Roman Ruiz

Bringing critical banking services to the community


Title: Branch and Community Development Manager

Name of Organization: Self-Help Federal Credit Union


Bio: Roman Ruiz is no stranger to the struggles that many of his customers face — he immigrated to the United States from Mexico at 9 and was raised by a single mother.


Ruiz is a Branch and Community Development Manager for Second Federal, a division of Self-Help Federal Credit Union. With more than 16 years of experience in retail banking and mortgage lending experience, he is at the helm of the flagship branch with an excess of $87 million in deposits and over 6,500 members. The branch is in the heart of Chicago’s Little Village community, which is composed mainly of Mexican immigrants. The resilient community boasts the second-highest tax revenue in the city.


In 2013, Second Federal became part of one of the largest Community Development Financial Institutions in the country, Self-Help Federal Credit Union. With that change came a commitment to delivering safe and affordable savings and a full suite of loans to borrowers who could not access services elsewhere. The organization has lent more than $165 million to underserved communities in the Chicago area.


Ruiz holds a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University and was named a 2017 Leadership Fellow by the Opportunity Finance Network. His civic engagement includes being on the board of directors for the Little Village Chamber of Commerce and San Jose Obrero Mission, which provides housing and employment services to members of the Latino community who are in crisis.