First Financial membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Monmouth or Ocean Counties. *$5 in a base savings account is your membership deposit and is required to remain in your base savings account at all times to be a member in good standing. All credit unions require a membership deposit. All personal memberships are part of the Rewards First program and a $5 per month non-participation fee is charged to the base savings account for memberships not meeting the minimum requirements of the Bronze Tier. Click here to view full Rewards First program details, and here to view the Tier Level Comparison Chart. Accounts for children age 13 and under are excluded from this program.

Terms and Conditions

Issa Stephan, CCUE
President and CEO


As Issa Stephan tells it, his career in the credit union industry began as love at first sight. With a BBA in Systems Analysis from the University of Texas at Arlington, he initially entered the workforce as an information systems officer. But, as good as Issa was with technology, he enjoyed working with people more. So, when he first joined the credit union industry in 1995, he knew it would be the beginning of a lifelong commitment.

Issa is, first and foremost, a family man and an active member of his community. So, it’s no surprise that the community focus of most credit unions would capture his attention, and that he cares deeply about his First Financial “family” of members and employees.

As CEO, Issa is responsible for carrying out the short and long-term strategic plans and policies established by First Financial’s Board of Directors. He is responsible for the overall operation of the credit union with a total of five branches, call center and lending/contact center.

Among Issa’s many accomplishments to date are the successful re-branding of FFFCU’s identity and image to support its new community charter in both Monmouth and Ocean counties. As part of that initiative, Issa oversaw the new brand identity and logo for FFFCU; created a new strategic and business plan to strengthen FFFCU, and developed strategic plans to position FFFCU for the next decade.

As a result, FFFCU is stronger than ever and has a vast new array of products and services that impact the entire FFFCU family. For example, Issa has put a strong focus on financial education, believing that more educated members make for a stronger credit union. Issa has also maintained and broadened FFFCU’s community outreach programs, thus ensuring long-term positive relationships in the communities it serves.

Most recently, Issa spearheaded FFFCU’s push to incorporate social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube into the credit union’s community outreach and educational programs in an effort to foster a stronger dialog between FFFCU, its members, employees and the community at large.

Among his professional affiliations, Issa is a member of the New Jersey Credit Union League’s Political Action Group Committee; the Society of Information Management, and the Credit Union Executive Society. Issa was a member of New Jersey Credit Union League’s Board and Professional Service Group; CUNA’s Technology Council, and the Texas Credit Union League’s Political Action Committee.

Personally, he is on the board of the Monmouth and Ocean Development Council; an active member of his church, and speaks regularly on various credit union and financial topics.

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