Our History


Merck Employees Federal Credit Union was chartered on June 5, 1936 and held its first Board of Directors Meeting on June 12, 1936.  It was set up to help employees who were experiencing financial difficulties during the grip of the Great Depression.   In the beginning the credit union accepted deposits and loan payments.  By 1940 membership totaled 1,077 accounts with share savings totaling $92,893 and loans granted totaled $74,634.   In 1943 Mr. Clarence Parker, known as “Mr. Credit Union” was hired.  By the 25th anniversary assets reached $3,139,857 and loans totaled $1,798,116.  In 1968 an amendment to the bylaws was adopted for “once a member, always a member” which gave membership benefits when leaving or retiring from Merck.  Donald Kradjel was appointed President of the Credit Union in 1972 and remained in that position until he retired in 1989.  Shares Drafts, Travelers Cheques were introduced in the 70’s, and the first branch office was opened in Woodbridge to serve those employees working there.  In 1986 Home Equity loans were introduced as well as Shadow 1 Telephone Teller which gave members access to their account information 24/7.  Upon Mr. Kradjel’s retirement, Mr. Raymond Del Nero was elected President of the Credit Union.  In the late 1980’s a MasterCard credit card program was introduced and by early 1990’s, the first ATM was installed.  The second branch office was opened in Somerset, and when Merck built its headquarters in Whitehouse, a branch was opened there. The Circle of Services was introduced in 1995 that covered the credit union’s electronic and automated services.  A couple of years later, Home Banking and the Shadow 2 Visa debit card was added to the Circle of Services.  Today assets are $1.9 billion with 26,000 members.   In October of 2019, Mr. Paul Gentile was named President of the Credit Union, becoming just the fourth President in the credit union’s history. There are 5 offices and 14 ATMs to serve Merck employees, and the membership has been expanded to include spouse, children, siblings, parents and grandchildren of current and retired employees of Merck.