Foundation Chairman John Uchida, Board Member Bob Hoel, Executive Director Dan Santangelo, and Foundation President Scott Earl (pictured below) presented Children’s Hospital Colorado with a check for more than $79,000 on November 19th. The funds raised were a result of the Miracle Marathon held across Colorado from October 1-27th and will benefit the kids at Children’s Hospital Colorado. This was the first year for this new and signature fund raising event Sponsored by Mountain West Credit Union Foundation the CO-OP Network and Credit Unions Across Colorado. Ten credit union teams participated involving more than 179 participants. Next year, the plans are to continue the Foundation sponsorship, get more credit union involved, and continue to support the good work of the Children’s Hospital Network.
Credit Unions Across Colorado are on a mission to save kids, and we need your help. Children’s Hospital Colorado treats thousands of kids each year, regardless of their family's ability to pay. These children are facing a variety of serious ailments, such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, and injuries from accidents.
To help raise awareness – and some much needed funds – for the important work that Children’s Hospital does the Foundation and the CO-OP Network is the primary sponsor for this important event. I hope you will consider completing the Miracle Marathon with us. It’s 27.2 miles over the course of 27 days in October – a 26.2 mile marathon plus an extra mile for the kids!
Why Are We Involved? Credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives that exist to serve our members - not profit off of them. The very basics of a credit union is a community of people coming together to help each other succeed financially through needed loans and a safe place to save. This philosophy of 'People Helping People' is one of the founding principles of our movement and continues to be a core value today. Partnering with Children's Hospital is a part of how we support our communities and put 'People Helping People' into action each day. Plus, it just feels good.
How do I get more information?
1)Contact Dan Santangelo or Dan Finerty at
The Mountain West Credit Union Foundation board has voted to make credit unions the signature sponsor for a new Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) fundraising event – the Miracle Marathon. This exciting partnership is made possible through a donation to Children’s Hospital Colorado from the Foundation on behalf of credit unions. A special thanks goes out to CO-OP Financial Services who increased our credit unions’ impact on the local community by matching the Foundation’s donation. The Miracle Marathon is a new Children’s Miracle Network promotion that is being rolled out in only 5 markets including Denver – with our credit unions getting in on the ground floor as the signature sponsor. Starting on October 1st and wrapping up on October 27th, this 27 day virtual fundraising campaign invites participants run or walk (or achieve forward motion) one mile per day at their own leisure for a total of 27.2 miles – that’s a 26.2 mile marathon plus going an extra mile for kids. Throughout October, CMN Hospitals will send participants challenges and motivational messages with the goal of building an interactive, online community.
Credit Unions in Colorado will be promoted as the event's signature sponsor through a radio campaign on Alice 105.9 and KOSI 101 that starts mid-September and runs through October. This campaign includes over 80 radio spots along with on-air sponsorship mentions and includes web, email, and social media segments. Credit unions will be receiving more information on how they can participate over the next few weeks and will be contacted by Colorado Children’s Hospital Foundation about this exciting event. There is no additional donation required to participate in this campaign. A specially designed promotional kit will be made available that will help interested credit unions garner member and employee participation. Look for an informational webinar announcement, in early September, designed to kick off this new exciting event. For more information now, contact Dan Santangelo at
This year the judging committee for the annual Brayman-Beach scholarship—a $5,000 scholarship given to an outstanding college bound scholar—selected Elevations member Jacob Helleckson. Jacob is a senior at Paonia Jr-Sr High School and will be attending the University of Colorado, Boulder this fall. Jacob is a superior student with a very high GPA and ACT score. He is on the school honor roll, has received the University of Colorado Boulder Outstanding Junior scholarship, Mountain Valley News Student of the Week, home coming king, Paonia High School Varsity Track, Cross Country co-captain, attended Colorado all State Orchestra, Western State Honors Orchestra, Colorado all State Choir, and Western States Honor Choir. Jacob is also very involved in his community and church.
Two Gary Plank Scholars Selected
This is the first year the Gary Plank Scholarship—providing two young credit union professionals funding to attend the World Council of Credit Unions Annual meeting in Ottawa, Canada—was offered to all three states. The competition resulted in many outstanding applicants from both Arizona and Colorado. This year Heather Szymanski, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Space Age Federal Credit Union in Aurora, Colorado and Valerie Zeller, Senior Internal Auditor at Arizona Central Credit Union in Phoenix were selected. These outstanding scholars represent the very best among our young credit union professionals. Next year we hope to have applicants from Wyoming as well.
The Mountain West Credit Union Foundation now offers strategic planning grants for your credit union
You know strategic planning is important to the long-term success of your credit union but with tight budgets, sometimes it’s hard to plan to… well… plan. With a grant available from the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation, your credit union can receive up to $2,700 to help pay for your strategic planning. You can use your favorite facilitator or access one of the Foundation planners, which include the Compliance Solutions contractors and credit union CEOs experienced in strategic planning.
Applying for the grant is easy. Simply download and submit the grant application by Monday, July 1st, 2013.
Credit unions with less than $50M in assets can receive up to 75% of their strategic planning cost covered with a maximum of $2,700.
Credit unions over $50M in assets can receive up to 50% of their planning costs covered with a maximum of $2,700.
All grants will be awarded based on need and merit.
There is a funding pool total of $22,000 so be sure to apply today!
Credit unions receiving grants must complete their strategic planning by the end of 2013.
Remember, the application deadline is Monday July 1st, 2013.
Brayman Beach College Scholarship-Deadline for application March 29, 2013
The Brayman Beach College Scholarship is named in honor of two visionary leaders in the credit union movement, Susan J. Brayman and Carroll Beach. This Scholarship is awarded to Colorado credit union members who are pursuing an undergraduate degree in business. One $5,000 scholarship is awarded each year.
