Rita L. Haynes, CEO emeritus, Faith Community United Credit Union
Motivated by faith, a commitment to social justice, and a belief in the cooperative principles, Rita Haynes dedicated her nearly 60-year career to serving the financial needs of disadvantaged communities in Cleveland, OH. Her innovations transformed the credit union industry with the development of products to combat predatory lending and harnessed financial resources to support community development.
Rita is recognized for serving over fifty years as director, manager, treasurer and CEO of Faith Community United Credit Union, Cleveland, OH. Through vision, collaboration and sheer grit, Rita led the transformation of a small credit union operating out of a church basement, into a 6000-member financial institution with $12 million in assets, all the while never losing sight of the financial needs of the credit union’s low income members and their communities.
A pioneer in faith based credit unions, she brought together credit unions and local government resources to create a revolving-loan fund to provide small business loans to minority contractors in Cuyahoga County, led the credit union effort to attain Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certification from the US Department of Treasury, and successfully worked to have Faith Community United CU become a Small Business Administration lender.
A mentor of the next generation of leaders, her life work shows that small credit unions can change lives. Rita Haynes is the embodiment of the credit union philosophy of “people helping people.”