First Financial Gobbles Up Marketing Awards for “Turkey Shuffle” Event

Press Release


Pictured above from left to right: Megan Shull (Business Development Officer), Jessica Revoir (Marketing Manager), and Kathy Zimmer (Business Development Director).

Wall, N.J. — First Financial Federal Credit Union was chosen by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) through the New Jersey Credit Union League’s 2012 award program (NJCUL) as the recipient of the 2012 Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Community Awareness Award. They also received a silver award from the Jersey Shore Advertising & Public Relations Association (JSPRAA) in the Special Event Planning Fundraiser category.

The credit union was awarded for its “Turkey Shuffle” event (a Thanksgiving themed variation of shuffleboard and a food drive which benefitted local organization Joshua House Ministries), which took place in November of 2011 at First Financial’s Howell branch. First Financial’s President and CEO, Issa Stephan, was recognized this past October in Atlantic City at the NJCUL’s 78th annual meeting and convention, while the JSPRAA Award was presented at the PNC Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ.

To see the award video taken by the NJCUL, click here.

“First Financial’s marketing and business development teams work diligently to promote our products and services with clarity and creativity,” said Issa Stephan. “This recognition speaks to our commitment to excellence and outstanding member and community service.”

The annual NJCUL award competition is separated in two different categories, state league awards and national CUNA awards.  The Dora Maxwell Award is a CUNA award, and is judged by CUNA and is based on credit unions and their philosophy of “people helping people.”

First Financial’s marketing team are also members of JSPRAA, which is a non-profit association consisting of over 180 members from the advertising, graphic design, marketing, and public relations professions.

Birthday Photo Contest Winner Accounced

Twice a year, we hold a photo contest. Our most recent contest was the Best Birthday Photo Contest, in celebration of our 75th Anniversary. We received an abundance of entries and one lucky family took home a $250 Visa Gift Card, and will have their submitted photo featured in our next newsletter magazine.

Here is the winning photo – Jazzy’s Birthday Face, submitted by member Tasciana Rosales. Jazlyn was born in Japan on an American Air Force Base and has now lived in America for two years. The expression on her face was due to her first glimpse at her birthday cake, featuring her favorite Yo Gabba Gabba characters.

Stay tuned for our next photo contest – the Best Halloween Costume Photo Contest. It will be advertised in the spring 2012 newsletter magazine, on our Facebook page, and on our Twitter page. The new winning photo will be published in the fall 2012 newsletter magazine.

Congrats to the Rosales Family and thank you to everyone who entered!

Manalapan Student Wins Kindle from First Financial

2011 Think Magazine Grand Prize Winner

In 2011 to get children involved with our 75th Anniversary celebration, we sponsored several contests with THINK Magazine where we gave away various prizes and one grand prize Kindle.

11-year-old Lauran S. of Manalapan, pictured above, was our grand prize winner who won the Kindle. To score her prize, she participated in our ‘Who’s on 75′ contest. In this contest, we asked elementary school students in grades K-6 to get creative with designing their own $75 bill in the outline that was provided. Then, they were to tell us in 75 words or less why they designed the bill the way they did.

With Lauran’s design, she wrote “I designed my bill according to some patriotic symbols from back then. I chose myself to be in the middle of the bill because I want to be the best president on earth even though I’m a girl.” Pictured below is the $75 bill she drew.

May Winning Entries

Congrats to Lauran and thank you to all the students who helped us celebrate our 75th Anniversary!


First Financial Federal Credit Union Presents Check for $1,936 in Honor of 75th Anniversary


WALL, N.J. (December 28, 2011) – First Financial Federal Credit Unionawarded Eatontown resident Toni Breaud (pictured above) $1,936 at their headquarters in Wall.  In honor of First Financial’s 75th anniversary, anyone who asked a question or posted a comment in relation to any of their monthly financial topics on 94.3 “The Point” radio throughout 2011, was placed into a grand prize drawing to win $1,936 (for the year First Financial started) in December.

On winning, Ms. Breaud, a mother of three, said, “I forgot I had entered until I received the call. It was a nice Christmas surprise!  I’m a single parent and haven’t had a vacation in five years, so I’ll probably take the kids and do something fun.”

Each month throughout 2011, First Financial went on-air with 94.3 The Point to talk about various financial topics.  First Financial experts talked about a variety of financial topics such as the benefits of credit union membership, buying a car, mortgages, credit cards, checking accounts, investments, and retirement – and answered listeners’ questions at the same time.

Point listeners were encouraged to send in questions or comments for each month’s topic via The Point’s website.  Ms. Breaud entered the contest in September with her question regarding First Financial mortgages and how comparable their 30 year mortgage rate was.  She was put in touch with First Financial’s Lending Department and also informed that she could stay up to date on First Financial’s mortgage rates by texting “firstrate” to 69302.  Each time the mortgage rates change, First Financial sends out an update via text message to their subscriber list.

