Kathy Cormier has been picked to be the executive director for Blount United Credit Union, a new community financial institution being started in Blount County.
Cormier, 51, is originally from Boston but moved the Blount County five years ago to follow her parents who retired to this area.
“My background has been in getting businesses and non-profits started. My goal is to take it from ground floor to where the ambitions of the board of directors is and what their goal is,” she said. “I just have really absorbed myself on an emotional level with this one. I can see the amazing benefits there are going to be for Blount County overall.”
Currently the credit union is in the fundraising phase. “We need to raise $300,000 to open our doors. We have a matching pledge. If we get an individual to donate $10,000, we have matching challenge opportunities of $40,000. We’re at $5,000,” she said. “Matching contributions are wonderful. They help build it quickly.”
Cormier said that $300,000 doesn’t seem like a lot of money for starting such an ambitious program as this. “On the grassroots level, I look at what’s happening with the economy and the bailout,” she said. “This is an effort that can make such an impact here in Blount County. We don’t need Washington. We can do this ourselves.”
Cormier said that in five years she and the board of directors hope to have a large, broad-based membership in Blount County. “We hope to see families definitely impacted in a savings program building their own assets,” she said. “Folks who have never had that opportunity, folks under the radar with regular banking institutions -- we’ll be able to help them establish themselves.”
Cormier said she has worked with other non-profit organizations such as Project Story Keeper and WIN International.
“Project Story Keeper an Internet-based foundation out of Phoenix, Ariz. They are passionately trying to capture life stories before a generation dies. All World War II vets, people of the Holocost,” she said. “My job was to connect hospital agencies all over the country and get their volunteers trained on doing the process. That was an ambitious, wonderful project.”
Cormier said she also helped WIN International, the Wall Street Investors Network. “We trained people on how to safely invest in the stock market well before the crash,” she said. “It was a Wall Street education. I was instrumental in bring 300 to 400 investors to company.”
Cormier said she hails from a musical family and won female vocalist for County Music Association of America in Sandemas, Calif, in 1992. She was in the music business for 9 years and cut two albums. She is excited about the opportunities in front of her, she said.
“It’s very outreach oriented,” said Cormier. “I’m really optimistic to see this take off and become a real centerpiece for help.”
Cormier said there’s are many wonderful organizations in Blount County. “When you pull the banking element in, that’s the missing link because of all the giving organization,” she said. “There are many organizations that give fish. Blount United is going to teach them how to fish, and they will become self-sufficient.”
Cormier is single and mother of four grown children: Jylian Belcher, 22, an EMT for Rural/Metro Ambulance Service; Josh Belcher, 26, is a graduate student at UT; step-daughter Heather Morphy, 24, in Mesa, Ariz, at Arizona State University; and step-son Christopher Morphy, 24, is just back from Iraq where he spent 17 months on active duty. He is in college in Texas studying music engineering.