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DALLAS-NCUA kicked off its 2006 Access Across America Economic Empowerment Summits in Dallas April 12. NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnson and Vice Chairman Rodney Hood addressed the event and met with participants who came from all over Texas and surrounding states. Department of Housing and Urban Development Deputy Assistant Secretary for Grant Programs Anna Marie Farias was the keynote speaker. Farias oversees grant programs in HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development, with oversight of $6.3 billion and jurisdiction over the Community Development Block Grant Program, Home Investment Partnerships Program, Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program, Environment and Energy Programs, the American Dream Downpayment Initiative, and Disaster Recovery. The Access Across America Economic Empowerment Summits were created to promote partnership opportunities with federal agencies and facilitate the extension of affordable financial services to individuals, communities and underserved areas across America. “The strong turnout of over 125 guests confirms that credit unions remain dedicated and steadfast in their effort to help their members achieve the American dream,” Johnson commented. Featured panels discussed resource opportunities for credit unions in the areas of member business lending, homeownership, Health Savings Accounts and serving underserved areas. Aside from HUD, participating agencies included the Department of Agriculture, Treasury, and the Small Business Administration. Also presenting were the Texas Credit Union League, NeighborWorks America, Texans Credit Union, El Paso Affordable Housing CUSO and Covenant Savings Federal Credit Union. “I was encouraged that many people asked thoughtful questions and were equipped with practical knowledge and resources to better serve their members,” Johnson said.

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