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Illinois, Ecuador CUs Sign As International Partners
AMBATO, Ecuador (6/10/13)--BCU of Vernon Hills, Ill., and the Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito OSCUS Ltda. met early this month in Ambato, Ecuador, to establish an official credit union-to-credit union partnership under the World Council of Credit Unions' International Partnership Program.

Click to view larger image BCU, Vernon Hills, Ill., and Ambato, Ecuador's Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito OSCUS Ltda. signed an international partnership through World Council of Credit Unions' International Partnership Program. Representatives included, from left, Jose Cajigas, BCU regional director; Bob Pondelicek, BCU director of mortgage sales; Federico Cuesta, OSCUS CEO; and Joshua Fetting, Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions program manager. (Photo provided by the World Council of Credit Unions)
The partnership means the credit unions will directly exchange information, ideas and best practices in credit union operations.

"Forming a partnership with an organization full of dedicated individuals with shared goals and values only strengthens our pride in the World Council International Partnerships' mission and the industry as a whole," said BCU President/CEO Mike Valentine.

During the visit, Bob Pondelicek, BCU director of mortgage sales, and Jose Cajigas, BCU regional director, visited three OSCUS rural branch offices to observe how the credit union helps underserved communities.

They also joined 800 credit union members and international delegates attending OSCUS' 50th anniversary celebration. During the event, local government presented OSCUS with special awards for its community service, and BCU presented a special congratulatory commemoration.

"This partnership breaks boundaries and marks a milestone in the Ecuadorian cooperative movement," said Federico Cuesta, OSCUS CEO. "Cooperative thought and willpower have built a new path of management and international integration."

World Council's International Partnership Program now has 20 alliances in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, South Pacific and Europe.

"Connecting OSCUS and BCU allows them to leverage their shared commitment to provide the best member experience regardless of whether it's in the suburban communities of Chicago or in rural Ecuador," said Victor Miguel Corro, vice president of Worldwide Foundation of Credit Unions. He oversees the International Partnership Program.

"We will work hard to support this partnership and to continue connecting credit unions around the globe," he said.
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