The $200 million Pelican State Credit Union in Baton Rouge, La., has become the first in the country to certify its entire staff as Community Development Certified Financial Counselors.
The CDCFC designation was created by grant writers/consultants CU Strategic Planning, who said that 11 credit unions designated as Community Development Financial Institutions are now using the program.
The credit union embarked on the effort to help members deal with the impact of declining credit scores.
The NCBA has endorsed the program and feted Pelican State at a reception at the recent GAC in Washington. NCBA President/CEO Michael Beall presented Pelican State President/CEO Jeff Conrad with a plaque and praised the 33,500-member credit union for its efforts in helping members deal with financial adversity.
“Credit unions need the tools to help them provide a hand up – not a hand out – for their members,” Beall said.
“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,” he said
Conrad said, “There are so many people in the state of Louisiana who need to get their financial lives back on track. And when they come to your credit union, your entire staff can be prepared to identify their needs and help them with the tools that are provided through this training and certification.”
Jamie Chase, CEO of CU Strategic Planning in Tacoma, Wash., said, “Jeffrey Conrad’s vision to certify the credit union’s entire staff sets the bar for other credit unions to follow, allowing members to receive assistance during every interaction with their credit union that will ultimately lead consumers out of predatory debt and build wealth in their respective communities.”
Jeff Conrad is breaking new ground for credit unions and CDFIs with his visionary approach to community development and member service. We look forward to seeing his staff make tremendous financial changes in their members’ lives.”