Commitment to Change Young Professionals Leadership Awards

SNELLVILLE, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES, June 7, 2022 / — The African-American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC) will present six inspiring credit union professionals who have exemplified “Bold,” “Mindful” and “Brave” leadership in helping eradicate racism throughout the credit union industry and advancing AACUC’s mission with the inaugural Commitment to Change Young Professional Leadership Awards presented by Visa on June 17, 2022 during a virtual ceremony. The honorees – all AACUC members – are:

• Latonya Allen, Director of Consumer Lending and Marketing, GPO FCU
• Cela Castillo, Research Specialist, Multicultural Business Strategy, CUNA Mutual Group
• Ben Herring, Director of Engagement, Minnesota Credit Union Network
• Kelli Holloway, Senior Vice President, Outreach, State Employees’ Credit Union of NC
• Chrystal Hunter, Training and Events Manager, MD DC Credit Union Association
• Jamar Jemison, Video Editor, Credit Union National Association
• Hazelmae Overturf, Product Owner, Collaborate (Employee Experience), BECU

“Young professionals are the lifeline for AACUC and the leadership pipeline for our credit union industry,” said Renée Sattiewhite, President/CEO of AACUC. “Our inaugural honorees have done exceptional work embodying the principles of our Commitment to Change initiative and furthering diversity and inclusion in their spheres of influence. We are honored to recognize these young people’s achievements and are confident this is just the beginning of their profound impact on our industry.”

The awards ceremony is part of the AACUC’s Commitment to Change: Credit Unions Unite Against Racism initiative, which focuses on valuing the 8th Cooperative Principle Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, advocating for financial inclusion, closing the racial wealth gap and fostering community involvement. Each honoree was selected considering the initiative’s “Be Bold. Be Mindful. Be Brave.” appeal to credit union industry professionals.

“I could not be happier to celebrate these exceptional human beings,” said Opal Tomashevska, AACUC Young Professional Summit Committee Chairperson and Director of Multicultural Business Strategy for CUNA Mutual Group. “As a young professional myself, I empathize with our honorees’ dedication towards their personal development while positively contributing to their workplace and community. We are grateful for each of them!”

Latonya Allen will receive a Bold YPS Leadership Award for her exceptional leadership advancement in the credit union movement and being a pillar of excellence as an AACUC member and contributor to the Annual AACUC Conference. Allen is the Director of Consumer Lending and Marketing for Government Printing Office Federal Credit Union.

Cela Castillo will receive the Mindful YPS Leadership Award for her servant leadership – advocating for all marginalized groups and operating with poise and grace – and her active industry involvement. Castillo is a Research Specialist, Multicultural Business Strategy at CUNA Mutual Group.

Ben Herring will receive a Brave YPS Leadership Award for his allyship and shining a light on the needs of – as well as fighting for financial justice for – the Minneapolis community members after the murder of George Floyd. As the Director of Engagement for the Minnesota Credit Union Network, Herring guides advocacy, awareness and regulatory assistance for credit union members through facilitation of educational programming, product and service project management and providing avenues for credit union collaboration.

Kelli Holloway will receive the overall YPS Leadership Award for being a trailblazer for young professionals in leadership, having successfully co-led the AACUC Reality Fair for five years and being a beacon of Black excellence making real change and impact. Holloway serves as Senior Vice President, Outreach for State Employees’ Credit Union of North Carolina (SECU), where she oversees financial education, community involvement and volunteer engagement efforts.

Jamar Jemison will receive a Bold YPS Leadership Award for using creativity and innovation to completely transform AACUC’s online footprint in digital media across multiple platforms, conferences, and the AACUC website. Jemison is the resident Video Editor at Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

Chrystal Hunter will receive a Mindful YPS Leadership Award for being a catalyst for diversity, equity and inclusion efforts by creating comprehensive and impactful programs for association and credit union memberships. As Training and Events Manager for the MD DC Credit Union Association, Hunter provides training and educational programs to credit union staff and executives regarding credit union operations and member service delivery. She currently serves as the staff liaison to the Young Professionals Network Advisory Board.

Hazelmae Overturf will receive the Brave YPS Leadership Award for her fierce promotion of diversity, equity and inclusion with the credit union movement and contributions toward BECU’s Belonging, Including and Leveraged Difference (BILD) Program. Overturf serves as Product Owner, Collaborate (Employee Experience) for BECU.

AJ Lotharp, IVP Solutions Curator for CUNA Mutual Group and young professional, will serve as emcee for the awards ceremony. VISA is the presenting sponsor of the awards ceremony.

About the African-American Credit Union Coalition
The AACUC is a 501c3 non-profit organization created in 1999 to increase diversity within the credit union community through advocacy and professional development. Recipient of the 2022 Anchor Award from the National Credit Union Foundation for its leadership and global efforts unifying financial industries in eradicating racism amid the COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest in 2020, AACUC has become an all-encompassing organization for executives, professionals, volunteers, consultants and regulators within the financial services industry. AACUC is considered a leader in the credit union movement, adopting the 8th Cooperative Principle (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) and enabling credit unions to become more diverse and inclusive. For more information, visit: or follow us on social media at:,, or

Renee Sattiewhite
African-American Credit Union Coalition
+ +1678.587.5111
email us here

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