On Sept. 22, Vantage West, southern Arizona’s largest credit union, will be the first financial institution in Arizona to receive the Juntos Avanzamos (Together We Advance) designation.

The Juntos Avanzamos Program – aimed at empowering credit unions to serve the Hispanic market more effectively, originated in November of 2005 as a program of the Texas Credit Union League (which recently merged with other regional leagues to form the Cornerstone Credit Union League) and the Texas International Credit Union Relationship Committee.

Vantage West Credit Union’s designation is the first outside of the Cornerstone League. With a goal of taking the Juntos Avanzamos program nationwide, the program will now be handled by the Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.

“Vantage West is the first credit union outside the Cornerstone CUL states that joins Juntos Avanzamos and we salute their leadership, vision and commitment to financial inclusion that will increase asset-building opportunities for the Hispanic community,” Pablo DeFilippi, VP Membership and Business Development, National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, said.

In order to earn the prestigious Juntos Avanzamos designation, credit unions must complete an extensive application, requiring information about products and services the credit union offers to specifically address the needs of the Hispanic market, as well as strategies they are utilizing to serve this important demographic group.

As part of the designation process, the league first identifies credit unions it believes have the “capacity to serve” and then channels its resources to these specific credit unions to grow their outreach programs.

“We recognize that along with growth from the Hispanic segment comes the responsibility to serve members according to their preferences. This means taking both language and culture into consideration, both in our marketing efforts and in the delivery of our member service,” said Robert D. Ramirez, President/CEO of Vantage West Credit Union.

Richard L. Ensweiler, President and CEO of Cornerstone Credit Union League and one of the founding members of the Juntos Avanzamos Program, said Vantage West has shown it deserves such a prestigious designation.

“Juntos Avanzamos is a way of qualifying credit unions to ensure they are truly friendly to the Hispanic market,” Ensweiler said. “Vantage West has long advocated for providing lifeline and expanded services to its Hispanic members and in so doing, improving their members’ lives.”

Tucson business and community leaders, visiting credit union industry leaders, entrepreneurs and members will come together at 10 a.m., Tuesday, September 22, 2015 to celebrate a Juntos Avanzamos Flag Raising Ceremony at the Vantage West Corporate Office (2480 N. Arcadia Ave. Tucson, AZ). Please join us as we celebrate our commitment to the Hispanic Community.