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Media Release

Self-Help Credit Union Holds its Annual Meeting of the Membership, November 16

Theme, ‘Celebrating a Legacy of Service’, underscores how Self-Help works to empower underserved communities

Nov 16, 2022

[Durham, NC | November 16, 2022] ¬ On Wednesday, November 16, at its annual meeting of the membership, Self-Help Credit Union ( elected five board of directors, highlighted its legacy of impact working for economic equity for underserved communities of color and shared its vision for the future. The meeting took place at its offices at 302 West Main Street in Durham.

Self-Help board secretary La-Tasha Best-Gaddy opened the meeting. Members, local businesses, community partners, civic leaders and more were given information about Self-Help’s impact over the years through such services as providing affordable loans and financial counseling to help families through the COVID pandemic, investing in development projects that benefit economically distressed communities of color and helping small businesses and entrepreneurs stay afloat through Paycheck Protection Program loans.

Speakers included Self-Help mortgage loan officer, Gil Cabrera and Tamara Stanley, regional manager and vice president for the triangle region.

Cabrera highlighted noted that the demand from first-time home buyers is high, but a lack of affordable housing, rising interest rates, credit challenges and more continue to be barriers to homeownership for many people, especially families of color. Self-Help has mortgage products that allow access to funding for buyers with credit challenges, such as Equity Boost, which can help borrowers with as low as a 580-credit score with little or no down payment.

Stanley followed up with several success stories from borrowers who were able to \work with Self-Help to take important steps on the road to financial security.

"Our primary goal is to build financial wellness through innovative and holistic programs to help women and communities of color," Stanley explains. Across the state we have financial coaches on staff who help members develop skills and abilities to transform financial knowledge into improved habits and financial outcomes.”

Marcus Bowen, Self-Help chief financial officer presented an update on the credit union’s overall performance for the year and gave an overview of Self-Help’s income and balance sheets. As of December 31, 2021, Self-Help reflects total assets of over 3.7 billion overall and the credit union alone has a net income of over $7 million dollars.

“We experienced increased deposit growth, and our net worth increased this year because of a low-cost loan awarded to Self-Help by the US Treasury Department,” Bowen noted.

Chairman of the board Scott Misner outlined several items of business including the approval of the minutes and the election of board members. LaTorrie Greer and Laura Pichardo-Cruz were reelected for three-year terms.

Laura Pichardo-Cruz is an attorney with Florida Legal Services, where she focuses on providing legal representation to unaccompanied immigrant minors. She previously served as the Executive Director of the Hope CommUnity Center, an organization dedicated to the empowerment of immigrants and other vulnerable communities in Central Florida. Laura spent 13 years as an attorney at Community Legal Services of Mid Florida, where her work focused on public benefits access. She previously practiced immigration law for nonprofit organizations in both Chicago and Florida.

LaTorrie Geer is the Chief Executive Officer of CommunityWorks, a non-profit community development financial institution founded in Greenville, SC in 2008. CommunityWorks is a small business and affordable housing lender offering capital, and business and financial coaching and support programs throughout South Carolina. LaTorrie has been at CommunityWorks since 2012, as Program Manager, Director of Operations, and Chief Operating Officer, where she guided CommunityWorks through tremendous growth, providing program and operational leadership, compliance, relationship development, and strategic plan implementation. She previously served as Executive Vice President and Director of Operations at SENIOR Solutions, a nonprofit focused on serving seniors. LaTorrie graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of South Carolina and is a proud Gamecock. She is certified as an Economic Development Finance Professional through the National Development Council.

Ed Fulbright, David Kearns and Jackie Mondora were reelected by worker-members for three-year terms:

Ed Fulbright CPA, PFS and CGMA is Founder and CEO of Fulbright & Fulbright, CPA, PA, Fulbright Financial Consulting, PA and Fulbright Knowledge Alliances, Inc. He has over 30 years in public accounting and small business consulting. Ed has published articles and been quoted in national magazines, is a contributing author to “Planning for the Times of Your Life (45 Great Financial Planning Ideas)” and the producer/host of “Mastering Your Money”, a syndicated personal and small business financial education radio talk show. Ed is the chairman of the Self-Help Audit Committee and has served on the board of directors for over 30 years.

David Kearns is a long-time resident of Durham. He is a graduate of North Carolina Central University and a member of Covenant Presbyterian Church. David is retired from a career in information technology for Duke University Health System. He is the father of five wonderful children. David has been involved in the credit union industry for well over 30 years. He served as Supervisory Committee Chair, Board Member, Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Greater Piedmont Credit Union, which merged into Self-Help Credit Union in 2014, where he currently serves as Treasurer.

Jackie Mondora is the Digital Integration and Alliance Leader for GE Power’s customer service engineering team. Jackie is a Navy veteran, where she served as a Russian translator. She previously serves as the Vice Chair for Turbine Federal Credit Union, which merged into Self-Help Credit Union in 2019.

Worker-members previously elected Holton Wilkerson to the board representing Self-Help staff for a one-year term. Self-Help President Randy Chambers also recognized outgoing board members Alan Reberg and La-Tasha Best-Gaddy.

Martin Eakes, Self-Help CEO and co-founder highlighted Self-Help’s achievements over its history.

“Self-Help and has deep roots in our community. Our credit unions have legacies in some instances going back to the 1800s,” Eakes noted. “As we continue to grow, we know our goal has always been to be a social justice organization that brings Black, Hispanic and progressive coalitions together to work for economic equity.”

Eakes noted that Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP) loans recently awarded by the Treasury department are a big opportunity – and a challenge. To employ these dollars, Self-Help hopes to double its annual lending by:

  • Building on existing products in current footprint and new states,
  • Expanding graduate school loan offerings for DREAMers - young people affected by the DREAM act, which provides a pathway to legal status for undocumented people who came to this country as children
  • Supporting efforts to develop multifamily housing,
  • Investing in green lending opportunities, and
  • Developing new and expanded lending products, including new mortgage loan products.

“Self-Help will work for social, racial and economic justice for all forever,” Eakes concludes.

From its beginnings in 1980 with $77 raised from a bake sale, Self-Help has grown to 74 branches serving over 194,000 members. Overall Self-Help has more than $3 billion in total assets, $2.5 billion in deposits and delivered over $11 billion in financing to help people buy homes, start and build businesses and strengthen community resources. Self-Help was the third largest provider of PPP loans in the country, awarding over $29 million in forgivable loans the through the federal paycheck protection program, with a special focus on small businesses owned by women and people of color.

Credit unions are owned by the members who use their services. Each year the annual membership meeting reports back on how member deposits, loans and other financial products invest in the well-being of our community.

Self-Help’s annual report and minutes of the membership meeting are available at 

About Self-Help Credit Union

Headquartered in Durham, NC., Self-Help Credit Union was founded with $77 in proceeds from a bake sale. Self-Help initially focused on helping small businesses and home buyers in underserved areas. It now helps drive economic development and strengthen communities by providing responsible financial services; lending to individuals, small businesses and nonprofits; developing real estate; and promoting fair financial practices across the nation. Since 1980, Self-Help has provided over $11 billion in financing to over 198,000 families, individuals, and businesses. Through its credit union network, Self-Help serves thousands of people in Florida, California, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

For more information, go to and

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For More Information, Contact: 

Jenny Shields, Director of Media Relations, Self-Help Credit Union Direct Line: 919.794.6798 Email: