Mountain West Newsletter Landing Pages
Ent Awards 2014 Youth Endowment Series Grants to 25 Non-Profit Community Agencies | Thursday, 17 April 2014
Colorado Springs, Colo. (April 17, 2014)– Ent Federal Credit Union awarded 25 non-profit agencies in Southern Colorado a total of $75,000 through its 2014 Youth Endowment Series (YES) program grants.

The recipient agencies include:

·         Assistance League of Pueblo

·         Boys and Girls Clubs of Pueblo County

·         Care and Share – Pikes Peak Region

·         Care and Share –  Pueblo

·         Children’s Hope Chest – The Joel Home

·         Colorado Springs Teen Court

·         Court Appointed Special Advocates  (CASA) of Pueblo

·         Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of the Pikes Peak Region

·         Denver Children’s Advocacy Center

·         Drive Smart Colorado

·         Fostering Hope

·         Greccio Housing

·         Inside Out Youth Services

·         Kidpower of Colorado

·         Mountain Top Cycling Club

·         Partners in Housing

·         Pueblo Child Advocacy Center

·         Pueblo Cooperative Care Center

·         Pueblo Crisis Pregnancy Center, doing business as  A Caring Pregnancy Center

·         Pueblo Suicide Prevention Center

·         Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Colorado

·         Soaring Eagles Center for Autism

·         Special Kids Special Families

·         TESSA

·         Year One Inc., doing business as Mile High Youth Corps Colorado Springs



Introduced in 2000, the YES Grant program directs support to non-profit community organizations benefitting children. The program has provided grants to more than 75 organizations in Southern Colorado providing health and human services and serving other community needs.

Applications were evaluated by an employee panel based on the purpose for the grant and the projected benefit to the community, among other criteria.

For more information about Ent’s YES program, visit Ent.com/YESGrants.

               



About Ent

Ent Federal Credit Union, established in 1957, is the leading financial institution in Southern Colorado with more than $3.9 billion in assets and more than 232,000 members. The credit union provides a full range of financial solutions through 27 service centers throughout Colorado Springs, Woodland Park, Pueblo and Denver. They offer members online, mobile and telephone banking services, a Colorado call center and both a consumer and mortgage loan center.  Ent is a not-for-profit, community-chartered credit union with membership open to businesses or individuals living or working in Denver, El Paso, Pueblo and Teller counties, as well as select communities in Weld, Adams and Arapahoe counties. Ent is federally insured by the NCUA. Ent.com

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Arizona Central Credit Union Makes Award-Winning Financial Literacy Program Free for Classrooms | Tuesday, 15 April 2014
Arizona Central Credit Union Makes Award-Winning Financial Literacy Program Free for Local Classrooms
Banzai Teaches Students Money Management Through Real-Life Scenarios

Phoenix, AZ (April 1)--Local students are getting a free education in how to manage their money. Arizona Central Credit Union is working with Banzai, a national award-winning financial literacy program, to make curriculum available to Maricopa, Pima, and Coconino County schools completely free.

"Banzai is a web-based financial literacy program. Kids get their own accounts, and they work through assignments that are based on real life," Morgan Vandagriff, co-founder of Banzai, said. "But because Arizona Central is sponsoring it, local schools get it for free. More than ever, it's important that kids develop sound financial skills to prepare them for the real world, and Arizona Central realizes that and they're doing something about it."

Banzai is an interactive, online program supplemented by printed workbooks which aligns with state curriculum requirements for personal finance education. In 2010, the Institute for Financial Literacy awarded Banzai the Curriculum of the Year award. It has become the largest program of its kind, servicing more than 10,000 schools in all 50 states.

Students using the program are exposed to real-life scenarios where they learn to pay bills and balance a budget--but it’s not always easy. Students must learn to manage unexpected expenses such as parking tickets, interest charges and overdraft fees. The educational program also introduces students to auto loans, bank statements, entertainment costs, savings and more.

“Too often students get out of school and they just aren't ready for the financial roller coasters life can give us,” Vandagriff said. “Banzai teaches students to navigate those twists and turns and come out on top.  We're excited to work with Arizona Central to improve financial literacy in Maricopa, Pima, and CoconinoCounty.”

