SCE FCU Boyle Heights Branch Welcomes Inclusiv Conference Attendees

SCE FCU Inclusiv visit
L-R: SCE FCU CEO Dan Rader; Inclusiv SVP of Membership and Network Engagement Pablo DeFilippi; and retired SCE FCU COO George Poitou at the Inclusiv Conference site visit to the SCE FCU Boyle Heights branch Sept. 17.

This year’s Inclusiv (formerly National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions) Conference is being held this week in Los Angeles. To kick-off the event, on Monday, attendees visited the Boyle Heights branch of SCE FCU to get a glimpse of the way the Irwindale-based credit union serves this area that has the highest percentage of Latino residents in LA County and a high number of people living under the poverty line.

SCE FCU CEO Dan Rader welcomed the roughly 100 conference attendees to the branch.

“I like to thank Inclusiv for the work it does promoting growth in low-income and moderate-income communities and for encouraging and reminding credit unions on why we exist—our mission to help unserved and underserved populations gain access to financial services that are otherwise unavailable or too expensive to obtain,” Rader said.

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California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues President and CEO Diana Dykstra welcomes those attending the Inclusiv Conference in Los Angeles. Inclusiv President and CEO Cathie Mahon is to the right of her.

 

Inclusiv President and CEO Cathie Mahon called the visit a great kick-off for this year’s conference.

Serving more than 55,000 members, SCE FCU has been a force and a pioneer within the community development credit union movement, Mahon said. The credit union has been a great example for others—being one of the first, and the first in California, to become a Juntos Avanzamos credit union.

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SCE FCU Business Development Executive Michael Zeledon leads a group of Inclusiv Conference attendees on a tour of the Boyle Heights branch.

 

“It has done much to empower and build these (Hispanic and immigrant) communities and the branch in Boyle Heights is a great example of your great work,” she said. “Boyle Heights is only six square miles wide and has 100,000 residents, but it has one of the highest percentages of Hispanic residents in LA county. One-third of residents live below the poverty line. This is a community in need of safe, reliable, and culturally appropriate products and services from financial institutions that really know and care about the community. SCE FCU has stepped up to serve Boyle Heights as well as many other underserved areas in the LA metropolitan area.

“I applaud Dan and the whole SCE FCU team for the incredible and hard work that you do to uplift and empower communities and for helping push forward the Inclusiv mission and the community development credit union movement,” she added.

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L-R: George Poitou; SCE FCU Senior Business Development Executive Vee Clark; and Leagues VP of Research and Collaboration

 

The branch was the brainchild of retired SCE FCU Chief Operating Officer George Poitou, who spoke about the long and winding journey of the Boyle Heights location to the group. Twenty years ago, when a tiny credit union in the area was going to be liquidated by the NCUA, Poitou used his skills to convince the then-board and CEO that this was a community the credit union had to move into. “And in doing so, he made serving the underserved in this community and elsewhere a primary focus and commitment of our credit union,” said Rader.

During the visit, the attendees heard about the financial education programs and loan services the credit union offers within the community. They also met with representatives from two organizations the credit union partners with: PUENTE (People United to Enrich the Neighborhood Through Education), which provides classroom instruction to more than 2,000 children, youth, and adults; and El Centro de Ayuda, which promotes social, emotional, academic, and economic self-sufficiency, through a continuum of human services. The group was treated to a performance by the Folklor American Dance Company. And they took tours of the small branch which features modern and Mexican architecture.

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L-R: CUNA Mutual Group Sales Market Manager Donna Dyer; Leagues SVP of Member Solutions Larry Palochik; CUNA Mutual Group Senior Sales Market Manager John Cassidy; and Sierra Central CU CEO John Cassidy at the Inclusiv Conference Welcome Reception.

 

After the site visit, attendees were welcomed to Los Angeles by California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues President and CEO Diana Dykstra during the conference welcome reception. She provided a few fun facts about the area and introduced members of the California League and Nevada League boards who attended the reception.

“I’m happy to welcome you here to California; the work you all do is important, and I can’t wait to see what you do,” she said.  

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