Association for Black Economic Power executive director honored as a credit union builder

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Affinity Plus Credit Union President and CEO, Mr. Dave Larson, left, with Association for Black Economic Power Executive Director, Ms. Debra Hurston, who has been honored with a Credit Union Builder award. Photo: Courtesy Affinity Plus Credit Union

Debra Hurston, the executive director of the Association for Black Economic Power (ABEP), has been honored with the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation’s (MnCUF) Credit Union Builder award, in recognition for her work in leading the establishment of Minnesota’s first Black-led community credit union to serve Hennepin and Ramsey counties.

The award honors an “individual’s dedication to the success, growth, and vitality of the not-for-profit financial movement in Minnesota,” according to MnCUF. Individual Credit Unions that are members of MnCUF select an individual and make a dedication in honor of an individual through a donation to MnCUF. In turn, the recipient and donating credit union’s names are permanently displayed in the lobby of MnCUF’s headquarters “as a tribute to those who have dedicated time and energy to building the credit union movement.”

Ms. Hurston will join 90 other individuals that have been designated as credit union builders since the award’s inception.

Affinity Plus Credit Union made the dedication in honor Ms. Hurston and Affinity’s president and CEO, Mr. Dave Larson, was effusive in his praise, describing her as “an emerging and significant positive force for the credit union philosophy in Minnesota.”

Affinity has also in the last two years significantly increased its advertising spend with ethnic media (including Mshale).

The organization that Ms. Hurston leads, ABEP, was formed to shepherd the birth of Arise Community Credit Union which will be the state’s first Black-led credit union, after earlier efforts stalled.  A name change was approved by stakeholders last year from the previous Village Financial Credit Union, according to Credit Union Times.

Mr. Larson said Ms. Hurston has been successful in Arise’s state and federal chartering process, including raising seed funds, recruiting board members and setting up governance.

Last year, Mr. Mark Cummins, the president and CEO of the Minnesota Credit Union Network told Credit Union Times that a capital campaign to launch Arise had already secured $2.7 million in deposit commitments from credit unions.

“Debra is tirelessly and patiently leading all aspects of building Arise Community Credit Union,” said Mr. Larson.

Arise will be headquartered in north Minneapolis once it launches.

Author

  • Born and raised in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa, Tom is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Mshale which has been reporting on the news and culture of African immigrants in the United States since 1995. He has a BA in Business from Metro State University and a Public Leadership Credential from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He was the original host of Talking Drum, the signature current affairs show on the African Broadcasting Network (ABN-America), which was available nationwide in the United States via the Dish Network satellite service. On the show, he interviewed Nobel laureates such as 2004 Nobel Peace prize winner, Professor Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to win the peace prize and heads of states. Tom has served and chaired various boards including Global Minnesota (formerly Minnesota International Center), the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has previously served as the first Black President of the Board of Directors at Books for Africa. He also serves on the boards of New Vision Foundation and the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium. He has previously served two terms on the board of the United Nations Association. An avid runner, he retired from running full marathons after turning 50 and now only focuses on training for half marathons.

About Tom Gitaa Gitaa, Editor-in-Chief

Born and raised in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa, Tom is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Mshale which has been reporting on the news and culture of African immigrants in the United States since 1995. He has a BA in Business from Metro State University and a Public Leadership Credential from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He was the original host of Talking Drum, the signature current affairs show on the African Broadcasting Network (ABN-America), which was available nationwide in the United States via the Dish Network satellite service. On the show, he interviewed Nobel laureates such as 2004 Nobel Peace prize winner, Professor Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to win the peace prize and heads of states. Tom has served and chaired various boards including Global Minnesota (formerly Minnesota International Center), the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has previously served as the first Black President of the Board of Directors at Books for Africa. He also serves on the boards of New Vision Foundation and the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium. He has previously served two terms on the board of the United Nations Association. An avid runner, he retired from running full marathons after turning 50 and now only focuses on training for half marathons.

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