As word came in that Credit Union of Atlanta President/CEO DeFarra Gaymon had been killed, staff remained shocked and overwhelmed with phone calls this morning.
The CU opened an hour later than its usual 9:00 a.m. time, said Cassandra Brown, assistant vice president of marketing and business development. The board of directors held an emergency meeting July 17 naming Tarra Jackson, executive vice president, as the interim CEO. Gaymon was shot and killed by an undercover sheriff's detective July 16 at a park in Newark, N.J. The shooting is being investigated by the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.
"This morning was extremely sad," said a clearly somber Brown. "As the day has progressed, it didn't seem like it was three hours ago. But as you work, you try to do what you have to do."
Brown said the CU's staff went through grief counseling. A memoriam has been placed on CU of Atlanta's website in honor of Gaymon.
Gaymon served as president/CEO of CU of Atlanta since 2006. During his tenure, the CU grew to $56 million in assets, more than 15,000 members and a rebranding campaign was launched across the Atlanta area. Prior to that, he served as vice president of operations at South Carolina State Credit Union. He started his CU career at Palmetto Health CU in Columbia, S.C.
Brown said Gaymon's funeral will be held July 24 in Columbia, S.C. tentatively at 12:00 p.m. A location has not been named yet. In lieu of or in addition to flowers, the CU is asking for donations that will be put toward a scholarship in Gaymon's name.