For Infinity Federal Credit Union, the future lies in focusing on the growing community of immigrants and asylum seekers in Portland, Maine.
As the director of community outreach and business development at the $334 million asset credit union, Rachna Bhatia is central to Infinity Federal’s efforts to offer inclusive financial access, education, and other resources.
Rachna, who worked at three banks prior to joining the credit union’s staff, notes a clear culture difference between the credit union and other financial services providers.
“This is my first time in 19 years in the financial industry that it’s been clearly identified who we are and what we do here,” she says. “I appreciate the space to learn, grow, and know that I’ve accomplished something every day.”
She’s had numerous accomplishments during her six years at the credit union. Born and raised in India, Rachna used her own experiences in becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen to lead the development of Infinity’s Bridge to Citizenship Loan, which covers the costs of becoming a citizen and establishes a positive credit history.
She helped create the Supporting Immigrant Tenants (SIT) Note, which provides an interest-free, deferred-payment note to help asylum seekers secure their first apartment. And she’s been instrumental in hiring and providing training resources for the credit union’s diverse staff, who speak 17 languages to serve members.
With the pandemic disrupting business as usual, Rachna helps members use different delivery channels.
She is the credit union’s liaison to many community organizations and serves on the board of directors of the Intercultural Community Center. This organization supports and improves the lives of immigrants with health, social, and educational opportunities.
In partnership with local organizations, Rachna offers financial literacy workshops and provides access to financial resources within the community.
She also serves as a subject matter expert for the New Mainer Teller Training program, which helps immigrants and asylum seekers previously trained in financial services in their home countries gain access to employment.
Rachna plans to keep pursuing ideas and initiatives that put members and communities at the center.
“I am hugely indebted to my organization and its leaders for placing enormous trust and confidence in my abilities,” she says. “I appreciate being encouraged to grow, learn, and continually redefine the credit union’s mission to ‘do banking differently to keep you a step ahead in life.’”