Hubert Braithwaite, business development account executive for Tower Federal Credit Union (TFCU), has been strengthening the credit union’s ties to the West Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce (WAACCC) by pursuing sponsorship opportunities.

Braithwaite, who has worked for TFCU for more than five years, realized that the chamber’s major meetings drew an audience that might be interested in Tower and its expanding array of services.

The WAACCC’s meetings, with keynote speakers such as Sen. Ben Cardin and Rep. John Sarbanes, attract diverse audiences that are interested in topics vital to the health of the business community.

“Through these sponsorships, Tower can support the chamber and, at the same time, give chamber members an idea of what Tower is. We don’t do extensive mass media advertising, so this is a way to introduce Tower to an audience that encompasses not only the National Security Agency (NSA), but the businesses within the Fort Meade community and those working with the U.S. CyberCommand,” said Braithwaite.

The subject of cybersecurity often comes up during chamber meetings, he said. “We are quite interested in the priorities of the Fort Meade community.”

From $35 to $2.7 Billion

With more than 60 years of service, TFCU started small with a mission to serve the financial needs of employees of the then-newly formed NSA. By the end of the first year, 1953, an initial group of seven members grew $35 into assets of $34,200, granted 183 loans and built a membership of 978.

Today, TFCU has $2.7 billion in assets and serves more than 132,000 members worldwide, and not only serves NSA employees, but also employees of many other entities in the Central Maryland area and beyond.

“You do not need to be a government entity or contractor to join Tower,” said Braithwaite. “In fact, many of our member companies and organizations are non-government. Professional and high tech companies are particularly attracted to Tower because of our stability, security and investment in technology.”

Over the years, TFCU has expanded its array of products and services to include free checking, low-rate credit cards, a debit card with cash-back rewards, 17 local branches, access to thousands of ATMs nationwide, a slate of real estate services and professional loan advisers, financial planning and investment management, free seminars and expanding mobile banking services and technologies.

Strong Roots

Tower and its members are also dedicated to supporting charitable organizations and events. Since 1998, Tower has donated more than $700,000 to local and national charities. In 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Tower employees and members donated $100,000 to help in hurricane recovery efforts. Tower matched the amount raised for a total donation of $200,000.

Since 2007, the Tower Classic Golf Tournament has raised an average of more than $20,000 annually for The Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore. During the last eight years, the credit union’s annual Have A Heart campaign, which is employee-driven and member-supported, raised more than $25,000 every February for The Children’s Center.