Idaho’s Largest Credit Union Receives Juntos Avanzamos Designation
Idaho Central Credit Union celebrates as it receives the prestigious designation for its commitment to serving the Hispanic community.
The Hispanic population is vital to the economy, but often underserved by financial service providers. In a milestone for the state of Idaho and its Hispanic residents, the state’s largest credit union, Idaho Central Credit Union, received the Juntos Avanzamos (“Together We Advance”) designation on Nov. 14.
In making this public commitment to financially empowering the Hispanic community, ICCU will open the doors of opportunity and financial security for Hispanic and immigrant consumers in Idaho and beyond.
The Juntos Avanzamos designation recognizes credit unions committed to serving and empowering Hispanic and immigrant consumers by helping them navigate the U.S. financial system and providing safe, affordable, and relevant financial services. Inclusiv is leading the national expansion of the program, in partnership with a number of leagues, associations, and consulting firms, including the Northwest Credit Union Association.
During the ceremony held at the ICCU headquarters in Chubbuck, Jack Lawson presented the Juntos Avanzamos flag and proclamation to ICCU Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Brenda Worrell. Lawson is Chair of Inclusiv’s Board of Directors and President and Chief Executive Officer of Clearwater Federal Credit Union.
In her remarks at the ceremony, attended by 100 dignitaries, community partners, and staff members, Worrell acknowledged the importance of the designation.
“ICCU recognizes the incredible contributions Hispanics and Latinos have made to Idaho. We feel a responsibility to serve the Hispanic community with products and services that are relevant to them, and in many cases using the Spanish language to assist them. We are deeply committed to serving the Hispanic community of Idaho as we strive to help all Idahoans achieve financial success.”
The application process for Juntos Avanzamos is rigorous. Credit unions must demonstrate their commitment and expertise in servicing the needs of Hispanics and Latinos. The commitment of ICCU is evident.
More than 17% of staff members are Spanish speaking, the credit union serves over 50,000 Hispanic members, and it has its own certification program for staff that tests them on their ability to speak, write, and understand complex financial terminology in Spanish. ICCU staff members also attended approximately 80 Spanish language training events around financial literacy in 2019.
There are 100 credit unions in 26 states that have Juntos Avanzamos designations. They serve more than seven million Hispanic members at over 850 branches. This growth is the direct result of collaboration with industry partners.
“We particularly recognize the support and commitment of the Northwest Credit Union Association. Working together, we have been able to engage a growing number of credit unions, reaching five institutions that have earned the Juntos Avanzamos designation within the NWCUA footprint,” said Pablo DeFilippi, Senior Vice President of Membership and Network Engagement at Inclusiv.
Enrique Rivera, president and CEO of the Idaho Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, reinforced how critical it is that Idaho’s Hispanic community receive the financial services they need.
“Hispanic families are all about being together and being a family, that’s what Juntos means,” said Rivera. “It goes beyond just being another resource, it’s about understanding the behind the scenes and the culture of the Hispanic community. Thank you ICCU for making this happen in Idaho.”
Steve Pagenstecher, Chief Operations Officer of Point West Credit Union and Chair of the Northwest Credit Union Foundation’s Board of Directors, also spoke at the event, summing up the occasion’s importance.
“Service to underserved communities is our duty as credit unions. It is also a badge of honor. And that’s what raising the Juntos Avanzamos flag is all about.”
Editor’s Note: Idaho Central Credit Union is the second credit union in the state to receive the Juntos Avanzamos designation. Last week, Icon Credit Union also celebrated the designation. To learn more about the Juntos Avanzamos designation and how to obtain it, reach out to Carmen Vigil, Director of Cooperative Momentum at 206-340-4817.