Thank you for joining us for our September CTC Friday Conversation: "Hispanic Contribution to the Credit Union Movement." During this conversation, we recognized the Hispanic contributions to the credit union industry, learned more about our panelists' journeys in the movement, and highlighted the partnership between AACUC and the National Association of Latino Credit Unions & Professionals (NLCUP).
Our esteemed panelists included:
Barbara Mojica, Executive Director, NLCUP
Max Villaronga, President/CEO, Raiz Federal Credit Union
Victor Corro, CEO, Coopera Consulting
Samira Salem, VP DEI, Credit Union National Association
Pablo DeFilippi, Executive VP, Inclusiv
Maria Martinez, President/CEO of Border Federal Credit Union, moderated the panel.
Keep reading to learn more about our participants.
As a seasoned professional in the credit union industry, I have spent the past several years honing my expertise in finance and management. Throughout my career, I have been dedicated to making a positive impact on the communities I serve, particularly within the Latinx community. As the Executive Director of NLCUP- an organization that is dedicated to empowering Latinx folks, I have worked tirelessly to promote financial education, provide resources, and create opportunities for underrepresented individuals. My passion for financial inclusivity extends beyond my professional career. In my personal life, I am committed to volunteering and advocating for financial equity and accessibility for all. I believe that everyone should have access to the tools and resources they need to achieve their financial goals. In addition to my work in the credit union industry and within the Latinx community, I am also deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work. I believe that creating a more just and equitable society requires ongoing education, reflection, and action. I am always looking for ways to learn and grow in my own understanding of DEI issues and to use my platform to promote positive change.
Raiz Federal Credit Union
Max Villaronga is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Raiz (pronounced “Rise”) since 2014. Raiz was originated in May of 1936 and has over $960 Million assets, 10 local branches, and over 71,000 members. Mr. Villaronga has built his experience working in a variety of industries and has worked for such notable organizations as The Home Depot and the United States Marine Corps.
At Raiz, Max has focused on creating a culture focused on a foundation of human dignity where becoming the Employer of Choice is a priority for attracting the best talent. He focuses his team on the fact that Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, Belonging, and Accessibility are both morally important and a strategic advantage.
Mr. Villaronga’s actions demonstrate that he surrounds himself with the most valued, energetic, and intelligent leaders and he resources their success. Max believes you can do well by doing good which is the primary focus in Raiz’s vision of individual and community development. The organizational financials and behaviors demonstrate this vision in action with successful community lending, the lowest fees in the market, new products for underserved communities, accessible digital platforms for members, progressive savings products for all Americans, support of hundreds of critical nonprofit causes, the formation of charitable Development Pillars-based nonprofit foundation, and the continued growth for the organization.
Victor Miguel Corro, the Chief Executive Officer of Coopera Consulting, works with credit union leaders to develop a data-driven strategy that positions the organization for growth by offering a culturally sensitive outreach approach to underserved multicultural market segments.
Leveraging his profound understanding and personal experience as a US immigrant, hailing from Panama, Victor actively addresses the financial challenges and cultural intricacies faced by underserved consumers, while also identifying and implementing effective solutions.
With an extensive background encompassing over 25 years of combined corporate leadership and consulting expertise, Victor possesses a remarkable ability to unite stakeholders and drive forward the mission of realizing financial inclusion and well-being. In addition, as a co-founder of the Credit Union DEI Collective, Victor wholeheartedly dedicates himself to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the credit union industry.
Victor pursued his education at the University of Wisconsin as a Fulbright Scholar, earning a degree in Economics and Latin American Studies. He currently resides in Wisconsin with his spouse and two children.
Credit Union National Association
Samira Samira has experience in international economic development, community development, economic policy research, and DEI. She joined the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in 2018 as a Senior Policy Analyst in the Economics Department. In 2020 she was promoted to Vice President for DEI. Before joining CUNA, she worked for Forward Community Investments, a CDFI focused on advancing racial equity. Earlier, Samira worked at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in Washington D.C., as their Senior Trade Analyst for Labor. Samira earned her Ph.D. in Political Economy and Public Policy and her M.A. in Economics from the University of Southern California.
Executive Vice President
Pablo DeFilippi is currently Executive VP at the Inclusiv Network, a CDFI intermediary, nonprofit organization, and national association of near 500 community development credit unions that represents supports and invests in credit unions serving predominantly low-income, financially underserved communities. The Inclusiv Network serves near 19 million consumers and manages over $250 billion in community-controlled assets and one of its flagship initiatives is Juntos Avanzamos, a financial inclusion framework for credit unions serving the Hispanic and immigrant communities. DeFilippi has more than 25 years of experience in community finance and financial inclusion working with regulated financial institutions both in the domestic and international arena.
Border Federal Credit Union
Maria J. Martinez is the President/CEO of Border Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Del Rio, TX. Maria constantly advocates for financial wellness for all and her passion is making positive connections and being of service to others. She is a founding member of the Credit Union Women’s Leadership Alliance (CUWLA) and the National Association of Latino Credit Unions & Professionals (NLCUP); is an Associate Director of the PSCU Board; and serves on the CUNA Board. Maria enjoys leading initiatives to provide financial services to the underserved.