History of the Credit Union

The early years

  • In 1937, Harold Madigan introduced the idea of starting a Federal Credit Union during a Departmental Council Meeting of the Rochester Telephone Corporation. View the original letter.
  • Founded in 1941 as Rochester Telephone Federal Credit Union
  • In 1957, we moved into our first headquarters on the 11th floor of the Sibley building in downtown Rochester

1980 – 1989

  • In 1983, The Summit name is born following a contest among members to submit a name for the credit union, and our Seneca Falls branch is opened in an old house next to Goulds Pumps
  • In 1984, we introduced ATMs to our members
  • In 1988, we opened our Waring Road branch

1990 – 1999

  • In 1993, the Waring Road branch was relocated to the Hudson Plaza in Irondequoit
  • In 1995, we moved the location of our Seneca Falls branch to its current location on Fall St. and opened an East Rochester branch
  • In 1996, we moved into our new corporate headquarters in Greece with a branch on the ground floor and dedicated the building to John Bryson, our long-serving President and CEO
  • In 1999, we merged with Seneca Ordinance Depot (SOD) Federal Credit Union and opened the Blue Cross Blue Shield satellite branch in downtown Rochester

2000 – 2009

  • In 2000, we opened our Henrietta branch in front of Southtown Plaza on Jefferson Road
  • In April 2000, we launched Online Access and Online Bill Payment
  • In 2003, we merged the Buffalo Telephone Employees Federal Credit Union into The Summit adding just over 5,000 members and one branch in downtown Buffalo
  • In 2005, we merged the Hilton Federal Credit Union into The Summit bringing just over 1,500 members and one branch location into the credit union
  • In 2005, we moved the East Rochester branch to Penfield Road in Penfield
  • In 2006, we opened a new Hilton branch and moved the City of Buffalo branch to Clarence
  • In 2006, we also merged the Brighton School Employees Federal Credit Union into our credit union adding over 400 members and one branch location
  • In July of 2006, we opened our new Brighton branch in the Tops-Brighton Plaza, now the Shoppes at Lac De Ville
  • In 2007, we introduced Shared Branching (Co-Op Shared Branch)
  • In 2007, we merged First Link Federal Credit Union into The Summit adding over 1,200 members and opened our 2nd Buffalo branch on Delaware Ave. near Hertel
  • In 2009, we merged Kenton Federal Credit Union into our credit union bringing over 3,000 new members into the Summit family along with one branch location on Sheridan Drive in Tonawanda
  • In 2009, we moved the Irondequoit branch in the Wegmans Plaza to its current location right on Hudson Ave. near Titus Ave. in the same plaza and moved the Brighton branch to Monroe Ave. near the 12 Corners

2010 – 2019

  • On January 1, 2010 The Syracuse Federal Credit Union merged into The Summit adding over 22,000 members and 7 branches in Syracuse and Cortland
  • In March of 2011, we opened our Main/Winton branch in the city of Rochester
  • In May of 2011, we merged Frontier Federal Credit Union into The Summit adding over 500 new members into the Summit family
  • In August of 2011, we opened a branch on the SUNY Cortland campus in Neubig Hall, plus 3 on-campus ATMs
  • In October of 2011, we launched Mobile Banking
  • In November of 2012, we launched Health Savings Accounts
  • In June 2013, we opened our Perinton branch located at 665 Moseley Rd. Fairport, NY 14450
  • In February 2014, we launched Mobile Check Deposit and Mobile Apps for Tablets
  • November 3, 2014, we launched The Summit Retirement & Investment Services
  • December 15, 2014, we launched Popmoney
  • In October, 2015, we added Apple Pay
  • January 9, 2015, we launched Design Your Own Card for our Visa® Credit Cards
  • January 2016, we opened our Henrietta Branch located at 2087 East Henrietta Road, Rochester, NY 14623
  • June 2016, we opened our Camillus Branch located at 130 Township Boulevard, Camillus, NY 13031
  • July 2017, we opened our Taft Road Branch located at 5201 West Taft Road, Syracuse, NY 13212
  • November 2017, we opened our Cortland Branch located at 877 Route 13, Cortland, NY 13045
  • In 2019, The Summit Blog debuts

2020 – Today

  • 2020, we reached $1 billion in assets.
  • 2020, Laurie Baker became The Summit’s first female President and CEO
  • 2020, we were named to Forbes list of 100 Best In-State Credit Unions Nationwide
  • 2021, we won several “Top Workplaces” honors nationally and locally
  • January 2021, Google and Samsung Pay were added
  • May of 2021, Digital Edge and Digital Freedom Spend Accounts are introduced
  • July of 2021, our Virtual Branch is launched
  • May of 2022, we are named a “Best-in-Class” employer by Gallagher, a winner of the Rochester Metro Area “Top Workplaces 2022” award by the Democrat & Chronicle and a winner of three Member XP “Best of the Best” awards
  • May of 2022, we partnered with CU Student Choice to offer student loan and student loan refinancing options
  • June of 2022, former President and CEO, Mike Vadala was named to the Credit Union House Hall of Leaders; and Cody Seward, former Virtual Branch Manager, and currently Operations Manager for the Member Service Center, was named Young Professional of the Year at the NYCUA Annual Meeting and Convention  
  • September of 2022, we launched RoundUp Savings account
  • October of 2022, we introduced the Visa® Secured Credit Card, offering members a way to establish, rebuild, or boost credit
  • 2023, we are named in the “Top 3 Credit Unions” by the RBJ, and a “Best Credit Union” finalist by Best of the Finger Lakes

History Book

Our almost 80-year legacy is a long and storied one touching thousands of families, friends and neighbors along the way. The credit union remains strong and continues to thrive today operating by the same principles that were first established by our founders in 1941: to help members improve their lives.

See the story of our credit union in pictures and words.