Financial Literacy Legislation Passes in Arizona


Financial literacy advocates join Senator Kimberly Yee (red blazer) and Austin De Bey, MWCUA VP Legislative Affiars (4th from right) as financial literacy legislation passed in Arizona

Financial literacy advocates scored key victories at the Arizona State Capitol this week, as a Mountain West Credit Union Association supported financial education bill passed the Legislature and a financial literacy resolution cleared the state Senate.

On Monday, April 9, S.B. 1442, which was introduced by Arizona Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Yee, passed the legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support and was sent to the Governor. The bill would allow a school district to require students to pass a personal finance class in order to graduate from high school. It also directs the State Board of Education to create a program that will recognize students that graduate high school with a high level of proficiency in personal finance.


“I have long been a supporter of financial education in our schools.  Since most schools offer personal finance courses as elective rather than required, I sponsored S.B. 1442 to encourage more students to graduate with these basic financial management skills and be recognized for financial literacy on their high school diplomas” said Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Yee (R-Phoenix). 

“Because of the Senator Yee’s leadership, S.B. 1442 will teach more students in Arizona to become better stewards of their own finance. We applaud the Senator’s longtime commitment toward financial literacy and the Mountain West Credit Union Association was proud to support the bill” said Austin De Bey, VP of Legislative Affairs for the Mountain West Credit Union Association. 

In addition, Senator Yee introduced and read S.C.R. 1024 on the Senate floor to proclaim that the Arizona Legislature is committed to increasing financial education and personal financial management for individuals in various life stages as well as recognize all organizations in Arizona that promote financial literacy. During the reading of the resolution, Senator Yee publicly acknowledged credit unions as being among the important groups that are committed to financial literacy advocacy. The resolution was unanimously adopted by the Senate and sent to the House.

“With this being my last year in the Senate, I proposed S.C.R. 1024 to stress the importance of providing individuals in all stages of life personal financial management skills so they can be productive members of society. The resolution also supports financial education for our students. I believe basic financial understanding of managing money gives our youth financial freedom and all people deserve financial security. I hope that even after I exit the Legislature, the work to advance financial education will continue” said Senator Yee. 

“Financial education is a key component to the credit union philosophy of people helping people.  Credit unions in Arizona and across this country continue to help support efforts that educate citizens of all ages on the importance of financial literacy.  We thank Senator Yee for making financial education a commitment in the state legislature and for recognizing the role credit unions play as financial literacy advocates” said De Bey.

About the Mountain West Credit Union Association

The Mountain West Credit Union Association is the regional tri-state trade association representing 127 member credit unions, 3.3 million credit union members and $41 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 and 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 or on Facebook at To learn more about credit unions visit




MWCUA mourns the passing of a credit union icon

It’s with heavy hearts that Mountain West Credit Union Association announces the passing of Susan Brayman. She was a long-time credit union leader and pioneer, epitomizing what credit unions stand for – serving people.

Sue began her credit union career with the Colorado Credit Union League in 1973 and rose through the ranks to executive vice president. Sue holds the distinction of being the first woman vice president of a League in the country. She directed the growth of the Service Corporation to a $14 million organization that was nationally known for its business excellence. Sue also lent her expertise at the national level leading several committees and initiatives for the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL) and the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).

Scot Earl, President and CEO of MWCUA said, “Sue always stayed focused on what was best for credit unions and their members. She was a friend and mentor and will be greatly missed.”

Sue spearheaded the creation of the Colorado Credit Union Foundation, the forerunner to today’s Mountain West Credit Union Foundation. “She saw a need and worked to make the Foundation a reality,” Earl added. “Her heart was always focused on helping people.”

Sue retired from the League in 1999 but stayed actively involved in credit unions as a member of the Bellco Credit Union Board of Directors and through other consulting projects. She is the namesake of the MWCUA Foundation’s Brayman-Beach scholarship, an $5,000 award given annually to a student who is a member of a Colorado-based credit union seeking a business degree from a four-year accredited institution.



MWCUA statement on H.R. 5266 – The Financial Product Safety Commission Act of 2018

Earlier today, a group of bipartisan Representatives introduced a bill that would replace the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s sole director with a bipartisan, five-member commission. Arizona Representative Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ-09) is one of the bill’s sponsors.

Arizona’s credit unions support this bill, believing that the CFPB’s current structure gives too much authority to a single director without providing appropriate levels of oversight and accountability-leading to unintended consequences.  Congress should change the leadership structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from a one-person director to a multi-person commission.

“I would like to thank Representative Sinema for her leadership and willingness to address a much needed change in the structure of the CFPB,” said Jay Curtis, President and CEO of First Credit Union (Chandler, AZ). “As recent leadership challenges at the Bureau have shown, there is a need for a change to the structure of the Bureau to ensure the purpose for which it is intended – protecting consumers.”

Ultimately, the CFPB was designed to protect the consumer. This change, would help do just that.

