Meet the Board
At Fortera Credit Union, one of our strengths is our all-volunteer Board of Directors. These unpaid volunteers enjoy serving their members with the energy and insight that has made Fortera Credit Union a success for over 60 years.
Directors are elected by the membership at each year’s annual meeting. Their responsibilities include establishing policy, planning the direction of the Credit Union, declaring dividends, and setting interest rates.
As a member of Fortera Credit Union you are encouraged to contact any board member who may be of service.
Edward H. "Happy" Higgins III - Chairman
Credit Union member since 1981. Serves as Chariman of the Board for Fortera Credit Union; previously served on Fortera Board of Directors, Board of Directors for Christian County School Employees Federal Credit Union as Vice President and President (8.5 years) until merger with Fortera Credit Union. Served in U.S. Army Reserves, 100th Division (9 years); twice selected Drill Sergeant of the Year. Taught Middle School in the Christian County Public Schools (29-1/2 years). Owner and operator Lake Barkley Marina, Cadiz, Kentucky (19 years). Attends First United Methodist Church of Hopkinsville (45 years); served on numerous church boards and committees. Received BS from Western Kentucky University and MS from Murray State University. Happy is a resident of Hopkinsville, Kentucky.
David D. Jones - Vice Chair
Credit Union member since 1988. Served on the Member Advisory Board, the Supervisory Committee, and currently serves on the Asset Liability Management Committee and on the Board of Directors for Fortera Credit Union. Vietnam Veteran and retired from the Army in 1993 as an E-8 and Combat Engineer. Worked in Health Care since retiring from the military. Mr. Jones was the Director of Environmental Services at Jennie Stuart Medical Center in Hopkinsville, Kentucky from 1999 to 2015. Served on numerous committees at work as well as in the community.
James Embry - Secretary
Credit Union member since June 2002. Entered Army as Enlisted in October 1964. Entered Flight School as a Warrant Officer Candidate and graduated in September 1965 as a Warrant Officer 1. Commissioned 2LT in June 1967. Retired November 1984. Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp Instructor, November 1984 to May 2010 at M.C. Napier High School, Hazard, KY; Fort Campbell High School, Fort Campbell, KY; Rossview High School, Clarksville, TN. College graduate from Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY with a Major in History and Minor in Military Science.
Leida E. Pérez - Treasurer
Credit Union member since 2005. Currently serves on the Board of Directors for Fortera Credit Union; former Supervisory Committee member. Employed as a Lab Manager and adjunct instructor in the Biology Department at Austin Peay State University. Previously worked as a science and technology teacher at the K-12 level. Served on numerous departmental and on-campus committees at APSU, including Technology, Non-Academic Grievance, and Environmental Affairs. Graduated from University of Puerto Rico with BS in Coastal Marine Biology, MS in Environmental Health, and an MS in Management from Austin Peay State University.
Larry W. Carter - Director
Currently serves on the Board of Directors for Fortera Credit Union; former Supervisory Committee member. Served on former Christian County School Employees Federal Credit Union Board of Directors as President and Vice President; also served on the Supervisory Committee. Retired Educator, Christian and Caldwell Counties, Kentucky; resident of Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Taught elementary school in Christian County for 20 years; employed as a Primary School Principal for 7 years in Caldwell County. Served as Kentucky Education Association (KEA) Leader at the local, district, and state levels; served as KEA Board member and on Resolution Committee for the National Education Association. Currently a member at the First Presbyterian Church, Hopkinsville, Kentucky; President of the Christian County Retired Teachers Association.
J Thomas H. Denney -Director
J Thomas H. (Tom) Denney, Colonel, US Army, Retired, resident of Clarksville, Tennessee. Board member since 2004. Currently serves on the Board of Directors for Fortera Credit Union; previously served as Chairman of the Board, Vice Chairman of the Board, and Chairman of the Supervisory Committee. Served more than 30 years in the US Army, final assignment at Fort Campbell as Garrison Commander. Employed as Vice President/General Manager of Coldwell Banker – Conroy, Marable & Holleman, Clarksville, Tennessee. Holds a BS and MBA from Auburn University, Schools of Engineering and Business, and an advanced Management Certificate from Emory University’s School of Business in Atlanta, Georgia. Graduate of the Air War College, Army Command and Staff College, and Army Aviation School; qualified in both fixed and rotary aircraft. Serves as the Honorary Colonel to the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade. Life member of the Army Aviation Association of America, Army United States Association, and the Military Officers Association of America. Current or past member of the Clarksville-Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and Airport Board/Authority, Hopkinsville Chamber of Commerce and Pennyrile Development Board, Clarksville Rotary Club, Salvation Army, American Red Cross and past Chairman of the Clarksville Credit Bureau. Currently serves on the Staff Parrish Committee/President of his Sunday School Class.
Rick Hackwell - Director
Credit Union member since 1983. Served on Credit Union Member Advisory Board since 2013. Retired after 21 years in Army Aviation. Currently supports soldiers as a Contractor Field Technician for the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade. Holds an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science Aviation Maintenance Technology and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Organizational Management from Ashford University, Clinton, Iowa.
Nellynn Henson - Director
Credit Union member since 1982. Nellynn has been a Member of the Board of Directors since 2007 and previously served as Board Secretary. Retired from the Fortera Credit Union in January 2006 with 24 years of service. While employed at the Credit Union she served as a Loan Officer, Assistant Branch Manager, and in 1993 became Manager of the Clarksville, Spring Street office. Nellynn attended credit union lending and management schools. Twice received Credit Union Manager of the Year award. Credit Union representative at Clarksville Chamber of Commerce functions. Long standing member of the Hilldale Kiwanis Club; served as past President and former Lt. Governor for District 14 (Kentucky and Tennessee). Received 2006 Kiwanian of the Year and recipient of the Hixson Award for outstanding service. Nellynn is a resident of Clarksville, Tennessee.
Owen Schroeder - Director
Credit Union member since 1992. Former Credit Union Board member, currently serving on the Credit Union Supervisory Committee. Retired US Army (25 years); recipient of numerous decorations and awards; duties during military service include budgeting and financial management. Served as Associate Director, Breathitt Veterinary Center at Murray State University (20 years). BS in Accounting and Business Administration, Austin Peay State University and Master of Public Administration, University of Missouri, Kansas City. Served as Chairman, Clarksville-Montgomery County Military and Veterans Affairs Commission; Commander, American Legion Post 7, Clarksville, TN; Retired outdoor columnist for The Leaf Chronicle, Clarksville, TN (29 years). Treasurer and Board of Directors, Southeastern Outdoor Press Association; and, President and Secretary/Treasurer, Tennessee Outdoor Writers Association. Completed Credit Union Volunteer Achievement Program (VAP) training course. Served on Credit Committee, Murray State University Credit Union.