Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day


A Memorial Day Observance Speech
by Johnny Q. Gogue III

Memorial Day – For most it is a three-day weekend, filled with bar-b-que’s and picnics . . . A time to get away from the normal humdrum of the week. For other’s it’s the beginning of summer, a time to look towards the long lazy days and a time to plan your summer get-a-ways. Though for some, Memorial Day holds a special significance.

On May 5, 1868, an order issued by General John Logan established a day of remembrance for those soldiers who died during the Civil War. May 30, 1868, was the day designated for this observance and flowers were placed on the graves of the fallen soldiers of both the Union and Confederate Armies. New York was the first state to officially recognize this observance in 1873 and in 1971 with the passage of the National Holiday Act; Memorial Day was designated as the last Monday of May.

Now for many of us, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, and the Korean War are ancient history. The Vietnam War a fading memory. But with the recent Operations Desert Storm, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom we, the American people have once again been thrust into a position of remembering those who are fighting and dying today.

I, like my grandfathers, father, uncles and aunt before me, am a veteran. I am and was proud of serving in the Armed Forces. I served in the Army from 1985 to 1994. I was in Operation Desert Storm/Shield. I know what Memorial Day is about.

I have two brothers who are currently serving. One brother is serving in the Navy in Italy. My youngest brother, who is currently serving in the Army, is right now in Iraq supporting and defending his fellow soldiers. I know what Memorial Day is about.

Memorial Day for all soldiers is embodied in the words of the oath that you first take when you enlist into the service of the country:


This oath taken by each and every soldier exemplifies the reason why soldiers do what they do each and every day. Soldiers are defenders of the same principles that made this country great. They stand as Patriots to defend and protect the ideals and sentiments espoused in the Constitution of the United States. Soldiers bear true faith and allegiance to that document and they work, and live, within the Codes of Military Justice. Soldiers also obey the orders of the President of the United States and the Officers appointed over them. These truths are self evident in the everyday lives of soldiers.

Now, as we see our fellow citizens arrive back from a foreign land, we should not forget those words that each and every soldier spoke upon enlistment. Because when we look upon a returning soldier from conflict, a disabled veteran, or a grave marker – those words should ring in your conscience.

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic . . . streaming from the eyes of the returning soldier. That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the Officers appointed over me . . . sounding from the stumbling gait of the disabled veteran. According to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God . . . blasting from the cold stone face of a grave marker.

Remember those that gave their lives, so that we may continue to live in freedom as spelled out in the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence . . . Lest we forget.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Retirement Notice: Clint Hartmann CEO of Houston Texas Fire Fighters FCU is Retiring!

The Board of Directors of Houston Texas Fire Fighters FCU has announced that Clint Hartmann is retiring in March 2016 as President/CEO after 12 years of distinguished service.

After graduating with his MBA and working several years in finance and accounting, Hartmann began his credit union career at Tropical Telco FCU (now Tropical Financial CU) in 1983 as Assistant Controller. Over the next 25 years, Hartmann served as President and CEO of credit unions with the Martin Marietta and the University of South Florida, where he learned to respect and appreciate the membership aspect of the credit union philosophy. He was named President and CEO of HTFFFCU in 2004.

Hartmann cites that his biggest challenge as CEO was navigating through the recent recession and collapse of the corporate credit union network, a challenge that hurt many credit unions throughout the country.

“I am proud that we managed to work through these challenges while maintaining positive earnings and capital growth. We also did not reduce any employee benefits or lay off staff.”
Under Hartmann’s exceptional direction, the Credit Union has grown in assets from $165 million in 2004 to over $247 million as of March 2015. Under his leadership, the credit union’s technological potential grew from establishing a new updated website to now accepting mobile deposits—technology that rivals the big banks.

In addition to his time at HTFFFCU, Hartmann has been extremely active in the Credit Union industry, currently serving as a member of the Board of Directors of Corporate America Credit Union. He has also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Houston Chapter of Credit Unions for 9 years–5 of those years as President. Much of his time with the Houston Chapter centered on fundraising efforts for community charities and political advocacy for the credit union industry in Texas.

