Going the extra mile (or 4,000) for credit union members

Viviana Gomez, Contact Center Manager at a Colombian cooperative, completes a week-long crash course at Unitus to bring best practices to members back home.

Source: Unitus Community Credit Union

May 15, 2019


PORTLAND, Ore.Unitus Community Credit Union takes their “cooperative” identity seriously—very seriously. Not content to cooperate merely with their city, state, or even national community, they have yet again extended the bounds of their collaborations. This time, they hosted a Contact Center Manager from a Colombian cooperative to a one-week intensive crash course to both learn and teach ways to better serve members.

Viviana Gomez is the Contact Center Manager at Financiera Comultrasan, a credit union based in Bucaramanga, Colombia with $400 million in assets. Her unique opportunity arose when Steve Stapp, Unitus President/CEO and Chairman of the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) Board of Directors, dreamed up the collaboration with Jaime Chavez Suarez, President of Financiera Comultrasan, and fellow WOCCU Board member.

Steve Stapp, Unitus CCU President/CEO and World Council Board Chair

“Our Latin American family have so much talent. By sharing some of the lessons we have learned, we can help them succeed at a level greater than they have before,” said Stapp. “By learning about their challenges and victories, we can benefit from the lessons they can teach us and more creatively serve our members here in the Northwest.”

Gomez’ program was fast, thorough, and far-reaching. She worked closely with Unitus AVP (and former Contact Center Manager) Char Sears, shadowing employees to learn about their responsibilities, skills, and major initiatives. That was only the start; her experience would include meetings with Unitus’ Chief of Human Resources, Member Loan Center Management, Mobile & Online Banking team, and even the credit union’s Community and Business Development wing.

“When you have knowledge that can benefit others, how could you not share it?” asked Stapp. “Transparency and cooperation, after all, are the pillars of our worldwide Credit Union Movement.”

About Unitus Community Credit Union

Unitus Community Credit Union is a not-for-profit, member-owned financial institution serving people living or working in Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Marion, Polk, Yamhill, Benton, Columbia, Deschutes, Douglas, Hood River, Jackson, Josephine, Linn and Lane counties in Oregon and the state of Washington. Additional information about Unitus is available at or by calling (800) 452-0900.

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, 85,400 credit unions in 118 countries serve 274 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at

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Contact: Greg Neumann
Organization: World Council of Credit Unions
Phone: +1 608-395-2048
Contact: Laurie Kresl
Organization: Unitus Community Credit Union
Phone: +1 503-423-8310