Tessa Bonfante Appointed the newest Member of the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation Board

Tessa brings a long tradition of community and talent development some 28 year in credit unions, and 18 in credit union leadership roles. She is currently CEO of Denver Community Credit Union, has served on the Denver Area Chapter Board. Tessa has overseen branch operations, developed a mortgage CUSO, and serves as an Association Legislative Coordinator. Tessa holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and is a graduate of the Mountain West Credit Union Association Chief Executive Institute and several CUNA and CUES training programs.  Tessa will the assume the board seat of our long admired Carla Hedrick.  Carla served twice on the Foundation board once, before it was merged and once after. While we will miss Carla’s quick wit, dedication to credit unions and much more, we are very excited about Tessa joining the board, and which to offer our sincerest congratulations.   

Credit Union Master’s Leader Scholar Selected

The Mountain West Credit Union Foundation is delighted to announce Charlie Emanuel of Premier Members Credit Union as this year’s recipient of the Credit Union Master’s Scholarship.  This $10,000 scholarship, distributed to the scholar over two years, is designed to help credit union professionals develop their careers in the credit union space.

Charlie was selected because of his deep commitment to credit unions, his professional accomplishments as Vice President of Accounting, team leadership, deep understanding of credit union operations, was key in completing due diligence for the merger between Boulder Valley Credit Union and Premier Members Credit Union and is now working to complete his C.P.A. licensing.  He has worked in credit unions for fourteen years and has served as the credit union’s interim CFO. Charlie is also committed to his community as demonstrated by his work with Foothills United Way as a member of their audit committee.  Charlie is now working on his Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.  We are so pleased to award Charlie this scholarship and know that his work as a credit union professional will help to strengthen the movement in our tri-state region. Foundation Board extends is sincerest congratulation to Charlie Emanuel.

Meet the 2018 Brayman Beach Scholar

Abraham McLaurin, a Sooper Credit Union member, was selected as this year’s Brayman-Beach Scholar.  Abraham, a graduate of Regis Jesuit High School, will attend Ohio State University this fall as a business major.  While at Regis, Abraham earned an overall 3.68 GPA while studying honors science and math classes.  Abraham is the recipient of several prestigious awards including: Outstanding Women’s Homeless Initiative Award, the Bronze Cross Award for academic excellence, and the Loyola Award for embodying the values of a Jesuit Scholar.  He volunteers as a youth basketball coach and was committed to 175 hours of community service each year while at Regis.  Abraham served on his high school yearbook committee, volunteered as a Special Olympics organizer, and was appointed a Presidential Ambassador where he worked directly with the Regis Jesuit High School President to promote Regis Jesuit High School to new and potential students.

2018 Gary Plank Scholars are on Their Way to Singapore

Each year the Foundation awards young professionals and Development Educators an opportunity to attend the World Council Meeting.  This year the program will provide three $6,500 scholarships for young professionals and directors (age 35 or younger) and Development Educators (no age requirement) to attend the World Credit Union Conference offered by the World Council of Credit Unions in Suntec City, Singapore, July 15-18, 2018.

Gena Carroll, Meridian Trust Federal Credit Union Gena, a Branch Manager providing coaching services to Cheyenne Branch Managers, works to develop a well-trained and cohesive staff designed to meet the daily department demands and members’ needs, and creates a positive work environment for her team.  Gena is currently a Mountain West Foundation Executive Scholar.  This exclusive group of scholars undertakes a 5-year leadership development journey to help them prepare for executive level credit union positions.  She is also a Development Educator and, in this role, has partnered with other credit unions to host financial education reality fairs for the community and school
Nidia Gonzalez, Arizona Federal Credit Union As a Senior Retail Consultant, Nidia coordinates and monitors business activities between the credit union and its established partners and vendors.  She is charged with supporting strategic growth and resolving issues and challenges in her area.  Nidia volunteers at the St. Mary’s Food Bank, Hands on Greater Phoenix, The 100 Club, and Be a Leader Foundation.  She has also led financial literacy workshops for Spanish speaking college students and Nidia is a financial education article contributor to the credit union’s quarterly magazine.
Layna Officer, Blue Federal Credit Union In her role as a Member Experience Trainer, Layna teaches Blue Federal Credit Union team members about service and service-based sales. She is also responsible for interviewing employees to ensure high levels of employee satisfaction and engagement.  Some of these employee engagement activities include a break-room makeover, appreciation breakfasts, and holiday candy grams.  This year Layna has devoted over 50 hours volunteering in her community including a blood drive for the victims of the Las Vegas shooting, helping children in foster care with holiday presents, and collecting toiletries and socks for the area homeless.

Meet the 2018 Executive Leadership Scholars!

