On September 12, 2012 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced the appointment of Border Federal Credit Union (BFCU) President & CEO, Maria J. Martinez, to its Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC). Members of the CUAC are appointed by the CFPB Director and must be employed by a company with total assets of $10 billion or less, and cannot be affiliates of companies with total assets of more than $10 billion. The Dodd-Frank Act gives the CFPB authority to create advisory councils as an additional way to reach out to stakeholders with an interest in the CFPB’s activities.
The purpose of the council is to provide the CFPB with feedback and recommendations to inform its policy development, research, rulemaking, and engagement functions. The Advisory Council shall advise generally on the Bureau’s regulation of consumer financial products or services and other topics assigned to it by the Director. The CUAC will provide new opportunities for interaction between credit unions and CFPB staff.
A firm believer in the credit union movement, Martinez says it is an honor to be selected to serve on this council. “I think it’s very important that credit unions are represented at this level and I am thrilled to be able to serve the movement in this capacity,” notes Martinez. “Credit unions are the solution to so many social and economic issues that plague our communities, and it’s critical that we be able to operate in a regulatory and legislative environment that is conducive with our efforts to serve our members and the community,” she added.
Martinez started her credit union career since 1988 as accounting manager and was later promoted to comptroller at what is now Generations FCU in San Antonio, TX. She continued to climb the ranks of leadership, eventually accepting a position as vice present of lending at Border FCU in Del Rio, TX. In 1997 BFCU’s Board of Directors hired Martinez as President/CEO. BFCU now serves the 13 Texas counties of Val Verde, Kinney, Maverick, Terrell, Crockett, Sutton, Edwards, Real, Uvalde, Zavala, Frio, Dimmit and La Salle. BFCU is designated as a low income credit union and it is certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury Community Development Financial Institution Fund as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).
In addition to her role at the credit union, Martinez is current treasurer for the Texas Credit Union Foundation’s (TCUF) Board of Trustees, chair of the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Hispanic Outreach Committee, chair of the Network of Latino Credit Unions & Professionals (NLCUP) Board, chair of the Texas Workforce Solutions Middle Rio Grande Workforce Development Board, member of the City of Del Rio International Bridge Board, and a member of the City of Del Rio Police Academy Advisory Board. Martinez is also past chair of the Texas Credit Union League’s (TCUL) International Relationship Committee and past advisor for the Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Extranjero (IME) (The Institute of Mexicans Abroad) representing the Mexican Consulate in Del Rio, TX (2009-2011).
Martinez is married to Abner Martinez, P.E., owner of Amistad Consulting Services, Inc. and they have three children, Anali, Abner and Adriana.
The CUAC will convene publicly and provide public summaries or reports of their meetings. CUAC members will serve two-year terms; they are not eligible for reappointment. CUAC’s first meeting will be Oct. 11, 2012.