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    GGBA Member Spotlight – Jorge Colunga of Self-Help Federal Credit Union

    Credit unions are not-for-profit organizations that exist to serve their members. Like banks, credit unions accept deposits, make loans, and provide a wide array of other financial services, but as member-owned and cooperative institutions, they provide a safe place to save and borrow at reasonable rates. Self-Help Federal Credit Union takes these already beneficial services to another level, as Jorge Colunga—Manager of the Self-Help branch at 2430 Mission Street in San Francisco—explains.

    GGBA: What is the mission of the Self-Help Federal Credit Union?

    Jorge Colunga: Our mission is creating and protecting ownership and economic opportunity for all, especially people of color, women, rural residents, and low-wealth families and communities.

    GGBA: When and how was this credit union started?

    Jorge Colunga: Self-Help Federal Credit Union was chartered in 2008 to build a network of branches that serve working families and underserved communities. It is part of the national Self-Help family of nonprofit organizations whose collective mission has provided almost $10 billion in financing to help over 192,000 low-wealth borrowers buy homes, start and build businesses, and strengthen community resources.

    GGBA: Who are some of your role models, and especially those who helped to influence your work?

    Jorge Colunga: I personally look up to Dolores Huerta, and Harvey Milk. They both stood for the disenfranchised and discriminated communities.

    GGBA: Why did you decide to join the GGBA, and how long have you been a member?

    Jorge Colunga: I have known and participated in various GGBA events for over a decade as a representative of a previous employer. I just joined again as a representative of Self-Help Federal Credit Union.

    GGBA: How has being a member of GGBA helped your work, both past and present?

    Jorge Colunga: I love the work GGBA does to connect our small business communities, helping them network and grow organically.  Being a member has allowed me to connect and partner with others to help provide financial products and services, and other financial options to the communities we serve.

    GGBA: Have you been to the GGBA monthly Make Contact networking events? If so, would you recommend them to others?

    Jorge Colunga: I would recommend others to join [the GGBA]. The monthly Make Contact helps keep businesses connected regularly and updates the resources we have at our disposal.

    GGBA: What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of starting their own business?

    Jorge Colunga: Join the GGBA, leverage the business network community it offers, and meet with Self-Help Federal Credit Union for business financial resources and referrals.

    GGBA: Is there anything else that you would like to share?  

    Jorge Colunga: Self-Help offers one to one financial coaching, credit-building services, financial education presentations—including homeownership workshops—and competitive rates for people looking to save money.

    GGBA Calendar 12.2.21

    Tuesday, December 2
    The Nature of Marketing
    9 am–11 am
    Via Zoom

    In this session led by Kristin Mehiel, business owners and organizations will learn the key fundamentals of marketing channels, how to execute an overall marketing strategy, and how to create a plan that creates sales growth. Mehiel is a sales and marketing expert with a 20+ track record. She co-founded Mad Jack Snowsports, a B2C snowsports manufacturing company in acquisition phase. She is also a consulting partner with Spark Inbound Marketing and is a lead consultant with the Small Business Development Center.

    Tuesday, December 14
    December Make Contact: Annual Holiday Party
    6 pm–10 pm
    The Academy, 2166 Market Street, San Francisco

    Come to The Academy for a holiday celebration with the San Francisco Bay Times and the Golden Gate Business Association featuring:

    • Emmy Award-winning radio and television personality and San Francisco Bay Times columnist Liam Mayclem as emcee;
    • music by DJ Rockaway presented by Olivia Travel;
    • welcome by GGBA leaders Krystal Drwencke and Terry Beswick;
    • open bars on multiple levels;
    • complimentary hors d’oeuvres;
    • indoor/outdoor Castro venue with fire pits, and more!

    Special thanks to our event sponsors: Bacardi, Brio, Celebrity, La Méditerranée, Extreme Pizza, Olivia Travel, and the San Francisco Federal Credit Union.

    Cost: $25, but free with code for GGBA members. Email

    Thursday, December 16
    DEI: Responding to Bias and Micro-aggressions at Work
    9 am–11 am
    Via Zoom

    Unconscious bias can affect your business in many ways, from diversity and retention rates to undermining recruiting efforts and employee development. Micro-aggressions can also have a profound impact on your team. They justify inequality, reinforce stereotypes, and reinforce destructive power dynamics. Learn from webinar leader Nancy Geenen how to spot them and tackle them. Geenen is an accomplished entrepreneur, trial attorney, and strategic facilitator. She is the founder and CEO of Flexability, a workplace equity & inclusion firm.

    Wednesday, January 19, 2022
    GGBA New Member Orientation
    12:30 pm–1 pm
    Via Zoom

    Whether you’re a brand-new member or a seasoned networker, you may attend this event!

    This session will help you:

    • Learn more about the history of the GGBA;
    • Introduce you to new members in your cohort;
    • Learn simple ways to get involved to grow your business and relationships.

    Published on December 2, 2021