Warren Morrow was born in Mexico City to an American father and Mexican mother, and moved to Tucson, Arizona in grade school. He often spoke of how assimilating into the U.S. culture helped shape his life. Specifically, his mother, a well-educated woman, struggled with the transition to American life and had to start over by working her way up from the bottom. This left a lasting impression on Morrow that he carried with him into adulthood.
A 1999 graduate of Grinnell College in Iowa, Morrow and his friends formed a non-profit while in school called the Latino Leadership Project whose mission was to help underprivileged, young Hispanics have the opportunity to receive a college education.
Through his work, Morrow realized the base cause he was trying to address was financial instability in the Latino home. In a 2011 Des Moines Register article, Morrow said “I came to realize that the disparity in education was a symptom of a larger problem. The root issues are the disparities in access to assets, access to wealth, economic stability in the household.”
In 2004, he and his friend, Max Cardenas, founded Diverse Innovative Solutions to help businesses partner with the Latino community. Over this time Warren saw that credit unions were philosophically aligned with his vision and could be the ideal conduit to bring dignified financial services to Latinos nationwide. So in 2006, his company evolved to become Coopera through a partnership with the Iowa Credit Union League.
Coopera was the first firm of its kind to focus exclusively on growing credit union membership by reaching unbanked Latinos. Coopera has grown to be the preeminent leader of Hispanic outreach in the credit union movement.
Aside from a successful career, Warren remained passionate about his community, serving on various boards like the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Des Moines Botanical Center, Youth and Shelter Services, among others. He was actively involved in advisory committees for various agencies, such as the Greater Des Moines Community Foundation, and was a founder of Iowa’s Latino Heritage Festival.
Warren will always be remembered for his commitment to his family, balancing work and being a loving husband, father, uncle, brother, and son. He remained close to his relatives in Mexico, visiting them often and carrying out their traditions and examples within in his young family.