Roman Ruiz is a Branch and Community Development Manager for Second Federal a Division of Self-Help Federal Credit Union. With over 18 years in retail banking and mortgage lending experience, he is at the helm of the flagship branch with an excess of $98 million in deposits and over 6,900 members. The branch is in the heart of Little Village, a thriving Mexican immigrant community in Chicago’s southwest side. Roman understands the struggles that many of his customers face, as he immigrated to the United States from Mexico at nine years of age. Growing up, he lived through the uncertainty of his undocumented status and the economic hardship of growing up with a single mother of three. It is her resilience and dedicated work ethic that serves as a source of inspiration for Roman. Being a part of a nonprofit credit union allows him to work with individuals who have similar life experiences. In fact, the organization has proudly helped underserved communities in the Chicagoland area with “a commitment to delivering safe and affordable savings and transparently-priced transaction accounts and a full suite of loans – small dollar, citizenship, unsecured consumer, auto, and mortgage – often to borrowers who could not access responsible services elsewhere.” The organization has lent over $300 million since 2013. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University, is a 2017 Opportunity Finance Network Leadership fellow, is a recipient of Negocios Now Latinos 40 under 40 for 2017 and was named one of Negocios Now 2019 Emerging Latinos. His civic engagement includes being on the board of directors for Central States SER and the Little Village Chamber of Commerce.