75 years strong

photo Staff Photo by Tim Barber/Chattanooga Times Free Press Southern Advertising employee Chris Walker moves a new directional sign into place Thursday for drive-through customers at the new Highway 58 branch of the Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union. The financial institution is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.

Blake Strickland learned an important lesson about credit unions 33 years ago when he began working for the Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union.

Two weeks into his job at what then was known as the Chattanooga TVA Employees Federal Credit Union, Strickland was talking to several employees and referred to the "customers coming in" to the branch office.

"They corrected me very quickly and said, 'They are not customers,'" said Strickland, who has served as president and chief executive since 1999.

"And