The Atomic Credit Union was founded November 28, 1955, nearly 25 years after the credit union movement began in Ohio. Originally, the credit union was established to meet the financial needs of "all retired or permanently employed personnel engaged in the operation of; maintenance of; or construction at the Atomic Plant site," additionally, immediate family members were also permitted to join the credit union. The credit union's field of membership remained status quo until a small credit union in Scioto County, Southern Ohio Savings Credit Union, Inc. became insolvent and was presented to Atomic in the early 1990's as a merger opportunity. Although Southern Ohio Savings Credit Union, Inc. was relatively small in asset size, it held a very lucrative field of membership charter.
Upon completion of the merger, Atomic opened its doors to all living, working or worshiping in the following seven counties: Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Lawrence, Pike and Scioto. As a result of this, branch offices and ATMs sprung up in Waverly, Portsmouth, and Piketon to support the growing needs of our new members. Throughout the following years, the Atomic board promoted community growth opportunities as a strategy for future success. The board realized the importance of building the credit union with multiple employer based groups and community charters. With this strategic vision, the credit union's current President and Chief Executive Officer, Tom Griffiths, secured an eighth community charter in Jackson County in 2000 and subsequently built a full service facility in the city of Jackson. Today, the Jackson office is credited with being the highest loan production office throughout our branch network.
In 2005, one of southeastern Ohio’s largest employers, General Mills, and Atomic Credit Union joined forces to bring convenient financial services to the employees of General Mills via an on-site office, while promoting a community accessible branch to the residents of the city of Wellston. The growth and market potential of this community is such that a former bank building located in downtown Wellston has been secured by the Credit Union with plans to open in 2016.
In 2007, the Credit Union secured its ninth community charter of Ross County. Ohio’s first and third capital city, Chillicothe, is the county seat for Ross County. In 2008, office space was leased in a busy shopping district in Chillicothe and has since become the Credit Union’s fastest growing branch. The Credit Union recently purchased vacant land immediately next door to the branch with plans to build a modern building to suit the growing needs of the area.
2008 was an extremely busy year for the credit union as Atomic also remodeled and opened a branch within a leased building in the heart of Lucasville. Additionally, in the same year the Credit Union completed the construction of a new 18,600 square foot facility serving as the Piketon branch and Corporate office.
In 2009, Atomic Credit Union expanded to the Hocking Valley Region due to a merger and acquisition of Hocking Valley Credit Union. As a result of the merger, Atomic acquired two locations in Athens and Logan and added five new county-wide community charters to its field of membership. Community charters gained through the merger are Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Vinton and Perry counties in addition to already established Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, and Scioto counties.
In the midst of the Great Recession, as it is commonly referred to today, the management team foresaw opportunity for growth and success by doing what we do best – provide great service to our members while establishing convenient locations for the membership to transact their business. We did not do what the entire financial industry did, which was come to a complete halt and batten down the hatches; we aggressively pushed forward knowing the residents of southern Ohio needed an institution willing to continue to meet their financial needs, especially lending and educational needs. During this time period, we approached a small local school oriented credit union comprised of teachers and administrators with the intent to merge their credit union and subsequently provide a vast array of new product offerings to their membership. Most importantly, the ability to offer a program to an entirely new group of potential members – the students of the school system. The idea of creating a Student Run Credit Union formulated and within a year of the merger we opened the first ever Student Run Credit Union for elementary level students in the state of Ohio. Today, we have Student Run Credit Union branches inside 6 elementary schools, 2 middle schools, and 3 high schools. The hands-on financial education aspect the program provides is an invaluable skill for young children to learn in today’s economic times.
2012 saw the opening of a beautiful branch in Minford, Ohio. This location serves as a cross-road to many of the communities in which we have members. It is literally a pivotal geographic location for traveling to major cities in the area.
In April 2014, we opened our 12th office location in the Jackson county village of Oak Hill. As mentioned previously, our Jackson office is our highest producing loan office and the office in Oak Hill will only compliment this area as history has proven itself.