WHO WE ARE
Oikocredit US (OUS) is the United States affiliate of Oikocredit International (OI), a 45 year-old global cooperative and social investor that makes impact investments in Africa, Asia and Latin America to improve the living standards of low-income people and communities. OUS is a 34-year-old, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports the impact of OI. We generate financial support for and raise awareness of OI’s impact investing and capacity building activities in the Global South. More information about what OI and OUS do is at this link.
MISSION AND VALUES
OUS promotes and facilitates the global work of OI, to catalyze a movement supporting a partnership approach to social investing, and to promote economic ecosystems that enhance human dignity and sustainability.
The name Oikocredit emphasizes our mission. “Oiko” from the ancient Greek, means house, community, and world. "Credit" originates from the Latin verb “credere,” meaning “to believe.” In keeping with these ideas, our motto is “Investing in People.”
Oikocredit challenges all to invest responsibly. It provides services and supports organizations to improve the quality of life of low-income people and communities in a sustainable way.
We envision a global, just society in which resources are shared sustainably, and all people are empowered with access to resources they need to create a life of dignity.
Our organization and our work embody six values: People, Sharing, Ecumenical Spirit, Grassroots, Integrity, and the Environment.
BOARD AND STAFF
OUS is led by a volunteer board of directors, which currently consists of members located in California, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington State.
In 1968, amidst Apartheid in South Africa and the Vietnam War, the World Council of Churches met in Uppsala, Sweden. Young, politically engaged church members wanted assurances that church investments were aligned with their values. The idea of an ethical investment channel for churches and related organizations was put forward, with the intention that investments would provide credit to emerging, sustainable companies run by people in low-income communities.
In 1975, the Oikocredit Ecumenical Development Cooperative Society, UA was legally incorporated in the Netherlands to pursue this mission.
Oikocredit's stakeholders in the United States reside in 33 states and the District of Columbia. They represent a diverse cross-section of the public in terms of economic status, religious or secular values, education and age.
BOARD AND STAFF BIOS
Chad Toppass, Head of Customer and Consumer Experience Insights, Nintendo of America
Chad Toppass has a passion for people and has made it his life mission to help others reach their full potential of leadership. He has an MBA and Certificate of Supply and Value Chain Management from Texas Christian University, and earned two BA degrees from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. He has more than 10 years of experience in the field of Customer Experience management. He currently manages the Voice of the Customer program at Nintendo of America. Prior to moving to Seattle he served as Chair of the Young Leaders Society of United Way, Tarrant County, Texas.
Katelyn Haas-Conrad, Senior Policy Analyst, Allegheny Conference on Community Development
Katelyn is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Allegheny Conference on Community Development where she focuses on infrastructure and sustainability policy. She received her MPA from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and the University of Pittsburgh. Katelyn's interest in international sustainable finance stems from her service in the Peace Corps as a science and math teacher in Sierra Leone. She has attended Oikocredit Annual General Meetings in the Netherlands (2016) and Accra, Ghana (2017), and the Annual Winter Member Meeting in Ghent, Belgium (2019). Locally, Katelyn has ties to Oikocredit through her church, East Liberty Presbyterian Church, a long-term Oikocredit supporting organization.