History and Hope: A Message From Our CEO
BECU President and CEO Beverly Anderson reflects on the contributions of Black people throughout history and shares her commitment to creating a path forward for others.
Black History Month provides us the occasion to not only spotlight, but also to reflect on the depth and influence that African Americans have provided to our country and why those achievements give us hope and optimism for what we can accomplish in the future.
This month is an opportunity to focus on the incredible contributions of people who overcame injustices, challenges and a legacy of inequality. I love the celebrations that honor the lives and legacies of a proud, successful and resilient people. Black history is part of American history, and through our collective journeys and endeavors, we have created one of the greatest nations in the world. There's still so much more to do, however, to address the ramifications of our historical shortcomings that remain with us today.
Building a Path Forward
I am honored to serve as the CEO of BECU, the nation's fourth largest credit union, located in the Pacific Northwest. I'm thrilled to lead this purpose-driven organization that is focused on helping people and supporting communities. I'm also proud to be the first woman and first person of color to lead this organization.
My parents raised me in the small, southern town of Paducah, Kentucky, the third child of a working-class family. My mom and dad labored day and night to ensure their children understood that with hard work and persistence, all things could be possible. As with so many families, we had limited resources, and we worked hard. We persevered, and I would not be where I am today without the love and support of my parents, and the encouragement from my community, academic mentors and business leaders. Over the years, I have found my journey, and I am committed to building a path forward for others.
Improving Financial Access and Empowerment
For those of us in the financial services industry, we can do more to improve access to financial services across the socio-economic spectrum, so people can build financial wealth that will fuel stable, sustainable communities. This is not a new calling, of course. After all, Fredrick Douglass, at the end of the Civil War, championed a bank specifically to serve and assist newly freed Black men and women so that they could begin the long road toward full participation in American society.
More than 150 years since the end of the Civil War, economic advancement remains at the heart of a healthy and thriving nation. Indeed, today we have the capital, technology and willpower to expand programs for financial inclusion for all communities. At BECU, we will do our utmost to bolster financial empowerment and continue to offer innovative solutions to help households and small businesses.
During Black History Month, in our moments of reflection, we are reminded of the importance of rededicating ourselves to the communities we serve.