Teachers interested in using the Banzai program can visit azcentral.teachbanzai.com or call 888-8-BANZAI.

About Arizona Central Credit Union

Founded in1939, Arizona Central Credit Union is a not-for-profit cooperative serving 60,000 members across Arizona with full-service financial solutions. Current assets exceed $400 million backed by a 75-year tradition of financial strength, stability and service. Deposits are federally insured up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).To learn more, visit http://www.azcentralcu.org/.

About Banzai

Banzai is an award-winning, financial literacy program that teaches high school and middle school students basic, financial concepts through real-life scenarios. Banzai began in 2008 and was awarded the Curriculum of the Year Award from the Institute of Financial Literacy in 2010. The online program is used in all 50 states by more than 10,000 schools.

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Sooper Credit Union shows strong commitment to Regis University, Porter-Billups Leadership Academy | Tuesday, 15 April 2014
Sooper Credit Union shows strong commitment to Regis University, Porter-Billups Leadership Academy with generous donation


Denver, CO – March 28, 2014 -. Sooper Credit Union is constantly looking for ways to give back, especially when it comes to having a direct impact on the youth in their community. Through their partnership with Regis University, they have become an integral sponsor of the Porter-Billups Leadership Academy. In late March, Sooper donated $20,000 to the academy, a program they began supporting in 2012. Since that time, Sooper has donated over $50,000 to the program, whose mission is to help at-risk Denver youth graduate from high school and college. Through this experience, students develop leadership principles and academic success skills that enable them to become effective leaders in their schools and communities.   


“Partnering with Regis University and the Porter-Billups Leadership Academy, who strive to not only educate their students in the traditional sense, but also teach valuable life skills along the way, is an honor,” said Dan Kester, President/CEO of Sooper Credit Union. “The Porter-Billups Leadership Academy is a one-of-a-kind program. Lonnie Porter and Chauncey Billups have dedicated so much to this academy, and it’s amazing to see the impact they have on the kids. We have a personal investment in our communities, and we couldn’t think of a better way to reach out to our youth than by supporting a program that prepares them for success.”

Sooper’s partnership with Regis University also includes a financial literacy course taught to college freshman several times a year, helping them prepare for bright financial futures.

About Sooper Credit Union

Sooper Credit Union was founded in 1951 and serves over 33,000 members in four principal states of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico. The $279 million credit union offers a wide variety of financial services ranging from checking accounts to Clean Energy Loans. In 2012, Sooper Credit Union became the first financial institution in the country to offer solar-garden loans, enabling anyone to buy or lease a piece of a solar garden array and receive a credit on their energy bill each month.  For more information, please visit www.soopercu.org.


About The Porter-Billups Leadership Academy at Regis University

In 1996, Regis University Men’s Head Basketball Coach, Lonnie Porter, established the Lonnie Porter Leadership Academy to provide academic and leadership training to at-risk inner city students from Denver. In 2006, NBA star Chauncey Billups joined forces with Porter in this effort and the program was renamed the Porter-Billups Leadership Academy. Regis University is committed to offering graduates of this program the opportunity to attend college through scholarships.


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Ent Employee Recognized With Business Award | Tuesday, 15 April 2014
For Immediate Release                                                         
Contact:    Victoria Selfridge
Director of Marketing
719/550-6894


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Ent Employee Recognized With Business Award



Colorado Springs, Colo. (March 14, 2014)– Lisa Fistani, Ent’s Business Banking Regional Manager, was recognized as a “2014 Rising Star” by the Colorado Springs Business Journal.

The Rising Star program recognizes business leaders under age 40 who have made significant contributions to their chosen industries and the community.

