GTE Financial awarded CDFI Certification to open lending doors to more low-income members

GTE Financial among the 30 credit unions awarded CDFI grant funds from the U.S. Treasury for the program’s fiscal year 2013

TAMPA, FL (September 26, 2013) — With 18 of its 21 locations in low income neighborhoods, GTE Financial has been awarded Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certification with help from the CDFI certification and grant writing firm CU Strategic Planning. CDFI certification will help GTE provide its members with additional financial education services and lending opportunities by mitigating fee assessments to those of low income standing.

“CDFI designation opens the door to help our community as much as possible by offering better loan opportunities– which is especially important here in Florida where we were hit harder by the bad economy than most states,” says GTE Financial’s SVP and Chief Lending Officer Aaron Bresko. Being a “low-income” credit union, Bresko adds that “the process of applying for CDFI Certification was an easy decision, a no-brainer to be able to help more of our members.”

The certification allows credit unions to gain additional resources to provide assistance to members who need financial direction for a better, more stable and secure future. “The benefits of this award not only to our credit union but our community are huge,” Bresko says. “We look forward to putting these resources from the certification in motion so our members can reap the rewards of a financially secure life.”

Bresko also adds that having a partner like CU Strategic Planning to help with the CDFI application process was a big help, as the firm’s experience was invaluable in organizing the necessary information. “It helps immeasurably to have a team like CU Strategic Planning help with the grant writing process,” he says. “Most credit unions don’t have grant writers on staff, so it’s extremely beneficial to have an organization like them to come in and help out – and succeed.”

CU Strategic Planning, whose leadership in the CDFI field increased the number of credit unions receiving awards to twenty two in 2012 by writing half of all winning applications last year, is on track to do the same in 2013.

“GTE’s CDFI certification represents the tremendous opportunity that exists for many of the most recognizable credit union in the country,” says CU Strategic Planning’s Founder Jamie Chase. “Credit unions’ service to people of ‘modest means’ is exactly what the CDFI Fund exists to support. Credit unions were founded as a community development movement. GTE’s leadership shows mainstream credit unions that it is worth pursuing CDFI certification so they can do even more for the communities they serve.”

About GTE Financial
GTE Financial is a not-for-profit financial cooperative with more than $1.6 billion in assets and 21 Community Financial Centers located throughout West Central Florida. Chartered in 1935, GTE Financial is locally owned and operated in the Tampa Bay area, serving over 200,000 individuals and businesses. More information on GTE Financial can be found at

About CU Strategic Planning
Headquartered in Tacoma, WA, with satellite offices in San Diego and Boston, CU Strategic Planning is the only strategic planning facilitator in the United States with the mission to help credit unions realize their potential through the International Credit Union Operating Principles. It is widely considered the #1 writer of credit union Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) grant applications. No firm serving credit unions writes and wins more CDFI awards than CU Strategic Planning.  Its “Miracle Makers” have 100 percent success with CDFI certification. Their signature training program, Community Development Certified Financial Counseling, is a groundbreaking software training and accreditation tool being adopted by award winning CDFI certified credit unions across the country. For more information, visit

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