Miriam De Dios, CEO

As CEO of Coopera, Miriam promotes Coopera’s approach to serving Hispanics throughout the credit union industry. This comprehensive approach has helped credit unions and credit union industry organizations position themselves for long-term growth by serving Hispanics. The idea of a “double bottom line,” where sustainable growth strategies are synonymous with social value is central to Coopera’s mission of partnering with people, businesses, and communities. Miriam also serves as Senior Vice President for Affiliates Management Company, Coopera's parent company.

Miriam has significant experience working in the financial services industry, having worked with State Farm Insurance Companies and John Deere Financial. She has served as a board member of various non-profit organizations in the Des Moines area including Alianza Latino Business Association, Iowa International Center, Latinas para Un Nuevo Amanacer (L.U.N.A.) and Hispanic Educational Resources (H.E.R.). She currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Grand View University in Des Moines and is a member of Iowa State University's Women in Business Advisory Board.

Miriam was named a 2016 Woman to Watch by Credit Union Times and 2015 Latino Business Person of the Year by the League of Latin American Citizens of Iowa (LULAC). She is a 2012 recipient of the World Council of Credit Union’s Young Credit Union People Program (WYCUP) award, a former board member of the national Network of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals and a member of the World Council of Credit Union’s Global Women’s Leadership Network.

Miriam is a 2010-2011 Leadership Iowa class graduate and a Des Moines New Leaders Council fellow. Miriam has also taught English as a Second Language classes to first generation immigrants as an Adjunct Professor for Des Moines Area Community College. She earned her bachelor’s degree with honors from Iowa State University and is a graduate of the Leading Change and Organizational Renewal executive education program at Harvard Business School. Miriam is currently pursuing her Executive Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Iowa and resides in Des Moines, Iowa.

Alba Perez, Client Relations Director

As Client Relations Director for Coopera, Alba works closely with Coopera’s clients to implement Hispanic growth strategies. She assists credit union leadership, staff and system partners working to build loyalty through engagement and continuous improvement of services. Alba also helps with Coopera’s ongoing product development efforts, as well as promotion of the company’s products, services and thought leadership.

Prior to joining Coopera, Alba served as Executive Officer for the Office on Latino Affairs & Status of African Americans, an agency of the Iowa Department of Human Rights. She also served for nearly 12 years as Diversity Development Director for the Greater Des Moines Partnership implementing and organizing educational programming, networking and recognition opportunities on issues of diversity and inclusion for member companies and communities.  

Alba is a native of Honduras who has called Iowa home for nearly 30 years, serving in the non-profit, private and public sectors, as well as on numerous civic and community boards, including the Latina Leadership Initiative, Latino Center Board and Iowa Community Capital. She has been recognized for her work with the following achievements: Latino Achievement Award, Women of Influence Honoree, Passport to Prosperity Honoree, Latina Business Leader Award and Forty Under 40 Honoree. Alba studied foreign languages, English and French, at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras and resides in Des Moines, Iowa.

Lizeth Aquino, Client Support Specialist

As Client Support Specialist, Lizeth supports the delivery and fulfillment of Coopera's products and services. This includes Hispanic strategy assessments and analytics, consulting, training, marketing services, translations and Hispanic consumer products. She also coordinates client communications, assists with new-client onboarding and manages ongoing client request fulfillment.

A native of Colima, Mexico, Lizeth’s strong background in customer service and administrative support, as well as Spanish interpretation and translation, is a great asset to Coopera and its clients.  She has worked in the credit union, medical and logistics and transportation fields helping businesses better serve Hispanic consumers.

Lizeth is pursuing her marketing associate’s degree from Des Moines Area Community College, and holds a medical translating certificate from Mercy Hospital in Des Moines.

Kenia Calderon, Project Assistant

As Project Assistant for Coopera, Kenia provides support for a variety of business activities including assisting with the documentation and implementation of business processes, tracking of client deliverables, coordination of product and service enhancements, as well as specific marketing, communications and sales projects.

A native of El Salvador, Kenia has been a tireless advocate for Latinos, for the undocumented community and those with DACA status (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as Dreamers). Kenia is a senior Management Student at Drake University and an active member of La Fuerza Latina on Drake’s campus, an organization that encourages middle and high school Latinos to pursue higher education. Kenia is also an Equity and Inclusion Senator-At-Large at Drake, where her goal is to bridge the gap between communities of color. Kenia’s advocacy work has garnered substantial local and national media attention. In 2015 she was named one of the “15 people to Watch in 2015” by the Des Moines Register and in 2016 was named an Iowa International Center Passport to Prosperity Honoree.

George Poitou, Consultant

As a Consultant for Coopera, George focuses on consulting topics such as Hispanic outreach and immgrant lending programs. George is a native of Cuba and recently retired as the Chief Operating Officer of SCE Federal Credit Union based in Irwindale, CA. He is also the founder and the Chairman of the Board for the Center for Financial Empowerment, a non-profit institution focusing on offering financial literacy classes to underprivileged and minority students, local employee groups and the community in general.

George served as the President of Community Mortgage Funding (CMF); a CUSO that provides a full menu of mortgage-related products and services to credit unions. He is also the Chairman of the Board for Members Business Services (MBS); a CUSO that offers a full menu of business services to Credit unions.

Prior to joining SCE FCU, he spent 10 years with the California Credit Union League as Vice-President of the Compliance/Custom Training and Research/Information Departments. George has managed various credit unions, served in a management capacity at a number of for-profit financial institutions, and was a credit union board member. 