“Educating Families First is our way of giving back to the community,” said Issa Stephan, First Financial’s President and CEO.  “Many people are unsure about various financial topics and we are glad to be able to give them a place to go to get all of their questions answered.”

For more information on First Financial visit

Win a Monmouth or Ocean County $75 Restaurant Gift Card

As our 75th Anniversary celebration concludes, we have just one month left of our Facebook Trivia Contest. In case you missed it, since May we have held a monthly trivia contest that has included questions about Monmouth and Ocean County history since 1936 – the year we started. A winner was chosen each month to win a $75 Restaurant Gift Card to a Monmouth or Ocean County restaurant. Today, we just announced on our Facebook page the last and final question of this contest. If you head on over to our Facebook page, become a fan, and enter to win, you could be our next and final winner.*

Here are all of the past questions and their answers:

Q: Which two Asbury Park hotels were used by both the U.S. and British Navies in the 1930s?
A: Berkeley Carteret and Monterey

Q: In what year and in what campus location did Monmouth University serve as the setting for the movie “Annie”?
A: 1980 and Wilson Hall.

FFNJ 11118 WB 75th Historical Trivia Promo

Q: Which Ocean County town is the home of the Garden State Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra?
A: Toms River

Q: What Monmouth County town is the current Ardena School located in, and what year did it open?
A: Howell in 1939

Q: Which pro football fan magazine was published in Red Bank in the 1990s?
A: The Giants Newsweekly

Q: Where in NJ did the Hindenburg disaster of 1937 take place?
A: Lakehurst Naval Air Station

Q: Harry Gould re-opened this town’s track as the ____ Trotting Association in 1936. It also boasts the oldest pari-mutuel harness track in the country, and is the only venue for daytime harness racing.
A: Freehold (Raceway)

The last day to enter our final monthly trivia contest is December 31st, 2011.Will you be our final $75 Restaurant Gift Card winner?

Enter Now*Visit our Facebook page for complete terms and conditions on this contest.

First Financial Works with Joshua House to Distribute Food


On Monday, November 21st, we put your Joshua House Ministries donations to use by working with Joshua House to distribute the food collected in our Thanksgiving food drive. The drive exceeded the expectations of the Joshua House and 105 families of Farmingdale and Howell, New Jersey were assisted.

Earlier this year when planning the Credit Union’s 75th Anniversary celebration, First Financial’s COO, Alice Stevens approached Accounts Payable Clerk, Betty Bono hoping to be of service to the Joshua House, knowing that Betty has been working with the Joshua House for several years and that it was an important service organization within our local community.

“Alice said to me, we want to do something to help the Joshua House for the holidays and in honor of our 75th Anniversary this year,” Betty said. “With all the other agencies out there that needed assistance, I was very appreciative that the Credit Union chose Joshua House.”

Betty has been volunteering with the Joshua House since 2004 and currently serves as their secretary. She also said that in working with the Joshua House, you get a first hand perspective on the need in the community.

“A lot of people know that needs are out there but until they actually experience it, they don’t know the severity of it,” Betty said. “Because of First Financial’s generous donations of food and turkeys, we exceeded our Thanksgiving needs for food and we have enough leftover for the December holidays.”


First Financial’s Marketing Manager, Jessica Revoir was another one of the volunteers at Joshua House on November 21st, distributing Thanksgiving basket items. She said that as often as possible, the Credit Union likes to give back to the local community and that this experience was special because she was able to go out to the Joshua House and work to directly assist families firsthand.

First Financial has been collecting” target=”_blank”>cellphones for soldiers, we give out” target=”_blank”>awards to teachers monthly, and we give away” target=”_blank”>scholarships each year to local students,” Jessica said. “This year we had the opportunity to do something more, and it was really heart-warming to see the support of our members and to be able to help the Joshua House.”

First Financial’s Business Development Director, Kathy Zimmer and Business Development Officer Megan Shull, also assisted other volunteers at the Joshua House by unloading vehicles, organizing food, and distributing items to families on November 21st.

Joshua%20House%20Bags%20of%20Food-resized-600Bags of food that the team made up for families.
Joshua%20House%20Food%20Against%20Wall-resized-600 Food boxed and ready to go.

Joshua%20House%20Supplies-resized-600 Food and supplies.

Joshua%20House%20Turkeys-resized-600 11 of the 75 turkeys First Financial donated as promised,
in celebration of our 75th Anniversary.
Volunteers Risa and Bill Bastedo, along with Ed Surgent, unloading a truck full of food.

Joshua%20House%20Betty-resized-600 Other volunteers, Bernnie Olson and Barbara Surgent with Betty Bono.

Joshua House Ministries serving Howell and Farmingdale, collects food, clothing, towels, sheets, toiletries, and more. To learn more about this charitable Monmouth County organization and how you can donate during designated hours and days of the week,” target=”_blank”>visit their website.