Mountain West Credit Union Foundation Seeks Your Support for Hurricane Harvey Victims

The Chairman of Mountain West Credit Union Foundation, Todd Pearson, has authorized a donation to in the amount of $10,000 to assist the credit union victims who have experienced devastating loss caused by Hurricane Harvey.  We here at the Foundation know that the need is very high and hope that you might also consider giving, too. To donate now click here.

Gary Plank Scholars Selected

Meet the 2017 Gary Plank Scholars
Each year the Foundation awards four $5,000 scholarships. Three to credit union young professionals under age 35, and one to a deserving Development Educator to attend the World Council of Credit Union’s meeting.  Scholars are selected based on their overall contribution to their credit unions, their communities, and the credit union movement.  The scholarship was named after Mr. Gary Plank, a former Arizona League President and Chair of the World Council. This year the meeting will be held in Vienna Austria in late July.  Congratulations to the 2017 Gary Plank Scholars


Karen Nadal the Development Educator Scholarship recipient.   Karen, a branch manager at Pyramid Federal Credit Union, has been with the credit union for 15 years.  Karen is a project leader at her credit union and has coordinated a Reality Fair designed to help young students learn about managing personal finance, leading Children’s Miracle Network fundraisers, and spear-heading a “Be Safe Saturday” event designed to promote children’s safety and wellness.  Karen is also a champion of the cooperative business model, always striving to ensure her team knows how credit unions work and how they are different from just another financial institution.   In addition to her work as a credit union professional, Karen is a grandmother, a gardener and cook.

Alex Pinuelas, a credit union young professional, has been with Pyramid Federal Credit Union for more than 4 years.  Alex has progressed in rank and responsibility quickly at the credit union and now holds a key position in indirect lending.  He is a good relationship builder and works hard so that local car dealerships keep Pyramid credit union and their members top of mind.  Alex participates in community fundraisers and volunteers to teach personal finance at the local high school.


Tara Roether, a credit union young professional, has only been with Landings Credit Union for a short time, but she has made a big impression.  Since she started as a graphic designer and a digital marketer, she has increased the credit union’s social media followers by 75%, created new ways to reformat the credit union’s newsletter, and created video aids for sales and promotions.  Tara has coordinated the credit union’s International Credit Union Day activities and was a ‘crasher’ at the 2017 Government Affairs Conference in Washington D.C.   Tara is a local school volunteer and a Credit Union Young Professionals participant.


Tyler Valentine, a credit union young professional, is President/CEO of Laramie Plains Federal Credit Union and is responsible for day-to-day operations, strategic direction, board relations, and senior leadership development.  Tyler serves on several boards including the past chair of the Laramie Chamber Business Alliance, Treasurer of the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation, and committee chair of the Mountain West Credit Union Association’s Young Professionals Committee.  Tyler is also a champion of the cooperative business model and his commitment to the model, is demonstrated by ensuring that young credit union professionals are educated and immersed in the People helping People philosophy. Additionally, he has earned his Development Educator designation from the National Credit Union Foundation.





Colorado Sister Society of Global Women’s Leadership Network hosts Reality Fair

Recently, The Colorado Sister Society of the Global Women’s Leadership Network, a World Council of Credit Unions initiative, held a CU4 Reality Financial Education Program, developed by America’s Credit Union Museum, to provide financial education training to approximately 50 high school students.  These students are from low income families, immigrant households and some have special education needs. Several of these students will be the first in their families to attend college.  The CU4 Reality program turns learning into reality for these students, with classroom instruction followed by a hands-on financial reality fair, where students visit booths making lifestyle choices and developing a monthly spending plan.

The program was made possible with funding through a grant from the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation, as well as funding from Westerra Credit Union.

Student comments included:

  • I learned that reality is more realistic than what it seems. It is a huge eye opener to see how expensive stuff is.
  • I learned that there are way more expenses than I had imagined.
  • It gives me a better understanding of what is a need and a want.
  • It will definitely change the way I spend. I will be spending less and save more.

The program included students from South High School in Denver, Colorado.

Meet the 2017 Brayman-Beach Scholar


We are so pleased to introduce you to Max Martinez, a senior at Widefield High School and this year’s recipient of the Brayman-Beach Scholarship. The Brayman-Beach Scholarship was created to support our local communities through investing in young leaders. Named in honor of two visionary leaders in the credit union movement, Susan J. Brayman and Carroll D. Beach, one $5,000 scholarship is awarded annually to an up-and-coming credit union member who is interested in pursuing a business degree. The scholarship recipient is selected by the Foundation’s Board of Directors based on grades, financial need, community service, professional goals, extracurricular activities and an essay written by the applicant.  Max is a member of Ent Credit Union and will graduate this year with a GPA of 4.4. 

Max is already a highly accomplish sportsman and leader.  He serves as Secretary of his Senior Class at Widefield High School and has served as Vice President of both his Junior and Sophomore Class Council.  Max was nominated for the National Young Leadership Conference, Varsity Runner and Captain for the Cross Country and Track 4 years in a row.  A member of the National Honor Society, Max is also a track champion winning 1st place Regional Title Cross Country 2015, 2016 team and individual awards and nominated for Athlete of the week by KOAA channel 5.  Max also gives back to his community logging 57 community service hours, a volunteer at Harvest of Love delivering food baskets, a volunteer for the Community Parade, and Make a Wish Campaign.  Max plans on attending Colorado State University this fall.   



