40 Under 40 The Class of 2012

Edward Nuñez: 36

Business Development Officer, Freedom Credit Union

Nonez-EdwardAt Freedom Credit Union, Edward Nuñez said his primary role is working with the managers of the branch locations to maximize the offerings for their many types of customers, and also overseeing a program to offer benefits to member businesses for their employees. He loves the work that he does, but he said there’s another component that makes this the job of his dreams.
“One of my responsibilities here at Freedom is to oversee our financial-literacy program,” he explained. “What that allows me to do is go into various schools in Western Mass. and educate our young people about credit, the importance of making wise financial decisions, and how to budget. This is something that’s extremely important to me — not only that this message is coming to them, but that it’s coming to them from a member of the Latino community. They leave feeling empowered, and that they, too, can be successful.”
The schools he visits often have an overwhelmingly minority population, and he pragmatically noted that, often in our area’s cities, “a lot of our youths don’t always have good role models. So I’m very passionate about making a positive impression on these kids.”
His efforts in the region outside of his 9-to-5 job are tireless. He’s a vice chair of the Franklin and Hampshire County Regional Employment Board, a member of the advisory committee for the Finance and Marketing Program at Putnam Vocational Technical High School, and he participates in the Springfield School System’s Read Aloud program.
When asked what he enjoys most about his multi-faceted work within the community, Nuñez said it’s the ability to perhaps make a difference in a young life. “Some of these youths have no idea what to expect when they go into the ‘adult world,’” he noted. “So when a kid comes up to me and thanks me for teaching them something, that to me is the most gratifying thing about my job.”
And for those youths impacted by Nuñez’s financial-literacy programs, that makes a lot of cents.
— Dan Chase