Notes from the Field: Florida Site Visits

Notes from the Field: Site Visits to
Manatee Community, GTE Financial and Suncoast Credit Unions

Site visits are a much anticipated feature of our Annual Conference. This year's conference, held earlier this month in Clearwater, FL, included visits to Inclusiv members GTE Financial, Manatee Community, and Suncoast credit unions.

On the first day of the conference we visited GTE Financial, a $2.2B CDFI serving four low-income counties in the Tampa Bay area. GTE moved its headquarters to Ybor City in 2005, one of the lowest-income communities in Tampa. This move was made possible through a partnership with the City of Tampa, which embraced GTE's mission of making a positive impact though its affordable financial services and financial literacy programs.

Manatee Community FCU in Bradenton, with assets of $39M, started out as a credit union for Tropicana employees. This year they celebrate their 60th anniversary! After changes in the credit union's leadership, Manatee decided to focus on unbanked and underbanked people in their surrounding communities. A CDFI since 2014, Manatee offers their members Reliable Rides and Fresh Start loans. Manatee is also a Juntos Avanzamos credit union, committed to empowering Hispanic consumers.

After saying goodbye to Sherod and his team, our group headed to Suncoast Credit Union in Tampa, the largest CDFI credit union in the country with $9.2B in assets. Jenny Torres, VP of Service Center Operations and Melba Mackay Bass, Senior VP of Business Development, introduced the Suncoast team.

We visited Suncoast’s main branch to see the teller line and auto service lane - including Suncoast's ECRs and ITMs - in action. We had the chance to ask many questions of the team, including if changes in culture came with the introduction of these technologies. The answer: "Yes!" Then it was on to Suncoast’s Service Center. Roughly the size of a football field, the Center accommodates hundreds of team members.

Rene Vargas Martinez
Program Officer


About Inclusiv:
At Inclusiv, we believe that true financial inclusion and empowerment is a fundamental right. We dedicate ourselves to closing the gaps and removing barriers to financial opportunities for people living in distressed and underserved communities. Inclusiv is a certified CDFI intermediary that transforms local progress into lasting national change. We provide capital, make connections, build capacity, develop innovative products and services and advocate for our member community development credit unions (CDCUs). Inclusiv members serve over eight million residents of low-income urban, rural and reservation-based communities across the US and hold over $80 billion in community-controlled assets. Founded in 1974, Inclusiv is headquartered in New York, NY, with offices in Madison, WI and Atlanta, GA. For more information about Inclusiv visit us at and connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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