HOPE CEO Bill Bynum is the recipient of the 2017 Pete Crear Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the African American Credit Union Coalition.
The award recognizes a credit union professional who has demonstrably embraced the credit union philosophy of “people helping people,” provided assistance to credit unions in need and has impacted the infrastructure, growth, regulation or service delivery capacity of the financial institutions.
Bynum has made a lifelong commitment to changing systems that perpetuate poverty and inequality. This mission is accomplished through Hope Enterprise Corporation, Hope Credit Union and the Hope Policy Institute, collectively known as HOPE. HOPE began in 1994 as the Enterprise Corporation of the Delta with a fund originally designed to provide capital and technical assistance to businesses in the Mississippi Delta region.
Prior to his arrival in Mississippi, Bynum was a founding member of the Center for Community Self-Help in the 1980s, where he directed legislative relations, community outreach and fundraising in the organization’s early years. He was also the principal organizer of Self-Help Credit Union, which would become the nation’s first statewide development bank. Bynum later founded the North Carolina Microenterprise Loan Fund, a statewide network for providing financing and technical assistance to entrepreneurs who lacked access to capital and grew it into the largest micro enterprise loan fund in the U.S.
Bynum is a member of the US Partnership for Mobility from Poverty, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and serves on the boards of the Aspen Institute, Corporation for Enterprise Development, Fannie Mae Affordable Housing Advisory Council, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, and the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation. Bynum previously chaired the Treasury Department’s Community Development Advisory Board (as a Presidential appointee), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Consumer Advisory Board.
Among his honors are the Aspen Global Leadership Network John P. McNulty Prize, Credit Union National Association Herb Wegner Award, Opportunity Finance Network Ned Gramlich Award, National Rural Assembly Rural Hero Award, National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions Annie Vamper Award and Ernst & Young/Kauffman Foundation National Entrepreneur of the Year.
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