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Lingerfelt celebrates retirement from CFCU

Susan Chaffin, left, joins CFCU CEO Sandy Lingerfelt at Lingerfelt’s retirement celebration on Wednesday, Dec. 4. (Erwin Record Staff Photo by Richard Rourk)

By Richard Rourk

A fixture in the community is about to begin a much-deserved retirement.

Clinchfield Federal Credit Union CEO Sandy Lingerfelt is stepping down from her post at the end of the year and she was visited by members of the community all day on Wednesday, Dec. 4.

“It’s a sweet day,” Lingerfelt said.

Lingerfelt began her career at CFCU in 1977 and was promoted to CEO in 1985. Holding many leadership positions, which include chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Credit Union League and chairman of the Audit Committee of Credit Union National Association (CUNA), she was also the second person to be inducted into the Tennessee Credit Union Hall of Fame.

“I have been here for 43 years,” Lingerfelt said.

According to Lingerfelt, the time has come to let someone else have an opportunity to lead CFCU.

“It was time for someone else to get a chance here,” Lingerfelt said.

That someone is Amy Banks, who currently serves as senior vice president of operations at CFCU. Banks has been named by the CFCU Board of Directors to assume the role of CEO effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Banks started her career at the credit union as a part-time teller and has 29 years of experience there. She is involved in numerous community activities, and is an active member of Evergreen Freewill Baptist Church. She obtained her Certified Credit Union Executive designation from CUNA.

Although she will soon be retired, Lingerfelt plans to keep busy.

“I work with jewelry and I will work on that. I want to take all kinds of classes at Union Street Gallery,” Lingerfelt said. “I’m going to take knitting lessons from Betty Stevens. I have painting classes set up as well.”

Lingerfelt also confirmed that she will continue to bake bread. Lingerfelt is known for her bread and her holiday baked goods sale.

“I sold out of bread early this year,” Lingerfelt said.

For coworker Clinchfield MSR/Marketing Assistant April Simmons this day was bittersweet.

“We are going to miss (Sandy); she made the credit union,” Simmons said.

For Lingerfelt’s husband, Unicoi County High School softball coach Grady Lingerfelt, retirement means that the couple may have more time to travel.

“I’d like to get a trip planned some time,” Lingerfelt said.