“The Houston Chapter has accomplished a great many things while I have been on the Board but there are probably two that I am most proud of,” he stated. “The first is that we won chapter of the year for 4 consecutive years. This demonstrates the overall excellence of the chapter and its many efforts. The second and definitely the one I am most proud of is that the Chapter has donated over $400,000 to Texas Children’s Hospital. In addition, the chapter has a current pledge of $250,000 that will be met next year. Working with the volunteers for the chapter has been a rewarding experience.”

He and his wife will enjoy a pastime they have both looked forward to, seeing the country in their travel trailer.

"Leaving HTFFFCU is bitter sweet,” Hartmann said. “On the one hand I look forward to traveling and spending more time with my grandchildren. On the other I will miss the involvement with the Chapter and my colleagues. I will miss the staff at the credit union, especially the management team. Finally, I will miss the Board of Directors at HTFFFCU. They have been very supportive over the last 12 years. Something I truly appreciate.”

Friday, May 15, 2015

Great Things Happen When Firefighters Get Together

The Face-to-face interaction is the platform where collaboration begins, relationships are forged, and ideas are generated.”

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Firefighters First Credit Union, Fire Family Foundation Presents, the 2nd Annual Fire Boot Classic “Chips & Tequila” | Pasadena California,


Fire-Family-Foundations-Chips-TequilaBrookside Golf Club will turn into an evening of Vintage Mexico High Stakes poker tournament and bingo for the 2nd Annual Fire Family Foundation’s Fire Boot Classic on Saturday, May 16, 2015.

The evening consists of a high stakes poker classic, bingo, cigars, tequila tasting, silent auction, food/drink, and a fun photo booth by the students of Room 13 of Eliot Middle School in Pasadena. Adding to this is the equally fun-loving celebrity master of ceremonies Tim Conway Jr. Host of Tim Conway Jr. Show (KFI 640 AM, Actor Roger Mosley calling bingo alongside Pasadena Firefighters. Proceeds benefit the Fire Family Foundation, the charitable hand of Firefighters First Credit Union.

Recent Ways Fire Family Foundation Has Helped:

• Suddenly on Thanksgiving morning, the Fire Captain did not wake up; he left behind 4 devastated kids and a wife to face a changed world; Their December mortgage was paid by the Foundation
• Help with a down-payment for a newer car for a young family with a boy struggling with leukemia, and his granddad worked for LAFD; now the family can get him safely to his therapy
• Matching Red Cross’ donation to bury a 15-year old boy who had just arrived from Bangladesh, but was caught in an apartment fire.
• When a firefighter battled cancer and was unable to work he was about to lose his water service, but at 4 PM on a Friday afternoon the Foundation stepped in to help
• When a young firefighter returned home and died due to smoke in the lungs, the family wanted to come together, but one cousin was thousands of miles away. The Foundation paid to fly her out; she too is a firefighter and she attended her cousin’s funeral on what would have been his 32nd birthday.
• Hardware store gift card for a house fire victim, so she could return to her burnt home and try to clean up.

Pasadena Now » Fire Family Foundation Presents the 2nd Annual Fire Boot Classic “Chips & Tequila” | Pasadena California, Hotels,CA Real Estate,Restaurants,City Guide... -

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc. - Leadership


NCOFCU Leadership
NCOFCU is governed by a 9 member Board of Directors elected by the member credit unions. The Board is comprised of Firefighter credit union executives and volunteers from across the US. The Board meets periodically by phone throughout the year, and twice in person, at the annual planning session and at the annual educational conference.
There are 5 standing committees that are charged with managing various facets of the organization. The Committees are Audit, Conference, Marketing, Membership, Nominating and 3 Associate Directors. Each committee sets their meeting schedule and is comprised of at least one board member and volunteers from the member credit unions. The committee chairmen reports their projects and progress directly to the Board of Directors.

National Coalition of Firefighters Credit Unions Inc. - Leadership