Credit Unions from U.S. and South Korea Come Together with “Global Bridges”

To strengthen global movement, delegates from northwest U.S. credit unions will share insights with counterparts from the National Credit Union Federation of Korea

Unitus Community Credit Union

August 09, 2021

PORTLAND, Ore.—In another impressive display of the global credit union movement’s cooperative strength, four credit unions from the northwest United States have teamed up to build bridges with counterparts in Asia.

In collaboration with Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions, the charitable and engagement arm of World Council of Credit Unions, Unitus has teamed up with Advantis Credit Union, Oregon Community Credit Union and Rivermark Community Credit Union. Together they have developed an innovative engagement initiative with the National Credit Union Federation of Korea (NACUFOK) through Worldwide Foundation’s Global Bridges program

NACUFOK, which represents more than 870 credit unions in South Korea, is direct member of World Council. 

After concluding his term as World Council Board Chair last year, Unitus President/CEO Steve Stapp remains active in developing the credit union movement worldwide.

“The credit union movement provides financial independence to people who don’t traditionally have the opportunity to save money, start a business or afford their basic needs. The Global Bridges program is an exciting opportunity to strengthen our communities around the world,” said Stapp.

Delegates shared their first virtual engagement session July 27 and will attend several more virtual sessions in 2021.

“Advantis is very excited about the opportunity to learn from our Korean credit union peers, who are part of one of the five largest credit union networks in the world,” added Jason Werts, CEO at Advantis Credit Union. “By gaining a global, more diverse perspective of the cooperative finance model, we are able to find new ways to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our members, our employees and the communities we serve.”

In 2022, a Korean delegation will visit the United States in person, while an American delegation will visit South Korea pending the state of COVID-related concerns at that time.

“The opportunity to listen and learn with local and international industry peers is a competitive advantage that is worth celebrating,” said Seth Schaefer, President/CEO of Rivermark Community Credit Union. “We are looking forward to the conversations and engagement.”

Ron Neumann, President & CEO of Oregon Community Credit Union, echoed this sentiment.

“Having the opportunity to participate in a program that extends the unique collaborative nature of credit unions across the world is very exciting,” said Neumann. “We look forward to sharing with and learning from the South Korean credit union system, with the hope of all participants coming away with new ideas on how to best support our members.”

In this, the first iteration of Worldwide Foundation’s “Global Bridges” program, Unitus will send as representatives: Assistant Project Manager Kat Popovich, IT Operations Manager Kevin Smith, and Senior Member Support Specialist Alec Shumway.

About Unitus Community Credit Union
Unitus Community Credit Union is passionate about helping people get smart about their money and take control of their future throughout Portland Metro, Salem, and the State of Washington. At Unitus, we’re dedicated to doing the right thing for our community with 24/7 mobile account access, Virtual Branch services available worldwide, and partnerships with nonprofit organizations that improve the quality of life for all people in our communities. Visit to learn more about our commitment to our members.

About Advantis Credit Union
With $1.9 billion in assets, Advantis Credit Union is Oregon’s sixth-largest not-for-profit financial cooperative. Advantis returns earnings to its members in the form of better rates, low fees, and more free services. Advantis is locally owned by over 83,000 members, has nine branches in the Portland metro area, and was recently named by Forbes as “The Best Credit Union in Oregon”. For more information, visit

About Rivermark Community Credit Union
Headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon and founded in 1951, Rivermark Community Credit Union holds over $1.2 billion in assets and serves 85,000 members. Rivermark’s mission is “Building Financial Empowerment Together” by providing members with the confidence to make good financial choices with consistently superior financial solutions and trusted advice. For more information, visit

About Oregon Community Credit Union
OCCU was founded in 1956 in Eugene, Oregon. Today, as a not-for-profit financial cooperative, OCCU has more than $2.4 billion in assets, and its members are served through digital channels and 11 Oregon branches in Eugene, Springfield, Salem, Keizer and Wilsonville, Oregon. Most members live in Oregon and the state of Washington. Others reside throughout the United States and even abroad, keeping their membership active through online and mobile banking. Learn more at

The Worldwide Foundation is the fundraising and engagement arm of the World Council. Join us on a global journey to transform a billion lives worldwide using credit unions. Visit to start your journey today.

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 90 countries. Worldwide, 86,451 credit unions in 118 countries serve 375 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at

Author Photo
Contact: Greg Neumann
Organization: World Council of Credit Unions
Phone: +1 608-395-2048

Contact: Lori Fink
Organization: Unitus Community Credit Union

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