Juntos Avanzamos Committees


Juntos Avanzamos Advisory Committee

Miriam De Dios, CEO of Coopera and SVP of Affiliates Management Company 

Miriam De Dios, a native of Jalisco, Mexico, is CEO of Coopera and SVP of Affiliates Management Company. Coopera was founded by the late Warren Morrow and is owned by Affiliates Management Company, the holding company of the Iowa Credit Union League. Coopera is a strategic alliance partner of the Credit Union National Association.

As CEO, Miriam promotes Coopera’s Approach to serving Hispanics throughout the credit union industry. This comprehensive approach has helped individual credit unions and credit union industry organizations position themselves for long-term growth by serving Hispanics.

Miriam has significant experience working in the financial services industry, having worked with State Farm Insurance Companies and John Deere Financial. Miriam has also served as a board member of various Hispanic-serving non-profit organizations in the Des Moines area and is a former English as a Second Language Adjunct Professor for Des Moines Area Community College. Miriam is a 2012 recipient of the World Council of Credit Union’s Young Credit Union People Program (WYCUP) award, a member of the World Council of Credit Union’s Global Women’s Leadership Network and a former board member of the Network of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals. She earned her bachelor’s degree with honors from Iowa State University and is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School executive education program, Leading Change and Organizational Renewal. Miriam is currently pursuing her Executive Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Iowa and resides in Des Moines, Iowa

Pablo DeFilipi, CUDE, Vice President of Membership and Business Development, The Federation

Pablo DeFilippi leads the Federation’s membership development and engagement strategies and manages CU Breakthrough, a network of community development finance practitioners that provide valuable consulting services to CDCUs. Mr. DeFilippi has more than 20 years of experience in community finance, working with regulated financial institutions both in the domestic and international arena. Originally from Chile, DeFilippi came to the US in the early 90s and almost immediately became involved in credit unions. After working at MCU, a large credit union serving New York City employees, he joined the Lower East Side People’s FCU (LESPFCU) a credit union serving Hispanics and other underserved populations in the New York City area and acted as its CEO until early 2004. From then and until the end of 2005, Mr. DeFilippi managed the World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU)‘s International Remittance Program (IRnet), a world-wide initiative to provide alternative remittance services to consumers both in the US and in recipient countries through the credit union system. Mr. DeFilippi holds a B.A. in Social Studies from Universidad de Chile, as well as a Professional Accounting Certificates from Baruch College and New York University. He has a Masters of Business Administration from Pace University, and is a graduate of CUNA’s Management School and NCUF’s Social Impact Management Institute. He is also a Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE) and a UK Credit Union Development Educator.

 Juan Fernandez, Vice President of Governmental Affairs, Credit Union Association of New Mexico

Juan has served as Vice President of Governmental Affairs for the Credit Union Association of New Mexico for the past seven years and was recently selected as CEO of Leverage Point, Inc.. Prior to joining the Credit Union Association of New Mexico, Fernández Ceballos worked for the New York State Assembly with many Latino-elected officials at the state and federal level. In New Mexico, he has worked closely with Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D, NM), Vice Chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Rep. Lujan Grisham is one of the leading credit union champions in Congress. Fernández Ceballos was born and raised in Puerto Rico, of Dominican ancestry.Murray Williams is the Chief Operating Officer of ICUL. In this role, Williams manages ICUL’s operations while overseeing all dues and fee-based services, and providing integration with ICUL operating companies and partners. He also serves as Chief Administrative Officer of ICUL’s holding company, Affiliates Management Company, and is responsible for culture, efficiency and alignment across AMC’s family of companies.

Jon Gorman, SVP, Communications & Outreach, Cornerstone Credit Union League

Jon Gorman has spent his entire career providing thought leadership on and execution of strategic marketing and communications with regional and national trade associations; while also serving in a similar role at a major Midwestern newspaper. Jon has degrees in traditional journalism and new media from Indiana University, with responsibilities at Cornerstone since March 2013 that include corporate communications, strategic marketing, media relations, public relations, branding/brand management, art/creative direction, graphic design, website design, video production and editing, social media, advertising, analytics/trends analysis, International and system partnerships, and business development.

 Maria Martinez, President/CEO Border FCU

Maria J. Martinez is the President/CEO of Border Federal Credit Union (BFCU), headquartered in Del Rio, TX and serving 13 Texas counties. Maria has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a major in Accounting and has been in the credit union industry for over 27 years, 19 of those as BFCU’s President/CEO.

Under Maria’s leadership, BFCU obtained the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) designation; expanded its field of membership from 3 to 13 Texas counties; implemented a free home/financial counseling program available to members and non-members; offers free income tax preparation to low income tax payers through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program; targets youth through programs such as an annual youth fair and an annual youth financial summer camp; received $3.2 million in low-cost secondary capital as part of the United States Treasury Community Development Capital Initiative (CDCI); Opened its first in-store full-service branch; was approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a Certified Acceptance Agent; and became a Juntos Avanzamos credit union.

Maria is a Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE); Co-Chairman of the Network of Latino Credit Unions & Professionals (NLCUP) Association; served a 2- year term as an appointed member of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Credit Union Advisory Council; Past Chairman of CUNA’s Hispanic Outreach Committee; Treasurer of the United Medical Centers Board; Past-Treasurer of the Texas Credit Union Foundation (TCUF); Vice-Chairman of the Texas Workforce Solutions Middle Rio Grande Workforce Development Board; Past Chairman of the Texas Credit Union League International Committee; member of the Del Rio Rotary Club; past advisor for the Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Extranjero (IME) (The Institute of Mexicans Abroad) representing the Mexican Consulate in Del Rio, TX; and serves in other local Boards and Committees.

Among the recognitions Maria has received for her professional accomplishments, community contributions and leadership are the 2015 Woman of Distinction Award by the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC); the 2016 Cornerstone Credit Union League Professional of the Year Award; and most recently the 2017 Herb Wegner Outstanding Individual Achievement Award.

Larry Palochik, Senior Vice President of Member Solutions, California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues

Larry Palochik, Senior Vice President of Member Solutions for the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues since November 2012, has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry.  Prior to joining the Leagues, Larry served as President and CEO of Alta Vista Credit Union in Redlands and South Bay Credit Union in Redondo Beach and was Executive Vice President and COO of Community One FCU in Las Vegas.  Larry has served on numerous committees and boards over the years, and was part of the California Credit Union League’s Board Leadership serving as 1st Vice Chairman in 2011-12.

Larry holds a MBA from the University of Phoenix and a BS in Finance from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.  Larry is also a graduate of the CUES CEO Institute and the Advanced Leadership Institute at Harvard.

Bob Peterson, President/CEO, One Source FCU

Bob is a long-time contributor to the credit union community, having served for nearly three decades as a volunteer before becoming the President and CEO of One Source FCU in El Paso, Texas.  His experience includes significant management positions in the telecommunications and computer industries as well as over 13 years as an independent management consultant.  He has served on numerous boards and committees at the local, state and national levels.  That service includes current directorships of Cornerstone Credit Union League and CU Resources, his Rotary club’s foundation, Hospice of El Paso, El Paso Better Business Bureau, El Paso International Museum of Art (chair), Friends of Consumer Freedom, FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association, and other committees.  Past contributions include director of the Texas Credit Union Foundation, Candlelighters, El Paso EMS Commission, and Rotary Institute for Leadership.

Bob chairs the Cornerstone International Relationships Sub-Committee that oversees the Juntos Avanzamos program.  One Source FCU was an early designee as a Juntos Avanzamos credit union, leading that initiative in the predominantly Hispanic community of El Paso, Texas and Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Bob holds a B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Maine.  He also holds CCUE and CFSP industry designations.

