California CU League Hosts International Partners

Leaders From WOCCU and Caja Popular Mexicana Visited Member Credit Unions In Southern California Recently

California Credit Union League

December 19, 2005

CPM and WOCCU-Mexico representatives with Leslie Nguyen and Leticia Mata at the Orange County's CU Ross Street Branch in Santa Ana

The California Credit Union League and its member credit unions recently hosted international visitors from Mexico; Caja Popular Mexicana (CPM) Director of Corporate Formation Ignacio Rico Rey, World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) Project Director Mario Galarraga, and WOCCU Project Leader Martha Ramirez.

The visitors met with Arrowhead CU and Orange County's CU executives and their organizational partners to learn more about financial education programs, debit cards, business member services, and small business administration programs.

At Arrowhead CU, they met with Account Executive-Membership Services Melba Rey and Community Education Specialist Rafaella Arellano. The visitors also met with Arrowhead CU's organizational partners, California State University San Bernardino-Inland Empire Center for Entrepreneurship (IECE) Business Resource Center. Director Michelle Skiljan and Business Resource Specialist Nicole Kinney discussed the types of programs and courses they offer and how IECE partners with Arrowhead CU and other community organizations.

During their visit with Arrowhead CU, the visitors had the opportunity to attend a special event honoring SVP Minority Development Maurice Calderon with an Excellence Award for Latino of the Year by the San Gorgonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Marie Alonzo, Chairman of the Board for Arrowhead CU, served as the Master of Ceremonies.

The following day, the CPM/WOCCU representatives also met with Orange County's CU SVP Monica Lopez, AVP Community Education and Development Leticia Mata, AVP of EFT Terry Pierce, Business Services Manager Patti Jimenez, and VP of Business Projects Leslie Nguyen. In addition, the visitors met with one of Orange County's CU's organizational partners, Families Together of Orange County. Executive Director Maria Halverson discussed the programs and services offered through the organization and their partnering relationship with Orange County's CU.

WOCCU Project Director Mario Galarraga commented, "The information we received during our visits with Arrowhead CU and Orange County's CU was beyond my expectations." After the visits, the group was treated to dinner at Downtown Disney and a tour of Laguna Beach and Newport Harbor, hosted by the League. The group also visited Olvera Street and Chinatown.

CPM is currently Mexico's largest credit union, with 331 branches throughout 23 states, more than 830,000 members in addition to 200,000 youth members, and $883 million in assets. CPM has nearly doubled its membership and asset size since formalizing the "People to People Partnership" between CPM, WOCCU, California/Nevada, and Texas Credit Union Leagues. CPM has begun the implementation of its new information technology platform, which will help CPM centralize its operations and expand its products and services.

On February 26, 2006, at the CUNA Governmental Relations Conference (GAC), the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) will bestow the credit union movement's highest honor to this "People to People Partnership"—the 2006 Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Outstanding Program.

The League wishes to thank its member credit unions for their support and for making the "People to People Partnership" a successful one!

World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.

World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 89 countries. Worldwide, 89,026 credit unions in 117 countries serve 260 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at

Contact: Letty Cordon-Hernandez
Organization: California & Nevada Credit Union Leagues
Phone: 0414 375 620