NCBA Honors Pelican State CU’s CEO Jeff Conrad

NCBA Honors Pelican State CU’s CEO Jeff Conrad

As the first credit union nationwide to certify its entire staff as Community Development Certified Financial Counselors, Pelican State Credit Union recently garnered some well-deserved attention from the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA). NCBA President/CEO Mike Beall honored Pelican State's CEO Jeff Conrad for this proactive certification effort to help improve the credit union members' financial lives. The reception took place February 26 at the NCBA headquarters in Washington, D.C., during the credit union's largest conference: 2013 CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference.

Link to NCBA reception video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buKYHeMm74o.

Grant writing and consulting firm CU Strategic Planning, created the online CDCFC training program, which is certified by the NCBA. The CDCFC program is quickly becoming an essential tool for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and credit unions serving "working-class," moderate- and low-income populations. Already, seven award winning CDFI-designated credit unions are currently using the program. It is also an effective means for mainstream credit unions to better serve their members when they face financial adversity.

NCBA's Beall presented Conrad with a plaque commemorating Pelican State spearheading its community development efforts as the first credit union nationwide to have its entire staff become certified through the CDCFC training program. Conrad embarked on this program because over the last five years the credit scores of Pelican State's members had dropped – leaving many ineligible for loans for which they formerly qualified. Conrad subsequently signed up for the CDCFC training program to certify his entire staff, empowering them to help members improve their finances and build wealth.

"Credit unions need the tools to help them provide a hand up – not a hand out – for their members," Beall says. "We want to make sure individuals have a fair opportunity today to help their families. Looking at Pelican State's recent accomplishments with its certification training through the leadership of Jeff Conrad, we believe they are a perfect example of how credit unions can help support their members financially – which ultimately will build wealth in their communities for better lives overall."

"Touching peoples lives is what it's all about and helping people is what we do," Conrad says. "There are so many people in the state of Louisiana who need to get their lives back on track. There are a number of individuals throughout our state who have needs that can be met by credit unions and cooperatives. And when they come to your credit union, your entire staff can be prepared to identify their needs and help them with the tools that are provided through this training and certification."

"This recognition for Pelican State from the NCBA is truly wonderful and very well deserved," CU Strategic Planning's Jamie Chase says. "Jeffrey Contrad's vision to certify the credit union's entire staff sets the bar for other credit unions to follow, allowing members to receive assistance during every interaction with their credit union that will ultimately lead consumers out of predatory debt and build wealth in their respective communities. Jeff Conrad is breaking new ground for credit unions and CDFIs with his visionary approach to community development and member service. We look forward to seeing his staff make tremendous financial changes in their members' lives."