BY KEN LITTLE
It was a great day to be an American Monday, particularly for Sam Miller, president and CEO of Consumer Credit Union (CCU).
Miller and about150 other CCU officials, local business leaders, and elected officials gathered at 3634 E. Andrew Johnson Hwy. for the groundbreaking of CCU's new $3 million, two-story home office.
Work should be complete in about 10 months, and the giant American flag currently flying next to the CCU service center, at 311 CCU Blvd. will take its place overlooking the East Andrew Johnson Highway location near the eastern edge of Greeneville.
"I stand here this morning in great humility," said Miller, who gave thanks for the "outpouring of support we have received from people in our community over the years."
'A GREAT DAY'
"This is a great day, and we are proud to be part of the growth of Greeneville and Greene County," he said.
Miller is well known for saying, "It's a great day to be an American."
That is especially true for those fortunate enough to live in Greene County, he said.
"Traditions run deep here. Our people, our culture, neighbors helping neighbors, friends watching out for one another, and business and industry working together" are all unique strengths of the community, Miller said.
"CCU is blessed to be part of this strong community at such an exciting time in its history," he said.
Greene Countians can count on CCU to be "good corporate citizens," Miller said.
"This is a great day to be an American. We are extremely grateful to live in America, and the cherry on the sundae is to also live and work in beautiful Greeneville and Greene County," Miller said.
The new CCU home office will be located on about two acres next to the Dairy Queen and Heritage Community Bank, off Harlan Street, across from the Walmart Supercenter.
Traffic whizzed by on East Andrew Johnson Highway as the groundbreaking ceremony took place, music to the ears of CCU executives such as Daniel Hawk, senior vice president of commercial lending.
"As you can tell, the traffic seems to be moving in this direction. You've got a lot of growth," Hawk said. "You've got a nice hub on the east side of Greeneville. This is where the growth is."
After the new home office opens at the site in 2013, CCU will maintain an automated teller machine at the current service center at 311 CCU Blvd., Hawk said.
The status of the building currently in use by the credit union "will be determined at a later date," Hawk said.
"We will maintain a drive-through facility there," he added.
'COUNT ON OUR FLAG'
The new headquarters will sit on high ground overlooking East Andrew Johnson Highway. It will be hard to miss.
"You can count on our huge American flag being in front of our new home office waving in the winds of beautiful Greeneville and Greene County," Miller said Monday morning.
CCU has two locations in Greeneville, one in Mosheim, one each in Jefferson City and Johnson City, and two in Morristown.
The credit union has about 65 full- and part-time employees, Hawk said. CCU is the second-largest credit union in Northeast Tennessee.
The 17,788-square-foot building is designed to leave a green footprint and "feature all the very latest in customer-friendly banking services," according to CCU officials.
Design Innovations Architects, Inc. (DIA), of Knoxville, designed the building, which will feature a traditional exterior that includes a brick-and-stone veneer, and be highlighted by Doric columns at the entrances.
The building design integrates sustainable features that include "highly efficient envelope and mechanical systems, resulting in reduced energy consumption," CCU officials said.
The building will include ample parking for customers and employees. It will function as a full-service banking facility.
The general contractor of the CCU project is Denark Construction, of Knoxville.
'AN IMPORTANT EVENT'
Among the elected officials and civic leaders attending the groundbreaking was Greeneville Mayor W.T. Daniels.
"This is an important event for this community. It's not looking through the rear view mirror; it's looking through the window of our future," Greeneville Mayor W.T. Daniels said.
Business development is vital to the community, and the new CCU headquarters is another sign of progress, Daniels said.
CCU has a "strong history" in Greeneville, Daniels stated, in thanking Miller for the credit union's commitment to the project.
"We need all the business we can muster up," he said.
Also present at the groundbreaking were Greeneville Aldermen Darrell Bryan, Buddy Hawk and Keith Paxton.
County Mayor Alan Broyles spoke for the county government, including the county commissioners present.
"We want to congratulate CCU for providing more and better services for county citizens," Broyles said.
The presence of commissioners at the groundbreaking "shows they are really, really interested in business expansion. It is one of the top priorities of commissioners," Broyles said.
Other officials attending the event included state Sen. Steve Southerland, R-1st, of Morristown, state Rep. David Hawk, R-5th, of Greeneville, and former state Rep. Eddie Yokley, of Greene County.
Hawk and Yokley, who formerly represented the 11th Representative district, are, respectively, the Republican and Democratic candidates for the 5th District seat in the November General Election.
Tom Ferguson, president and CEO of the Greene County Partnership, noted that in 1992, the total assets of CCU were $30 million. Today, he said, that number stands at $280 million.
"This is a tremendous amount of growth," he stated.
It's fitting CCU is expanding to a new headquarters, Ferguson continued. "That is going to be a great anchor to the east end of Greeneville."
Todd Smith, Greeneville town administrator, had a similar impression.
"Any time a local business grows, that's a key to your economic development," he said.