The Member Newsletter
March 2021
Be there (virtually) and be a winner
virtual meeting
The 1st Cooperative FCU Annual Meeting will be held online via the WebEx video conference system on Tuesday, March 30, at 6 p.m.

Any credit union member is eligible to attend, but you must register in advance. Visit to register by March 15. Everyone who registers — and attends — the virtual meeting is eligible for cash prizes.

Four board seats are up for election and the following incumbents have agreed to continue their service:

  • Linda Wright, who is retired from Tri-County Electric
  • David Collins, vice president of finance at Blue Ridge Electric
  • Bob Paulling, CEO at Mid-Carolina Electric
  • Betty Welsh, vice president of finance and administration at Black River Electric

To nominate a board candidate, send names to:
Nominating Committee
c/o 1st Cooperative FCU
808 Knox Abbott Drive
Cayce, SC 29033
"Second best decision I've made"
Ask King Littlejohn about his best decision, and he'll tell you it was joining 1st Cooperative.

His second best decision? Choosing credit disability insurance on his 1st Cooperative Visa Platinum credit card.

"Earlier this year I was ill and out of work on disability," says Littlejohn. "One day, while talking to Jo Ann (Burnside) in the credit union, she told me I'd selected the credit disability insurance when I opened my loan. She put in a claim with the insurance company, and they paid my credit card payment each month until I was able to go back to work."

King says he didn't even realize he had the disability benefit until he needed it. "I think I pay only $11 a month for that protection, but the reward far outweighed the monthly premium," he said.

His advice to other credit union members? "If John (Middleton) or Jo Ann ask you about selecting payment protection, I suggest you say, 'Yes!'"

To learn more about the advantages of the 1st Cooperative Visa Platinum credit card, click here or call 803-796-0234.

Pictured: King Littlejohn, warehouse clerk at Broad River Electric Cooperative. (Photo courtesy of Kasey Carnley)
Who's at your service?
You may have spoken with a member of the credit union staff, but we wanted you to know more about the people who serve you. Here's your chance to find out more about themin their own words.
Jo Ann Burnside
"I began my credit union career in 1982 working as a customer service representative for a data processor for credit unions. Following some consolidation in that processor company, I went to work for the S.C. Corporate Credit Union, a credit union for credit unions. While there, a Columbia credit union offered me an assistant manager position, which within six months became a manager’s position. In 1999 I joined the S.C. Electric Cooperative Employees Credit Union (now known as 1st Cooperative) as the loan officer. Following an 18-month adventure at another credit union, I was fortunate to return to 1st Cooperative as the vice president and chief operating officer.

"I'll be celebrating 39 years in credit union movement this year. Credit unions are wonderful, but my time with 1st Cooperative has been the most rewarding. Electric cooperative people are great. Thank you for using the credit union services and making this job such a pleasure.

"My husband, Mike, and I have been married for 40 years. There are three wonderful children and seven awesome grandchildren."
John Middleton
"I have been with 1st Cooperative since January 2018 as the loan officer for all consumer related financing. I'm a Maryland native, and that's where I began my banking career in 1988 before moving to South Carolina. My career in the Palmetto state began as a collector with a bank, followed by a short detour with a collections attorney before going back into banking with NBSC as a collector. In 1997 I went into the lending field as branch manager with NBSC. Later, I spent a decade at Congaree State Bank, a small community bank in the West Columbia/Cayce area until coming to 1st Cooperative in 2018.

"My wife, Elizabeth, is also a banker. Three daughters and two dogs keep us busy and happy.

"I enjoy being at the credit union with great co-workers and members who appreciate our services. This may surprise some members, but the loan volume has always been busier than I had at the commercial bank, and we offer so many more benefits and ways to help our members. It makes my face-to-face meetings at the co-ops a pleasure."
Karen Keisler
"I have been with 1st Cooperative for 12 years. I began my credit union career in 1996 with Carolina Collegiate FCU, and over the years I’ve been a teller, member services representative, loan officer and operations manager. As the member services representative at 1st Cooperative, I help with accounts, troubleshooting and problem solving, credit and debit cards, ACH and back office operations.

"I love what I do, especially because of the relationships I’ve developed with our members over the years.  

"My husband, Kevin, and I have been married 28 years and have two children, 15 and 21. We enjoy spending our spare time on Lake Murray. We also enjoy camping whenever possible."