Annual Northwest Juntos Avanzamos Roundtable Promotes Inclusive Financial Practices

Credit Unions Join Forces to Empower Hispanic and Immigrant Communities

Inclusiv, Unitus Community Credit Union, and Point West Credit Union have announced their commitment to hosting an annual Northwest Juntos Avanzamos Roundtable, dedicated to fostering discussions centered around inclusive financial practices. This significant event, which convened credit union leaders, national practitioners, and lawmakers, is set to become a permanent yearly event.

The inaugural Northwest Juntos Avanzamos Roundtable, held on August 21-22, 2023, at Unitus Plaza in Portland, Oregon, witnessed a convergence of industry experts and thought leaders. The discussions encompassed vital topics within the credit union movement, including Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) lending, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, partnerships with the Mexican consulate network and community-based organizations, cross-border credit union collaboration, and the use of technology platforms to cater to the needs of Hispanic and Immigrant populations.

"Knowing that we're stronger together, we saw a need to bring everyone together to find ways to empower and support our Hispanic and multicultural communities," remarked Steven Stapp, President, and CEO of Unitus Community Credit Union."

With seven Juntos Avanzamos designated credit unions in the Pacific Northwest, the establishment of a Northwest Regional Chapter emerges as a logical next step for collaboration, exchanging insights, and fostering synergies.

Pablo DeFilippi, EVP of Inclusiv Network, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, "The formalization of a regional roundtable and permanent working group represents another groundbreaking moment in the evolution of Juntos Avanzamos as the national standard for credit unions serving the Hispanic and Immigrant markets."

The inaugural event included distinguished thought leaders, including Victor Corro, CEO of Coopera Consulting; Samira Salem, Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at CUNA; Natasha McAdoo, ACCESS Program Officer at NCUA; and Edgar Hernandez, Senior Manager of Multicultural Business Strategy at TruStage, among others. Prominent credit union leaders passionately advocated for serving Hispanic and Immigrant communities, alongside representatives from trusted entities such as Carlos Quesnel Melendez, General Consul of Mexico in Portland, and Nicole Davison León, Executive Director of the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce of Oregon.

Barbara Mojica, Executive Director of the National Association of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals (NLCUP), noted, "I am thrilled that NLCUP gets to be part of a historic event such as the launch of this chapter. Our communities need and want safe places, and this is exactly why the creation of chapters is critical to our industry. NLCUP will stand behind this initiative and continue supporting the formation of these chapters across the nation."

Amy Nelson, President, and CEO of Point West Credit Union, emphasized the importance of the Juntos Avanzamos program, stating, "The Juntos Avanzamos program is an amazing opportunity to reach, support, and celebrate our local Hispanic community. As a Juntos Avanzamos credit union, Point West believes that the continued growth in awareness and collaboration amongst Juntos Avanzamos credit unions will strengthen our collective ability to provide accessible, affordable, and equitable financial services to Hispanic members and their families here in the northwest."

The annual Northwest Juntos Avanzamos Roundtable is set to return in August 2024, further solidifying its role as a catalyst for positive change within the credit union industry.

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