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CaliforniaNevada leagues partner with Guatemala
ONTARIO, Calif. (10/7/09)--Representatives from Guatemala's national credit union trade association met with a California assemblywoman from Guatemala and inked a partnership agreement with the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues in a weeklong visit earlier this month. The visit by representatives from the Federación Nacional de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito (Federated Cooperative Credit Union System or FENACOAC) ended Oct. 2.
Oswaldo Oliva, left, CEO of FENOACOAC, Guatemala's credit union trade association, and Bill Cheney, president/CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues signed a World Council of Credit Unions International Partnerships agreement Sept. 29. (Photo provided by the World Council of Credit Unions)
League President/CEO Bill Cheney and FENACOAC CEO Oswaldo Oliva signed the agreement Sept. 29, establishing a mutually beneficial cooperative relationship between the two movements as part of the World Council of Credit Unions' (WOCCU) International Partnership Program. "We're looking forward to working with credit unions in Guatemala now and in the future," Cheney said. The leagues will work with the Guatemalan federation and WOCCU in the areas of advocacy, shared branching and the implementation of a share insurance fund in the Central American country. The recent meeting set the stage for considerable efforts to come, according to FENACOAC's Oliva. "We learned a lot from our visit, and we're leaving with a list of things we're going to implement immediately," Oliva said. The delegation also met with Assemblywoman Norma Torres (D-Pomona), the first Guatemalan immigrant to serve in California's state assembly, at the leagues' Ontario, Calif., office. Torres is a member of the Assembly Banking and Finance Committee. A long-time credit union member, Torres said credit unions have special relationships with their members in that they know each member by name. She pledged to support the credit union cause in both California and Guatemala, and encouraged the delegation to stress the role credit unions play. "You need to tell people about how credit unions are different from banks," said Torres. In addition to Oliva, the FENACOAC delegation included Guillermo Peralta, board chairman; Carlos Flores, strategic marketing manager; and Mario Salvatierra, business coordinator. They visited to learn about the U.S. credit union system, league operations, risk management, marketing, branding and shared branching. The delegation also met with Altura CU, Riverside; SchoolsFirst FCU, Santa Ana; and Financial Service Centers Cooperative, San Dimas. The new partnership brings WOCCU's International Partnership Program's active partnerships to 25. "Partnerships show that cooperation among credit union organizations is important in strengthening our industry worldwide," said Victor Miguel Corro, WOCCU senior manager for international partnerships, who participated in the visit. "I have no doubt that California/ Nevada's and Guatemala's willingness to share and exchange knowledge will make for better services offered to members."
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