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Self-Help Credit Union

Our Leadership

Martin Eakes is co-founder and CEO of Self-Help and the Center for Responsible Lending. Mr. Eakes holds a law degree from Yale, a master’s from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs at Princeton, and a bachelor’s degree from Davidson College. A native of North Carolina, he is a nationally recognized expert on development finance and has been honored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation as a MacArthur Fellow for his work.

In 2009, his commitment to responsible lending was honored by the Opportunity Finance Network, which presented him with the Ned Gramlich Lifetime Achievement Award for Responsible Lending. Other awards include the Credit Union National Association Wegner Award, National Consumer Law Center’s Father Robert F. Drinan Leadership Award, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation National Families Count Award. A leader in U.S. community development finance and policy, Martin currently serves on the Ford Foundation Board of Trustees, the Bank of America National Community Advisory Council.

Steve Zuckerman is President of Self-Help Federal Credit Union, and also oversees all Self-Help’s operations in California. After working for Self-Help several years after its founding in 1980, and serving on its board for most of the next 20 years, Steve rejoined Self-Help in 2006 to launch its California efforts in Oakland and led the formation and growth of Self-Help Federal Credit Union.

Steve’s other work experience includes almost 15 years with McCown De Leeuw & Co, a private investment firm and with Bain & Company. He currently serves on the boards of Tides Foundation and Positive Coaching Alliance, as well as the New Market Tax Credit advisory board of Opportunity Fund.

Sarah Brennan is Senior Vice President, managing Self-Help’s market presence in Southern California, and overseeing branch operations in Los Angeles and San Diego. Sarah joined Self-Help Federal in 2013 and previously served the credit union as Business Development Officer and as Vice President and Los Angeles Area Manager. Prior to joining the credit union, Sarah’s professional experience centered on economic development and policy at the local, state, and federal levels, including five years with the city of Los Angeles, and several years as Policy Director to the City of LA’s Seventh Council District.

Veronica Casillas-Madrigal is President, Self-Help Federal Credit Union California Retail, managing all of our California branches and Operations activities. She brings over 25 years of experience in credit union management and operations, having worked in virtually every aspect of operations, and held the position of a Senior Vice President before becoming President.

Randy Chambers is Chief Financial Officer for Self-Help. He has served in various roles at Self-Help since 1997. His primary role is to direct the branches and member service operations of Self-Help CU, serving the Carolinas and Florida, and the branches of Self-Help Federal CU in Chicago and Milwaukee. He is a former chair of the board of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (now Inclusiv), the national intermediary for credit unions serving low-income communities. He was co-founder and a long-time board member of Latino Community Credit Union, the first Latino financial institution in North Carolina, and a board member of Generations Community Credit Union, the state’s largest African-American credit union. Randy has served on various other boards related to community development credit unions, nonprofits and public policy.

Rodolfo Medina is President of Second Federal, a Division of Self-Help Federal Credit Union, with three branches in the greater Chicago area.  Rudy lived in the Little Village neighborhood as a young child in the 1970’s, where his parents owned and operated a local business. At a young age, the family moved from Chicago to Mexico. At 18, Rudy returned to Chicago and earned a BA from Northeastern Illinois University. Rudy worked for more than 15 years in the financial sector as a retail bank manager before joining Second Federal in 2009 as manager of its branch in Little Village. In 2013, Rudy was recognized by Crain’s Chicago Business Magazine’s “40 under 40” list. His civic engagement includes serving on the board of the Rauner YMCA and San Jose Obrero Mission.

Misun Thompson is Senior Vice President, managing Self-Help’s market presence in the Sacramento, California area, branch operations in Butte County and the North Bay Area, and oversees our Contact Center and Consumer Lending department. Misun joined Self-Help Federal in 2018. She has extensive experience in the credit union and broader financial services industry, including involvement with branch management, contact centers, collections, data analytics, and project management. Misun also helps drive the use of data analysis in our planning and decision making.  Prior to joining Self-Help Federal, Misun spent almost 19 years with a credit union, serving as SVP Member Services and COO.  

Self-Help Federal Credit Union’s Board of Directors

  • Raul Raymundo, CEO - The Resurrection Project (Chair)
  • Carl Rist - Independent Consultant (Vice Chair)
  • Maggie Cervantes, Executive Director - New Economics for Women (Secretary)
  • Arnold Pugh, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Retired, and Long-Time Seaway Member (Treasurer)
  • Martin Eakes, CEO - Self-Help
  • Tanya Branch, CPA
  • Jose Caballero, Jr., Quality Improvement and Accreditation Coordinator - Solano County Health and Social Services Department
  • Kafi Blumenfield, Founder/CEO - Alisyo
  • Karen Walker, VP for Finance and Administration - Chicago Theological Seminary
  • Karina Lopez, Loan Services Representative - Self-Help

Updated 5/10/22