The White House has honored John Herrera, co-founder of the $128 million Latino Community Credit Union in Durham, N.C., as an Immigrant Innovator Champion of Change.
The Champions event on May 29 highlighted immigrant innovators and entrepreneurs who are helping create American jobs, grow the economy and make it more competitive.
“LCCU has been built on a strong, cooperative community spirit, turning member savings into opportunities to purchase and build homes, establish local businesses, and to meet the financial needs of their community,” Herrera said.
“This recognition reaffirms our collective, entrepreneurial vision of creating a financial institution for our immigrant community that is culturally adept and provides economic opportunity for all in North Carolina,” he said.
Herrera was recognized for fostering entrepreneurship and greater economic opportunities for Latino families in North Carolina. In the mid-1990s Herrera began working to help curb the violence against unbanked Latino populations in Durham.
A native of Costa Rica, John Herrera is currently vice president of Latino/Hispanic Affairs for Self-Help Services, a family of nonprofit organizations whose mission is to create and protect ownership and economic opportunity for all.
His grassroots work with state and local leaders, community advocates, and the credit union community ultimately resulted in his co-founding of the Latino Community Credit Union 2000.
Since then, LCCU has become the largest Latino-focused credit union in the country with 55,000 member-owners and 11 branches across the state. LCCU provides a range of affordable and innovative products and education typically unavailable to low-income immigrants and has become a trusted and safe place for Latinos to save money, access affordable credit, buy homes, start businesses, and build wealth for the future, the credit union said.
“Immigrants have long made America more prosperous and innovative, and the Champions we are celebrating today represent the very best in leadership, entrepreneurship, and public service,” said U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park. “We are proud to recognize these leaders who work every day to grow our economy, advance science and technology, and support their home communities.”
The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity to feature groups of Americans – individuals, businesses and organizations – who are doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities, the White House said.