Case Studies

Community First Credit Union Finds Success With Diligent Boards™

Community First Credit Union logo

Community First Credit Union is a member-owned, state-chartered credit union offering full-service consumer and business banking and financial services in Northeast Florida. For over 80 years, Community First Credit Union has been a recognized leader in providing financial solutions to improve members’ lives while helping build strong and vibrant communities. Community First Credit Union’s Board of Directors is a group of elected volunteers responsible for establishing policies to be implemented by management and staff. The board, who are primarily education-based, embody the roots of the educational community upon which the credit union was founded.


Several years ago, the organization selected a board portal to help their board directors and administrators better connect and communicate through technology. This board portal helped to introduce Community First Credit Union to a paperless environment for the board. However, as the boards’ and the businesses’ needs grew, this board portal solution could not support future endeavors without challenges.

“At times, there was a lack of reliability,” said Paula Basihan, senior executive assistant at Community First Credit Union. “Key functions dropped off, new software versions kept changing, there was a lag time in loading documents and the overall technology roadmap was missing.”

“Because our board members and admins did not really grasp the solution. It was not adopted well and engagement fell. We were also growing very fast and needed something more stable,” she says. “The board members had difficulty with the portal’s authentication, which also increased concerns over security.”


To give her board of directors and admins the confidence and technology they needed, Paula looked for a new board portal solution. A new board member mentioned how satisfied they were with Diligent Boards™, which they used on another board. After an impressive Diligent demo, the choice was clear for Basihan. Community First Credit Union reached out to Diligent to create a new board portal solution.

“Implementation was easy and seamless,” explained Basihan. “Adoption and use of the portal was surprisingly quick. We set a 90-day deadline to be up and running, but within about 30 days all our users and board members were using the Diligent software.”


With Diligent’s technology in place, Community First Credit Union board directors and admins quickly took advantage of Diligent board portal functionalities, intuitive drag-and-drop dashboard, governance compliance, iron-clad security and other features.

“We save at least an hour in preparing our board meeting packets with Diligent,” she explains. “Unlike the previous vendor, we utilize all of Diligent from automation, authentication, eSignatures, voting, and having an easy-to-access central repository of board-related documents.”

Paula also said Community First’s board directors are now more engaged and prepared to maximize time and efficiency at board meetings through Diligent. Instead of board directors individually calling Basihan for help locating board-related materials or needing assistance to log into the board portal, board directors are now empowered to access, collaborate and communicate with an intuitive board portal.

“Diligent’s personal training, responsive support and overall customer dedication has been a very impressive and customer-focused experience,” adds Basihan.

With plans to evolve and grow, Community First Credit Union looks forward to its continued partnership with Diligent.

“Financial organizations are concerned with the large amount of data which has made some boards shy about making the digital switch,” says Basihan. “Diligent brings higher standards of functions, governance, collaboration and communication to our process – all with a greater promise of security and better engagement of our board directors.”