President Of Poland Visits PSFCU Branch in Greenpoint
Prior to attending this week’s United Nations General Assembly, Polish President Andrzej Duda traveled across the East River to tour the original branch of the Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union, the country’s largest ethnic credit union.
At the historic building in Brooklyn’s “Little Poland” neighborhood of Greenpoint, the President of Poland was welcomed on Sunday by scores of credit union officials at the site of the first branch of the 39-year-old credit union. “Nearly 40 years ago, a group of community activists gathered around Reverend Longin Tolczyk, a priest from the Podlasie region, to come upon an idea of how to help Polish people arriving from behind the Iron Curtain to achieve their American dream,” said PSFCU Chief Executive Officer Bogdan Chmielewski while greeting President Duda. “That is what led to the creation of this great institution, which has grown to more than 84,000 members and $1.6 billion in assets with16 branches throughout New York, New Jersey and Illinois.”
Mr. Chmielewski recalled the humble days of the early credit union – equipped with a single desk and a wooden abacus in a cafeteria – as well as its evolution and impressive growth over the years. Today, that first branch at 140 Greenpoint Avenue remains a vibrant part of PSFCU’s network, and has helped the credit union become the largest Polish financial institution outside of Poland. In addressing the PSFCU board of directors, its supervisory committee, managers and employees, President Duda thanked the institution for its work and success in benefitting the local Polish community.
“Thanks to you, many Poles have achieved success in life here in the United States. Today I have asked for your solidarity, so that people who have achieved this success in the past and present are sensitive to those who have not been successful, help them and reach out to them,” said President Duda. Mr. Duda is the second Polish head of state to visit the credit union’s Brooklyn operations. Exactly six years ago, President Lech Kaczynski and his wife, the First Lady, visited the PSFCU headquarters at 100 McGuiness Boulevard in Greenpoint, located a few blocks from the original branch.
As part of his visit, President Duda presented a commemorative plaque to the PSFCU’s Mr. Chmielewski, and then stated, “I wish you all the best in the coming years of the credit union’s operation, and hope that as many young people obtain an opportunity from you, which will allow them to show their mettle and demonstrate how industrious and enterprising a nation we are. “Your visit is an honor, as well as motivation to work even harder for the Polish community and members of our Credit Union,” said Mr. Chmielewski. Following his tour of the original branch location, President Duda spent several minutes talking to and shaking the hands of hundreds of Greenpoint residents gathered outside the PSFCU facility.
Go to main navigation
The Polish & Slavic Federal Credit Union was established in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, New York, in 1976. Since then, it has expanded to 16 branches in three states: New York, New Jersey and Illinois. With more than 84,000 members and more than $1.6 billion in assets, PSFCU is the largest ethnic federal credit union in the United States today.