By: Preston Mangus
The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus is credited with the quote, “the only constant is change.” VyStar Credit Union has embraced this logic wholeheartedly. Considering the high profile, high-rise relocation of our headquarters to Downtown Jacksonville, dramatic growth in membership and assets, and ambitious plans for continued expansion, VyStar’s rate of change has been meteoric.
And now, Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS Jax) branch 101, the place where it all began, is getting an amazing makeover. Having once been the headquarters of VyStar (formerly Jax Navy Federal Credit Union), the branch has seen a lot of change. And it’s not over.
Currently, the branch is undergoing a complete renovation, similar to facility upgrades happening at other locations. However, there are some aspects going into our upgrade that are unique to the NAS Jax branch.
In 2018, we undertook our first facility collaboration by providing space inside the branch for the USO Pathfinder program. It worked out so well, the concept expanded to include space for a representative of the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs, occupied by Rich Carey. Rich Carey, Veteran Service Officer, is a retired U.S. Army sergeant first class, and has been at NAS Jax for several months. He is making a dramatic impact on the local disabled veteran population and is available to counsel vets and assist with disability claim submission and follow-up.
To cap off the renovation additions, a Starbucks is coming to the NAS JAX branch! That’s right—Starbucks! We will have a complete franchise and use one of the branch lanes as a Starbucks drive-thru lane. You can drop off your deposit and pick up your java. What could be better? Well, I guess you could come inside and handle your financial transactions, relax in our welcoming lounge and browse the internet at your leisure. I have a feeling the VyStar NAS Jax is going to become a popular destination for those on base.
Coordinating all this renovation activity is Jim Kersten, Construction Project Manager at VyStar. A Navy veteran, Jim has been with VyStar for about two years. Jim advises that total project time will span about six months; the branch should be complete by February, and the Starbucks should be ready around March. According to Jim, working with the local NAS construction affiliates has been “seamless.” He is very excited that the modern accommodations and improved technology will enhance member experience and comfort.
Branch Vice President, Bob Sanders was very complimentary to the project’s general contractor, Dana B. Kenyon Company. He says, “They are quite attentive to our needs and very responsive to work, which is important since we are remaining operational during construction.”
We are all looking forward to our branch being a shining example of the VyStar commitment to improve the workspace and overall environment for our employees and our members. We can’t wait to showcase our splendid facility after its completion in spring. We hope to see you here—and don’t forget your coffee mug!