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ATLANTA – Michael Mercer, president/CEO of Georgia Credit Union Affiliates, welcomed the more than 200 attendees to Atlanta, calling on all to “stay grounded” in the midst of all the changes going on in the industry. “When I came to Georgia in 1980, there were 400 credit unions,” Mercer said. “They’re predicting that we’ll have 140 credit unions and most will be multiple-SEGs.” Mercer said despite the decrease and the flight from single-sponsor credit unions, four fundamental principles remain intact: serve members not customers because “they deserve more value and respect;” credit unions are democratically-controlled and members have equal opportunity; service differentiates credit unions from banks and other financial players; and profits belong to the members. Today, he told attendees, Georgia boasts more than 200 credit unions, 18 million members, 2,500 volunteers and 2,300 employees. Georgia Credit Union Affiliates recently had a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its larger facility that will house the corporate offices of Georgia Federal Credit Union, Georgia Central Credit Union and CUNA Mutual Group among others. With his hectic schedule as a league executive, Mercer was reminded of the importance of living each day to the fullest during a recent trip to New York City. “I was looking into the hole where the World Trade Center had been hit and it just reminded me to live each day, enjoy being around people you love,” Mercer said. Atlanta City Councilman Jim Maddox also welcomed the AACUC to Atlanta, thanking credit unions for the important role they play in their communities and encouraging attendees “to spend a lot of money” during their visit. “I believe in the credit union system,” Maddox said, adding he is a member of several credit unions. “Credit unions are the strong foundation for uplifting a community in so many ways.” Maddox is a veteran in Atlanta’s political arena, having served nearly three decades on the Atlanta City Council. [email protected]

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