George was awarded the 2002 California Credit Union League’s prestigious Diversity award. In 2015, he was awarded the Distinguished Service award by the California Credit Union League and was inducted into the U.S. Credit Union’s House of Leaders. He is a frequent speaker at credit union conferences and seminars; speaking on issues ranging from regulatory compliance, lending strategies and policies, asset/liability management, and credit union philosophy. George regularly facilitates strategic planning seminars for credit unions of all asset categories. 

George is a Certified Credit Union Chief Executive Officer and a Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE). He holds a BA degree from California State University Fullerton, as well as a professional designation in Credit Union Management from U.C.L.A.

Meet Our Board
Patrick S. Jury - Chairman & CEO, Affiliates Management Company
Patrick S. Jury serves as the board chairman and CEO of Affiliates Management Company. In this position, he provides governance oversight and innovative leadership for Coopera, PolicyWorks and TMG Financial Services. Since 2006, Jury has served as the president and CEO of the Iowa Credit Union League (ICUL). He joined the credit union movement in 1989 as vice president, government affairs and then as COO of ICUL. In 2009, Jury was elected to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Board of Directors and currently serves as Chairman. Jury formerly served as a board member of CUNA Strategic Services and was an executive committee member of the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and the Iowa Taxpayers Association. He earned a master’s degree in public administration from Drake University, is a graduate of the Institute for Organizational Management Program at Stanford University and has achieved the Certified Association Executive Designation (CAE) from the American Society of Association Executives.
Monte Berg - CEO, Veridian Credit Union
Monte Berg has served as senior vice president of finance at Veridian Credit Union for the past 18 years. From 1984 to 1990 he was an examiner with the Iowa Credit Union Division. Berg has served on the Iowa Corporate Central Credit Union board of directors since 1996 and is currently the treasurer. He served as treasurer of the Black Hawk Chapter of Credit Unions from 1993 to 1998. Berg earned his baccalaureate degree from Iowa State University and his MBA from the University of Northern Iowa. He serves on the Cedar Valley United Way Finance Committee, is a member of the Iowa Society of Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Dave Cale - CEO, Financial Plus Credit Union
Dave Cale has been with Financial Plus Credit Union since 1992 and has served as the President/CEO since 2009. He is a board member of the Iowa Credit Union League and is currently serving as vice chair. Cale also serves on ICUL’s Stabilization Fund Committee and Legislative Committee. In addition, he serves as the current chairperson of the governor-appointed State of Iowa Credit Union Review Board; as a board member for Community Business Lenders and as the treasurer on the Iowa Council of Credit Union Executives Society. Cale is involved in several community related activities including coaching girls softball and serving as a board member for the Johnston Girls Softball Association. He is a graduate of Loras College.
Monica Fischer - Consultant
Monica Fischer serves as a consultant to Iowa nonprofit organizations as a representative for a private charitable foundation that provides anonymous financial investment in the human and social services sector. Prior to beginning this work in 2006, Monica served for more than 12 years in state government, including as Deputy Director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, Communication Director for the Iowa Finance Authority and Press Secretary in the Office of the Governor. She is active with the Iowa Council of Foundations and the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines and has served on several nonprofit boards. She received her Master of Public Administration from Southern Illinois University and her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Iowa.
Brent Helin - CEO, Des Moines Metro Credit Union
Brent Helin serves as the CEO of Des Moines Metro Credit Union. Helin joined Des Moines Metro Credit Union in 1992 as the executive vice president, and became the CEO in 2004. He has served as a board member for Iowa Credit Union League since 2009 serving as the finance committee chair, governance task force chair and most recently as vice chairman. He also formerly served as a board member of Community Business Lenders. He earned his baccalaureate degree from Drake University as was designated as a Certified Credit Union Executive in 2009.
Bob Hoefer - Strategic Consultant, Dupaco Community Credit Union
Bob Hoefer is strategic consultant to the Dupaco Community Credit Union Board of Directors. He retired as Dupaco president/CEO in 2012, after more than 48 years of service to the credit union. Hoefer is an honorary director and past board chair of the Iowa Credit Union League and has provided service to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Renaissance Commission and Governmental Affairs Committee, Credit Union Executives Society (CUES), National Association of State Credit Unions, Filene Research Institute, and was an Iowa Governor appointed past board member of the Iowa Student Loan Liquidity Corporation. He currently serves on the TMG Financial Services Board of Directors. He has been recognized for his leadership of a Top 5 Iowa employer in 2011 by the Des Moines Register, named Boss of the Year by the Dubuque Jaycees in 2006. In 2005 Hoefer was inducted into the CUES Hall of Fame, in 2001 was recognized with the Iowa Credit Union League Cooperative Spirit Professional Award, and was named the first-ever Iowa CUES Manager of the Year in 1985. In 2011, he was named the CUES Outstanding Executive, an award presented for excellence in leadership.

Tom Kuehl - Consultant
Tom Kuehl has been active in the financial services industry in Iowa for more than 30 years most recently serving as president and CEO of The Members Group (TMG). He also served chief operating officer of AMC from 2008-2011 and as the president of Iowa Corporate Central Credit Union from 1981 to 2008. Before joining TMG, Kuehl worked for Postal Finance Company and First National Bank in Sioux City, Iowa. He graduated from Briar Cliff College in 1974 and served in the United States Army from 1966 to 1969.


Helen Pearce

Helen Pearce - CEO, Cedar Falls Community Credit Union
Helen Pearce serves as CEO of Cedar Falls Community Credit Union, where she held various prior positions in her 33 years serving the credit union members. Pearce served as president of Iowa’s Black Hawk Chapter of credit unions, a member of the ICUL Board of Directors and as Vice President of the Iowa Credit Union Foundation Board of Directors. She is currently vice chairman on the ICUL Board of Directors.

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