Nicaragua and MDDCCUA Renew Partnership Commitment
Invited as special guests to the MDDCCUA Annual Meeting and Convention,
CSO delegates had the chance to talk with MDDCCUA International
Committee representatives. Pictured (l-r): German Membreno (CSO), John
Godwin (MECU), Sarah Turner (MDDCCUA) and Juan Altamirano (CSO).
Washington, DC—Delegates from the
Nicaraguan Central Services Organization (CSO)
and the Maryland and DC Credit Union Association
(MDDCCUA) met in Maryland and Washington, DC,
June 14-19, to renew their partnership
commitment and discuss future goals.
CSO and the former DC Credit Union League
established a partnership through the World
Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) International
Partnerships program in 2002. The visit marked
the first meeting between CSO and the new
MDDCCUA since the DC and Maryland credit union
leagues merged last year.
CSO delegates visit ACCESO shared
branch in Mt. Pleasant, a predominately Hispanic neighborhood of
Washington, DC. Pictured (l-r): Sarah Turner (MDDCCUA), Ana Maria
Barrientos (DGEFCU), Diego Grajales (ACCESO), Juan Altamirano (CSO),
Carla Decker (DGEFCU), German Membreno (CSO), and Michael Beall
To kick off the visit, Juan Altamirano, CSO
and German Membreno, CSO Vice Chairman and CEO
of Dinamica Credit Union, attended the MDDCCUA
Annual Meeting and Convention. They were among
700 credit union board members and managers that
came together to discuss challenges faced by
MDDCCUA CEO Michael Beall, who hosted the
with Sarah Turner, MDDCCUA Vice President of
Strategic Alliances, explained, “The topics
covered during this convention—growth,
governance and expanding services—are challenges
both MDDCUA and CSO face. Through the
partnership exchange, we can overcome these
Altamirano and Membreno were especially
interested in the sessions related to shared
branching. Credit unions in Nicaragua have a
manual shared branching system in which
transactions are verified by telephone and fax.
CSO’s goal is to computerize the system so that
credit unions can process shared branching
transactions in real time.
Altamirano left the convention
is wonderful to know that there are people in
the MDDCCUA with technical knowledge that they
are ready to share. This is more valuable to us
than money,” he said.
Following the convention, Altamirano and
Membreno spent two days visiting credit unions,
including MECU in Baltimore and PAHO/WHO Federal
Credit Union, ACCESO and District Government
Employees Federal Credit Union in DC. They
discussed topics ranging from committee
policies, community outreach, operations and
marketing to shared branching and remittances.
Membreno noted, “This partnership visit has
given me the opportunity to exchange ideas with
other credit unions and learn about innovative
practices. I have so much to talk about with the
credit unions when I get back to Nicaragua.”
The partnership visit concluded with a
discussion of future activities and goals. In
July, MDDCCUA will send two volunteers to
Nicaragua to provide training on nominating
committee and governance best practices. In
coming years, MDDCCUA will provide technical
assistance to CSO on shared branching, and CSO
will work with credit unions in DC and Maryland
to enhance outreach to immigrant groups.
Reflecting on the visit, Turner said, “This
partnership epitomizes the cooperative spirit of
credit unions. We can learn from each other to
provide better services to our members in both
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency 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 more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 105 countries serve 217 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.
Contact: Rebecca Carpenter
Organization: World Council of Credit Unions