In an emotional ceremony that brought to a close its 32nd Annual Meeting, the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (the Federation) honored three long-time leaders of its Executive Committee. Chairman Rita L. Haynes, Sally A.L. Edwards, and Michael Chan finished their board terms after completing the maximum three-term, six-year limit that the Federation had set in 2000. A new team, headed by former board Vice-Chairman Eunice J. Rogers, was installed.
New Federation Board Chairman Eunice J. Rogers (center) is flanked by former Board Board Treasurer, Michael Chan and former Board Chairman Rita L. Haynes. Not pictured: former Corresponding Secretary Sally Edwards.
The three outgoing board members had helped guide the Federation to a period of steady, sustained growth, following a much more divisive time during the late 1990s. “How can you adequately thank the captain and crew of a ship that brought you safely through a storm,” said Federation Executive Director Cliff Rosenthal. “Our progress would not have been possible without leaders of such tremendous dedication, commitment and integrity.” Under their stewardship, the Federation set new marks for membership, movement-wide recognition, and financial strength. Among the program innovations during the past six years were the establishment of the Federation’s CDCU Mortgage Center, LLC and secondary market; a highly successful financial-literacy train-the-trainer program; and outreach programs to people with disabilities.
Rita Haynes has served the Faith Community United CU of Cleveland, Ohio, since the 1950s, as a volunteer for more than three decades, and since the early 1990s, as its CEO. Since 1990, her credit union has increased its assets almost 10-fold, winning grants and investments from the federal Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI Fund), the Federation’s Capitalization Program, and more. Her Grace Loan program, an alternative to payday loans, has won national recognition and support through grants from the J.P.Morgan Chase Foundation and other sources. Mrs. Haynes joined the Federation after participating in its first Faith-Based Credit Union Conference in New York in 1991. In 2005, she received the Pete Crear Lifetime Achievement Award from the African-American Credit Union Coalition.
Michael Chan has long served as the board president of the Northeast Community Federal Credit Union in San Francisco, California. His “day job” is as CEO of Asian, Inc., a prominent nonprofit housing developer in San Francisco. Aided by a CDFI Fund grant, the credit union established a branch serving a very-low-income population in the city’s Tenderloin district. Northeast Community FCU has achieved national recognition and support for the consortium it established with the $3.6-billion Patelco CU and with another San Francisco CDCU, Mission Area FCU, to develop alternatives to payday loans and open a new branch in an underserved area of the city.
Sally Edwards is CEO of the Zion United Credit Union in Denver, Colorado. Like her colleagues, she has won Treasury Department CDFI Fund awards to spur growth of her credit union. She has a long-time leader of the Federation’s Faith-based Credit Union Network and was until recently Chairman of the Governance Committee as well.
“We joined the Federation and value it because it is undeniably the most diverse organization in the credit union movement,” exclaimed Michael Chan at the recognition luncheon.
The Federation’s new chairman is Eunice J. Rogers, CEO of the NRS Community Development FCU in Birmingham, Alabama. Trained as an engineer, she assumed management of the 10-year-old, faith-based credit union after a long career in the telecommunications industry. Active in the Alabama Credit Union League, she is a member of CUNA’s Cooperatives Alliance Committee. She was a featured speaker at an NCUA PALs workshop, along with Melissa Marquez, of the Genesee Co-op FCU, a continuing Executive Committee member of the Federation. Randy Chambers of the $200-million Self-Help Credit Union (Durham, NC), Barbara Black of the Community Choice FCU (Indianapolis, IN; $6.3 million), and Helen Smith of the Shreveport FCU (Shreveport, LA; $57 million) complete the top leadership.
The Federation’s membership also voted to amend the organization’s bylaws to change the number of regions from 6 to 4 and reduce the board size from 17 to 15 directors. Term limits were also amended to permit three terms of three years each. All amendments are effective June 2007 at the Federation’s 33rd Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA.