are designed specifically to help the underserved achieve their personal and financial goals through financial education, credit and asset-building programs as well as workforce development and healthy foods initiatives. Freedom First is a recognized leader in collaboration among businesses, non-profits, and local governments in the areas of sustainable finance and community development within Virginia’s Valley Region.
Paul serves on the board of several industry and non-profit associations, which include: Council of Community Services, Non-Profit Resource Center of Western Virginia, Credit Unions Care Foundation of Virginia, CU24, National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s Community Investment Council.
Paul and his wife Missy have been married for 30 years and they have two children.