125 North Fulton St. Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: (607) 273-4611
Toll Free: (877) 273-AFCU      Contact

Bill Myers wins Corrine Galvin Human Rights Award

Press Release
Bill Myers awarded Corinne Galvin Human Rights Award

April 21, 2007 - CEO Bill Myers was honored by the Tompkins County Human Rights Commission with the Corrine Galvin Award “for an individual’s work on a human rights issue.” As written in his nomination, “Bill Myers is especially suited to the award this year because of the theme, “Fostering and Sustaining Social Justice in Tompkins County.

What is social justice without economic justice? Bill's work as the founder of Alternatives Federal Credit Union has had considerable impact on Tompkins County and beyond in promoting economic justice. He has dedicated his life to helping people from all walks of life become financially self sufficient. Alternatives' Vision Statement is "To build wealth and create economic opportunity for underserved people and communities. "Bill's leadership and vision has helped launch innovative programs and services like:

The Living Wage standard: every other year, Alternatives does a study to determine what it takes to live in Tompkins County. It then pays its staff that wage and promotes the standard to the rest of the community.

Free Tax Preparation Program: The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. Alternatives wants to make sure all eligible families receive EITC and has created a program using volunteers to prepare taxes for low-to-moderate income people in the community. In this way, people have not only received EITC they didn't know they were eligible for, they avoided preparation fees at the commercial preparation firms, and avoided the predatory rapid refund loans that are often pushed.

Individual Development Accounts is a matched savings program that help people develop a savings habit and save a substantial sum of money for buying a house, starting a business or going to school.

Bill’s reputation in the community is that of a visionary and doer. He sees possibilities and then makes these possibilities a reality. Established in 1979, Alternatives Federal Credit Union is a full-service, community development credit union with 9,000 members (67% of whom are low-to-moderate income) and $50 million in assets. Alternatives has been recognized for its innovation in developing and providing products and services designed to help its low income members move towards financial stability and asset ownership, with a focus on home ownership and small business development.

Under Bill’s leadership, Alternatives has always emphasized financial education as a key to helping people improve their situations. In addition to traditional credit union services, Alternatives was one of the first organizations in the country to offer Individual Development Accounts, has its own microenterprise development program, provides free income tax preparation and non-predatory refund anticipation loans, and has student credit union branches in four local schools.

Bill Myers’ goal is no less than to make the world a better place to live. I believe he has achieved this goal, although he is never one to rest on his laurels. As Bill has announced his retirement from Alternatives in June 2007, it is a fitting time for him to receive the award of which he is so deserving.


Online Access

eStatements Prior to Dec. 2012 »

Loan Rates
Deposit Rates

Donate »

Your gift to Alternatives Impact helps our community!

Chris Setlock

In the spring of 2014, we learned that our minivan needed repairs in excess of it's value. We'd already been cutting back on our auto use, and were trying to walk and bike more. We'd been talking with friends and reading about cargo bikes as a car alternative. Around the same time, a new business, "Boxy Bikes" opened in Ithaca, which specializes in electric and cargo bikes. We found a model we were interested in, and approached alternatives seeking financing. Alternatives set us up with a signature loan, and a "green loan" discount on our rate. Thanks to Alternatives, we are now the happy owners of a "Yuba Mundo" Electric Cargo bike. We can get anywhere we need to go, using no gas, and creating no emissions. I can carry two passengers, or a weeks worth of groceries. The loan will be paid off in two years, and the bike could last for many more, at a fraction of the cost of an automobile.

Education »

Discover how you can gain control of your finances...

Alternatives Federal Credit Union ("Alternatives") provides a hyperlink to Google Translate™ for convenience only and without any responsibility for the accuracy of translations. Alternatives has no control over this unrelated, free and entirely computerized translation program. Computerized translations are only an attempted approximation of the website’s original content and thus Alternatives makes no representations or warranties of any kind with respect to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of any translations. Persons using translated information do so at their own risk.