Founded in 1995, the Iowa Credit Union Foundation (ICUF) is the philanthropic arm of the Iowa credit union movement and the Iowa Credit Union League (ICUL).
Mission. Guided by the credit union philosophy of people helping people, the Iowa Credit Union Foundation works to champion financial well-being for all.
Vision. To be a hub for credit union philanthropy.
ICUF delivers its mission by:
Advocating on issues that affect the financial well-being of Iowans.
Collaborating hand-in-hand with ICUL, Iowa credit unions and community partners to provide more resources and opportunities to advance financial well-being for all.
Investing in mission aligned initiatives, programs and grants.
Educating credit unions and communities on financial well-being issues and resources.
Jelena Babic Barnes, Executive Director
Ena Babic Barnes oversees the strategic execution of ICUF’s mission driven programs and investments. Prior to this role, Ena served as a Program Manager with ICUF, where she led ICUF’s financial education initiatives and fundraising campaigns, surpassing projected annual goals. Prior to coming to ICUF, Ena spent her career in various leadership roles with nonprofit and trade association organizations in Serbia. She led the development of programs and strategies focused on European integration and community development. Ena has an undergraduate degree in International Relations from the Faculty of Political Sciences at the University of Belgrade and is currently enrolled at Drake University where she is pursuing her masters degree in public administration. Ena lives in Altoona, Iowa with her husband Brent and enjoys volunteering in her community.
Alicia D'Hont, Administrative & Hospitality Assistant
As Administrative and Hospitality Assistant, part of Alicia's work is to provide support to the ICUF Executive Director and ICUF programs. Prior to joining the ICUF team, Alicia was a restaurant manager in downtown Des Moines. Alicia is excited to join the credit union industry and use her extensive background in hospitality to help further develop ICUF governance and donor stewardship. Alicia served two years as a Youth Development Volunteer with the Peace Corps on the northern coast of Peru. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Northern Iowa. Alicia resides in Des Moines with her husband, Sean, and three guinea pigs-Meaux, Lotte, and Berry.
Grace McKenna, Program Manager
As Program Manager, Grace McKenna is responsible for helping to bring the Foundation’s programming and mission-driven initiatives to life. Prior to working for ICUF, Grace served in a number of roles within the public, private and non-profit sectors in Des Moines and across Iowa. Her experience includes project management, customer service, communication, design, victim rights advocacy and community impact. She is a proud graduate of Drake University, where she earned a B.A. in History and Politics. Grace is originally from the Quad Cities and now lives in Des Moines. In her free time, Grace participates in and enjoys Des Moines’ robust and diverse art community.
Board of Directors
The Iowa Credit Union Foundation Board of Directors serve a three-year term. This 15-member board represents the interests of Iowa's credit unions and their 1.3 million members. Board members are elected by the Board of Directors.
Jeff Hayes, North Star Community Credit Union
Jason Norton, DuTrac Community Credit Union
Board Chair: Marian Holmes, Community 1st Credit Union
Vice Chair: Jordan Hensley, Peoples Credit Union
Secretary: Julie Willse, Greater Iowa Credit Union
Treasurer: Rebecca Neades, GreenState Credit Union
Alejandro Alaniz, Greater Iowa Credit Union
Jim Anderson, Des Moines Metro Credit Union
Mary Bontrager, Community Volunteer
Adam Carroll, National Financial Educators
Donna Dyer-Bischoff, CUNA Mutual Group
Angela Drury, 1st Gateway Credit Union
Kim Fetthether, Veridian Credit Union
Danielle Gratton, Dupaco Community Credit Union
Ann McMillian, IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union
Jennifer Naeve, Ascentra Credit Union
Paula O'Rourke, Linn Area Credit Union
What are credit unions?
Credit unions are not-for-profit, financial cooperatives owned and governed by their members. Earnings are returned to members through better rates and fewer fees. Unlike other financial institutions, this cooperative structure allows credit unions to put people before profits.
What does this mean for Iowa? Iowa credit unions provide their 1.3 million members with $100 million in annual savings compared to what they would have paid for similar services at a bank. Credit unions also provide direct impact for the communities in which they operate and contribute $1.25 billion to the state economy. Visit IowaCreditUnions.com to learn more.
To learn about credit unions' operating principles, cooperative structure, history and more, visit the National Credit Union Foundation's "Exploring Our Values" web-course.