The Orlando Economic Partnership welcomes Addition Financial, the Lake Mary-based member-owned not-for-profit financial cooperative serving 22 counties across Florida, and Relationship Manager of Community Engagement & Partnerships Richard J. Barbari to the Partner level of investment.

Addition Financial Arena
Addition Financial Arena on the Campus of the University of Central Florida (UCF) is home to the UCF men’s and women’s baskeball programs, as well as concerts, family shows and other attractions for the Orlando region. ©University of Central Florida

Addition Financial was founded in 1937 as Orange County Teachers Credit Union when 23 Orange County educators got together to create a better financial alternative than what banks were offering in the four-county region of Orange, Osceola, Lake and Seminole Counties. Eventually becoming CFE (Central Florida Educators) Federal Credit Union, the financial institution obtained its state charter in the spring of 2019 and, because of its expansion in service, changed its name to the more inclusive Addition Financial. Today it is one of the largest credit unions in the Orlando region with more than $1.8 billion in assets and approximately 160,000 members.

“We no longer felt Central Florida or the CF in our name was as inclusive as it could be when we were planning to open branches throughout the state of Florida,” says Addition Financial Relationship Manager of Community Engagement & Partnerships Richard J. Barbari. “But we still wanted our brand to be connected to the educational background of the institution.”

The new name encompasses both the credit union’s mission and purpose, with a nod to its roots in education while communicating a welcoming and open organization, available to all who want to join. Addition Financial partners with hundreds of organizations in the Orlando region and beyond to provide students and adults unique access to financial education, resources and opportunities like the annual Joseph A. Melbourne, Jr. Scholarship for incoming freshman and master’s students.

Each year, Addition Financial teams up with dozens of charitable organizations to raise scholarship funds for deserving students in need of financial aid by sponsoring fundraising events with Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Lake County Schools. The credit union also partners with organizations like A Gift for Teaching and the Devereux Foundation to reach underserved groups in the community.

“We are the credit union that educates,” Barbari says. “We offer financial education to anyone including how to repair credit score and first-time home and car buying. It’s all completely free.

We’re here to help the community become more financially focused and smarter with their money management.”

Richard J. Barbari, Relationship Manager of Community Engagement & Partnerships, Addition Financial

Addition Financial will open its new downtown Orlando location on UCF Downtown’s campus this fall.

“We’re looking forward to making more connections and growing our network in the downtown Orlando community,” Barbari says. “We’re excited to be part of the region’s growth and sharing our commercial and independent lending services and competitive rates with the community.” Thank you to Addition Financial for its investment in the economic and community development efforts of the Partnership and its support of promoting broad-based prosperity for the region.