2018 Applicant: Symantha Sermino

Symantha Sermino is a 34-year-old Commercial Loan Processor at Northwest Community Credit Union ($1.16B) in Eugene, Oregon, United States.

Project Title
Walking the Walk

Short Pitch
A framework for credit unions to use in order to implement another language.

Member experience is at the top of everybody's list these days. When thinking about member experience, have you tried to think about any members that may be getting left out of the conversation? 

At my credit union I'm seeking to improve the experience of our Spanish speaking Latino and Hispanic membership. We currently do not offer materials in Spanish, but we'd like to. But where does one start such a journey? There are many considerations in order to move forward. Everything from compliance in documentation translation to personnel, to cultural education, and more. What we really need is a guided approach- a road map. So, I’m building one.

Throughout this journey, I am building a framework that can be replicated at other credit unions facing the same challenge. Deciding to offer another language to do business in is a daunting task when you’ve never done it before, but with some guidance and a map, that task can become easier. I believe in credit union values and I’ve been repeating the mantra, marching to it’s beat, “People helping people. Serving the under-served.” Our culture as cooperatives is as solid as the ground we walk on and is deeply rooted in my passion for the movement. I know how to talk the talk, now I’m putting my best foot forward, because it’s time to walk the walk. 

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. This is step one.

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