DrDan Santengelo, SVP Association Services and Executive Director, MWCUA Foundation

As Senior Vice President of Association Services, Dr. Dan oversees a diverse team of professionals who provide a variety of services and assistance to member credit unions. His team is responsible for all education services, marketing, and day-to-day operations of the Association. In addition, he serves as the Executive Director of the MWCUA Foundation, which is the charitable organization focused on the long-term success of credit unions in our community through leadership development, professional development scholarships, academic scholarships, affordable financial services grants, credit union development grants and public financial education grants.

Dr. Dan has been with the Mountain West Credit Union Association since 2004. He previously worked for the Illinois Credit Union League and the Credit Union National Association.

Dr. Dan holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology and Chemistry with a general education certificate from Regis University. He holds a Master of Arts in Curriculum Leadership with emphases in adult learning is from the University of Denver. And, he also earned a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix with a specialty in adult learning emphasizing Transformational Learning among young adults.  

Murray Williams, Chief Operating Officer of ICUL

Murray Williams is the Chief Operating Officer of ICUL. In this role, Williams manages ICUL’s operations while overseeing all dues and fee-based services, and providing integration with ICUL operating companies and partners. He also serves as Chief Administrative Officer of ICUL’s holding company, Affiliates Management Company, and is responsible for culture, efficiency and alignment across AMC’s family of companies.

Williams has been with ICUL and its subsidiaries since 1996. He earned his Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation through the American Society of Association Executives, his MBA from Iowa State University and also completed his BA with honors at ISU. Williams has been inducted into the International Executive Volunteer Corps for the World Council of Credit Unions and is a recipient of the Leadership & Support Award by the Network of Latino Credit Unions & Professionals. He serves on the CUNA Strategic Services Board, is a former chairman of the national Public Relations Society of America’s Association/Nonprofit Section, and sits on several community and industry boards.

Carmen Vigil, Community Manager, Northwest Credit Union Association

Carmen Vigil serves as the Community Manager for the Northwest Credit Union Association. She facilitates “micro-communities” including Professional Networking Councils, Credit Union Chapters, Credit Unions for Kids, as well as outreach to small credit unions.

Carmen is a Seattle native, and has recently returned to the area after six years in Oregon. She brings several years of credit union experience to the role, most recently working as Internal Audit Specialist at Rivermark Credit Union. Carmen was active on multiple committees at Rivermark, and volunteered with Financial Beginnings, an organization that provides financial education to students in local schools. She also served as a board member for the Young Credit Union Professionals (YCUP) networking group. Carmen graduated from Portland State University in 2013 with a degree in political science.

Carmen is excited to bring her attention to detail and eye for process improvements to her Community Manager role. She knows that building community is an integral part of the credit union mission, and she is thrilled to play a role in promoting community driven programs. Carmen is passionate about the value that credit unions provide their members and is excited to engage the credit union movement at a broader scale.

Juntos Avanzamos Selection Committee

Shérry Cordonnier, Director Corporate Relations, Travis CU

As director of corporate relations, Shérry Cordonnier oversees the corporate relations staff. She is responsible for the strategic direction and implementation for all public relations activities, communications strategies, and programs that promote TCU products, services and TCU’s corporate image. She also directs the credit union’s public, financial education, government relations, community outreach,  traditional media relations, and community affairs activities. Shérry worked with TCU’s executive management for more than 10 years as a consultant before joining the credit union as a full-time employee in 2006. She brings essential institutional experience and knowledge to her role. Shérry reports to Nav Khanna (Executive VP) and Barry Nelson (CEO) and works with senior management to ensure organizational goals and objectives are achieved. She also serves as a liaison to the TCU Board of Directors’ Government Affairs and Scholarship Committees. Prior to her employment at Travis Credit Union, Shérry spent more than three decades providing public relations services to universities, government agencies, medical and financial institutions, communications entities, and businesses in the public, nonprofit and private sectors. Shérry has won many awards for her work, including The International Summit Award, four National Vision Awards, five Public Relations Society of America Excellence in Public Relations Awards, the  National Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award and the Richard Myles Johnson Foundation Beacon Award. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in business and  Master of Arts degree in public affairs. She is a graduate of the National Credit Union Foundation’s Credit Union Development and Education (CUDE) Program and is an accredited public relations professional (APR).

