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Honoring the Legacy of Community First Founder Maury Dresang

Visionary leader remembered for being a credit union pioneer in Wisconsin, U.S.

Thursday, March 14, 2019
 
Community First Founder Maury Dresang was a trusted and visionary Fox Cities businessman who leaves a legacy as a credit union pioneer in Wisconsin and across the country.

The Community First flag at our Home Office – aptly located on Dresang Way in Fox Crossing – is flying at half-staff in honor of our beloved Maury, who died March 11 at age 90.

A memorial service for Maury will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 16, at Valley Funeral Home, 2211 N. Richmond St., Appleton.
Visitation will be from 4-7 pm Friday, March 15, and from 9-11 am Saturday.
 
Maury recognized the beauty and simplicity of the credit union business model of people-helping-people by offering fair and affordable basic financial services. In 1953 with several Outagamie County coworkers, he organized a credit union to serve county employees. He served as volunteer manager/treasurer, a role he held for over two decades in addition to his full-time jobs. This role was the precursor to his last and most impactful career in credit unions. 

While continuing to run the Outagamie County Employees Credit Union, in 1966, Maury was asked to manage the Zwickerknit CU. Three years later, the Appleton Postal CU came to him and asked for help. That’s when an idea began to form. He proposed that the three credit unions combine their resources to hire him full time along with one part time employee to be able to provide full time service to their respective members.

On July 1,1970, the Appleton Credit Union Service Center opened for business in the Blair building on Wisconsin Ave. It was a novel idea and the first of its kind in the nation. By the end of 1974, the center was serving nine individual company credit unions. 

In 1975, Maury decided that the center should have a credit union that would be open to members of the community, and chartered the Appleton Community CU. By 1977, the center had grown to serve 13 credit unions: Zwickerknit, Appleton Postal, Outagamie County Employees, Presto Employees, Interlake Paper, Fox River Paper, Wisconsin Wire Works, Elm Tree Bakery, Appleton Municipal, Foremost of Wisconsin, Kurtz & Root, Appleton Machine and the Appleton Community CU. 

After petitioning the State Legislature to change the law to allow mergers, he engineered the largest merger of credit unions in the country and combined the 13 individual credit unions into one. Total assets were just over $7 million with 7,000 members. The name was changed to Appleton Area Credit Union, known today as Community First Credit Union. 

Maury always said “there is only one way to have a successful business - you need to have a lot of happy, satisfied customers.” He retired from Community First in 1993.

In addition to founding Community First, Maury served as Chairman of Wisconsin Corporate Central Credit Union and was a Director of the Wisconsin Credit Union League from 1970-1991, serving as Chairman from 1986-1989. He served as a Director of the Credit Union National Association and was appointed by Governors Dreyfus and Thompson to serve on the Wisconsin Credit Union Review Board. Locally, Maury served on the Fox Cities Chamber Board, as Chairman of the Fox Cities Marathon, Future Neenah Development Corp. and was named Small Business Person of the Year in 1986.

Today, Community First is Wisconsin’s third largest credit union and has been recognized for years as one of the top U.S. credit unions for financial strength.

A kind and thoughtful man, Maury’s passionate belief in the people-helping-people philosophy can also be seen in Community First’s volunteerism and community involvement throughout Northeast Wisconsin where our 137,000 member-owners live and work.

Maury’s full obituaryis provided by Valley Funeral Home. Maury was also honored in the March 13 edition of the Appleton Post-Crescent.

Thank you, Maury, for your exemplary vision, gentle guidance and expert leadership!


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Thursday, March 14, 2019
Honoring the Legacy of Community First Founder Maury Dresang
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Tuesday, December 15, 2015
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Monday, November 16, 2015
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Monday, November 2, 2015
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Monday, October 12, 2015
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Thursday, October 1, 2015
Community First Achieves 7th Straight Top 10 U.S. Credit Union Ranking
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
25th Marathon Weekend a Walk in the Park
Friday, June 5, 2015
Community First hires new financial advisor
Friday, May 15, 2015
Community First CU opening Kimberly branch May 18
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Fund created to support family in trail shooting tragedy
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Community First CU announces promotions, new hires
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Members raise nearly $5,800 during Santa Cause event
Monday, September 22, 2014
CFCU grateful for participants, sponsors, volunteers and community support
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Community First Credit Union completes merger of Oshkosh Central CU
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
CFCU volunteers, Rebuilding Together team up for Paula
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Memorial Day Services, Parades Honor Fallen Soldiers
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Cuisine for a Cause nets $125,500 for Rebuilding Together Fox Valley
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
CFCU initiatives, member/owner donations make for brighter holidays
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Giving Thanks/Business Leader Build marks 20 years of Habitat success
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Fox Valley Memory Project: Creating a Dementia-Friendly Community
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Prestigious Fox Cities Chamber awards won by CFCU leaders
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Credit Unions: a socially responsible financial cooperative of member/owners
Monday, September 23, 2013
Community First Fox Cities Marathon a huge success
Monday, August 5, 2013
Online Banking upgrade, mobility features praised
Monday, July 22, 2013
Shopping for Scholarships boost plans for childhood cancer survivors
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Community First receives Corporate Citizen/Leadership award
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Shall We Dance fundraiser buoys key nonprofit agency
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Operation Broadcast Hope raises over $5,100 for tornado recovery efforts
Monday, May 20, 2013
Great Partners: Over 100 attend CFCU appreciation dinner for student-run branches
Friday, May 17, 2013
CFCU volunteers recognized for Meals on Wheels assistance
Thursday, May 9, 2013
Rebuilding Together Project Day 2013 a resounding success
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Earn-A-Bike program seeks to lift the homeless, impoverished
Friday, April 19, 2013
Community First CU challenge grant raises over $20,000 for Hatten Stadium project
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Community First CU recognized for blood drives
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CFCU rolls over FCCU in Bowl For Kids Sake challenge
Monday, March 11, 2013
Waupaca food pantry benefits from novel approach
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Community First enjoys excellent 2012
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Community First volunteers take the plunge for Special Olympics
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Community Firsts mascot steals the show at Gamblers Teddy Bear Toss
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Cuisine for a Cause wows
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Community First installs life-saving devices
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Community First Credit Union   P.O. Box 1487  Appleton, WI    54912-1487 920.830.7200    1.866.273.2328
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