           

About Ent

Ent Federal Credit Union, established in 1957, is the leading financial institution in Southern Colorado with more than $3.9 billion in assets and more than 232,000 members. The credit union provides a full range of financial solutions through 27 service centers throughout Colorado Springs, Woodland Park, Pueblo and Denver. They offer members online, mobile and telephone banking services, a Colorado call center and both a consumer and mortgage loan center.  Ent is a not-for-profit, community-chartered credit union with membership open to businesses or individuals living or working in Denver, El Paso, Pueblo and Teller counties, as well as select communities in Weld, Adams and Arapahoe counties. Ent is federally insured by the NCUA. Ent.com

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TempeSchools Credit Union adopts new name -Landings Credit Union | Thursday, 12 September 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



Contact:
David Rindone
Director ofMarketing
480.784.1075 
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TempeSchools Credit Union adopts new name -Landings Credit Union


(Tempe, Ariz.) September 10, 2013– On November 1, 2013, Tempe Schools Credit Union will adopt a new name and become Landings Credit Union. The Credit Union announced earlier this year that it planned a name change to remove perceived barriers to membership and establish the foundation for future growth.


Margaret Hunnicutt, President/CEO, states “This is an exciting time as we write the next chapter in our history and become Landings Credit Union. This name is strong and distinctive, just like our members. The name honors our past and lays the foundation for our future.”TheCredit Union was founded in Tempe, and our new name pays tributeto the city’s founding as a safe landing place for those settlers arriving on Hayden’s Ferry.


Through out its 60 year history, our Credit Union has been committed to makinga difference in the lives of our members and the communities we serve. We focus on each member’s story and take the time to better understand their needs, so we can provide them the advice and service they need to live the life they deserve.



Here’s a preview of our new logo:


Landings
About Tempe Schools Credit Union

Tempe Schools Credit Union,based inTempe,Ariz., serves a wide range of members including students, faculty,staff and family for all schools in Maricopa County along with select employee groups.The current asset size is $132million dollars with over 18,000 members.TSCU has been serving members for 60 years, helping them with all of their financial needs. For more information onTSCU, please visit:  www.tscu.org.

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Credit Union Community Doubles Education and Leadership Development Assistance | Tuesday, 06 August 2013
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Media Contact:

Joy Audet
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602-371-2203
 
Credit Union Community Doubles Education and Leadership Development Assistance

DENVER (August 5, 2013) – In partnership with the Denver Area Chapter of Credit Unions, the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation held its second annual charity golf tournament on Wednesday, July 24, 2013, at the Inverness Golf Club in Englewood, Colorado. The event raised more than $24,000 to support the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation’s leadership development and educational scholarship programs, a 140 percent increase in funds raised from the previous year’s event.

Nearly 40 organizations within the credit union community were represented from across Mountain West Credit Union Association’s tri-state area of Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming. The event sold out with 144 participants.

Also in attendance was the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation’s 2013 Brayman-Beach Scholarship recipient, Jacob Helleckson. Jacob is a senior at Paonia High School and will be attending the University of Colorado Boulder this fall. 

John Uchida, Chairman of the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation said, "The success of this year’s golf tournament is very exciting. The growing commitment from the credit union community is remarkable." He continued, "The sponsored activities added to a fun, energetic and engaging event for all the participants as well."  

The event was made possible by a volunteer host committee comprised of credit union professionals from Arizona Central Credit Union, Columbine Federal Credit Union, Denver Community Federal Credit Union, Premier Members Federal Credit Union, Security Service Federal Credit Union, Sooper Credit Union and Mountain West Credit Union Association.

Event sponsors included Route 66 Extended Warranty, CU Direct Connect, PDP Group Inc., ENT Federal Credit Union, Signet Partners, 1st Mortgages, The Servicing Group, Elevations Credit Union, AutoTrek, CUNA Mutual Group, Holben Hay Lake Balzer Certified Public Accountants, Integrated Builders Group, Lenders Protection, Strategic Partners, Centennial Lending, Co-Op Financial Services, SunCorp, Denver Community Credit Union, Valuetec Financial Equipment, LLC, Autoland, Banker Group, Colorado Credit Union, Credit Union of Colorado, Foothills Credit Union, IBS Nationwide, JMFA, Members Trust Company, MeridianLink, Premier Members Federal Credit Union and Share One New Solutions.

