Florida Story Archive

VyStar Announces $150,000 Matching Challenge Toward National POW/MIA Memorial & Museum
Representatives from group will join credit union at Veterans Day Parade

Jacksonville, Florida — VyStar Credit Union announced today it would match up to $150,000 in community contributions for the initial phase of the National POW/MIA Memorial & Museum at Cecil Commerce Center.

The National POW/MIA Memorial & Museum will be located on a 26-acre property formally known as Naval Air Station Cecil Field on Jacksonville’s westside. Once completed, it will be the first of its kind in the country and honor all those who have been classified as prisoners of war or missing in action.

“VyStar’s deep appreciation for our military community dates back to our founding at Naval Air Station Jacksonville in 1952 and remains strong today,” said VyStar President/CEO Brian Wolfburg. “We are proud to support the National POW/MIA Memorial & Museum and look forward to enriching our community with a place of honor and remembrance.”

“We appreciate VyStar’s support in completing the first phase of our vision,” said Mike Cassata, Executive Director of Cecil Field POW/MIA Memorial, Inc. “This is a win for both our Jacksonville community and the families of the more than 80,000 service members still unaccounted for since World War II.”

The community match strengthens an important partnership for VyStar, which previously gave $100,000 to support the National POW/MIA Memorial & Museum. VyStar is proud to have representatives from the National POW/MIA Memorial & Museum join their float as part of the City of Jacksonville’s Veterans Day Parade festivities. VyStar is an annual sponsor of the parade, which officially begins at 11:01 a.m. and will traverse through downtown Jacksonville.


Tropical Financial Credit Union Awards $10,000 in Scholarships to Local
Author: Lizeth George; Southeastern CU News

MIRAMAR, Fla. – (June 7, 2021) – As colleges prepare for what they hope will be a somewhat normal fall semester, three students will have a little less to stress about thanks to scholarships from Tropical Financial Credit Union. This year, Tropical Financial awarded three scholarships totaling $10,000. One grand prize of $5,000 and two $2,500 scholarships to students.

This is the eighth year for the program created to help local students further their education. The scholarship winners are:

  • Amanda Koplman is the recipient of TFCU’s $5,000 scholarship. This will help her pay the expenses needed after her impressive grades got her a full ride to Boston University where she plans to study Biomedical Engineering. Amanda graduated from NSU University School and is also a highly decorated Girl Scout.
  • Ethan Rogge is one of the two $2,500 scholarship winners. He will be heading to the University of Central Florida to study Business Administration. A graduate of Cypress Bay High school, Ethan has completed a whipping 177 community service hours and has received multiple awards through DECA.
  • Luz Gonzalez is TFCU’s second $2,500 scholarship winner. When her husband passed away, Luz decided to go back to school for herself. She will be attending Florida Atlantic University and is an active member of Broward Up.


OFR Announces Top Investor Threats for 2021

MARCH 9, 2021 — Tallahassee, Fla. – The Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) today reminded investors to be on the lookout for investment schemes pitched through the internet and social media, particularly those involving precious metals, cryptocurrencies, promissory notes and foreign exchange markets.

Schemes related to these products were identified as the top threats facing investors this year in a survey by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), of which OFR is a member. The survey includes responses of enforcement officials with state and provincial securities regulators throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The survey found fraudulent internet- or social media-based frauds as the top threat to investors. Ranked second are cryptocurrency-related and precious metals-based investments, especially those purchased through self-directed individual retirement accounts (IRAs), which lack the services and protection of traditional IRAs and can be fertile soil for scammers. Foreign exchange-related schemes rounded out the top three threats. In particular, enforcement officials expect to see a resurgence of high-yield foreign exchange and cryptocurrency-related schemes targeting investors this year disguised as membership or investment programs.

The NASAA survey also indicated that 82 percent of state and provincial securities regulators anticipate that bad actors will continue to attempt to leverage investor fear and anxiety related to changes in financial markets and the economy due to COVID-19 to illegally sell securities this year.


Florida OFR promotes Brinkley to Credit Union Bureau Chief
Sept. 27, 2019 — Mr. Brinkley has been with the OFR since July 2005. He started as a Credit Union examiner in our then Jacksonville Field Office. He quickly rose and became an analyst in Tallahassee Headquarters, serving both in the Credit Union Bureau and South Florida Banking Bureau. He earned a promotion to the Financial Administrator over the South Florida Banking Bureau in 2012, before rejoining the Tallahassee Credit Union Field Office as a supervisor in 2014 and becoming Area Financial Manager in 2017. Ben Brinkley replaces former Credit Union Bureau Chief Bruce Ricca.

After urging by LSCU, FL Bar adopts amendment clearing path on IOLTAs
Aug. 2, 2016 — At the urging of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU), the Florida Bar has passed an amendment to the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar relating to Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTAs) to give attorneys the opportunity to open their trust accounts at credit unions.

State finalizes acquisition of a bank by A credit union
State and federal regulators approved the acquisition of Calusa Bank, a $165 million state-chartered bank in Sarasota and Charlotte counties, by Achieva CU in Dunedin.

Florida’s credit unions hit records in memberships, deposits
July 2, 2015 — Florida’s credit unions surged to new highs in membership and assets, according to the League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates..

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