(March 3, 2009 – Washington, DC) On February 23, 2009, Rita L. Haynes, President and CEO of Faith Community United CU (Cleveland, OH) and former Chairman of the Federation's Board of Directors, was honored with the 2008 Herb Wegner Award for Individual Achievement at the Herb Wegner Awards Dinner in Washington, DC.
|Rita Haynes poses wth Federation President/CEO Cliff Rosenthal (front and center) and the Federation's Board of Directors after the Herb Wegner Awards ceremony. Back row (from right to left): Randy Chambers,Vice-Chairman; Eunice J. Rogers, Chairman; Helen Godfrey-Smith, Treasurer; Lynda Milton, Corresponding Secretary; Miriam Fernandez, Director; Gregg Brown, Director; Michael A. Chan, Director; Michael Strange, Federation CFO/COO
One of the pioneers of the CDCU movement, Haynes has been involved with her credit union for more than 30 years, becoming the credit union’s President and CEO in 1989. Since that time, Faith Community United CU has grown to become the largest minority-owned financial institution in Ohio, with more than $10 million in assets and serving various congregations.
“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 serve an entire neighborhood of Cleveland,” commented Federation President/CEO Cliff Rosenthal. “In addition, her work in developing payday lending alternatives for her community has become a national model for credit unions across the country.”
A national leader and credit union innovator, Haynes pioneered “Grace Loans” as an affordable alternative to the insidious predatory loan products plaguing her community. More recently, Faith Community United CU has found itself at the center of the foreclosure crisis, serving a community with one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation. Despite the challenges, Haynes and her credit union are committed to helping their members weather the economic downturn.
"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," added Rosenthal. "Rita is absolutely deserving of this award, and all of us at the Federation are extremely proud of her accomplishments."
"God never gives one a vision without providing provision, and He has provided Faith Community United Credit Union with the hardest working, most dedicated staff in the world," said Haynes. "Jacqueline Moore, Assistant Treasu rer, Jama Haynes, Associate Manager, and Gloria McClendon, Loan Officer, have over 20 years of experience and are well able to keep the credit union viable for years to come. We're also blessed to have a numer of faithful volunteers and other staff who truly care and love our members. These are the principals that the CU movement was founded upon: 'People helping people'."
Haynes served as on the Federation’s Board of Directors for more than a decade, and as Chairman from 2001 – 2006. Haynes continues to be involved with the Board of Directors through her work on the Federation’s Faith-based Credit Union Task Force.
|Rita L. Haynes and daughter Jama Haynes (in front) joined by the Faith Community United CU staff in front of the credit union.
“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 in 2007. She has testified before Congress on several occasions.
© 2009 National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.