1st Advantage Announces New Chair and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors

After nine years as Chairman at 1st Advantage Federal Credit Union, Tom O. Cameron, LTC (Ret.), has made the decision to step down from his position and give way to new leadership on the Board of Directors. Succeeding Tom Cameron as the new member elected Chairman of the Board is Sylvester McClellan. McClellan is the institution’s first African American to serve as chairperson in its nearly 70-year history. He has served on the board for 11 years and has been a member of 1st Advantage for over 34 years.

McClellan retired from his position as Chief of the Accounting and Finance Services Division of the Finance and Accounting Directorate, Headquarters Training and Doctrine Command, Joint Base Langley Eustis in January of 2020. He brings over forty-seven years of federal financial management experience in all aspects of finance and accounting both as a military officer and civilian. McClellan holds a degree in Economics as well as a master’s degree in Management. In addition, Mr. McClellan has been awarded the designation of a Certified Government Financial Manager along with many other notable achievements and certifications.

“I am honored to take on the role as Chairman of the Board at 1st Advantage and work closely with our executive team and talented group of board members,” said McClellan. “I believe the credit union is in an excellent position, and I look forward to supporting and guiding the efforts of 1st Advantage to execute on its strategy as Board Chairman.”

In addition to Sylvester McClellan’s election, the following appointments have been made:

  • Andrae Via has been elected to serve as Vice Chair to the Board of Directors. He was first elected to the board in 2007. He graduated from William & Mary School of Law and holds a Bachelor of Arts & Science degree from the University of Virginia. An active member in the community, he often engages in charitable work throughout Hampton Roads in his free time. Mr. Via serves as in-house counsel to a national wholesale and retail distribution company in the commercial real estate sector working on projects throughout the nation.
  • Larry Smail will continue serving as Treasurer of the Board. He was first elected to the board in 1973. He received his B. A. and Juris Doctor from Washington and Lee University and his MBA degree from the College of William and Mary. He retired as Counsel, Aviation Applied Technology Directorate, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command, Ft. Eustis, VA and has since been teaching as Assistant Professor of Management, Florida Institute of Technology, Graduate Program in Hampton Roads.
  • Brenda Dawson will continue serving as Secretary of the Board. Mrs. Dawson has been a member of 1st Advantage since 1975 and has ben serving on the Board of Directors since 2003. She retired from the Department of Defense after completing 33 years of civil service. Mrs. Dawson holds a Baccalaureate Degree in Business Education, is a graduate of the Army Management Staff College, and has completed graduate studies in Counseling & Guidance at West Virginia University and the College of William and Mary.