In early 1964, William Dillard moved the headquarters for Dillard’s Department Stores to Little Rock, Arkansas. The offices were located in the newly acquired Joseph Pfeifer Department Store and Gus Blass Company on Main Street. In 1966, the employees of Dillard’s Department Stores, Inc. established a state chartered Credit Union as a non-profit organization to serve its members by promoting thrift and creating a source of credit at a reasonable rate of interest.
The Charter members of the Credit Union were William Dillard, E. Ray Kemp, Jr., David Bluthenthal, William E. Rice, William Holmes, Evelyn Cox, and Jerry Mowry.
The first meeting of the Board of Directors of Dillard’s Department Stores Credit Union was held on April 26, 1966. The meeting was held in Little Rock, Arkansas. At this meeting, officers were elected. 43 members were approved with a $5.00 minimum balance to join. Members could set up a payroll deduction through Dillard’s as an easy way to contribute money to their share accounts and to pay their loans.
By the end of April, the Credit Union’s total assets were $552. The Credit Union did not have any employees at this time. The Board of Directors was responsible for the daily operation of the Credit Union.
The first annual meeting was held on January 24, 1967. Because of the growth and expansion of Dillard’s Department Stores, the Board saw the need to offer Credit Union membership to Dillard’s employees in the Arkansas stores outside of Little Rock.
From 1967 until 1972, the Credit Union grew as Dillard’s Department Stores expanded operations. During the 1972 annual meeting, Mr. Tom Kemp, President of the Board, thanked everyone for their hard work and dedication. He announced that he wanted the Credit Union to be available to all employees of Dillard’s Department Stores throughout the country. To accomplish this, the membership approved the motion to convert from a State Charter to a Federal Charter. This conversion provided the foundation for future growth of the Credit Union.
1973 - 1983
In 1973, the Credit Union’s conversion to a Federal Charter was granted and the name of the credit union changed to DDS Employees Federal Credit Union. As a result of the growth attributed to this expansion the Board of Directors discussed the need for a full time employee for the Credit Union. Mr. Kemp stated that Dillard’s Department Stores would underwrite the salary until such time the Credit Union would be financially able to absorb the cost. Ms. Ann Price was selected to fill the position on March 25, 1974. By that time Dillard’s had moved their corporate offices to 900 W Capitol. The Credit Union finally had an office of its ownIn 1974, the Credit Union received the “Thrift Honor Award,” which is given to Credit Unions showing exceptional growth. Because of the substantial growth, the Board of Directors felt the Credit Union needed to be computerized. On May 14, 1975, the Credit Union purchased a data processing system from the Missouri Credit Union League and a Porta-Verta machine for transmitting information and record keeping.
During that same time, the Board approached the Board of Directors of Brown-Dunkin Credit Union for a possible merger of the two Credit Unions, with Dillard’s being the continuing Credit Union. The Board hired a part-time employee to help with the merger. Brown-Dunkin Credit Union was the Credit Union for the Brown-Dunkin Store in Oklahoma, which Dillard’s Department Store acquired in 1960. The Oklahoma Credit Union continued to serve the Oklahoma employees under the Brown-Dunkin name until the merger in 1975.
As Dillard’s continued to grow and acquire new stores around the Country, so did the Credit Union. At the end of 1976, which was the tenth anniversary of the Credit Union, total assets were $564,235 and membership had grown to 1,279 accounts.
In 1979, the Credit Union’s name was changed to Dillard’s Federal Credit Union. In 1981, the credit union installed its first phone system, making the credit union more accessible for members who lived out of state.
In August 1982, the board of directors accepted Mrs. Price’s resignation as manager. By the next board meeting, the credit union board announced the manager position was filled.
1984 - 2005
June 1984, the Credit Union signed a 12 month contract with Cunadata for their data processing system. In 1985, Dillard’s FCU merged with Cain-Sloan Credit Union.
In 1989, the Dillard’s headquarters relocated to their newly built office complex at 1600 Cantrell. The Credit Union at that time was moved to a large office in the old building at 900 W. Capitol. The Credit Union had 4 employees at that time. With a larger office space, the board approved hiring another employee to handle the increasing number of members. In 1990, Dillard’s Inc. purchased the Ivey’s Department Store chain in Florida and the credit union merged with Ivey’s Federal Credit Union. The Credit Union moved to the newly expanded Dillard's corporate offices in 2001.
The credit union saw many new and exciting changes during this time. DFCU expanded by adding new branches in North Little Rock and in Otter Creek in South Little Rock. Dillard’s Federal Credit Union also added new products and services including Checking Accounts, Online Account Access, eStatements, Shared Branching, Home Loans, Indirect Lending, Gift Cards, Investment Services and a Website.
As the credit union continues to grow, the needs of our membership continue to evolve. To better serve our membership as a whole, Dillard’s Federal Credit Union consolidated all branches into one central location at 1600 Cantrell Road in Little Rock (Dillard’s Corporate Headquarters). During this time, DFCU also added a Facebook page to give members another way to connect with their credit union. MYDFCU.com also got a makeover, so now the website is easier to navigate and mobile phone friendly!
The current Board and Management of Dillard’s Federal Credit Union are excited about the future of the credit union and will continue to add new and improved products and services to benefit our members.