Community First Credit Union appoints senior vice president

Former United Way of Northeast Florida executive Lori Smith will lead human resources and training.

 Lori Smith
Lori Smith
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Community First Credit Union appointed Lori Smith as its senior vice president of human resources and training. 

The Jacksonville-based credit union said that as the top HR executive, Smith will lead workforce innovations in a post-pandemic economy including growth plans, employee development and retention, workforce training and diversity/equity/inclusion commitment.

The credit union has 350 employees.

“Retaining our great employees, growing our team and diversifying our workforce across Northeast Florida is critical to continued growth of our credit union,” said Community First CEO and President John Hirabayashi in a news release.

“Lori will lead our efforts to expand and grow and meet the challenges of a post-pandemic workforce.”

Smith has more than two decades of experience in HR. She most recently was vice president of human resources and organizational development at United Way of Northeast Florida.

Before that, she was regional human resources manager for State Farm Insurance, managing human resources in 11 states. 

She has held other positions in HR since 1999, according to the release.

 “Strong employees are the key to our member-focused culture and our future,” Smith said.

Community First, which says it is Downtown Jacksonville’s longest continually operating financial institution, is headquartered in LaVilla.

In 2020 Community First expanded an additional headquarters location at 701 W. Adams St. It also has expanded its branch network.

Since 2002, Community First has grown its workforce from 188 employees to the current 350. Assets have grown more than 380% from $605 million to $2.3 billion in August.

Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in communications at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.