WASHINGTON (6/3/13)--John Herrera, founder of Latino Community CU, Durham, N.C., was awarded an Immigrant Innovator Champions of Change Award by the White House last week.
Herrera is senior vice president of Self-Help Services, a national financial institution affiliated with Self-Help CU in Durham, N.C. (NBC Latino May 30)
He also serves on the Latino Community CU's board of directors. Currently, he is the board vice chair.
An immigrant from Costa Rica, Herrera was part of a group that co-founded the first fully bilingual financial institution in North Carolina in 2000. The group identified a need to offer financial services to the growing Latino immigrant population in the community.
Many Latinos felt shut out of the traditional banking system or did not know how to gain access to services, said NBC Latino. Some were victims of robberies. Without any experience in financial services, Herrera and his colleagues started the Latino Community CU.
Today, Latino Community CU serves more than 56,000 members through 10 branches, Herrera said. The credit union offers members an opportunity to "dream and grow," he added.
Latino Community CU will always be "his baby," Herrera said.