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Our Story

Learn how we got started, where we’re going, and what sets us apart from other financial institutions.

About Our Credit Union

Santa Cruz Community Credit Union (SCCCU) officially opened its first branch in Downtown Santa Cruz on August 16, 1977, which was 45 years ago.

What began as a way to provide credit and financial services to low- and moderate-income residents of Santa Cruz County has expanded into a $184 million financial cooperative with over 14,000 members. SCCCU currently has three branches – Santa Cruz, Soquel, and Watsonville – and has been certified as a low-income and Community Development Financial Institution for over 25 years. In fact, SCCCU was one of the first credit unions in the nation to become a CDFI* and is well-known nationwide.

“The founders of the Credit Union crafted a guiding principle, which is to improve the quality of life for everyone in our community, especially those without a voice. We still live by this principle every day,” explained Beth Carr, President/CEO of SCCCU. “We believe in empowering those who the status quo has marginalized. That is the lens we use before we do anything at the Credit Union.”

And together with the community, SCCCU has attained remarkable achievements by maintaining a steadfast commitment to its mission to promote economic justice for all. With over 50 employees, the Credit Union provides much-needed affordable financial services to Santa Cruz County and North Monterey County.

*The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, or CDFI Fund, was established by the Riegle Community Development and Regulatory Improvement Act of 1994. The CDFI Fund’s purpose is to promote economic revitalization and community development in low-income communities through investment in and assistance to CDFIs.

SCCCU Difference

  • We’re a not-for-profit financial cooperative where you have a say in your financial future.
  • Our primary mission is to strengthen our community.
  • We are environmentally conscious in all we do.
  • We pass along revenue to our members in the form of lower loan rates, higher savings rates, and charitable donations to help those most vulnerable in our community.
Read Our Blog
Mother and her daughters

Meet Our Board.

In 1987, I co-founded Hutton Sherer Marketing Advertising Design, retiring in 2017 after 30 years in business. Previous boards I served on include Workforce Investment Board of Santa Cruz County, Leadership Santa Cruz County, Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Alzheimer’s Association, Small Business Development Center, and Pajaro Valley Performing Arts Association.

My previous service on local nonprofit boards reflects my belief in playing a role in improving our community. I intend to lend my organizational expertise to the Credit Union and serve in other ways, as requested.

I earned a Ph.D. from Indiana University in Organizational Communication and taught at a university for three years in the Chicago area. I moved to Santa Cruz in 1984 and taught at San Jose State University and then Cabrillo College. I also taught at Cabrillo College on and off since 1985 in both Marketing and Communication Studies.

Through my various educational and volunteer experiences, I have cultivated and strengthened partnerships with organizations and stakeholders in the Santa Cruz community, which have allowed me to broaden the net that supports immigrants and the community in general. I am a social service provider and an advocate and representative who promotes the civic and political engagement of the community and families I serve. I now have the opportunity to apply these skills and contacts to benefit the Santa Cruz Community Credit Union and its members.

I believe that education and communication build understanding in individuals and between people groups. My own educational experience began with my undergraduate degree as I double-majored in Sociology and Ethnic Studies, and then I continued to graduate school, earning two master’s degrees, the first in the Policy, Organization, and Leadership of Education and the second in the Social and Cultural Context of Education.

In my current position as Deferred Action Services Coordinator for the Santa Cruz County Immigration Project, I work to develop community partnerships with local groups and organizations, as well as develop training programs and coordinate public services that benefit the underserved in our community. People are my heart. My experiences and excitement to serve have prepared me for this opportunity to join with SCCCU and make this great community an even better place to live.

Economic justice is a core value of mine, so bringing my 20 years of financial and tax accounting experience to SCCCU is a truly wonderful opportunity. My wife, Lisa, and I are blessed to be living and working in Santa Cruz and serving on the Board of our Credit Union is an ideal way for me to contribute to our community.

Over the years, I’ve volunteered for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Santa Cruz County, the Homeless Services Center, and other not-for-profit entities around the county. My goal for my tenure at SCCCU is to apply my experience in finance and management for the benefit of our Credit Union and its membership.

I have been a member of the Santa Cruz business community for nearly two decades. As such, I am proud of the values of our strong civic-minded businesses. My focus is in Real Estate and Lending. Having worked in the industry for many years, I have a unique appreciation for our community and the good people of Santa Cruz County.

As a recent member of an advisory committee for a micro-lending company, I have been able to witness the enormous impact that a relatively small loan can make on a new business. I look forward to contributing my experience and expertise in any way possible to the Credit Union. Giving back has always been important to me.

Today, I share my time between my locally owned business and volunteering as an advisory committee member for Girls Inc. of the Central Coast and for the Community Foundation as part of the Diversity Partnership Advisory Committee team.  It’s an honor to serve the Credit Union and my community as a volunteer member of the SCCCU Board of Directors.

I have been a member of the Santa Cruz Community Credit Union for more than 40 years.

I retired in 2013 after working as public employee for 30 years: 24 years for the city of Santa Cruz and six years for the city of San Jose. In Santa Cruz, I started working in the Santa Cruz Traffic Engineering Division as a traffic engineering technician and was promoted to Parking Programs Manager. From 2007 to 2013, I worked in the San Jose Transportation Department as the Off-Street Parking Manager.

I believe that my longtime experience with Downtown Santa Cruz, as well as my relationships with the City of Santa Cruz staff will help the Credit Union in dealing with some of the challenges and opportunities the headquarters faces Downtown. I have municipal finance and accounting experience based on my years of working with division and department budgeting and reporting.

