(October 8, 2007 – New York, NY) Community development credit unions (CDCUs) were out en masse at the recent Eastern Regional Conference on Reaching Unbanked People, held October 4 in New York City. The conference, organized by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Literacy and Education Commission, brought together federal and state regulators, credit unions, banks, non-profit asset-builders, and philanthropies for a full-day conference featuring presentations by United States Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral; U.S. Treasury Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Education, Dan Iannicola; NCUA Board Chairman JoAnn Johnson; and New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz.
Recognizing the leadership role of CDCUs in serving the unbanked, the conference showcased CDCUs throughout the day.
“The role that CDCUs play in the community economic development of low-income communities often goes unrecognized by the larger community development finance field,” explained Clifford N. Rosenthal, Executive Director of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (Federation). “The reality is that CDCUs are some of the largest providers of affordable loans and microfinancing in the country and are often at the forefront in developing and testing specialized products and services for the populations they serve. It is certainly gratifying to see their efforts featured so prominently in a setting such as this,” Rosenthal said.
CDCU presenters included:
• Pablo DeFilippi, Federation Associate Director for Membership Development, and Deyanira Del Rio, Chairman of the Lower East Side People’s FCU (New York, NY) and newly elected Regional Director on the Federation’s Board of Directors, presented at a breakout session on Reaching Immigrant Markets;
• Justine Zinkin, CEO of Neighborhood Trust FCU (New York, NY), spoke during a panel on Strategies for Reaching Youth;
• Tanya Branch, Vice President of the North Carolina Minority Support Center (Durham, NC) and Luis Pastor, CEO of Latino Community CU (Durham, NC) led a breakout session on Building Community Financial Institutions; and
• Cathleen Mahon, Executive Director of New York City’s Office of Financial Empowerment, a former Federation staff member, spoke during the final panel summarizing the day’s events and lessons learned.
“These regional conferences were organized to deepen the understanding and collaboration between the various stakeholders involved in promoting the economic independence of low-income and unbanked populations,” said Cathleen Mahon, Executive Director of New York City’s Office of Financial Empowerment. “CDCUs have been some of the most innovative institutions in reaching out to the underserved, including new immigrant communities, and the real-world knowledge they bring is absolutely indispensable for everyone in this field.”
© 2007 National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.