DUNEDIN, Fla. (September 17, 2021) – Achieva Credit Union’s move into Hillsborough County has a new leader at its helm. The Dunedin-based credit union has named Rocio Smith as Hillsborough Market Vice President, with an initial focus on establishing Achieva’s first Hillsborough branch in Carrollwood.
The Carrollwood branch, located on 10901 N. Dale Mabry Hwy, will be a full-service Achieva location, featuring an area for members with high-top tables, charging stations and a coffee station. Following the opening of the Carrollwood branch in 2022, Smith and Achieva will continue to look for other sites and opportunities to further grow the credit union’s presence in the market.
“Rocio brings a powerful blend of experience and passion to this position,” said Achieva Chief Operations Officer Jennifer Galley. “Hillsborough County is already home to more than 13,000 of our members, and we expect Rocio’s team to drive significant growth for us there, starting in Carrollwood.”
Smith grew up the daughter of migrant workers. In summers, when school was out and other kids were taking vacation, Smith’s whole family would travel from state to state and work in the fields, picking from dawn to sometimes after dark, seven days a week. Even when struggling to feed the family, her parents maintained a positive atmosphere for their kids, encouraging them to pursue education. In 1997 Smith graduated from the University of South Florida, becoming the first of her family to receive a college degree.
Given her background, it’s no surprise that Smith has a passion for reaching out to and supporting the migrant worker population in the Tampa Bay area. She has dedicated a great deal of time to organizations like the Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA), which provides child care and early education to children of migrant farmworkers around Florida.
After 17 years of banking for Wells Fargo, when Smith learned about Achieva’s community-centric culture, that inspired her to join the credit union.
“In my experience, many large corporate banks are so big and busy they don’t have the time to truly participate and invest in the people, organizations and businesses who make up the communities they work in,” Smith said. “One of the main points that struck me about Achieva was that they’re made up of and work for the community.”
Financial education is a key mission for Achieva, and Smith is eager to focus on that in Hillsborough. Financial literacy programs are a vital component of establishing meaningful relationships with the communities Achieva will serve, many of which are historically underserved and “underbanked.”
Over the past year, Achieva has been focused on expanding the credit union’s resources for Hispanic audiences, translating its website, creating educational articles and television segments in Spanish, and running Spanish-language ad campaigns. A Hispanic employee-led committee is active year-round dedicated to identifying additional ways to meaningfully engage with the Hispanic community.
Hillsborough County’s first Achieva branch in Carrollwood, planned for 10901 N. Dale Mabry Hwy, will be well placed amidst the well-established north Hillsborough suburb. Located just off North Dale Mabry Highway, the location will provide excellent access to the area’s vibrant small business community and to people who live and work in the Carrollwood area. The branch will open in 2022 in a shopping plaza that will be named Achieva Commons, near the intersection of Dale Mabry and Floyd Road.