Pablo DeFilipi, CUDE, Vice President of Membership and Business Development, The Federation

Pablo DeFilippi leads the Federation’s membership development and engagement strategies and manages CU Breakthrough, a network of community development finance practitioners that provide valuable consulting services to CDCUs. Mr. DeFilippi has more than 20 years of experience in community finance, working with regulated financial institutions both in the domestic and international arena. Originally from Chile, DeFilippi came to the US in the early 90s and almost immediately became involved in credit unions. After working at MCU, a large credit union serving New York City employees, he joined the Lower East Side People’s FCU (LESPFCU) a credit union serving Hispanics and other underserved populations in the New York City area and acted as its CEO until early 2004. From then and until the end of 2005, Mr. DeFilippi managed the World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU)‘s International Remittance Program (IRnet), a world-wide initiative to provide alternative remittance services to consumers both in the US and in recipient countries through the credit union system. Mr. DeFilippi holds a B.A. in Social Studies from Universidad de Chile, as well as a Professional Accounting Certificates from Baruch College and New York University. He has a Masters of Business Administration from Pace University, and is a graduate of CUNA’s Management School and NCUF’s Social Impact Management Institute. He is also a Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE) and a UK Credit Union Development Educator.

Brenda Dominguez, Chief Lending Officer, Guadalupe CU

Brenda Dominguez brings over 25 years of working in financial institutions; 18 of those years in credit unions and 15 years in leadership with other organizations. Currently Chief Lending Officer for Guadalupe Credit Union (GCU), Brenda is part of Guadalupe’s Executive Management team and directs all lending aspects of the business in alignment with Guadalupe Credit Union’s mission, to provide financial empowerment within the communities served. Guadalupe Credit Union is recognized nationwide as a Community Development Credit Union (CDCU) with a low income designation, specializing in ITIN and risk-based lending, products and services for underserved and undocumented members, including financial literacy and financial coaching. Brenda is currently serving a third three-year term as Chair Commissioner of her community Acequia Association. She previously served a six-year term as Treasurer at Turquoise Trail Charter School (TTCS) Foundation Board. The Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the goals of TTCS services provided at Turquoise Trail Charter School. Brenda also served a three-year term as a Federation Board Member and was on the Technology Committee and Chair of the Finance Committee; she continues to serve as an advisory member. In addition, Brenda played a significant role (for the past two years) on the selection of a core banking partner for the Federation and its members and currently serves on the EPL advisory committee, Federation Credit Union impact Product Advisory Committee, and the National Juntos Avanzamos Program Committee. Brenda lives with her husband, daughter and mother in La Cienega; a small community outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Brenda’s life-long passion for helping people is demonstrated through volunteering within her community, as well as nationally.

Suzy
Suzy Fonseca, CEO at Lower Valley CU
Suzy Fonseca began her career at Lower Valley Credit Union as a teller in 1999. In the 17 years since, she has served as an Operations Supervisor, Chief Operations Officer, and, most recently, as President and CEO of the credit union since 2011. Under Fonseca’s leadership, Lower Valley’s membership has grown from 5,600 individuals to nearly 14,000; its loan portfolio has more than tripled through increasing by over $56 million; and total assets have jumped from $50 million to $110 million.

