(June 13, 2006 – Durham, NC) Community Development Credit Unions (CDCUs) got a big boost in support from a host of high profile industry and government officials at the Federation’s recent 32nd Annual Meeting and 4th Latino Credit Union Conference, which was held June 7-10 in Durham, NC. The conferences’ keynote speakers included United States Senator Elizabeth Dole; United States Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral; NCUA Vice-Chairman Rodney Hood; NCUA Director Gigi Hyland; CUNA Board of Directors Chairman Juri Valdov; Texas Credit Union League President Dick Ensweiler; and NAFCU President Fred Becker.
Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-North Carolina) keynoted the Annie Vamper “Helping Hands” Awards Luncheon at the Federation’s 32nd Annual Meeting on June 9. She was introduced by Marcus Schaefer, CEO of Truliant FCU (Winston-Salem, NC), a Community Development Partner of the Federation and a key figure in securing the North Carolina Credit Union League’s endorsement of Dole.
Senator Dole reiterated her support for the Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund, which has greatly assisted local CDCUs in their growth and development finance efforts. She recounted the story of Latino Community CU, which was organized after a pattern of assaults on unbanked Latino residents, known to carry home their wages in cash, were becoming targets of opportunity for criminals looking for access to easy money.
Dole also had high praise for Self-Help CU, which spearheaded a multi-million dollar renovation of the defunct American Tobacco Company warehouses, creating a complex of stylish offices, restaurants, and public spaces. The Federation’s Latino CU Conference reception on June 7 was hosted by the Latino Community CU in a meeting space at that project site.
U.S. Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral addressed attendees about the Treasury Department’s “Go Direct” program, which is working to get more people who receive Social Security and other federal benefits to switch to direct deposit – the safest, easiest way to get their money. She established a strong connection with the attendees in describing her own disadvantaged childhood, which took her to scores of public schools as she traveled with her migrant farm worker parents. Ms. Cabral was introduced by Maurice Calderon, Senior Vice President of Arrowhead CU (San Bernardino, CA), a long-standing friend and mentor of Ms. Cabral.
NCUA Board Member Gigi Hyland also spoke at the 4th Latino Credit Union Conference at a luncheon on June 7. She addressed several of the Federation’s key concerns, including implementation of the agency’s “White Paper,” which provides guidance to examiners on the particular challenges that CDCUs and other credit unions face in serving underserved, often non-traditional, credit-challenged memberships.
Additionally, top credit union trade officials played a prominent role in the Federation’s events. CUNA Chairman Juri Valdov addressed the closing session of the 4th Latino Credit Union Conference on June 8 and signed a memorandum of cooperation on Latino initiatives with Federation Chairman Rita L. Haynes. Dick Ensweiler, former chairman of CUNA, pledged the Texas Credit Union League’s collaboration with the Federation in presenting and organizing the next Latino credit union conference, which will be held in Dallas, TX in 2008.
NAFCU President Fred Becker addressed the 32nd Annual Meeting’s opening session in the evening of June 8, sharing the podium with NCUA Vice-Chairman Rodney Hood. NAFCU has supported the Federation on key CDCU issues, including appropriations for the CDFI Fund and the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund.
In total, more than 400 people attended the Federation’s 4th Latino Credit Union Conference and 32nd Annual Meeting, which took place over four days in Durham, North Carolina. Over the coming weeks, the Federation will make many of the conference presentations available through this website.