Emily Gunter doesn't have executive credentials, but she is in a position to exert a strong influence on the credit card industry and its emerging social agenda.

A teacher, author, and lecturer, Ms. Gunter has entered into a consulting relationship with Orchard BankCard Services in Portland, Ore.

The job is a natural extension of her message of personal growth, she said.

"This really fit the bill for me."

Ms. Gunter makes speeches and runs seminars around the country based on her recent self-help book, "Superlearning 2000: The New Technologies of Self-Empowerment."

She also has her own firm, Gunter Development Enterprises of San Diego.

A graduate of American University in Washington, Ms. Gunter, 47, said she has long been an advocate of minority opportunities. Recently she has turned her attention to credit cards.

"A lot of money that goes out of the black community" through credit card spending "never comes back," she said. Many minority merchants lack the means to accept credit cards, she added.

Those who know her say she pursues her mission tirelessly.

"She's a very dynamic woman who feels very strongly about bringing credit opportunities to minorities and those in the inner city," said Irving J. Levin, chief executive officer of Renaissance BankCard Services. "She has a tremendous amount of energy."

Renaissance has marketed Orchard's credit card programs for the past three and a half years.

Ms. Gunter, who is listed in "Who's Who in American Finance and Industry," said she gets a lot of satisfaction from teaching the African- American community "to start to join in the economy" through credit cards."

Credit cards are a way to recycle money through banks, merchants, and the community, she said.

"Let's use the system that's already in place."

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