Based on my volunteer service, I have a strong understanding of nonprofit finance and reporting requirements. I currently serve as the vice-chair of the Santa Cruz Downtown Commission, which advises City Council on Downtown issues including parking. I am also vice-president of the Santa Cruz Education Foundation, which serves students, staff, and teachers in the Santa Cruz City Schools. Finally, I serve as Secretary for Cyclists for Cultural Exchange, an organization which works to promote peace and understanding through the use of bicycle touring as a platform for cultural exchange. I welcome the opportunity to serve the Credit Union’s members on the Board of Directors.

I am the Child and Family Development Director with Head Start Encompass Community Services in Watsonville and have been there since 2007. I have a B.A. in Collaborative Human Services and bring the perspective of a person of color working to serve children and families in our community. I enjoy leading others to success and work to engage in collaborative relationships that improve the quality of life in our community, bringing racial equity and justice to the forefront of that work.

As a volunteer with the Santa Cruz Volunteer Center, I helped support the emergency shelters during the August 2020 fires. Previously, I served as a board member for the Head Start California Association and am currently part of the executive team for the local Child Care Planning Council.

I’m skilled in compliance with an understanding of regulatory requirements and why they are important to any organization. I have skills in fostering new community partnerships. I am a strong nonprofit leader and strategic thinker, and I have been a member of Santa Cruz Community Credit Union for 17 years.

I have lived in Santa Cruz for 28 years. I am an experienced business leader and entrepreneur with success in taking two companies from product concept to mass-market to acquisition. I’m currently an advisor and consultant for start-up and expanding business. I have served on the board of directors of a nonprofit organization as well as serving on various nonprofit committees. Before becoming an entrepreneur, I worked in the medical diagnostic industry as a technical consultant and product specialist. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time in nature with my family, friends, dog, and horses. My other interests include reading, family health and nutrition, volunteerism, and community supported agriculture.

As a female and minority business owner in Santa Cruz for the past 22 years, I have directly benefited from the charter put forth by SCCCU to provide economic opportunity to members of the community. Through the use of my experience, I hope to ensure the continued success and efforts to promote economic justice for the most deserving members of our community. I feel blessed to live in an amazing city and I am honored to hold this seat on the Board of Directors for SCCCU.

I am an active and committed community member. Throughout the years, I have served on the boards of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Monterey County (as a Director and Treasurer), the Santa Cruz Volunteer Center, the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce, and SCORE of Monterey Bay, as well as several years previously on the Credit Union’s Board as the Chair.

My expertise includes SBA, home mortgage and personal financing, small business management, community, and business relationship building, training and community skills, sales, mergers and acquisitions, and social media marketing.

I feel an alignment with the Credit Union’s values of honesty and integrity in business, social and personal life. I also teach my sons the importance of these values as they grow into productive human beings in society.

Serving on an Executive Board or Committee with Santa Cruz Community Credit Union will be an honor and an excellent opportunity to continue providing Santa Cruz County with the resources and tools the public and local businesses need to grow while strengthening our community and economy.

Interested in Joining Our Board?

The Board of Directors is a volunteer group of members who provide strategic leadership and represent the voice of all SCCCU members.

Supervisory Committee.

As a retiree, I have focused on volunteering in the community by tutoring foster children, raising funds for a homeless children’s center, participating in local and national political campaigns, and working with the Santa Cruz County Supervisors and our community on a local bond issue. I have also spent time coaching students at the Santa Clara University Graduate School of Business.

During my career, I worked in both the public and private sectors. I managed and taught educational programs for institutionalized youth with severe disabilities. Additionally, I negotiated and managed budgets up to $15 million and managed many corporate and business development projects, leading valuation and acquisition teams. Lastly, I helped executive staff at large companies develop corporate strategies and business plans.

As a former Board member, I was privileged to learn what a difference SCCCU makes in people’s lives, not only through its products but also by providing financial education and lending to community partnerships. This strongly resonates with my love for this community and my efforts to “think globally and act locally.”

For the past 11 years, I have owned and operated APG Import & Distribution, LLC, in Santa Cruz. APG is an importer/distributor of outdoor ceramic pottery and outdoor furniture. In addition, I have worked closely with Pottery Planet (a garden store on Soquel Avenue specializing in outdoor pottery, fountains, and garden décor).

Originally from Sweden, I studied International Commercial Law at The University of Lund in Sweden. I lived for seven years in Malaysia and five years in Vietnam while working in the ceramic pottery industry. I moved to Santa Cruz in 2009 and have been a member of Santa Cruz Community Credit Union since 2010. In 2016 I joined the Supervisory Committee.

In my role on the Board of Directors from 1979 to 2001, I watched the Credit Union grow and change. I am proud of the impact we have made and continue to make in our community. I am passionate about the community development work we do here at the Credit Union and excited to continue to share my enthusiasm and support for it.

I recently retired after working for over 35 years in the Silicon Valley at various technology firms, such as Apple Computer and Juniper Networks, in customer service. I also have a financial background with analytical skills that have served me well with the auditing activities required at the Credit Union.

Contact Our Supervisory Committee.

The Supervisory Committee provides financial, management, and Board oversight to ensure that SCCCU remains financially safe and sound.

If you have any concerns about the Credit Union and would like to contact the Supervisory Committee directly, please email or call 831-460-2320.

Financial Literacy for Our Community

Providing personal finance  knowledge for community members is key to our mission. We are proud to work closely with an ever-growing list of schools and organizations:

  • Cypress High School
  • Diamond Technology Institute
  • Pajaro Valley Shelter Services
  • The Volunteer Center
  • Homeless Garden Project
In the Community
Woman petting her dog

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