Harrison FCU was the First to Have An All-Virtual Juntos Avanzamos Proclamation Ceremony
Juntos Avanzamos proclamation ceremonies are a celebration of diversity and inclusion and are a vital part of the designation process. They bring community members together to mark a new chapter in their credit union’s history, opening the doors of financial opportunity to the Hispanic community.
Proclamations tend to be public events where staff, members of the community, government officials and other stakeholders meet to celebrate their credit union’s designation. The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent public health guidelines have changed the way we celebrate and moved many events to the digital space. Proclamation ceremonies are no exception.
Harrison Federal Credit Union is a full-service community development and low-income designated credit union. Headquartered in Colorado Springs, they serve over 1,500 members. Harrison FCU earned the Juntos Avanzamos designation in 2020. They offer a host of affordable products and services for the Hispanic community, and true to its mission of financial inclusion, Harrison FCU has established meaningful partnerships with Hispanic organizations, such as the Concilio, and other community-based institutions, such as the RISE Coalition of Colorado Springs. and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
“Juntos Avanzamos has become the standard for inclusion in banking for members of the Latinx community,” said Nick Jensen, the CEO/CFO of Harrison FCU. “Joining the Juntos Avanzamos world is a big step for us, and we’re working to serve even more people with what we’ve learned by becoming certified.”
After almost a year without any Juntos Avanzamos proclamation ceremonies, Harrison FCU stepped up to host the first-ever virtual proclamation ceremony. The event was a success!
Laura Eblen from Mazuma Credit Union led the ceremony, which featured messages by Scott Earl and Shaun Ongstad from the Mountain West Credit Union Association as well as Harrison FCU's Nick Jensen, CEO, and Fhilecya Moore, Member Experience and Engagement Officer, and Martin Gomez, one of the board members who championed Hispanic outreach. Members logged in, asked questions, and congratulated the credit union.
During the pandemic, Harrison FCU employed innovative strategies to serve their members. The credit union extended its emergency skip-a-pay programs, scheduled virtual appointments through the website and other channels. Phone services were expanded to increase the availability of assistance. The value of community partnerships was made evident, as Harrison FCU leveraged them to expand their reach into the community. Harrison is grateful to their community partners for their shared work and commitment.
These are exciting times for Harrison FCU! They recently joined the Inclusiv network and are working on their CDFI certification. They also applied for a CDFI technical assistance grant to expand their capacity to serve the community. These initiatives have coincided with an expansion of the credit union’s field of membership to other communities in Southern Colorado, making their affordable products and services available to more Coloradans.