In January of 2016, LVCU was honored for its commitment to serving the Hispanic market by becoming the first Juntos Avanzamos designated credit union in the Pacific Northwest. In March of 2016, NCUA’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) certified LVCU as a Minority Depository Institution. In June of 2016, Suzy was presented with a Credit Union Hero Achievement Award by CUNA and CU Magazine. In August of 2016, LVCU became the recipient of the Wells Fargo Next Seed Capital Award and was awarded $100,000 for launching a program that will bring financial services through the medium of an Interactive Teller Machine (ITM) to working community members located rural agricultural areas. Most recently in October, CUNA honored LVCU with the 2016 Credit Union Excellence in Lending Award.

Fonseca is a member of National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions’ Juntos Avanzamos Selection Committee. She is a member of Sunnyside Community Hospital’s Board of Trustees and a member of Sunnyside Rotary having served as a Rotary President in 2014. Her credit union is an active participant in a wide variety of community events and organizations, including hosting citizenship clinics, foster care projects, and victim-relief outreach programs.

Fonseca earned an Associate’s Degree in Accounting and Business Management from Yakima Valley Community College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Operational Management from Washington State University. She is also a graduate of the prestigious Western CUNA Management School.

Lisa Martinez-Leeper, SVP Operations, Tinker FCU and Liaison with Cornerstone CUL’s International Relationships Committee 

Lisa Martinez-Leeper has spent 34 years working with credit unions, and 2 years prior to that working in banking. Lisa started her credit union career at TTFCU in 1982 and held all positions. Currently, she is the Senior Vice President / Operations at Tinker FCU and an Adjunct Professor for Rose State College – Business and Human Resources Management Classes.  She also is a member of the EPCOR and COHA Board, an associate member of NACHA Rules and Violations Panel, and a Cornerstone Committee Member – International Relationships.

Lisa’s education includes CUNA Management, Master in Human Relations / Human Resources Management from OU, and a Master in Business Administration from Oklahoma City University. She is currently pursuing a Master in Christian Ministry – Expected Graduation Date – Fall 2016 – Mid-America Christian University, and has Completed 2 of a 5 year Ancient Biblical Hebraic Language Program – University of Jerusalem – Expected Graduation Date – 2019. 

Lisa lives in EastNorman Oklahoma with her husband and two large German Shepherds, and one Ragdoll Cat. She has four children and five grandchildren. 

Alba Perez, Client Relations Director, Coopera 

Alba Perez currently works as Client Relations Director for Coopera, Alba works closely with Coopera’s clients to implement Hispanic growth strategies. She assists credit union leadership, staff and system partners working to build loyalty through engagement and continuous improvement of services. Alba also helps with Coopera’s ongoing product development efforts, as well as promotion of the company’s products, services and thought leadership.

Prior to joining Coopera, Alba served as Executive Officer for the Office on Latino Affairs & Status of African Americans, an agency of the Iowa Department of Human Rights. She also served for nearly 12 years as Diversity Development Director for the Greater Des Moines Partnership implementing and organizing educational programming, networking and recognition opportunities on issues of diversity and inclusion for member companies and communities. In addition, Alba assisted the Partnership’s International Relations group in the Latin American trade programs, including coordinating several trade missions to Cuba (2000-2004).

Alba was also a promoter of cultural events in Des Moines (2000-2005). Alba is a native of Honduras who has called Iowa home for over 30 years, serving in the non-profit, private and public sectors, as well as on numerous civic and community boards, including the Latina Leadership Initiative, Latino Center Board and Iowa Community Capital. She has been recognized for her work in the form of awards and honors listed below. Alba studied foreign languages, English and French, at the Universidad Nacional Autónomade Honduras and resides in Des Moines Iowa with her children and grandchildren. 

Luis Soto, Marketing Manager, Vantage West CU 

Luis is Vantage West Credit Union’s Marketing Manager. He launched and currently leads the Tucson, Arizona-based credit union’s Hispanic Marketing efforts. Luis holds a BA in Entrepreneurship from Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico) and an MBA with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Arizona. In addition to his work at Vantage West, Luis volunteers and holds leadership positions in several influential organizations in Arizona.

 

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