Coopera hires Calderon to help credit unions grow hispanic membership

DES MOINES, IA (June 15, 2017) — A native of El Salvador, Kenia Calderon and her family came to the U.S. with big dreams for a new beginning. A tireless advocate for immigrant and first-generation Hispanics struggling to navigate the U.S. financial system, Calderon believes credit unions have the potential to better entire families with fair and dignified financial services.

After what she describes as a bad experience with a major U.S. bank, Calderon watched her parents pull out of the U.S. financial system altogether. While pursuing double degrees at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and running the college’s Latino student group, she was also managing her entire family’s finances. The job became easier after she became a member of Village Credit Union.

“My credit union put humanity ahead of profit,” said Calderon. “By helping me and my family better our lives, they have impacted generations to come. It’s a domino effect. In my family alone, we will have three college graduates leaving school debt-free thanks to the help of Village Credit Union.”

Calderon has parlayed her passion for credit unions and the Hispanic community into a career. After serving as an emerging markets intern and project assistant for Hispanic market solutions firm Coopera, she is joining the firm full time as a client relations associate this month. In this role, Calderon will work closely with Coopera’s credit union clients to mobilize staff, evolve cultures and ready products and services for better service to Hispanic members. Calderon will also help develop custom, step-by-step plans for Hispanic membership growth strategies at credit unions around the country.

In addition to leading the Latino student group, Calderon has assisted the Hispanic community with many aspects of the immigration process at American Friends Service Committee.

“Kenia’s personal and professional experience with the immigration process and the immigrant community will be incredibly beneficial for many of Coopera’s clients,” said Alba Perez, Coopera client relations director. “She is a shining example of the influence credit unions can have on a community, one person at a time. I’m excited for our clients to leverage her insights and perspective for strategic membership growth.”

About Coopera

Coopera (ko­-pair­-ah) is a full­-service multicultural analytics and consulting firm with specific focus on credit unions nationwide. Coopera’s dedicated multicultural and multilingual personnel work closely with clients to assess their needs and create growth strategies designed to increase multicultural membership, revenue growth and loan volume. Founded by the late Hispanic community activist Warren Morrow, Coopera is owned by Affiliates Management Company, the holding company of the Iowa Credit Union League and is an exclusive strategic alliance partner of the Credit Union National Association. For more information, visit


Victor Corro

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