Breakout Session #1

Navigating Lending for Hispanics
Facilitated by: Jay Foote, Tinker FCU
Panelists: Winona Nava, Guadalupe CU
Miriam De Dios, Coopera
Cindy Williams, Policy Works

In this panel discussion, Miriam De Dios of Coopera, Cindy Williams of PolicyWorks, and Winona Nava, CEO of Guadalupe Credit Union discuss best practices in marketing to and meeting the financial needs of the Hispanic market.  Further, the market opportunity and the nuances of lending to immigrants will be addressed.  And lastly, how institutions are meeting this need while maintaining compliance with their Customer Identification Programs and other relevant regulations will discussed.  This panel discussion is facilitated by Lending Council Executive Committee member, Jay Foote, Assistant Vice President, Lending at Tinker FCU in Oklahoma City.

About Winona Nava, CCUE

Winona NavaWinona Nava took the helm of Guadalupe Credit Union in Santa Fe, NM, as President/CEO in 1991 when the credit union was $10 million in assets and in conservatorship. The credit union successfully emerged from conservatorship in 1992.  The credit union began outreach to the Hispanic Immigrant Market in 2001 when the credit union was $30 million in assets and has since grown to $152 million. Guadalupe Credit Union serves a primarily Hispanic membership.  The credit union has earned a reputation in Northern New Mexico as a pioneer in serving low-wealth individuals and a go-to resource for financial education. It received the CDFI designation in 2011. Guadalupe Credit Union was one of the first credit unions outside of Texas to receive the Juntos Avanzamos designation in December of 2015.

In 2001, through the vision of GCU’s Board of Directors the Credit Union started taking the necessary steps to reach out to the Hispanic Immigrant population in Santa Fe.  In 2008, GCU applied for and received one of the largest Innovation Grants ever awarded by the National Credit Union Foundation enabling the credit union to launch a number of successful Hispanic outreach initiatives, including:

  • A fully bilingual and bicultural branch located in a predominately Hispanic Immigrant neighborhood. It continues to be GCU’s fastest-growing location.
  • Microloan program in partnership with the Santa Fe Public Schools ¡Adelante! program for homeless/underhoused families.
  • Increased bilingual financial education through trusted community partners such as schools, ESL classes, churches, employers, Somos Un Pueblo Unido and other advocacy groups.
  • GCU currently serves over 3,600 members that are not fully documented.  The credit union’s loan portfolio has $25.3 million in ITIN loans.  Deposits from this sector of the membership total over $8.3 million.

Nava serves on the CUNA Board of Directors.  Nava is also current Chair of the National Credit Union Foundation. Nava previously served as Chair of CUNA’s Hispanic Outreach Committee, where she helped forge a valuable relationship with the Network of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals (NLCUP.)  As a result of these efforts she was awarded NLCUP’s Leadership and Support award in 2011. She has played an active role in developing policies and product guidance to help credit unions around the country more effectively serve this community. She has also spoken on this topic at several conferences, including the CUNA’s Low Wealth Conference, REAL Solutions Regional Conference, CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference, NLCUP conferences, Federation of Community Development Credit Union Conferences, CUNA Community Credit Union Conference, and EPL data processor conference.

About Miriam De Dios

Miriam De DiosMiriam 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 and other institutions seeking to position themselves for long-term growth by reaching and serving the growing Hispanic market.

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, Iowa area and is a former English as a Second Language Adjunct Professor for Des Moines Area Community College. She currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Grand View University in Des Moines.

Miriam was named a 2016 Woman to Watch by Credit Union Times and 2015 Latino Business Person of the Year by the League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa (LULAC). She 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.

About Cindy Williams

Cindy WilliamsAs Vice President of Regulatory Compliance, Cindy Williams leads and oversees all of PolicyWorks’ compliance partnerships, delivery of compliance solutions to credit unions/leagues, and new product development. She also assists credit unions with strategic compliance program management.

Before joining PolicyWorks, Cindy was responsible for creating, implementing and managing regulatory compliance programs for financial institutions of various sizes for more than 20 years, and is a frequent speaker at national conferences and workshops. In addition, she also has experience in the areas of risk management and internal audit.

Cindy received her undergraduate degree in English from Morningside College in Sioux City, IA. She has earned the Credit Union Compliance Expert (CUCE) certification, the Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM) certification, the Accredited ACH Professional (AAP) certification and is currently a member of the Mortgage Compliance Magazine Advisory Board.

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