When Annie Wilma Vamper passed away in May of 1990, the Community Development Credit Union (CDCU) movement lost one of its heroes. Annie's life-long dedication to the credit union movement remains an inspiration to credit unions serving low-income people and communities today. The Annie Vamper Helping Hands Award honors Annie's memory and is the highest honor presented by Inclusiv, celebrating individuals whose work for the movement continues Annie's legacy and exemplifies the CDCU mission of serving communities left behind by the financial mainstream.
Inclusiv is excited to announce two 2023 Annie Vamper Helping Hands Award winners at Inclusiv Conference 2023 in Memphis, TN. The award is named for Annie Vamper who dedicated her life to empowering financial inclusion for low-income people through credit unions and recognizes individuals who are making extraordinary contributions to the Community Development Credit Union (CDCU) movement. This year's awardees are Sue Cuevas, President and CEO, Nueva Esperanza Community Credit Union and Sheilah Montgomery, President of Florida A&M Federal Credit Union and Founding Member and Board of Director of the African American Credit Union Coalition. Inclusiv is delighted to honor the legacy of Annie Vamper through these incredible CDCU trailblazers.
Sue Cuevas is the inaugural CEO for the first Latino credit union in Ohio, Nueva Esperanza Community Credit Union, chartered in 2010. Her passion and persistence to help the Latino, immigrant, and underserved/unbanked communities is what drives her commitment to sharing financial education and credit counseling opportunities with these communities. She has more than 30 years of experience working in the banking and financial industry. Sue has taught numerous classes on financial literacy and has developed bilingual education programs, focusing on first-time homebuyers in Northwest Ohio.
“The importance of community development and service is vital to the success of ALL credit unions,” Cuevas says. “Community Development is the solid strong foundation of credit unions that helps connect diverse communities and show them how to improve their quality of life and strive to become better citizens in both economic and business ventures. By providing services, we re-invest in our communities providing educational and financial resources which then unites us so we can become a stronger and savvier generation.”
For more than forty-five years, Sheilah Montgomery has been advancing the mission of the credit union movement while increasing the economic capacity and financial well-being of individuals, businesses, and communities. Over the years, Sheilah has been in a leadership role with many credit unions including CEO for 1st Choice Credit Union, the Credit Union of Atlanta and is currently CEO of Florida A&M University Federal Credit Union (FAMU). She is a Certified Chief Executive (CCE), Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE), an International (South Africa) CUDE (I-CUDE) and is a co-founder of the African American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC). Sheilah and a fellow CUDEs started the financial literacy program for students at the AACUC called the Financial Reality Fair. For the last 9 years, the Financial Reality Fair has been an integral part of the AACUC conference.
“Community Development Credit Unions are the epitome of the ‘good neighbor’,” Montgomery notes. “The economic well-being of individuals, families, and communities is predicated on having access to affordable financial products and services. CDCUs are focused on providing a trusted, respectful, and empathetic environment to meet people where they are. It is a privilege to be one of many servant-leaders that work tirelessly to close the wealth gap by creating opportunities for financial education as well as access to capital.”
“Advancing economic justice for the underserved is an important component of human dignity for the people and communities community development credit unions serve,” according to Cathie Mahon, Inclusiv President/CEO. "The credit union movement is honored to work with inspiring people like Sue and Sheilah who have a commitment to financial inclusion for everyone.”
Join us at the Annie Vamper Helping Hands Award dinner during Inclusiv Conference 2023 to recognize Sue Cuevas and Sheilah Montgomery's enduring commitment to increasing financial inclusion for all!
Click here to learn more about the Annie Vamper Helping Hands Award, including information about previous awardees. Recent honorees include Gregg Brown, President and CEO, South Side Community Federal Credit Union, Judy De Lucca, CEO, New Orleans Firemen’s Federal Credit Union, Maria J. Martinez, President and CEO, Border Federal Credit Union, and Maurice Smith, CEO of Local Government FCU.
For questions about the Annie Vamper Helping Hands Award, please contact Pamela Owens, SVP Organizational Development and Capacity Building.
We welcome attendees to register for the Annie Vamper Helping Hands award dinner to honor a remarkable awardee who exemplifies advancing the credit union movement. (A separate registration of $149 is required to attend this unique networking opportunity.)