Amber Shanley’s commitment to financial inclusion and community service is unparalleled.
As director of branches at $4.2 billion asset Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union in St. Paul, Minn., Shanley was instrumental in opening the newest branch in the city’s Midway community—a culturally diverse area that previously had only check-cashing facilities and payday lenders.
She was a strong advocate for the Midway location, having grown up in St. Paul and knowing how the credit union could improve lives in the community.
“Having a location the community feels welcomed upon entering was especially important,” she says. “Our bilingual staff are here to provide services without judgment, and help members where they are and where they want to go in their financial journey.”
Shanley worked with the credit union’s marketing department in 2021 to enhance a new partnership with the City of St. Paul. The effort promotes the New American Loan program, which offers no-interest loans of up to $2,000 to residents who need financial assistance while applying for citizenship.
The effort has expanded to include a partnership with the City of Minneapolis, and Shanley has committed to partnering with more cities across the state.
“Having product information for the New American Loan available in six languages, an all-bilingual staff at our Midway location, and tools at hand to translate for individuals highlights Affinity Plus Federal’s commitment to financial inclusion for all,” she says.
Special Olympics of Minnesota (SOMN) is a charity of choice for Affinity Plus Federal, and Shanley’s dedication to this cause is outstanding.
Through her oversight of the credit union’s partnership with the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers athletics, Shanley helped launch the Special Olympics Athlete of the Game.
This program provides a “never forget” experience for Special Olympics athletes and their families. They’re invited to attend a Minnesota hockey or basketball game, and are acknowledged during the events on the main scoreboard and on social media.
“When a SOMN athlete is recognized at a large venue at a Gopher game, the stadium is electric,” Shanley says. “The athlete is highlighted on the big screen with a video and message, and there’s a live camera feed after the prerecorded video. Each athlete receives a standing ovation. There’s no other feeling like it.”