Community Service

CU Movement Mourns Passing of Warren Morrow

Hispanic advocate fought disparities in access to assets, wealth, and economic stability.

February 17, 2012
KEYWORDS coopera , hispanic , iowa , morrow
/ PRINT / ShareShare / Text Size +

The national credit union movement and Hispanic business community have lost a key voice in their outreach efforts to serve Latinos.

Warren Morrow, founder and CEO of Coopera Consulting, died unexpectedly Wednesday morning. He was 34.

The Des Moines Register reports Morrow was born in Mexico City to an American father and Mexican mother, and moved to Tucson, Ariz., in grade school. He often spoke of how assimilating into the U.S. culture helped shape his life.

While attending Grinnell (Iowa) College, Morrow helped form the Latino Leadership Project to give underprivileged young Hispanics the opportunity to attend college.

Through his work, Morrow realized the base cause he was trying to address was financial instability in the Latino home. In 2011, Morrow told the Des Moines Register, “I came to realize that the disparity in education was a symptom of a larger problem. The root issues are the disparities in access to assets, access to wealth, economic stability in the household.”

“Warren had a powerful vision that outreach to the underserved Hispanic community should not be philanthropy,” says Murray Williams, the Iowa League’s chief operating officer. “Instead, a business could do well by doing good—and everyone would benefit.”

Here is a video of Warren advocating his beliefs.

CUNA and Coopera Consulting formed an exclusive, national partnership in 2009 to help credit unions reach out to the Hispanic community. Among other products, the groups launched a Spanish personal finance website for credit unions, El Poder es Tuyo—the Power is Yours.

Morrow also was a contributor to Credit Union Magazine and creditunionmagazine.com, providing solid advice on how to reach out to the Hispanic community, make branches more welcoming to Hispanic consumers, and avoid common translation mishaps.

Coopera Consulting has grown to be the pre-eminent leader of Hispanic outreach in the credit union movement. Beyond its partnership with CUNA, Coopera works with several credit union leagues, including New York and Texas.

“Warren was such a positive person, and he brought his enthusiasm and charisma to our office,” says Patrick Jury, Iowa Credit Union League president/CEO. “He was a great leader and a wonderful employee for more than six years. Warren was a good friend to many of us and throughout the credit union industry, and he will be sorely missed.”

Coopera Vice President Miriam De Dios says the legacy Morrow has created will live on through their company. “It is our mission to continue with Warren’s passion and vision of Coopera as we move forward.”

Warren is survived by his wife, Christina Fernandez-Morrow, and seven-year-old daughter, Ariana.In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made in his honor to the “Warren Morrow Memorial Fund” at Des Moines Metro Credit Union, 100 University Ave., Des Moines, IA 50314.

Condolences can be sent to Coopera at 1500 NW 118th Street, Des Moines, IA 50325.

Funeral arrangements are pending. Information will be posted on Facebook.

Post a comment to this story

heroes

What's Popular

Popular Stories

Recent Discussion

Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

Your Say: Who should be Credit Union Magazine's 2014 CU Hero of the Year?

View Results Poll Archive