In 2006 per capita income is more than $33,000, so 10 people forming a credit union would have to chip in $330 each to raise $3,300, an equivalent amount in today's dollars.

Now known as Nassau Educators Federal Credit Union, that fledgling cooperative has grown to more than $1 billion in assets. One thing that hasn't changed is a primary focus on serving educators. While Nassau Educators has expanded to serve colleges, universities and some professional SEGs as well as employees working in K-12 schools, there is no community charter and you won't find a list of mergers.

Teachers remain the core of the credit union, and that's just fine with President/CEO Ed Paternostro and the board. He points out Nassau Educators has been able to grow membership at about seven percent a year, and that is expected to continue. Sure, the credit union has considered a community charter, but there seems to be no real reason to change.

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