The Center for Credit Union Leadership is proud to announce its  2018 cohort of Executive Leadership Scholars.  This group of elite emerging leaders will join 17 other Scholars as they prepare to develop and challenge their own leadership skills.  All Executive Leadership Scholars are selected using a comprehensive process including application submission, letters of recommendation, leadership skills assessments, and panel interviews to participate in a five year journey where they will learn leadership skills, operational principles, and credit union philosophy all under the watchful eye of an experienced executive coach.  Once they have completed the Mountain West Credit Union Association’s Leadership Institute, Western CUNA Management School, and the Development Educators Program, Scholars, working with a credit union mentor, will engage in problem solving and project management using an action learning hands-on process in an actual credit union environment.   Once Executive Leadership Scholars have completed their journey they will be ready to serve as credit union leaders.


Megan Barrett, Northern Colorado Credit Union, Greeley Colorado Meagan Barrett is the VP of Operations at Northern Colorado Credit Union where she supervises a team of 9 employees. With a B.S. in Community Health Education, Meagan has worked in her field for the past 13 years. Meagan graduated from the Mountain West Leadership Institute in 2017, has received awards in Community Leadership, and has helped her Credit Union achieve awards as the Best Credit Union in Greeley and Credit Union of the Year.
Scott Sager, Trona Valley Community Federal Credit Union, Greenriver, WY Scott Sager is the COO for Trona Valley Community Federal Credit Union, leading a team of 9 executives. With a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting, Scott is a Certified Public Accountant who has worked in his field for the past 7 years. He holds a Top 20 Under 40 award from MWCUA, and is a CUDE and Gary Plank scholar.
Adam Stewart, Pima Federal Credit Union, Tuscon, AZ Adam Stewart is the Director of Home Loan Originations at Pima Federal Credit Union where he leads a team of 4 Home Loan Originators. Adam has worked in the industry for the past 18 years and served in various positions including Mortgage Loan Officer, Mortgage Processor, Mortgage Closer, Customer Service Representative, and Credit Manager.

Executive Leadership Graduates Mounting up!

Maggie Camacho, White Crown Federal Credit Union

Maggie joins two members of her 2013 cohort as she completes all the requirements for the ELP.  Maggie joins Jeremy Gibson, Trona Valley FCU and Angel Phillips, Reliant FCU as she puts her new skills to work at the executive level.  Maggie has been President of the Denver Area Chapter, was selected as a 2017 20 under 40 young professional and worked in a wide range of operational areas.  Maggie has recently joined the team at White Crown FCU as Vice President of Strategic Initiative.  Congratulations to Maggie for all her hard work!

Mountain West Credit Union Foundation is connecting Credit Union Mentors with Emerging Leaders

The Center for Credit Union Leadership’s new Mentor Program connects emerging credit union leaders with mentors to help new leaders assess and develop their leadership philosophy through telephone and video-based meetings with their mentors and a structured Leadership Development Plan. The process, provided by the Center, examines the candidate’s values, assumptions, and beliefs to create developmental goals for the candidate. Eight mentors have been intensely trained and are now beginning their first connection with their mentees. “This program is a one of a kind, It’s the only one I know of that identifies credit union leaders early in their career and connects them with seasoned mentors. The program holds a good deal of promise and could be a great tool for retaining talent in our movement” says Dr. Dan Santangelo, the Center’s Executive Director. Our list of mentors includes: Paul Kirkbride of Ent, Colleen Knoll of Public Service Credit Union, Ray Lancaster of Pyramid Credit Union, Brian Lee of Landings Credit Union, Choua Ly of Partner Colorado Credit Union, Annett Matthies, President of Aspen Edge Consulting, John Rivera of Bellco, and Scott Sager of Trona Valley Community Federal Credit Union.

Meet the New Chief Executive Institute Scholars

The Mountain West Credit Union Foundation is please to present the recipients of the 2018 Chief Executive Scholarships. Every other year, the Foundation Awards outstanding CEOs and C suite officers a $9,000 scholarship to attend the highly prestigious Chief Executive Institute.  This eminently qualified group of credit union executives, will participate in an eight-month 5 session learning experience designed to help C suite executives position their credit unions for growth, innovation and market competitiveness using the Baldrige leadership model.

Russ Dalke, CEO Northern Colorado Credit Union

Russ’ credit union career started as a financial analyst then he quickly moved up as a controller, Vice President of Finance, Chief Financial Officer and now CEO.  While in the military Russ received ongoing leadership training.  His community services include board member service on the Greeley Dream Team providing volunteer assistance to at-risk students.  He has served on many other youth and coaching initiatives, and today serves as a business coach and guide to his own team at Northern Colorado Credit Union.