 
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About the Mountain West Credit Union Association
The Mountain West Credit Union Association is the regional tri-state trade association representing 132 member credit unions, 3.1 million credit union members and $33 billion in assets throughout Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming. Not-for-profit in nature, credit unions provide low-cost financial services to their members. Founded in 2011, the Mountain West Credit Union Association serves and supports the interests of member credit unions through advocacy, community outreach, educationand training, public affairs, regulatory and compliance services and strategic partnerships. The Mountain West Credit Union Association is affiliated with Credit Union National Association (CUNA), World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and CUNA Mutual Group. Follow us on twitter at twitter.com/mwcua or on Facebook at facebook.com/mwcua. To learn more about credit unions visit AsmarterChoice.org

Caption for attached image: L-R:  Carroll Beach, retired CEO, SunCorp Corporate Credit Union; Jacob Helleckson, Brayman Beach Scholarship recipient
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Click for larger image
SOOPER CREDIT UNION ANNOUNCES GROUNDBREAKING OF NEW ARVADA BRANCH | Thursday, 11 July 2013
sooper
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SOOPER CREDIT UNION ANNOUNCES GROUNDBREAKING OF NEW ARVADA BRANCH

Arvada, CO – July 11, 2013 - Colorado-based Sooper Credit Union announced today that it will break ground on a new branch in Arvada in mid-July. The brand new 4,000 square-foot building will be constructed in the open area to the West of the existing branch to provide a more convenient and enhanced banking experience to members. The current Arvada branch will then be remodeled to better serve as Sooper Credit Union’s corporate office. Sooper Credit Union, recently named the 2013 “Best of the Best” credit union by Colorado Community Media, is deeply involved in the Arvada community, and strives to make a positive impact on the financial well-being of its members.

“It is truly an exciting time at Sooper Credit Union. We are preparing to build a state-of-the-art, technologically advanced branch that will give our members the ultimate banking experience, providing them with the convenience and service they deserve”, said Dan Kester, President and CEO of Sooper Credit Union. “We have a personal investment in our communities, members and employees, and we believe this new branch will enable us to serve our members to our greatest potential.”  The groundbreaking ceremony will take place at 3pm on July 16, 2013 at 5005 W 60th Avenue in Arvada. Several officials and dignitaries from the City of Arvada will be in attendance.

About Sooper Credit Union
Sooper Credit Union was founded in 1951 by eight King Soopers employees, and today serves over 33,000 members in four principal states of Colorado, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico. The $270 million credit union offers a wide variety of financial services that range from checking accounts to Clean Energy Loans. In 2012, Sooper Credit Union became the first financial institution in the country to offer solar-garden loans, which enables anyone to buy or lease a piece of a solar garden array and receive a credit on their energy bill each month.  For more information, please visitwww.soopercu.org.

About the Mountain West Credit Union Association
The Mountain West Credit Union Association is the regional tri-state trade association representing 132 member credit unions, 3.1 million credit union members and $33 billion in assets throughout Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming.  Not-for-profit in nature, credit unions provide low-cost financial services to their members.  Founded in 2011, the Mountain West Credit Union Association serves and supports the interests of member credit unions through advocacy, community outreach, education & training, public affairs, regulatory & compliance services and strategic partnerships. The Mountain West Credit Union Association is affiliated with Credit Union National Association (CUNA), World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and CUNA Mutual Group.  Follow us on twitter at twitter.com/mwcua or on Facebook at facebook.com/mwcua.  To learn more about credit unions visit AsmarterChoice.org

Contact:

For more information, please contact:
Donna Ogorek, VP of Marketing & Business Development, Sooper Credit Union
Office: 303-986-7500 Ext 263
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www.soopercu.org



What’s Next: Mountain West Credit Union Association Second Annual Meeting and Convention | Wednesday, 17 April 2013
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Media Contact:

Joy Audet
602-371-2203 

What’s Next: Mountain West Credit Union Association Second Annual Meeting and Convention


Taking the Future Head On
 
Phoenix (4/2013) –The Mountain West Credit Union Association held its 2013 annual convention at the Biltmore Resort and Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona April 4-6, which brought together over 525 participants as conference attendees, guests and vendors. Highlights from this year’s event include convention keynote speakers, convention exhibitors, educational sessions, a golf and tennis tournament, the Association’s annual awards, the annual Children’s Miracle Network benefit and this year’s newly elected board members. The Association’s annual convention was themed “What’s Next: Taking the Future Head On” as an indicative demonstration of the exciting changes in advancing both credit union and consumer behavior.

