Hiway's Christine Cordell, Senior Vice President of Organizational Effectiveness, was recently appointed by St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter to the city's Financial Empowerment Community Council (FECC). Cordell was officially confirmed by the St. Paul City Council on Wednesday, December 22 and her two-year term with the City of St. Paul’s FECC began on January 1, 2022.

St. Paul’s Financial Empowerment Community Council is made up of community members and partners who work closely with St. Paul’s Office of Financial Empowerment. The City of St. Paul established the Office of Financial Empowerment in 2019 because economic inequality is a whole-city crisis that demands a whole-city response. The Office of Financial Empowerment coordinates that response in partnership with community leaders, businesses and nonprofits, and low-income Saint Paul residents.

The FECC serves as a monitor for citywide financial empowerment metrics and indicators along with providing feedback and advice on the Office of Financial Empowerment partnerships, community engagement, policy platform, research agenda and potential grant opportunities.

“As a Twin Cities based credit union, and an active member of the neighborhoods that we live and work in, we have a unique and very personal view into the financial well-being of our communities,” said Cordell. “We work every day with our members and our communities to advise, educate and assist them in making financial decisions. Yet, it goes beyond the individual, and being appointed to Mayor Carter’s Financial Empowerment Community Council will provide not only myself but Hiway, the opportunity to influence policies and to be represented and heard while strategies are discussed.”

Hiway Credit Union has a long-standing history of supporting financial empowerment throughout the Twin Cities. Hiway has partnered with the Minnesota Department of Revenue and St. Paul Public Housing to offer a free tax assistance program for low-income, disabled, non-English speaking and elderly Minnesota residents. Hiway has also established four high school branches in local St. Paul high schools to work with students on money management and banking while also providing ongoing youth and adult financial education via presentations and online e-mentoring throughout the St. Paul community.

Cordell added, “As a not-for profit entity, the credit union mission has always been about people helping people and my appointment gives credit unions a seat at the table as we work to better our entire communities.”

Cordell, who has been a part of credit unions for over 25 years, has been involved in almost every aspect of what makes credit unions unique and has been an integral part of two founding boards of credit union foundations and started three departments. In addition to her work inside her credit union, Cordell has served on various community focused boards and strives to emanate positive change throughout her community. Cordell is currently the chair of The Minnesota Credit Union Women’s Leadership Network, a sister society of the World Council of Credit Unions’ Global Women’s Leadership Network and is on the Advisory Board of MNCUN’s Mentorship Program.

This past summer, Cordell was selected as a member of the Filene Research Institute Think Tank, an initiative designed to drive the credit union industry’s research and incubation agenda. In 2017, she was selected to join Filene’s renowned i3 community. The i3 community was founded by the Filene Research Institute in 2004 and brings together leaders in the credit union industry to collaborate and develop solutions to issues that consumer face. For her work in the credit union industry and her impact on her community, Cordell was named as a Top Women in Finance honoree by Finance & Commerce in 2018.

Christine Cordell