Tyler Disburg, CEO River-Rail Federal Credit Union

Tyler’s credit union career includes marketing, promotions, and service as Chief Administrative Officer at Montana First Credit Union.  He served as the Chairperson of the Missoula Chamber of Commerce Professional Development Committee. Tyler earned his MBA in Organizational Strategy and is a Development Educator.  His community work includes A Special Wish Foundation, Community Action Partnerships of Natrona County, and CUNA’s Marketing and Business Development Council Executive Committee.

Bob Fryberger, CEO Fitzsimons Credit Union  

Bob started his career right out of college with Fitzsimons CU.  He started as an accounting supervisor.  Bob was promoted to Chief Financial Officer then on to Executive Vice President, and now is CEO.  He received leadership training from Mountain States Employers Council Leadership Academy and completed Financial Management School.  Bob completed his Masters of Science in Finance, and his community work includes: City of Aurora Business Advisory Board, Aurora Chamber of Commerce Leadership Aurora, and Mountain West Credit Union Association’s Budget Committee.

Kathi Glanz, CEO Yuma County Federal Credit Union

Kathi started her career as a teller at age 21 with Yuma County FCU.  She worked her way up through the ranks serving in many positions in the credit union and was selected the CEO by the board after the retirement of her predecessor.  Kathi completed her Bachelor’s degree in 2003.  Her community work includes: an officer of the High Plains Chapter of Credit Unions, church committees, and the 5k-10K Yuma race committee.

  Kristin Hadeen, CEO Haxtun Community Federal Credit Union

Before joining the credit union as CEO in 2016, Kristin worked as a real estate agent and managed several of her own properties.  Since coming to Haxtun Community FCU, she has developed and formulated new procedures, installed an online banking system, and engineered a plan for credit union growth.  Kristin’s community work includes board chair of the Haxtun Chamber, Church Secretary, Sunday School Director, and Haxtun School Board Accountability Committee.  She is a Western CUNA Management School Graduate and a member of the National Realtors’ Association.

Carrie Langgard, CFO Sooper Credit Union  

Carrie has worked for credit unions for the past 20 years.  During her tenure she has overseen a wide variety of departments including accounting and finance, information and technology, strategic operations, human resources, and enterprise risk management.  Carrie’s community work includes service on the boards of both the Denver and Rocky Mountain Chapters of Credit Unions, and she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.  Carrie is a graduate of the Mountain West Credit Union Association’s Leadership Institute and is trained in Asset-Liability Management.

Randy Mims, CEO Credit Union of the Rockies

Randy began his work in credit unions some 35 years ago.  He worked as a credit union VP and EVP by the age of 28.  Randy was a CEO at age 31 and served as the Chairman of the Florida League.  His focus over the past 5 years has been to grow and lead Credit Union of the Rockies. His community work with Denver Urban Scholars has inspired his leadership style.  Randy is a certified credit union executive and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management.

Mike Moyes, CEO Coloramo Credit Union

Mike’s work in credit unions spans both credit union and League services.  His work as a Vice President at the Michigan Credit Union League developed his skills in asset-liability management, regulatory compliance, training and compensation management. Before coming to Coloramo, Mike managed Salt Lake Credit Union as its CEO.  His community work includes Kiwanis, local chambers and CUES board of directors.  He is a CUNA CEO Boot Camp graduate, and holds both a Bachelor’s and Masters degree in Computer Information Systems.

Michael Nagl, CEO Centennial Lending  

Michael’s 13 years of credit union experience includes service at Centennial Lending, first in lending services and then as the CEO, and he has served at Blue Federal Credit Union as Chief Lending Officer.  Michael’s community work includes President of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Credit Unions which is nationally recognized for its award winning financial literacy program.  He holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration, and is a graduate of Western CUNA Management School.

Brayman-Beach Scholarships NOW OPEN

This year as in the past, The Mountain West Credit Union Foundation will award one $5,000 scholarship to a student who is a member of a Colorado-based credit union seeking a business degree from a four-year accredited institution.

The scholarship is named after two Colorado Credit Union leaders, Susan J. Brayman and Carroll Beach.  Susan served as a Colorado Credit Union System senior executive and Carroll served as a Colorado Credit Union System CEO.  Together they served for more than 50 years.

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. The deadline for applications is Friday, March 30, 2018 at 1:00pm

Follow this link for an application

Gary Plank Scholarship Opens Early

The World Council of Credit Unions will hold its annual conference in Suntec City Singapore in July, and the Gary Plank Scholarship will help young credit union professionals and Development Educators attend.  The deadline for the 2018 Scholarship is March 9, 2018.

This annual scholarship is named in honor of the retired Arizona League President Gary Plank, who once served as the Chair of the World Council of Credit Unions. This year the program will provide three $6,500 scholarships for young professionals and directors OR Development Educators (no age requirement) to attend the World Credit Union Conference offered by the World Council of Credit Unions in Suntec City, Singapore, July 15-18, 2018. To learn more about this once in a life time opportunity, and to apply CLICK HERE.