Cooperative Hall of Fame inductee spotlight – Maurice Smith


Maurice Smith

  • Servant Leader Devoted to the prosperity of his membership and the wellbeing of his community, Smith followed a path centered on service rather than profit. With a resolute focus on the practical needs of members, LGFCU grew to become North Carolina’s fourth largest credit union.
  • Contributor to Community As CEO of LGFCU, Smith made his credit union’s resources available to the community in times of need. After hurricanes ravaged North Carolina in 2017, Smith persuaded the LGFCU’s board to contribute toward recovery and relief. When an office building that housed cooperative and community business associations suffered fire damage, Smith shared his credit union’s office space.
  • Advocate for Inclusivity With an inclusive vision that expands beyond credit unions, Smith is the author of the Eighth Cooperative Principle of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. For him, the additional principle is a natural and necessary extension of the seven philosophical tenets that define cooperatives’ core values.


Add your name to the Hall of Fame’s “Friends of Maurice Smith”

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Show your appreciation for Maurice’s work by adding your name as a “Friend of Maurice Smith.” Your name will appear on the Maurice Smith page of and in the Hall of Fame Commemorative Program. The Hall of Fame will be held on October 5, 2023 at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.


Maurice Smith

Retired CEO, Local Government Federal Credit Union

Maurice R. Smith’s leadership style to welcome challenges, analyze options, and keep moving forward has effectively served his mission to support and promote credit unions to improve the lives of consumers through access to affordable financial education and services.

Growing up on a farm near Southport, North Carolina, Smith was taught by his father about the power of money and the importance of sound management of credit to economic empowerment. After attaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Smith began his financial services career as a loan officer for State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) in North Carolina.

Smith joined Local Government Federal Credit Union (LGFCU) as Executive Vice President in 1992 and became President/CEO in 2002. Under Smith’s leadership, LGFCU has become the fourth largest credit union in North Carolina, with more than 400,000 members and assets exceeding $3.5 billion. Fueled by a desire to address members’ demands for new technologies and services, Smith led the unprecedented move to create Civic, a sister credit union with service delivery solely through digital channels. Always with an eye on economic justice, LGFCU has been certified by the NCUA as a Low-Income Designation (LID) Credit Union and the U.S. Treasury designation of Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), for support of low-wealth communities. During his tenure at LGFCU, he has also earned a Juris Doctorate from the North Carolina Central University School of Law.

Among Smith’s most forward-thinking contributions within the cooperative world is the Eighth Cooperative Principle of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), formally adopted by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and currently under discussion by the International Cooperative Alliance.

The Cooperative Hall of Fame is administered by the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF), the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the National Cooperative Business Association CLUSA International (NCBA CLUSA). Nominations are received annually from the cooperative community, with the final selection made by the NCBA CLUSA Board of Directors on the recommendations of a selection committee of national cooperative leaders. The Cooperative Hall of Fame Gallery is on display in NCBA CLUSA’s offices in Washington, DC and can also be visited online at

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