America's Credit Union Conference

Morrow Honored as 2013 CU Hero of the Year

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

July 1, 2013

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Christina Fernandez-Morrow and her daughter, Ariana, accepted Credit Union Magazine’s 2013 CU Hero of the Year Award on behalf of their late husband and father, Coopera Founder Warren Morrow. Warren died last year at the age of 34. Joining them are CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney (left) and Iowa CU League President/CEO Pat Jury.

Warren Morrow—lauded by Iowa Credit Union League President/CEO Patrick Jury as a mission-driven advocate for both consumers and credit unions—was honored as Credit Union Magazine’s 2013 Credit Union Hero of the Year Sunday during the America’s Credit Union Conference in New York City.

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, and daughter, Ariana, accepted the award on his behalf.

“Warren was one of our strongest credit union advocates,” Jury said. “He believed that extending credit union services to the underserved Hispanic community wasn’t philanthropy, and he reminded us that credit unions can do well by doing good.”

Bringing financial stability to peoples’ homes, Warren believed, would help the nation address other societal issues.

Warren’s family moved from Mexico City to Tucson when he was in grade school. While in college, Warren helped form a nonprofit called the Latino Leadership Project, Jury explained. Its mission was to help underprivileged, young Hispanics attend college.

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

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.

“Warren would have been the first to acknowledge these finalists and what they did for credit unions,” Jury said.

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