Leaders Celebrate VCCU’s New ‘Juntos Avanzamos’ Designation

Larry Palochik (left), senior vice president of member solutions for the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, recognizes Ventura County CU by welcoming the credit union’s CEO, Joe Schroeder, to speak at the “Juntos Avanzamos” designation ceremony.
Larry Palochik (left), senior vice president of member solutions for the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, recognizes Ventura County CU by welcoming the credit union’s CEO, Joe Schroeder, to speak at the “Juntos Avanzamos” designation ceremony.

Ventura County CU has become the ninth credit union in California to become a Juntos Avanzamos-designated organization (“Together We Advance”), with the credit union holding a proclamation and flag-raising ceremony last week to celebrate its commitment to empowering the Hispanic and immigrant communities.

As a Juntos Avanzamos credit union, Ventura County CU has demonstrated its ability to go above and beyond to help individuals and families from these communities navigate the U.S. financial system. Juntos Avanzamos credit unions employ bilingual, culturally competent staff and leadership, and they accept alternative forms of identification.

“We are extremely honored to be designated as a Juntos Avanzamos credit union,” said Joe Schroeder, CEO of Ventura County CU. “We strive daily to provide the Hispanic and immigrant communities with educational resources and support. Our goal is to make a difference in their lives in any way we can.”

In addition to offering affordable financial services, the credit union provides outreach and education programs for members of the Hispanic and immigrant communities. Ventura County CU has 99 Hispanic employees (51 percent of total), and 63 of them are bilingual.

In 2017 the credit union carried out 87 outreach events, including information tables at local farms, nonprofits and partner organizations. Over the past two years, the credit union conducted approximately 70 free financial literacy seminars with more than 30 percent of them in Spanish. Schroeder was also recognized by El Concilio Family Services at its “28th Annual Latino Leadership Awards” for his outstanding contribution to improving the quality of life of the underserved Latino community.

The proclamation ceremony hosted live music, food, drinks and was enjoyed by 60 attendees. Schroeder accepted the Juntos Avanzamos proclamation on behalf of the credit union and gave the opening speech, followed by several guest speakers—including Juvenal Solano, member of Ventura County CU and community organizer for the Mixteco-Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP), and Roberto Rodríguez Hernández from the Consulate of Mexico in Oxnard, CA.

California Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin also spoke, followed by Pablo DeFilippi, senior vice president of membership and network engagement for the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions. Closing remarks were given by Sue Tatangelo, board chairman of Ventura County CU, concluding with the raising of the Juntos Avanzamos flag.

Larry Palochik, senior vice president of member solutions for the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, also took the opportunity to praise the credit union for its service to the local Hispanic population and community at large. “Ventura County Credit Union does so many great things in and for the community,” he said. “It is truly an honor to award you with the ‘Juntos Avanzamos’ designation. Thank you all very much for your outstanding service and outreach to local Hispanic immigrants.”

‘JuntosAvanzamos.org’ Recently Launched
The news from Ventura County CU comes after the Federation recently announced the launch of JuntosAvanzamos.org, a new website created to help Hispanic consumers locate a Juntos Avanzamos-designated credit union in the United States.

Juntos Avanzamos credit unions are committed to serving Spanish-speaking consumers by providing relevant, safe and affordable financial products and services—employing bilingual and culturally-aligned staff that accept alternative forms of identification. This initiative is continuing its campaign in California and Nevada so it can gain appeal with credit unions serving low-income Hispanic communities.

The following are now Juntos Avanzamos credit unions in California:

  • allUS CU (Salinas, CA)
  • Kern FCU (Bakersfield, CA)
  • Kinecta FCU (Manhattan Beach, CA)
  • Mendo Lake (Ukiah, CA)
  • SCE FCU (Irwindale, CA; and also has a Juntos Avanzamos presence in Nevada)
  • Santa Cruz Community CU (Santa Cruz, CA)
  • Self-Help FCU (Oakland, CA)
  • Travis CU (Vacaville, CA)
  • Ventura County CU (Ventura, CA)
  • (The Juntos Avanzamos network continues growing, with 79 credit unions in 20 states, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C.)

The primary purpose of JuntosAvanzamos.org is to help consumers find a financial institution committed to meeting the needs of Hispanic consumers in a responsible and inclusive manner, but the website also explains the difference between a credit union and a bank, provides information on how to join a credit union, and lists resources on citizenship and immigration.

The website also lists all Juntos Avanzamos credit unions and their branches, locates them on a map, and links the listing to participating credit unions. Only credit unions that have received the “Juntos Avanzamos” designation are included on the site.

Pin It