Congratulations to the 2017 Executive Leadership Scholars

 The Executive Leadership program is a five-year journey during which scholars are taught leadership skills, operational principles, and credit union philosophy while being mentored an experienced executive coach. Applicants are selected using a comprehensive process including application submission, letters of recommendation, leadership skills assessments, and panel interviews. Meet this year’s scholars [READ MORE]

Brayman-Beach Scholarship Applications Being Accepted

The Mountain West Credit Union Foundation is seeking applicants for the 2017 Brayman-Beach Scholarship. One $5,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student who is a member of a Colorado-based credit union seeking a business degree from a four-year accredited institution.

“There is no better way to convey the ‘people helping people’ philosophy and the generous nature of our credit union community than by helping your young members achieve their dream of higher education,” said Dr. Dan Santangelo, Executive Director of the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation.

The deadline for applications is Friday, March 31, 2017 at 1:00pm.

Named in honor of two visionaries of the credit union movement whose contributions have made a lasting mark, this unique scholarship opportunity celebrates their commitment by investing in our youth and in turn, the future of the credit union movement.

More information can be found here, or you can go directly to the application below.

Download the 2017 Application Now

Foundation Releases Full Leadership Study Results

The Mountain West Credit Union Foundation (MWCUF), in collaboration with the Center for Credit Union Leadership, has released the results of its most recent survey. Using strict criteria, data was collected from 20 of the top performing credit union CEOs in the Mountain West region.

Important findings of the study identified nine key leadership attributes and nine leadership traits. “These are tangible experiences, attitudes, behaviors and traits that current and future credit union leaders can emulate and build into their leadership personalities to help foster success,” Dr. Dan Santangelo, Executive Director of the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation, said. “We are constantly looking for ways to help innovate our training in order to provide the best possible outcomes for current and future credit union leaders.”

The nine key leadership attributes presented include: common behaviors; common experiences; top skills; top actions; top personality traits; influencers on beliefs, values and assumptions; top self-development skills; top attributes taught to emerging leaders; and leadership skills sought by boards. The nine key leadership traits are: high level of integrity; keen relationship builder; insightful skills builder; engaged employee developer; committed to goal setting and accomplishment; community-service minded; seeks out other leaders; steadfast creators of a well-communicated vision; and insists on the right skills/people in the right places.

The full study results can be found here and an e-book that outlines practical ways to use the research results is available here. Finally, findings gained from the study will filter into training aspects of the MWCUF’s Center for Credit Union Leadership, which trains upcoming credit union leaders in areas including: exemplifying organizational values, problem solving, empowering others, workplace prioritization, coaching, time management and setting and measuring goals. This comprehensive leadership training program has trained more than 125 new leaders from 44 credit unions in Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming.


2017 Brayman Beach Scholarship

In 2017 the Brayman-Beach Scholarship in the amount of $5,000 will once again be awarded to an undergraduate Colorado credit union member.

The Brayman-Beach College Scholarships is named in honor of two of Colorado’s credit union movement leaders (Susan J. Brayman and Carroll D. Beach).  In order to qualify for the scholarship applicants must:

  • be a U.S. citizen at least 16 years of age
  • member of a Colorado credit union
  • beginning freshmen, sophomore, junior, or senior year at a four-year accredited institution of higher learning conferring bachelor degrees and located in the U.S.
  • all scholarship funds must be used by January 31 of the following year awarded or funds will be forfeited
  • submit a complete application with required documents
  • application must be post-marked, emailed, or faxed by the deadline posted below

The deadline application is March 31, 2017 by 1:00 pm.

Download the 2017 Application Now

Thank you for your generosity

As 2016 comes to a close and as the new year dawns, it’s time to thank all of our 2016 fair share donors for your generous support over the past year. The Fair Share program is our primary fundraising opportunity and one of the key resources use to fulfill our mission. Now in 2017, the fair share donation request will be coming your way again soon.  Look for this important information in your 2017 dues packet.  click here to learn more

Where will the Next Generation of Credit Union CEOs Come From?

The Executive Leadership Program is committed to developing the next generation of credit union CEOs. Leadership development and succession planning have long been a challenge for credit unions across the country. While there are industry leadership courses available, a well-articulated career development path for credit union leadership complete with developing leader skills, operational training, and learning “the credit union way” just didn’t exist – until now.  The Mountain West Credit Union Foundation’s Executive Leadership Program now in its 5th year of operation was created to identify and develop the next generation of credit union CEOs. It’s a complete five-year curriculum built to develop leaders specifically for the credit union industry.
This year the Foundation will select three more scholars to begin the journey. The nomination process includes the submission of a nomination form, a letter of recommendation, a set of assessments, and interviews for finalists.  Once selected, three more scholars will join the ranks of this high powered training group and will receive more than $20,000 of funding over the next five-year period as they prepare themselves to become a senior level credit union leader.  The deadline for nomination has been extended to Friday, December 9, 2016.
Learn more about this exclusive program and how you can nominate a candidate in your credit union, the next generation starts now!