Official Charter Approved
BHFCU's official charter was approved to serve U.S. Government employees in Rapid City, Black Hills National Forest, and Harney National Forest. The Credit Union’s legacy of service started with a group of volunteers promoting the Credit Union, keeping the books, and serving the members. The group included: Board of Directors – 5 members, Credit Committee – 3 members, and Supervisory Committee – 3 members, as well as other individuals that believed in the Credit Union movement.
Marian Berry Hired as First Employee
Marian Berry hired as a part-time employee to serve members; Assets were $37,000, and she worked out of her home. She eventually made a room in her house for the Credit Union office and added an outside door so that members did not have to walk through her house.
BHFCU’s First Building Opens
BHFCU opened its first office at 21 E. Omaha Street. BHFCU was the first Credit Union in South Dakota to have its own headquarters building. Also, the first Credit Union in South Dakota to have a drive-up window.
Duane Ellingson Hired as the First President
Duane Ellingson hired as manager, becoming the first President of the Credit Union. He played a large role in putting BHFCU on track to become the world-class financial institution it is today. Under his leadership, BHFCU grew to three Member Service Centers serving Rapid City and Hot Springs.
Black Hills Flood of 1972
Credit Union office extensively damaged in devastating flood; a 57.10% loss to the building. The Black Hills Flood of 1972, also known as the Rapid City Flood, was the most detrimental flood in South Dakota history and one of the deadliest floods in U.S. history. The flood took place on June 9–10, 1972, in the Black Hills. Fifteen inches of rain in a small area over the Black Hills caused Rapid Creek and other waterways to overflow. Severe flooding of residential and commercial properties in Rapid City occurred when Canyon Lake Dam became clogged with debris and failed in the late evening hours of June 9, resulting in 238 deaths and 3,057 injuries. Over 1,335 homes and 5,000 automobiles were destroyed. The value of property damage was estimated to be over $160 million in 1972 dollars.
Board Adopted Credit Union Logo
First credit union logo adopted by our Board of Directors.
Duane Ellingson, BHFCU Manager / President, wrote the first share draft (check) from a South Dakota Credit Union
Duane Ellingson wrote first share draft (check) from a South Dakota Credit Union, ushering in a new era of service for all Credit Union members in South Dakota.
From Duane Ellingson Interview, February 23, 2004:
“I wrote the first share draft in the State of South Dakota. I paid my real estate taxes at the courthouse. I went to quite a few of the larger places, namely the courthouse, because they were some of my more troublesome people over there to accept new things. And I said, I don’t want any problems from here with not accepting these. I said they are checks and if our members come in and want to pay for something, I don’t want you to turn them down. I met with the Treasurer and everything went fine.”
Roger Heacock replaces retiring President Ellingson
Under Roger Heacock's executive leadership, the Credit Union grew from approximately $20 million in assets to $1.5 billion in assets at the end of 2020. In those same years, the Credit Union’s membership jumped from 11,000 to nearly 80,000.
Became Largest Credit Union in South Dakota
First BHFCU Member Auto Sale
Credit Union holds first Member Auto Sale where members can sell vehicles.
Investment Services Begins Serving Members
In 1994, Black Hills Financial Services (eventually changing its name to Black Hills Investment Services) launched, knowing BHFCU members deserved access to personalized financial planning.
First BHFCU Website Launched
First BHFCU School Supply Drive Held
Helping students succeed since 1997. Black Hills FCU Charitable Fund makes it possible for students in more than 60 area schools in 15 communities to start the school year with the tools and confidence they need to be successful. The extraordinary success of the Drive is a testament to the generosity of Black Hills Federal Credit Union's members, area businesses, hundreds of individuals, and the volunteer efforts of BHFCU employees.
BHFCU Insurance Services Begins Serving Members
BHFCU Insurance began providing independent insurance services to members, giving guidance on the best insurance coverages for each member.
Black Hills FCU Charitable Fund, Inc. Formed
Black Hills FCU Charitable Fund formed with the mission of supporting charitable causes in communities across South Dakota.
New BHFCU Logo Approved
A new iteration of the BHFCU logo is adopted by the Board of Directors.
First Interactive Teller Machine (ITM) Deployed
First Interactive Teller Machine (ITM) was deployed in the Plaza Drive MSC lobby with an advanced depository capable of accepting envelope-free check and cash deposits.
Jerry Schmidt Replaces Retiring President/CEO Roger Heacock
Jerry Schmidt assumed the role of President and CEO. Having served BHFCU for over 13 years as Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, Schmidt brings experience and consistent leadership to the role. A Rapid City native, Jerry’s extensive knowledge of the organization and region, paired with his passion for the Credit Union’s mission, brings consistent and innovative leadership to BHFCU.
BHFCU Celebrates 80 Years of Service to Members