2022 Annual Conference Highlights
Enjoy highlights and photos below!
The 2022 Inclusiv Conference in Puerto Rico was our first in-person gathering since 2019 and we were so happy to be back, emerging stronger than ever! It also didn't hurt we were gathered in beautiful, sunny San Juan with an air of camaraderie, optimism, and shared purpose in building on this historic moment where our collective work has gained well deserved recognition and visibility to further our movement of financial inclusion.
The 2022 Annual Conference was also a celebration of the enduring and evolving diversity of our membership. This year, the Conference brought together 400 attendees, the most ever, with seven general sessions and nine breakout sessions with content uniquely relevant to the needs of credit unions focused on financial inclusion, community development and resiliency.
Thank you to all of the attendees for making this Conference truly one to remember! Without YOU none of this would have been possible. One more thing -- Be sure to save the date for our next Annual Conference in Memphis, TN, from May 1-3, 2023!
General sessions covered the most compelling topics of our industry and the financial inclusion movement as a whole. Discussions centered on how credit unions can maximize their impact on the communities they serve, furthering racial equity, DEI, climate change, and closing the racial wealth gap – all while continuing the momentum built on recent successes.
DEI and Racial Equity
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is currently a hot topic in the credit union world, but how do credit unions ensure progress is permanent, accountable and real within their organization? The Inclusiv Conference held several sessions exploring this question through a variety of lenses, including within a credit union itself, its membership and community, and through a wider societal lens. Guests, including Janis Bowdler, the Treasury Department’s first Counselor for Racial Equity, discussed efforts to mitigate the barriers to economic equality.
Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing us today - and credit unions have an important role to play. The effects of climate change, such as natural disasters and energy insecurity, are more likely to hit hardest communities of color. Shalanda Baker, Deputy Director for Energy Justice, US Department of Energy, spoke on how government and financial institutions can work together to mitigate these effects.
Building on the Momentum
With CDCUs in the spotlight following their disproportionate impact on low-income and communities of color amid the pandemic, now is the perfect moment to leverage the resulting resources and attention toward building on this success.
Todd Harper, Chairman of the NCUA, and Mabel Jiménez Miranda, Executive President of COSSEC, described the events leading to this moment and outlined how government regulators can work with credit unions to ensure more progress. The conversation on progress was expanded to a global perspective, with the work of credit unions in the Ukraine, the UK, and beyond touted for their great work. Bill Bynum, CEO, HOPE, and Luis Pastor, CEO, Latino Community Credit Union, made strong calls to action, asking credit unions to take the necessary steps to stay relevant and impactful by reaching deeper into underserved communities, and expanding services.
Conference breakout sessions gave attendees a chance to dive into specialized topics most relevant to their individual interests and their credit unions' needs in a more interactive setting. These sessions covered topics relating to CDFI, MDI, and Juntos Avanzamos designations; subordinated debt and mortgage lending; along with technology and financial education.
CDFIs, MDIs, Juntos Avanzamos designation and Cooperativas
Before a standing-room only audience, CDFI experts, Terry Ratigan and Chriselle Martinez held discussions on opportunities to better serve members. MDI and Juntos Avanzamos leaders shared their experiences - challenges and triumphs, along with the benefits of their designations.
Credit union and cooperativa leaders shared the creative approaches their institutions have taken to develop resilient systems for their communities following natural disasters and climate events including -- remote call centers, online banking, financial products supporting water-efficient industries, on-site solar panels and solar loans.
Subordinated Debt and Mortgage Lending
Attendees learned how to begin laying the foundation in preparation for subordinated debt products under NCUA’s new regulations. Participants also learned how secondary capital can be a catalyst for short- and long-term growth.
A huge announcement was made by Inclusiv/Mortgage at the event: the Mortgage center will expand its secondary market to cooperativa members in Puerto Rico through a pilot program! Also featured was Inclusiv’s third-party origination option with CUMA (Credit Union Mortgage Association).
Tech, Compliance and Financial Education
On the tech front, credit union leaders discussed tech products that facilitate and automate small dollar lending (SDL). One such product is the Fast Cash SDL product facilitated by the QCash Financial SDL technology. The system integrates into their core and home banking systems to enable a fully automated experience using relational data on borrowers to take a loan from application to funding in "6 clicks and 60 seconds."
The Ops and Compliance team led a discussion on the many forms of compliance: consumer compliance, Anti-Money Laundering and Bank Secrecy Act compliance, and OFAC compliance -- and how they can promote financial inclusion.
Experts also discussed how their credit unions have created multifaceted programs to build their members’ financial well-being. They illustrated approaches to weaving together financial education, digital tools, and coaching to address their financial needs.
Awards and Partnerships.
AWARDS AND PARTNERSHIPS
2022 Annie Vamper Awards Luncheon
In our first Annie Vamper Helping Hands Awards luncheon since 2019, this year there were three honorees:
- Gregg Brown, President and CEO, South Side Community Federal Credit Union
- Judy De Lucca, President and CEO, New Orleans Firemen’s Federal Credit Union
- Maria J. Martinez, President and CEO, Border Federal Credit Union
The award recognizes individuals who are making extraordinary contributions to the community development credit union (CDCU) movement and is named for Annie Vamper, who dedicated her life to serving low- and moderate-income people through credit unions. Learn more about these incredible credit union trailblazers. Congratulations to our honorees!
The Terry Ratigan 20 Years of Service Ambush
While sitting peacefully seated watching the closing of a general session, an unassuming Terry Ratigan, Senior Consultant was caught by surprise as Pablo DeFilippi took the stage for an unexpected announcement: To celebrate his 20 years of service to Inclusiv, Terry would be honored with a special award--right at that moment! Despite the ambush, Terry managed to deliver a gracious and heartfelt acceptance speech.
New Partnerships Announced!
A number of exciting partnerships were announced at the Conference!
CUNA Mutual Group Foundation - $1 million investment through Racial Equity Grant Fund
Experian - credit education resources for consumers and small businesses in the Latino community
QCash Financial - small dollar lending technology for the Inclusiv network
Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation - investment into cooperativas to advance recovery and resiliency in Puerto Rico
MemberClose - turnkey underwriting support for nonQM and ITIN lending for Juntos Avanzamos designated credit unions
Learn more about several of these partnerships on our homepage.
#DEITuesday in the Sun
Inclusiv, along with our partners AACUC, NLCUP and CUPride were thrilled to continue the #DEITuesday tradition into our own Conference. The sunny, beachy Caribbean weather and live music seemed to add to the good vibes.
Generously sponsored by our partner, MGIC, the reception was a great way to unwind after a day of sessions while connecting with colleagues, new and familiar -- local and distant.
Since 2014, Inclusiv and the Association of British Credit Unions Ltd. (ABCUL), have been sending delegations to each other’s Annual Meetings. These exchanges have created unique opportunities to share and learn about shared -- as well as unique -- challenges and opportunities facing credit unions committed to financial inclusion on both sides of the pond.
Asociación de Ejecutivos de Cooperativas de Puerto Rico (ASEC), Inclusiv’s local partner in Puerto Rico, hosted site visits to three financial cooperatives in connection with Inclusiv’s 2022 Annual Conference. Thank you to all of our site visit hosts for the wonderful hospitality!
MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR 2022!