Point West CU Community Advocate Mary Vasquez. Point West CU Community Advocate Mary Vasquez.

For Mary Vasquez, success not only means reaching her own goals – it means seeing others reach theirs. Having overcome the financial obstacles many immigrants face herself, she’s now dedicated to helping those who feel left behind in her community thrive.

Although born in the U.S., Vasquez felt very much like an immigrant as a teenager, as she spent the majority of her youth in rural Mexico and returned to the country with her father as a pre-teen. While enrolled in college and working as a supervisor at Ross, a friend informally recruited her to work for Point West Credit Union ($93 million, Portland, Ore.), where bilingual staff was needed. Initially reluctant to work with money, Vasquez met the Point West team at a holiday party she attended as her friend’s plus-one, learned about their mission, and said, “I’m in.”

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has worked in the credit union space for over a decade. She joined CU Times as managing editor in 2015 and was promoted to executive editor in 2019. Before that, she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union) in Los Angeles from 2013-2015, and as a CU Times freelancer from 2011-2013. She has been a professional writer and editor for more than 17 years, specializing in news and lifestyle journalism as well as marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space.

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