Chief of Financial Empowerment, Guadalupe CU (Santa Fe, NM)
Diane Sandoval-Griego is the Chief of Financial Empowerment at Guadalupe Credit Union, where she has worked for 17 years. She is very passionate about identifying needs in the communities of her home state of New Mexico, which is ranked 3rd highest for poverty in the US. GCU’s reach covers seven counties in Northern New Mexico and strives to provide access to fair financial services to the unbanked and the underbanked.
Diane implemented the Financial Coaching department at GCU, providing financial solutions to community members and GCU employees. She became a National Credit Union Foundation Development Education Program graduate in 2017, and was nominated as CUNA’s Credit Union Hero of the Year for 2019. Diane has worked with the Common Cents Lab from Duke University Behavioral Economics on product development and implementation. Diane and 3 other staff were 1st place winners in the PSCU Knockout Challenge 2019 for developing a plan for improving financial health by offering a fast and affordable payday loan alternative through a mobile platform. Diane has a Solar Lending Certification and CDFI Practitioner Certification from Inclusiv’s University of New Hampshire. She serves on the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute Board of Directors to promote a microloan program with GCU to help small farming establishments expand their businesses in rural communities. She created Smart Money, a program which allows employees to compete for cash prizes as they work with financial coaches to reach their financial goals. Diane’s recent advocacy work in New Mexico against predatory lending, provided testimonies from members about the damaging effects of limited high cost loan options in impoverished areas and the value that credit unions bring to the state. Her efforts supported the passage of legislation in 2022 to reduce the rate cap to 36% down from 175%. Diane is known for being a well known advocate for her home state of New Mexico. In her free time, Diane loves to spend time with her family, her faith and with hercommunity.