Best Places to Work 2021: Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union mission, culture draws and keeps employees

Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / A construction crew adds another panel to the facade at the new branch location for Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021.

Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union was established in 1936 when 57 TVA employees in Chattanooga pooled $500 to create the member-owned credit union. From its roots with a single employee operating the cash drawer in his desk, TVFCU has grown to one of the biggest credit unions in Tennessee, with more than 400 employees serving over 155,000 members in 13 area counties in Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia.

"We're about serving our members and our community, not making money for shareholders," says TVFCU President Todd Fortner.

With more than $1.8 billion in assets, TVFCU is the largest credit union in the region. Janet Leamon, vice president of human resources at TVFCU, says the credit union wants to be the employer of choice for workers who are attracted by both the mission of TVFCU and the opportunities to learn, grow and have fun at work.