The convention featured keynote speakers like, Michael Rogers, a technology pioneer, novelist and journalist, who is helping organizations worldwide think about the future, and Jack Shaw, recognized for expertise in leading edge business technologies. The convention exhibit hall highlighted refreshments and door prizes with68 exhibitors featuring products and services focused on advancements in credit union and financial services.

Mike Williams, President/CEO of Colorado Credit Union and Chairman of the Mountain West Credit Union Association Board of Directors said, “The best part of this year’s annual meeting was the chance to network with the greatest credit union people in the world.” He continued, “I want to thank all those who attended and made the event exceptional.”

At this year’s Annual Awards Dinner, The Mountain West Credit Union Association presented two prestigious awards. The Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Dale Rutt, board chairman from Sooper Credit Union in Denver, Colorado for noble service and credit union spirit through dedication to and belief in the credit union movement. The second award of the evening, the 2013 Professional of the Year, was presented to Mark Lau from Denver Fire Federal Credit Union. This award recognizes an individual whose leadership and accomplishments have made significant contributions to their credit union, the credit union movement and the communities they serve.

Mike Williams completed his term as chairman of the Association at this year’s annual meeting and was recognized for his outstanding accomplishments. Scott Earl, President/ CEO of Mountain West Credit Union Association said “I want to thank Mike for his steadfast leadership and guiding hand.  He was the right person at the right time to put the Association together. I will always be grateful for all his hard work and I am especially grateful for his friendship.”  The board of directors voted Robert Ramirez (vice chair) of Vantage West Credit Union as the new chairman of the board with Susan Frank from Desert Schools FCU as vice chair, John Uchida from Space Age FCU as treasurer, and Jim Yates from First Education FCU as secretary.

Re-elected members of the Association board were introduced at the annual business meeting. They are:

Susan Frank, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union

Dan Desmond, TruWest Credit Union

Walt Marx, College Credit Union


Newly elected board members were also announced. They are:

Doug Ferraro, Bellco Credit Union

Dan Kester, Sooper Credit Union

Advocacy awards were presented at the annual business meeting held on Saturday April 6. Those recognized include, Colorado Credit Union as the Advocacy Team of the Year.  Ana Corona, Branch Manager at AEA Federal Credit Union in Arizona was awarded as the Legislative & Political Coordinator (LPC) of the Year for the Mountain West Credit Union Association. Ana also won the Arizona LPC of the Year award, along with Wyoming winner Steve Higginson, president & CEO from Reliant Federal Credit Union and Colorado winner Eva Gaudio, Senior Vice President of Governmental and Student Relations at Elevations Credit Union.

For the second year, a group of young professionals participated in the conference. This year’s young professional program was sponsored by the Arizona Youth Involvement Network (AYIN) and the Mountain West Credit Union Association. Eighteen young professionals participated in all the convention activities on Friday April 5, and attended extra mentor sessions coordinated by the AYIN steering committee with speakers, Mike Williams, President/CEO of Colorado Credit Union; Susan Frank, President/ CEO Desert Schools Federal Credit Union; John Uchida, President/ CEO Space Age Federal Credit Union; LC Williams, Board Chair Space Age Federal Credit Union and Chris Kemm, VP Political Affairs, Mountain West Credit Union Association.

Attendees had the option to participate in a golf and tennis tournament on Thursday, April 4. More than 160 people participated in the tournament, which raised more than $35,000 to benefit the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation.

This year’s Children’s Miracle Network breakfast was held on Saturday, April 6 and featured special guest, Miss Arizona, Piper Stoeckel to present credit unions with recognition awards for their fundraising efforts. Top fundraising credit unions in asset categories include, Alhambra Credit Union, Altier Credit Union, Arizona Central Credit Union, and Credit Union of Denver.

