SMCU’s Romero, Lower Valley CU Take Honors; Rivermark Community CU Empowers New Entrepreneurs

Richard Romero (center) receiving the Courage in Business Award.

SMCU President & CEO Richard Romero Recognized as Crosscut Courage in Business Award Winner

Crosscut, a regional online news source, recently honored SMCU President and CEO Richard Romero from among 60 nominees as winner of its Courage Award in the Business category. Winners were nominated by a community of members and readers among civic, business, and cultural pioneers. 

According to the contest, contestants “refuse to accept the status quo, and while they may face a climate of intolerance and polarization, they approach their work with civility and openness. Some of them labor in relative silence. Others find themselves at the center of controversy. All are noteworthy for their unflagging energy in fighting for what they believe is right.”

Romero was honored during an event in mid-October, and the credit union’s efforts to bridge the gap for citizenship applications was profiled in Crosscut, as well.

Other winners were recognized in Courage Public Service, Culture, and Lifetime Achievement categories.

Lower Valley CU Snags Honorable Mention at National Federation Conference

Lower Valley Credit Union was recently recognized during the National Federation of Community Development Credit Union Annual Conference. According to an announcement, Lower Valley CU “strives to drastically improve the lives of our members in the communities we serve.

The credit union was recognized in the “Under $250M in Assets” category for excellence and achievement. 

“I’d like to congratulate our LVCU family; we are truly blessed with an amazing team that ‘walk the talk’ each and every day and I’m grateful to be but a small part in that.” stated Mrs. Fonseca (2nd from left). “To us (LVCU) this is a very important award because it signifies RELEVANCY, it signifies IMPACT and most importantly it signifies FINANCIAL INCLUSION and that is a very powerful thing!”

Rivermark Community CU Awards TiE Oregon $15,000 to Empower Next Generation of Local Entrepreneuers

Portland’s Rivermark Community Credit Union recently announced that TiE Oregon is the first-ever recipient of the newly-established Rivermark Community Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation. TiE Oregon will receive a total of $15,000 from the credit union and the fund in support of its mission to inspire, challenge and equip the next generation of entrepreneurs. The funds will be used specifically to expand the TiE Young Entrepreneurs (TYE) program, which targets promising entrepreneurs in local high schools.

Aditya Jain (left) and Arnob Das (right) started eMDream, a start-up medical company that has developed a device for the early detection of heart disease.

Rivermark President and CEO Scott Burgess added that the Rivermark Community Fund “was created to build bridges of opportunity between promising entrepreneurs, small businesses and the resources needed for their success. With its focus on mentorship and equipping students to become future entrepreneurs and business owners, TiE Oregon is the perfect organization to become the fund’s first recipient in support of its good work.”

Now in its third year, the TiE Young Entrepreneurs program is open to all high school students in the Portland Metro area, with a satellite program at Benson Polytechnic High School in Portland’s Eastside. Seasoned innovators and entrepreneurs mentor high school students from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds based upon a business-focused curriculum that combines hands-on experience, creative collaboration and practical instruction.

The program runs annually from November through May and concludes with a competition in which students present business ideas and plans they’ve developed over the course of the year.

Click here to watch a short video on TiE Oregon’s impact, as well as the nonprofit’s partnership with the Rivermark Community Fund.

Questions about this story? Contact Eric Horvath: 503.350.2222,

Posted in Around the NW, NWCUA.