1991-2000

The 1990s were a time of unprecedented growth for Selfreliance Ukrainian Federal Credit Union. Membership doubled, due the influx of a fourth wave of immigrants from Ukraine and the Credit Union's acquisition of new branches.

With the collapse of the former Soviet Union, the opportunity presented itself to assist Ukraine in its struggle toward reform and a market economy. Selfreliance was able to complete the cycle of credit union development by becoming an integral part of the rebirth of the cooperative movement in Ukraine.

Selfreliance played a pivotal role in projects for credit union development in Ukraine, in cooperation with the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and Ukrainian National Credit Union Association (UNCUA). CEO/President Bohdan Watral served as chairman of UNCUA's Committee for Development of Credit Unions in Ukraine.

With the death of Founder and long time Chairman of the Board Roman Mycyk in 1996, leadership of Selfreliance was assumed by Michael R. Kos. His background as a legal counsel and extensive knowledge and experience of the credit union's activities enable him to provide the leadership required by our.

In 1993, NCUA approved the purchase by our credit union of certain assets of the Self Reliance (J.C.) FCU in Jersey City. The Ukrainian community in Jersey City dates its existence to the founding of Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in 1887, with Rev. Ivan Volianskyj as pastor. A cooperative store was opened in 1890, "Svoboda" started publication in 1891 and the Ukrainian National Association was founded in 1894. A Selfreliance Association branch was established in 1950, with Self Reliance (J.C.) FCU chartered in 1954. The credit union had attained $33.5 million in assets by 1991. October 1, 1993 Selfreliance inaugurated its first New Jersey Branch, gaining a toehold and establishing a presence within the large east coast Ukrainian population. The merger increased Selfreliance-Chicago's membership by two thousand.

In December 2000, Selfreliance Ukrainian Federal Credit Union of Chicago and Selfreliance UA FCU in Newark, New Jersey merged. Selfreliance UA FCU was founded in 1959. In 1974, it purchased a building across the street from St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church. Its vibrant growth led to the opening of a branch in 1998 in Parsippany, NJ. Founders of the Credit Union were Dr. Michael Goy and D r. Walter Bemko. The leaders of Selfreliance UA FCU were active in the promotion of credit union development in Ukraine. In 1993 they signed an Agreement of Cooperation with a Credit Union in Kryvyi Rih.

Following the merger, Ihor Laszok, the CEO of Selfreliance/NJ became Executive Vice President of Eastern Operations, bringing with him another strong cooperative voice. The newly created "merged" Credit Union: Selfreliance Ukrainian American Federal Credit Union, affirmed that "people helping people" truly works! Following the merger, Selfreliance topped all expectations by surpassing $365 million in assets, with membership exceeding 20,000 at the close of its 5th decade.