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Juntos Avanzamos Expands
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 6:45 AM

Marisol FCU Receives Designation
Marisol FCU Receives Juntos Avanzamos Designation

Last week in conjunction with the Federation's Annual Conference held in Phoenix, Vantage West Credit Union and MariSol Federal Credit Union officially accepted the designation of being Juntos Avanzamos credit unions. The AZ based Credit Unions, are the first outside of the Cornerstone Credit Union League region to receive the designation.

Juntos Avanzamos (which means “together we advance” in Spanish), was developed by Cornerstone Credit Union League which represents Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.  Credit unions are recognized for their ability to effectively serve their Hispanic members and communities. To be considered for the designation, they are required to provide information about the products and services it offers to specifically address the needs of the Hispanic market, as well as its strategies for serving the demographic.

"Consistent with the credit union mission of service to members and their communities, Juntos Avanzamos is an outreach program to assist Hispanics understand our financial system and provide them with pertinent and affordable financial services," explains Cornerstone's President/CEO Richard L. Ensweiler. "This typically underserved segment of the population needs and appreciates the personal service credit unions provide. Juntos Avanzamos is a way of qualifying credit unions to ensure they are truly Hispanic friendly, and then tells the community the credit union is ready and willing to serve this demographic. Juntos Avanzamos has proven to be an excellent outreach program in Texas and Oklahoma, and is now ready to be expanded elsewhere," continues Ensweiler.

Vantage West CU Receives Designation
Vantage West CU Receives Juntos Avanzamos Designation

Originally launched in 2005 as an immigrant outreach program, the Juntos Avanzamos program was designed to help credit unions attract and serve the growing Hispanic market in Texas explains Bob Peterson, president and CEO of One Source Credit Union in El Paso, Texas, and chairman of Cornerstone's International Relations Subcommittee. "The program has expanded into Oklahoma as a result of the formation of the Cornerstone Credit Union League, and now nationally as a result of ongoing work with Coopera, the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, and other state or regional leagues," says Peterson.

The Cornerstone League, the Federation, and Coopera, Iowa-based consultants to the industry on the Hispanic market, have been working together to foster a collaborative effort to bring this program to a national credit union audience. The program will initially focus on the Southwest, where will be promoted and supported by the California/Nevada Credit Union Leagues, the Credit Union Association of New Mexico, and Mountain West Credit Union Association.

Cornerstone and the Federation have also approved five additional Juntos Avanzamos credit unions, which will be recognized in ceremonies later this year: Guadalupe CU, Santa Fe, N.M.; Lower Valley CU, Sunnyside, Wash.; Rio Grande CU, Albuquerque, N.M.; Santa Cruz Community CU, Santa Cruz, Calif.; and SCE CU, Irwindale, Calif.

 We look forward to working with credit union leagues/associations partners, with CUNA, Coopera and others, to bring more credit unions into this effort. By collaborating in the forming of a national platform, Latino consumers we’ll be able to connect more effectively with credit unions committed and prepared to meet their financial needs.