NALEO Educational Fund Board Member Rick Olivarez Joins Master Your Card Latino Advisory Board

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Olivarez to work with Master Your Card: Oportunidad to help Latinos realize greater financial inclusion and growth

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In an increasingly digital world, electronic payments are essential to making basic financial transactions.

Master Your Card: Oportunidad, a community empowerment program sponsored by MasterCard®, today announced that Rick Olivarez, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund board member, joined the program’s advisory board.

“Rick Olivarez and generations of his family, including his grandfather who founded NALEO, have been committed to advancing the Latino community,” said Fabián Nuñez, former speaker of the California Assembly and chair of the Master Your Card: Oportunidad Advisory Board. “The Board consists of nationally recognized Latino leaders who are committed to working at the local level to improve the lives of our community, and Rick is a welcome addition to that cause and will help us build on our past successes.”

The NALEO Educational Fund represents more than 6,000 elected and appointed Latino officials, and is the United States’ leading non-profit organization that facilitates full Latino participation in the political process. The organization focuses on increasing the effectiveness of Latino policymakers, mobilizing the Latino community to engage in civic life and promoting policies that advance Latino political engagement.

According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s “2013 National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households,” 17.9 percent of Latino households are unbanked and 28.5 percent are underbanked, meaning they have little or no access to mainstream financial services. In contrast, 3.6 percent of white households are unbanked, while 15.9 percent are underbanked.

“In an increasingly digital world, electronic payments are essential to making basic financial transactions,” said Olivarez. “Latinos need equal access to this technology. The Master Your Card: Oportunidad Advisory Board’s extensive work to make this a reality is commendable and I am proud to be part of these important efforts.”

In addition to his role with NALEO, Olivarez is the founding and managing partner of the law firm Olivarez Madruga, and oversees its municipal and school district practice groups. He serves as the city attorney for several cities and as general counsel to several elementary, high school and K-12 districts in Los Angeles County. He also serves on the governing board of the White Memorial Medical Center Charitable Foundation.

Created four years ago, Master Your Card: Oportunidad has achieved a number of successes, including:

  •     Provided input to MasterCard on the development of payroll card standards. Based on the Advisory Board’s input, MasterCard developed standards that require any company using MasterCard’s payroll card technology to make cards voluntary, offer more services for free or at lower fees, disclose services and fees in plain and simple language, and offer employees education on how to avoid fees and use the card to their advantage. These standards help ensure that payroll cards are implemented in a way that maximizes benefits for workers.
  •     Hosted financial resource fairs in Los Angeles, Miami and New York. The program partnered with local branches of United Way, chambers of commerce and other partners to bring important financial information and resources to hundreds of Latinos. The fairs offered information on a range of topics, including saving for college, understanding retirement, building a credit score, saving money through prepaid cards, working with payroll cards and growing a small business.
  •     Participated in numerous conferences focused on empowering Latino consumers. For example, at the 2015 League of United Latin American Citizens’ National Convention and Exposition, Advisory Board member and financial educator Julie Stav served as a plenary speaker during the women’s luncheon. She provided remarks on the importance of achieving economic citizenship and highlighted opportunities for Latinos to achieve greater financial inclusion.

Other members of the Master Your Card: Oportunidad Advisory Board include:

  •     Hon. Fabián Nuñez, former speaker of the California Assembly and Master Your Card: Oportunidad national chair
  •     Alfonso Aguilar, president, Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles
  •     Hon. Hector Barreto, chairman, The Latino Coalition
  •     Hon. Manny Diaz, former mayor of Miami and former president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors
  •     Hon. Fernando Ferrer, vice chairman of the board, New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  •     Hon. Lucy Flores, former Nevada assemblywoman representing the 28th district
  •     Sonia Lopez, president and CEO, CNC (formerly known as the Cuban American National Council)
  •     Harold Oliver, managing principal, TX Capitol Consulting Group, LLC
  •     Julie Stav, financial expert and The New York Times bestselling author
  •     Hon. J. Walter Tejada, former chairman, Arlington, Va., County Board

For more information about Master Your Card: Oportunidad, please visit http://www.masteryourcardusa.org/oportunidad/.

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About Master Your Card: Oportunidad
Master Your Card: Oportunidad, a community empowerment program by MasterCard®, helps Latino consumers and small businesses open the doors to greater opportunity and prosperity. For more on Master Your Card: Oportunidad, go to http://www.masteryourcardusa.org/oportunidad/.

About Master Your Card
Master Your Card is a community empowerment program by MasterCard® to help consumer advocacy groups, small business groups and governments appreciate the value of credit, prepaid and debit cards as access points to an economically empowering electronic payments network. Learn more at http://www.masteryourcardusa.org.

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Karen Heinold
Master Your Card
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