View full photo album

Click to enlarge images

L-R: Mike Williams, Dan Kester,
Margaret Hunnicutt, Scott Earl
L-R: Piper Stoeckel, Kellee Dominguez,
Debra McConnell, Lisett Olsen 
L-R: Scott Earl, Bob Ramirez









About the Mountain West Credit Union Association

The Mountain West Credit Union Association is the regional tri-state trade association representing 154 member credit unions, 3.2 million credit union members and $29 billion in assets throughout Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming.  Not-for-profit in nature, credit unions provide low-cost financial services to their members.  Founded in 2011, the Mountain West Credit Union Association serves and supports member credit unions through advocacy, communications, community outreach, education & training, operations, public affairs and regulatory & compliance services. The Mountain West Credit Union Association is affiliated with Credit Union National Association (CUNA), World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and CUNA Mutual Group.
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Pay to Wear Your Jeans - Help Support Financial Literacy | Tuesday, 09 April 2013
Pay to Wear Your Jeans - Help Support Financial Literacy


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click to enlarge image
Help kids by paying to wear your jeans to work?
That’s right.
  This year all proceeds from our Jeans Day will go toward National Youth Involvement Board (NYIB) scholarships, which help support credit unions’
youth advocacy and financial education awareness initiatives.

www.nyib.org
G.VERNON BABILON NAMED PRESIDENT OF TUCSON OLD PUEBLO CREDIT UNION | Thursday, 03 January 2013


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CONTACT:
Richard Prater
Tucson Old Pueblo Credit Union
2500 E. 22nd St., Tucson, AZ 85713
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1.3.2013


G.VERNON BABILON NAMED PRESIDENT OF TUCSON OLD PUEBLO CREDIT UNION

TUCSON, AZ –Tucson Old Pueblo Credit Union’s Board of Directors has selected Vern Babilon as CEO/President of the organization.  Mr. Babilon will assume the role previously held by Joseph Mirachi on January 7, 2013. In August 2012, Joseph Mirachi, who served TOPCU for four years, announced his plans to move to Coco Beach, FL to run Kennedy Space Center FCU.

“Throughout our search, Vern far exceeded the Board’s expectations and quickly rose to the top during a very competitive hiring process.  His skills are many and he certainly has the experience and qualifications to lead TOPCU into the future,” said Richard Prater, Board Chair. “With over 22 years of credit union experience, including a stint as the industry’s youngest CEO in 1989, Vern possesses unique skills in lending, collections, marketing, and operations.”

 
Before joining TOPCU, Mr. Babilon was the owner of GVBabilon Associates—a recruiting firm located in Cypress, TX with a focus of serving credit unions, community banks and CPA firms.   Vern has a passion for the credit union movement and remains current on credit union wide trends, regulations and activities.  Before starting his own firm, Vern was a top executive at credit unions for 25 years.  He spent 16 years as CEO of Bellco FCU in Reading, PA and five years as EVP/CFO at People’s Trust FCU in Houston, TX.

 
Vern’s formal education and credit union specific credentials are extensive.  He earned his B.A. in Banking/Finance and Accounting at Alvernia College in Reading, PA and followed that with a Master’s of Business/Management Degree from Penn State University.  He became a certified credit union executive (CCUE) in 1993, a certified public accountant (CPA) in 1994, and a certified credit union financial counselor (CCUFC) in 2009. He has attended the Penn State Judge/Bradley Credit Union School and the Georgetown University Executive Education Course. Over the years, he has attended numerous credit union and banking conferences presented by the AICPA, CUNA, PSCU, PA League Leadership, and Prime Alliance. He has also attended both the state and national Government Affairs Conference (GAC) for credit unions.  Vern believes in continuous education.  His CPEs for his CPA license are current and he reads the Credit Union Journal every week.  Vern’s current professional memberships include the Houston Chapter of Credit Unions, the Texas CPA Society, and the Houston CPA Society.  

 
Vern’s community involvement over the years adds to his suitability for this position; TOPCU is involved supporting many City of Tucson events as well as working closely with Tucson Police Foundation and Greater Tucson Fire Foundation.  He has been involved with mentorship programs, Meals-on-Wheels, Adopt a Highway, Muscular Dystrophy, sponsored high school theater and athletic events, Children’s Tumor Foundation and more. 
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