Diana Moreno’s 23-year career began on the banking side. After years of mergers and acquisitions, she began to want some stability, for herself and for the customers she served. Seven years ago a recruiter called her about a post at Metro Credit Union, and she’s been there ever since.
“There’s a big need in the community I work in,” she said. A longtime Lynn resident, she’d spent her banking career in other communities. When she came to Lynn, she found she could utilize her local experience “to help people move ahead.” The credit union partnered with other nonprofit organizations to build relationships tht help members move forward. “Metro’s products and services are so geared for that, it make it so much easier to help members in this community.”
One example of need is the situation of foster children who age out of the system at 18. They are at risk for becoming homeless and leaving school. Financial literacy is also essential – Lynn is home to many unbanked families. “The mentoring and the coaching is the rewarding part. It fulfills my job,” she said. In the banking universe, community activity can often become a vehicle to get exposure for the bank. At the credit union, she finds, “[members] need the time more than they need the money.”
For the past three years, Moreno has co-chaired the Literacy Day event in Lynn, partnering with area nonprofits to raise money to support the delivery of literacy programs, including GED and ESOL classes in the city. She has also helped launch a new initiative at the Lynn Area Chamber of Commerce, where she is a board member. She recommended the establishment of the International Committee at the Chamber, to provide opportunity and support to multicultural small-business owners. She is a VITA volunteer, preparing taxes for Lynn residents, and is an active board member of the local Rotary. Other organizations she has worked with include LaVida, Catholic Charities, Operation Bootstrap, CenterBoard, COMPASS, Lynn Classical High School, Lynn Housing Family Success Center, Family and Children Services and The Haven Project.
Moreno is bilingual, and helps members who don’t know English by interpreting and writing for them. She noted that she recently received an invitation from a member who bought a house five months ago – and that it took two and a half years of working with that family to get them to a point of economic security to be able to do so.
She also seeks to help clients build their economic stability so they can become independent of social services, and cites clients who come to her office thinking that a 401(k) is a payment to the government instead of a savings vehicle that would allow them to take out money to fund a home purchase without penalty.