1968: Founding Pfizer Employees Credit Union
In the early 1960s, Donald (Red) Gallup who worked in the Antibiotic Recovery division of Pfizer in Groton, CT, felt that Pfizer would benefit from an employee credit union. He brought the idea to the Pfizer Groton Plant Manager, Stanley Ensminger, who finally agreed to think about the idea and assigned Tom Keogh, Pfizer Groton Accounting Manager, the arduous task of how to begin.
Tom quickly learned that the success of an employee credit union was the willingness of the employer to allow payroll deductions as the principal path of deposits and it was this issue that became the obstacle for a very long time, as Pfizer’s Personnel Department felt that the additional “competition” for a share of the employee’s take home pay might jeopardize the success of the recently installed Savings and Stock Plan.
But Stanley persisted in his discussions with Pfizer’s New York headquarters and E.T. Pratt, the Controller (later the CEO) of Pfizer got involved and gave the green light to the credit union as he recognized it could help employees by providing low rate loans. And so on February 20, 1968, Pfizer Employees Credit Union was founded.
Pfizer Employees Credit Union was originally set up in Pfizer Groton’s Building 41 conference room on a large table and using an old bookkeeping machine donated by the Connecticut Credit Union League. Any time a meeting was held, the credit union would have to stop operations and allow Pfizer to use the conference room. Helen McMahon and Prudence Sylvia were the first two employees and helped the credit union grow during our first years.
The conference room quickly became too small for the credit union operations and Pfizer allowed (and bore the expense for) the credit union to move to No. 1 Bill Avenue, the last residential structure of what was once Bill Park, a wartime housing development where President Carter lived while attending Submarine School.
1983: Pfizer Employees Federal Credit Union
In 1983, Pfizer Employees Credit Union converted from a state to a federally chartered credit union, and we changed our name to Pfizer Employees Federal Credit Union. This move enabled the credit union to offer insurance protection for each account and changed the rules under which we operated. At this time, the field of membership was extended to include spouses and immediate family members of Pfizer employees so they could also take advantage of credit union membership.
1993: Ledge Light Federal Credit Union
In 1993, the credit union changed our name to Ledge Light Federal Credit Union to accommodate the growing number of Pfizer employee family members who were joining. The name Ledge Light was chosen to pay tribute to the historic Ledge Lighthouse perched out in Fishers Island Sound at the mouth of the Thames River in nearby New London, CT.
In the late 1990s, we expanded our reach beyond Pfizer and our membership charter was expanded to include Select Employee Groups in the life science industry.
In the late 1990s, an onsite branch was opened in Pfizer’s Building 220 to further service members and in 2001 another onsite branch in Pfizer New London was opened. The demand for our credit union spread nationwide. In 2010, we opened a mobile branch at Pfizer’s New York headquarters, and in 2012 we opened mobile branches in Pfizer’s Andover, MA and Cambridge, MA locations. Also in 2012 we opened a branch office in Pfizer’s La Jolla (San Diego) location.
2012: Scient Federal Credit Union
In October 2012, due to our nationwide growth and expansion we changed our name to Scient Federal Credit Union. Today we serve dozens of life science organizations and over 15,000 members across the United States with a full suite of banking services tailored to the unique needs of individuals in the life science industry.