VyStar Celebrates Grand Opening of Second Branch in Tallahassee

VyStar Credit Union opened a second branch in Tallahassee, Florida. It’s a bustling college town and the perfect location to bolster the financial institution’s intentions to meet the needs of citizens in the Florida panhandle. It also contains a regional contact center, which will bring dozens of additional jobs to the area. 

“By having a second branch in Tallahassee, VyStar not only offers individuals in the community more access points to the products and services that we provide, but we’re providing more employment in the community,” Brian Wolfburg, VyStar’s president and CEO, said at the grand opening. “We’re engaging deeper in the community.”

The Tallahassee-Mahan Drive location is the credit union’s 68th full-service branch. Starbucks will open a branch on the premises to make the experience even more pleasant for members in 2023. The lobby and drive-thru are conveniently open Monday through Saturday.

“Whether local residents come in to open an account or grab a coffee, we are thrilled to bring people together and contribute to the growth of our community,” said Miron Richardson, vice president of Universal Retail Banking.

VyStar opened its first Tallahassee branch, located at 1814 West Tennessee Street, in June 2021. The new spot operates 6 miles away from the original location. The result is an even more convenient banking experience for members. 

“Our opening exemplifies who we are and what we stand for,” said Wolfburg. He added that VyStar’s “partnership with things like Leon County School District, as well as the Boys and Girls Club, and our engagement in the Chamber [of Commerce] just shows who we are and what we do. And when we come to communities, we make sure that we engage, we do more good, and we lead by example.”

Richardson stated at the ribbon-cutting ceremony, “This branch will continue to build on the momentum from our first location by bringing banking over to the east side of Tallahassee. So, we’re touching more people in their commutes from work to their homes, to their favorite shopping centers to be able to do their banking.”

VyStar Cares for Members and Community 

VyStar is focused on creating stronger communities. The new Tallahassee branch is a vital space where the credit union can help its members achieve their financial goals. Additionally, the contact center will allow the credit union to support its whole membership community better.

 “We have made many meaningful connections and partnerships since our first Tallahassee branch opened, and our team is excited to expand on those efforts as we continue to live out our purpose to ‘Do Good’ in this vibrant community,” said Meadows.

VyStar embraces innovation and technology. The Tallahassee-Mahan Drive location exemplifies the credit union’s digital-forward design concept. It incorporates and leverages state-of-the-art tools and technology to enhance the connections between members and employees. For example, when members visit the branch, they will find touch screen kiosks that can assist by offering essential financial tools and information so that members can efficiently explore its services, products, and rates.

The credit union, founded at Florida’s Naval Air Station Jacksonville in 1952, is committed to bettering the Tallahassee region with financial services and community philanthropy. In addition, VyStar has regional partnerships with Florida State University athletics. The Tallahassee-based university’s cheerleaders attended the new branch’s grand opening celebration. 

“Our DNA is centered around Do Good, Bank Better and lead by example; what a better way to be involved with the community than to support something that is the DNA of Tallahassee and that’s FSU athletics,” said Kem Siddons, the chairman of VyStar’s board of directors. 

VyStar has partnerships with Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, the Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority, Knight Creative Communities Institute, and the Leon County School District.

VyStar is also involved in charitable fundraising programs with local sports teams. “Our sponsorships really make an impact on the community,” Amanda Crawford, former vice president of community engagement and sponsorship, said at an event for the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp Charity Begins at Home Program. “And we can do good by spotlighting nonprofits.”

VyStar is the official credit union of the Orlando Solar Bears. The AA hockey league team is an affiliate of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lighting. Credit union members can get a Solar Bear-branded debit card and discounted tickets. In addition, the credit union confirmed plans to donate 300 tickets to local military organizations for the Nov. 13 Military Appreciation Game.

Future Expansion Plans 

The financial institution continues to expand its footprint across the Southeast. In doing so, it introduces additional communities to the benefits that credit union members receive. For example, it opened its first Georgia branch — in Thomasville — in 2022. And over the next few years, VyStar expects to open 25 more branches throughout central Florida and Georgia.

Chad Meadows, EVP and chief operations officer, said, “We continue to see our growth strategy accelerating over the next five to seven years, and Tallahassee was an instrumental piece of that. So this was a big deal for us; it took a lot of time and planning to get here. Not only is it a branch, but it also has back office operations that will bring about 30 to 40 employees to this market.”

From the suburbs of Atlanta to Savannah and Brunswick, the credit union is preparing to open several more branches in Georgia. “We’ve worked hard to become a trusted financial institution in Florida, and we are committed to doing the necessary work to earn that same trust across the Peach State,” stated Meadows

The first branch in Georgia will be located in the Savannah/Wilmington Island area. “While this will be our first branch in Savannah, we have already been putting down roots in the area. It is the official financial services partner of Enmarket Arena and the Savannah Ghost Pirates hockey team,” Meadows stated. “Through these sponsorships, we have been able to share information about our great rates and low fees.”

VyStar plans to open several locations throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area as well. Meadows said, “New branches [are ]scheduled to start operating for members in Smyrna, Johns Creek/Suwanee, Marietta, Stockbridge, and Norcross. This vibrant area serves a wide range of residents. We are looking forward to better serving our current members in the region while also welcoming new members looking for convenient options.”

More credit unions are coming to central Florida, too. Meadows said, “We opened a branch in Lake Mary already and have plans to open branches in nearby Altamonte Springs and Winter Park later in 2023.”