WASHINGTON (4/9/13)--The National Cooperative Business Association recognized Jeff Conrad, president/CEO of Pelican State CU, for his efforts in helping his entire staff become certified as Community Development Certified Financial Counselors.
NCBA President/CEO Mike Beall presented Conrad with a plaque recognizing Pelican State as the first credit union nationwide to have its entire staff become CDCFC-certified.
The CDCFC program is certified by NCBA to serve consumers of low-income.
Conrad initiated the program at $200 million asset Pelican State CU, Baton Rouge, La., because the credit scores of his membership had dropped--leaving many ineligible for loans for which they formerly qualified.
"Credit unions need the tools to help them provide a hand up--not a hand out--for their members," Beall said. "We want to make sure individuals have a fair opportunity today to help their families. Looking at Pelican State's recent accomplishments with its certification training through the leadership of Jeff Conrad, we believe they are a perfect example of how credit unions can help support their members financially--which ultimately will build wealth in their communities for better lives overall."
Beall also proposed a special toast to Helen Godfrey-Smith, president/CEO of $90 million asset Shreveport (La.) FCU. Beall cited Shreveport FCU's partnership with the League of Southern Cooperatives and the credit union's Healthy Farm Financing program, a small-business lending program to low-income land owners in the Mississippi Delta.
"I'll wake up tomorrow and know that it's another opportunity to make a difference in the lives of other people, and that's what it's all about," Godfrey-Smith said.
To view videos of the presentations, use the links.