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MSCU Builds International Relationship with COOPSME Cooperativa in the Spirit of People Helping People
After CUNA announced its ‘Building financial health for a brighter tomorrow’ theme for this year’s International Credit Union Day (ICU Day) on October 21st, Mutual Security Credit Union CEO Hank Baum used his connections to get in touch with COOPSME Cooperativa located in La Romana, Dominican Republic to see how Mutual Security Credit Union (MSCU) can expand its celebration internationally and help a fellow credit union through shared knowledge and resources.
“In the true CU spirit of people helping people, I thought it would be a phenomenal experience to expand our network to see what we could learn from and what we could offer a credit union outside of the United States,” said Hank Baum, MSCU CEO. “What first started out as a series of emails and periodic virtual meetings, led into an exciting, fruitful international visit from COOPSME Board Chair, Andrea Jose Valdez.”
COOPSME's Valdez made her way to MSCU in May 2021 to see firsthand how the credit union operates. Each department at MSCU sat down with her and discussed the processes in place to deliver a premier member experience.
The two credit unions compared financials and strategies used to achieve financial stability. COOPSME shared its most recent project, a rental apartment complex, that broke ground earlier this year that will eventually provide 500 affordable housing units for local residents in the La Romana area.
“Through our conversations, it’s apparent our credit unions are looking to achieve the same thing…to be the preeminent financial partner that improves the quality and wellbeing of the communities we serve,” said Baum.
During Valdez’s visit MSCU employees were proud to share their knowledge and how they live out the credit union’s mission, including MSCU’s financial education program, FIT (Financial Independence Training), that COOPSME plans to utilize as inspiration to incorporate into their own efforts.
As part of the upcoming International Credit Union Day celebration later this year, MSCU developed shirts for all COOPSME and MSCU staff to wear on October 21st that highlights the #CUdifference.The two credit unions have continued to stay in touch and during his personal annual mission trip to La Romana, Dominican Republic, Baum was able to stop by COOPSME. He was delighted to see COOPSME’s humanitarian initiatives first-hand including their COVID-19 vaccination efforts in the bateyes (rural community of sugarcane workers) and the progress of their affordable housing complex build.