Sister Corinne Florek, Longtime Supporter of CDCUs, to Keynote Federation Conference
(May 31, 2011 – New York, NY) For the more than thirty-one years, Corinne Florek, an Adrian Dominican Sister, has worked in the field of community economic development as a manager, educator, consultant, financial administrator, and strategic planner. Whether administering a 50-member craft cooperative in Appalachia or managing an international loan fund, her work has focused on using capital innovatively to empower low-income people. A staunch supporter of community development credit unions (CDCUs) and community development financial institutions (CDFIs) nationwide, it was Sister Corinne and the Adrian Dominican Sisters who took a risk in what was at the time a relatively unknown field of community investing, making the first investment in the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions’ (Federation’s) Capitalization Program for CDCUs.
|Adrian Dominican Sister Corinne Florek, OP
What she began, literally, on a wing and a prayer, has become the Federation’s signature Community Development Investment Program, which now manages more the $50 million in below market investments in over 180 CDCUs serving low-income urban, rural, and reservation-based communities nationwide. In recognition for their vital support of the low- and moderate-income communities served by CDCUs across the United States, Sister Corinne and other members of her religious order will be honored at the Federation’s upcoming 37th Annual Conference on Serving the Underserved, June 15-18, 2011 in Hollywood, CA.
Discussing how her religious congregation decided to get into community investing, Sister Corinne explained how “the Gospel compels and drives [the sisters] to keep struggling for justice. In the old days people would call asking for sisters to come help start a school, or a hospital, and we would send them. Then we got to a point where we didn’t have women to send, and we realized we could put our money on mission; put it where we couldn’t be… and some of the first investments we found were credit unions and food banks.”
“It is no understatement to say that Sister Corinne was a blessing for the Federation and our member CDCUs,” exclaimed Federation President/CEO Cliff Rosenthal. “The sisters’ financial support allowed us to launch our Community Development Investment Program, which has invested nearly $100 million in hundreds of CDCUs since 1982.”
“Corinne took a leap of faith in supporting our work and our mission,” Rosenthal elaborated, “But that support has allowed our member CDCUs to serve millions of low- and moderate-income Americans, who might otherwise have been left behind by mainstream financial institutions. We are ever-grateful to the Adrian Dominican Sisters, and to Sister Corinne’s leadership and are proud to honor her at our upcoming conference in Hollywood.”
Sister Corinne currently manages the Mercy Partnership Fund for Mercy Investment Services, Inc., the Religious Communities Investment Fund, a collaborative fund sponsored by eleven Catholic women’s religious congregations, and serves on the loan committee of Partners for the Common Good. She has also worked with a number of loan funds, including the Institute for Community Economics in Massachusetts, Keystone Community Ventures and Women’s Initiative in San Francisco, the Adrian Dominican Sisters' Alternative Investment Fund in Michigan, and the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (a program of the US Catholic Bishops) loan and economic development grants program.
Throughout her career in community investment, she has served on numerous boards of directors, including the Community Initiatives Sub-Committee of Catholic Healthcare West, Transfair USA, and WAGES, a nonprofit organization that develops eco-friendly housecleaning cooperatives with low-income Latina women.
About the 37th Annual Conference on Serving the Underserved
The only credit union conference dedicated to helping credit unions serve low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities nationwide, the Federation’s 37th Annual Conference on Serving the Underserved is the largest gathering of credit unions focused on serving LMI communities, with an expected audience of over 300 participants.
In addition to credit union peers, attendees have an opportunity to network with socially responsible investors, representatives from charitable foundations, government officials and policy-makers, industry researchers, and credit union pioneers developing innovative programs and products to better serve LMI consumers responsibly.
Federation to Announce Among Largest Investments in its History!
The Federation is also expected to announce two new investments from a major bank and a major foundation at the upcoming 37th Annual Conference on Serving the Underserved. The investments will be among the largest the Federation has ever received to support the work of CDCUs nationally!
For more information about the Federation’s conference, including the full list of confirmed speakers, the complete day-by-day schedule at-a-glance and registration information, click here.
© 2011 National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.