Gary Plank (WYCUP) Scholarship-Deadline for application May 3, 2013
The Gary Plank (WYCUP) Scholarship is named in honor of Gary Plank a visionary Arizona credit union leader. The $5,000 scholarships are awarded to three young credit union professionals or volunteers—one from each state—to attend the World Council’s conference. This year the conference will be held on July 14-17 in Ottawa, Canada.
This year the 6th annual STAR Gala will be held on Friday September 27, 2013 at Mile High Station.
This year the Gala will be held at Mile High Station—located on Old West Colfax— Mile High Station has a long history in the heart of downtown Denver. The original building, the Midwest Steel and Ironworks Building, dates back to the turn of the century and employed hundreds of steelworkers and craftsmen. Today, the newly renovated building showcases features such as, restored steel I-beams, exposed brick, an elevated second floor, and custom chandeliers, offering a unique rustic and fiesta friendly atmosphere. Check out the video below for a look at our new venue.
During their January board meeting the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation approved the rollout of the Mountain West Credit Union Executive Leadership program. This new program will provide substantial funding for credit unions in all three states to help them in developing their executive leadership. The program will link some of the most important and well recognized leadership programs together in the credit union movement and provide a consolidated scholarship and funding source. These programs will include: Western CUNA Management School, the Development Education Program, and the Mountain West Credit Union Association’s Leadership Institute. These programs coupled with both a comprehensive executive coaching system and well designed and far-reaching mentorship process makes this new initiative both unique and aligned with the leadership needs of our tri-state movement. Watch for more information on this important new initiative coming your way soon.
On Friday night—October 12, 2012—the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation celebrated the very best in the three state credit union community. The night was supported by many including the Gold and Silver level sponsors: Bellco Credit Union, CUNA Mutual Group, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, Elevations Credit Union, Mountain West Credit Union Association, Strategic Partners, Berenbaum Weinshienk, Centennial Lending, Ent Federal Credit Union, and Westerra Credit Union.
The night was punctuated by the Gala’s award presentation Emceed by Emmy Award winning, television and radio personalities Denise Plante and Murphy Huston of the “Murphy & Denise Morning Show” on KOSI 101. Denise and Murphy presented six awards to a crowd of more than 260 credit union participants. The award lineup included:
Sooper Credit Union- Credit Union of the Year Award (100M - 500M) recipient for their innovative Clean Energy Loan program which provides loans to businesses and individuals to purchase solar panels and other energy saving initiatives.
Desert Schools Federal Credit Union- Credit Union of the Year Award (over 500M) recipient for their innovative internal profitability programs that leveraged a sporting theme and prioritized programs that brought the strongest impact to the bottom line.
Susan J. Brayman, Director Bellco Credit Union- Distinguished Service Award recipient. Ms. Brayman was recognized for her tireless work serving the credit union community at Mountain West Credit Union Association (then the Colorado Credit Union League), the Association of Credit Union League Executives, Filene Institute, Credit Union Service Corporation, the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation, Bellco Credit Union, and Strategic Partners (then Colleague Services).
Carroll Beach, Chairman Elevations Credit Union- Distinguished Service Award recipient. Mr. Beach served on the Credit Union National Association Board of Directors, Credit Union Legislative Action Committee, CUNA Mutual Group Advisory Committee, Credit Union Service Corporation Board of Directors, Credit Union House Board Chair, American Association of Credit Union Leagues Chairman, Credit Union Service Network of Colorado, President and CEO of Colorado Credit Union System, CEO of SunCorp, President of Credit Union Service Corporation, and President COO of CO-OP Shared Branching.
Kara Kirschner of First Credit Union- Emerging Leader Award recipient. Kara is active in her Mountain West Credit Union Association Chapter, the Arizona Youth Involvement Network and her local Chamber of Commerce.Kara is also a Credit Union Development Educator.
Pima Federal Credit Union- Community Impact Award recipient. Pima Federal Credit Union’s outstanding Community Stewardship Program that focuses on giving back to the community by engaging credit union employees to volunteer for the charitable organization of their choice. The program initiated in early 2011resulted in 131 employees (85% of all staff) spending 1,039 hours volunteering for the local community.
Partner Colorado Credit Union—Honorable mention for the Community Impact award. Partner Colorado Credit Union’s Kappa Alpha Psi (Financial Literacy and Partnership) program received honorable mention for their outstanding community based program that provides financial education to young (black) male high schools students that have applied and been excepted to the Kappa college preparation program.
Pima Federal Credit Union Community Impact Video
Partner Colorado Credit Union Community Impact Video
(Phoenix) – June 8, 2011 – The Mountain West Credit Union Association, the trade association for Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming’s credit unions, announced Miriam Limon, Communications Specialist with AEA Federal Credit Union as this year’s recipient of their Foundation’s annual Gary L. Plank World Council of Credit Union’s (WOCCU) Young Credit Union Professionals Program Scholarship (WYCUP).
The WYCUP is a scholarship program designed to promote credit union professionals under the age of 35 years old. As Arizona’s 2012 WYCUP representative, Miriam has also been automatically nominated for one of five scholarships WOCCU will award to attend the 2013 World Credit Union Conference in Ottawa, Canada.
The scholarship is given to individuals that have made a significant impact locally, regionally or nationally in the credit union movement. Thomas Martin, President/CEO of AEA Federal Credit Union feels that Miriam is a “Rare find. Her impassioned commitment to the fundamental credit union purpose of people helping people extends far beyond her role as Communications Specialist at AEA Federal Credit Union in Yuma, Arizona.”
Ms. Limon will attend the 2012 World Credit Union Conference LET’S GDANSK, from July 15-18, 2012 at the Polish Baltic Philharmonic Hall in Gdnask, Poland.