Community First officially brings new business traffic to Guam's capital village
Updated: Oct 11
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Community First Guam Federal Credit Union today marked the official opening of its newly built headquarters and members service center in Hagatna, casting more commercial presence on the landscape of the island's capital.
“It was essential for us to build our new headquarters in Hågatña for many reasons,” Gerard Cruz, president and CEO of Community First, said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“In addition to providing another centralized location for our members to conveniently conduct their transactions, we felt it was important to contribute to the revitalization of the island’s historic capital,” Cruz said.
Besides the newly built headquarters, Community First also has branches in Dededo, Tamuning and Mangilao.
“We are proud of our new building as it will allow us to establish deeper roots while providing a modern facility for our members and employees,” Cruz said. “Our new headquarters will allow us to better serve our members and community.”
The three-story, 15,000-square-foot building is located along Route 4, between West O’Brien Drive and Chalan Santo Papa.
Community First broke ground in March 2021, and construction took two-and-a-half years to complete with a total investment of $7.5 million, the company said in a press release. The project was undertaken t by Canton Construction.
“We changed the Hagatna skyline,” Cruz said, adding that being located in the island’s capital “represents our permanence.”
The glass-walled building with contemporary features was designed by the late Andrew “Andy” Laguaña.
Cruz said the glass wall represents "transparency" and "closeness to the community."
He noted that the Community First headquarters was the last project designed by Guam’s legendary architect before he passed away in June 2022.
“The opening of our new Community First headquarters and members service center takes place during a commemorative year for us," Cruz said.
"We celebrated our 60th Anniversary in 2022, and the opening of our newly built member service center symbolizes our commitment to the island and our members to continue serving them with excellence well into the future,” he added.
Established in 1962, Community First is the oldest local credit union on Guam. What was previously known as NavMar Federal Credit Union served only the military personnel on Guam until its charter was amended in 1997 and eventually opened its service to the civilian community.
On Oct. 1, 2000, the Credit Union officially changed its name to Community First Guam Federal Credit Union to better reflect its community charter status.
Also at today's ceremony, Derek Mandell, assistant vice president of marketing, announced that the credit union has officially completed its 60 Acts of Community, a community give-back program that was created to thank members for their 60 years of loyalty and trust while celebrating the company’s 60 years on Guam.
Mandell said the Community First 60 Acts of Community, which was launched last summer, set a goal to complete "60 acts of kindness and meaningful community support by the time our new headquarters opened. "
"We are proud to announce that we have officially completed our goal," Mandell said.
"The 60 Acts of Community ranged from our Hagåtña clean-up that launched the program to canned foods and supplies to Harvest House to securing match grants that supported housing programs for at-risk women and youth. Each act was selected to expand our community support, and we are a better company for it," he added.