A Legacy of People Helping People

Black Hills Federal Credit Union was chartered in 1941 when a group of US Government employees in the Black Hills came together to establish an employee-owned, financial cooperative with a passion for service here in Rapid City.

Photo: Marion Berry's HouseFor three-quarters of a century, our history and dedication to providing great service has made us your credit union of choice. That legacy of service got started in the living room of treasurer/manager Marian Berry, BHFCU’s first employee. Berry kept the books, made deposits, and lent money to some of BHFCU’s first members. It was a job, she joked, that was only supposed to take her fifteen minutes a day and ended up becoming a full-time career.

“I would get half way into my chair to eat dinner, the doorbell would ring and someone would want a loan,” Berry said. “We were giving service and when people needed us, we were there.”

Berry’s commitment would help BHFCU’s membership grow and enable us to build our first Member Service Center in 1963. At that time, BHFCU was the only credit union in the state to have its own building.
Photo: BHFCU Manager Duane Ellingson
BHFCU’s next manager, Duane Ellingson, played a big part in putting BHFCU on track to becoming the world-class financial institution it is today. Under his leadership, BHFCU grew to three Member Service Centers serving members in Rapid City and Hot Springs. Ellingson was even the first person to write a check from a South Dakota credit union.

“We really believed in our mission of ‘People Helping People’ – this was a place where you could belong to a financial institution and have a say,” Ellingson said in regards to BHFCU’s success. “You’re looked upon as family.”

Despite setback like the 1972 flood that extensively damaged BHFCU’s office, BHFCU has continued to flourish thanks to our leadership and you – our member-owners. Under current President and CEO Roger Heacock, BHFCU now provides financial products and resources to over 72,000 members at fifteen Member Service Centers in South Dakota.
President and CEO Roger Heacock
From the beginning we’ve been dedicated to providing South Dakotans with best experience and technology for their financial needs. Our people helping people spirit and our “We Improve Lives” mantra has made us one of the largest, most successful, member-owned credit unions in South Dakota.

“BHFCU has had some inspirational leaders, volunteers and employees over the years who’ve made it possible for us to be where we are today,” said Heacock. “It’s amazing to see how much these people have help to improve the lives of our members over the last 75 years. Our passion for service has transformed what it means to be a financial institution in the Black Hills and South Dakota.”

We’ve come a long way since the living room of Marian Berry, but one thing is certain - you can always count on the great service you receive from Black Hills Federal Credit Union. We look forward to serving you and your family’s financial needs for many years to come.

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