Community Service

Warren Morrow Named 2013 CU Hero of the Year

Coopera founder believed deeply in helping underserved Hispanics receive dignified financial services.

May 21, 2013
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The readers of Credit Union Magazine have named Warren Morrow the 2013 Credit Union Hero of the Year (posthumously).

Warren Morrow

Morrow founded Coopera, a full-service Hispanic market solutions company, with the belief that Hispanics need credit unions as much as credit unions need Hispanics.

He passed away Feb. 15, 2012, at the age of 34. His wife, Christina Fernandez-Morrow, will accept the award on his behalf during the America’s Credit Union Conference in New York City June 30 to July 3.

Morrow believed deeply in helping underserved Hispanics receive dignified financial services, says Coopera CEO Miriam De Dios.

“By bringing financial stability to a home, Warren believed, you could begin to address other social issues,” she says. “Warren envisioned a credit union movement that rallied around serving the underserved Latino community. He would often say, ‘Hispanics need credit unions, as much as credit unions need Hispanics.’”

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

Coopera is owned by Affiliates Management Co., the holding company of the Iowa Credit Union League.

Credit Union Magazine readers also lauded these leaders as credit union heroes:

  • Lily Newfarmer, CEO of Tarrant County Credit Union in Fort Worth, Texas;
  • Anabela Pereira, CEO of Pioneer Valley Federal Credit Union, Springfield, Mass.; and
  • Scott Prior, president/CEO of Connection Credit Union in Silverdale, Wash.

Voting took place on creditunionmagazine.com April 1 through May 17.

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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.

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