news.cuna.org/articles/107765-vantage-west-first-in-ariz-to-earn-juntos-avanzamos-designation

Vantage West first in Ariz. to earn Juntos Avanzamos designation

September 29, 2015

TUCSON, Ariz. (9/29/15)--The Juntos Avanzamos program is growing. Last week, Vantage West CU, Tucson, Ariz., became the first credit union outside of Texas and Oklahoma to receive the Juntos Avanzamos designation.

The program, created in 2005 by what was then the Texas Credit Union League--now under the Cornerstone Credit Union League--aims to empower credit unions to serve the Hispanic population more effectively.

Vantage

Vantage West CU President/CEO Robert D. Ramirez addresses those gathered for the ceremony honoring Vantage West as the first credit union to receive the Juntos Avanzamos designation. (Vantage West Photo)

Vantage West is the first credit union to receive the designation outside Cornerstone’s membership.

“We salute their leadership, vision and commitment to financial inclusion that will increase asset-building opportunities for the Hispanic community,” said Pablo DeFilippi, vice president of membership and business development for the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.

Read News Now tomorrow for an announcement on how Cornerstone and the federation plan to continue to broaden the program.

Credit unions must complete an extensive application process to earn the designation. The process includes detailing the types of products and services the credit union offers that are geared specifically to supporting the Hispanic population. The credit union also must demonstrate a clear strategy that they employ to serve this demographic.

“Tucson is very proud that Tucson-based Vantage West is the first credit union outside of Texas and Oklahoma to become a Juntos Avanzamos credit union,” said Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild. “Not only is it good civic sense, it is good business sense, and Vantage West is a big part of that. This population has economic power.”

Once a credit union receives the designation, the league then supplies it with resources to bolster their outreach programs.

“We recognize that along with growth from the Hispanic segments comes the responsibility to serve members according to their preferences,” said Robert D. Ramirez, Vantage West president/CEO. “This means taking both language and culture into consideration, both in our marketing efforts and in the delivery of our member service.”

Added Dick Ensweiler, Cornerstone president/CEO and one of the founding members of Juntos Avanzamos: “Juntos Avanzamos is a way of qualifying credit unions to ensure they are truly friendly to the Hispanic market. Vantage West has long advocated for providing a lifeline and expanded services to its Hispanic members and, in doing so, improving its members’ lives.”