(September 10, 2007 – Cleveland, OH) Rita L. Haynes, President and CEO of Faith Community United CU (Cleveland, OH) was recently honored with the “Hardest Working” award from the Tom Joyner Morning Show, which airs daily on ABC radio syndicates nationally. Haynes also received a $1,000 cash-prize as part of the award.
One of the pioneers of the CDCU movement, Haynes has been involved with her credit union for more than 30 years. She became the credit union’s President and CEO in 1989, and since that time, Faith Community United has grown to become the largest minority-owned financial institution in Ohio, with more than $10 million in assets and serving various congregations.
A national leader and credit union innovator, Haynes was invited to testify last March before the Subcommittee on Domestic Policy of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee by U.S. Congressman and presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. At the hearing Haynes explained her credit union’s “Grace Loan,” developed as an affordable alternative to predatory lenders. Grace Loans were designed as affordable alternatives to help Hayne’s largely minority community get off other payday and predatory products and begin to build assets and retain wealth.
“There are few people in the credit union movement who contributed their volunteer labor for so many decades, leading the way for a small, one-church, faith-based African-American institution to expand to serve several churches, and subsequently, to expand to an entire neighborhood of Cleveland,” commended Federation Executive Director Clifford N. Rosenthal. “Her work in obtaining a donated bank branch to better serve her community is a national model for community development credit unions across the country. Faith Community United CU is not only one of the foremost African-American faith-based credit unions, but one of the foremost CDCUs of any type.”
Haynes served as Chairman of the Federation's Board of Directors from 2001 – 2006, and continues to be involved with the Board of Directors through her work on the Federation’s Faith-based Credit Union Task Force.
“Rita Haynes led the Federation through a pivotal time in its history” said Eunice J. Rogers, CEO of the faith-based NRS Community Development FCU (Birmingham, AL) and immediate successor to Haynes as Chairman of the Federation’s Board of Directors. “I am proud to follow in the footsteps of such a dynamic and visionary leader.”
Haynes’ work has not gone unnoticed; in addition to the recent honor, she received the African American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC) Pete Crear Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 and was named Most Influential Individual in Northeast Ohio earlier this year.
© 2007 National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.