“Representative Sinema has been a consumer champion and has been willing to work with members across the aisle ever since she has been in office,” said Alan Althouse, President and CEO of TruWest Credit Union (Phoenix, AZ). “We commend her and her colleagues for bringing forth this bipartisan bill that will address the leadership issues that have been present at the CFPB since its inception. This new structure will bring both balance and fairness to the Bureau and allow it to perform as it was designed to do.”

About the Mountain West Credit Union Association

The Mountain West Credit Union Association is the regional tri-state trade association representing 127 member credit unions, 3.2 million credit union members and $38 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 and 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 or on Facebook at To learn more about credit unions visit


Below is the official release on the bill:

Rep. Ross Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Restructure the CFPB

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Dennis A. Ross (R-FL-15), Senior Deputy Majority Whip, joined with U.S. Reps. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ-09), Ann Wagner (R-MO-02), and David Scott (D-GA-13) to introduce H.R. 5266, the Financial Product Safety Commission Act of 2018, a bill to replace the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s sole director with a bipartisan, five-member commission.

“The idea that civil servants in positions of immense power should be isolated from debate and protected from dissent is antithetical to our nation’s founding principles,” said Congressman Ross. “Our system of governance is rooted in the belief that robust competition for ideas and vigorous engagement between those with whom we disagree, is the best way to make laws and regulations and to serve the American people. As one of the most powerful agencies ever created, the CFPB should not be exempt from this principle of good governance, and, with this legislation, we can ensure that it no longer will be – regardless of who holds the White House.”

“We need a watchdog that looks out for everyday Arizonans and puts consumer protection first,” said Congresswoman Sinema. “That’s why I’ve sponsored this bill under both Democratic and Republican presidents. CFPB’s ability to carry out its mission should not be subjected to the whims of any one person or political party. Our bill requires qualified people in both parties to work together to get things done – that’s how we deliver results for Arizona that stand the test of time.”

“As Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, I saw firsthand the abuses and lack of accountability at the CFPB under the leadership of Former Director Richard Cordray,” said Congresswoman Ann Wagner.  “The Financial Product Safety Commission Act of 2018 provides a layer of stability and transparency for an agency that has lacked both.  I commend my good friend from Florida, Dennis Ross for his leadership and support on this issue.”

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 to provide oversight of the financial services industry. The agency is currently run by a sole director who may be removed by the President only for cause. Under the Financial Product Safety Commission Act of 2018, the President would appoint, subject to Senate confirmation, five individuals who have strong competencies and experiences in consumer financial products and services to serve on the Commission for staggered 5 year terms.



AZ CU advocates are hiking the hill at GAC

A few of our MWCUA AZ member credit union representatives gather to tackle the hill today in Washington, DC. They are there to represent our 1.7 million members in Arizona today.

MWCUA GAC Hill visits begin

MWCUA Colorado members met today with @RepJaredPolis to discuss credit union priorities. We want to thank him for taking time out of his schedule to meet with our @COCUADVOCATES#creditunion (s) #CUNAGAC @CUNA @CUNAadvocacy


MWCUA at GAC Begins

MWCUA’s member credit union representatives met this evening to kick off our events for GAC. Scott Earl, MWCUA President & CEO, welcomed the group at our reception held at Credit Union House in Washington, D.C.



10 Students to Receive $1,000 Each for Higher Education

TUCSON, Arizona. (February 22, 2018) – Vantage West Credit Union, southern Arizona’s largest credit union, is now accepting applications for its 2018  scholarship program. This year, Vantage West will award $1,000 each to 10  students pursuing higher education in Arizona this fall semester.

“We are proud to offer this scholarship opportunity to help students and families take the next step forward in reaching their financial goals. This aligns with our commitment to  help our members succeed through quality education, knowing that  when our members and communities thrive, we thrive,” said Vantage West President and CEO Robert D. Ramirez.

The scholarship program  is open to new and returning students to Arizona colleges and universities, vocational/trade/technical schools, as well as those pursuing post-graduate studies. Nine scholarships are available for general application, and one is reserved for a qualified student from the Mammoth-San Manuel Unified School District.

A panel of judges will make the final selection based on a number of criteria including academic merit, content and quality of a financial  essay, and overall character as demonstrated by  philanthropic activities and other accomplishments.

The application form, along with official rules, is available at Deadline for submission is  March 17, 2018.

To date, Vantage West has awarded close to $30,000 in total scholarships since launching the program in 2013.

About Vantage West Credit Union

Vantage West is a $1.9-billion financial institution and the largest credit union in southern Arizona, with 16 branches in Pima, Pinal, Maricopa and Cochise counties and serving a growing membership of nearly 150,000. Vantage West is a full-service financial institution, offering consumer and business loans, credit cards, and deposit products, as well as retirement accounts and other financial services. Recent accolades include the Credit Union of the Year Award and Best Bank/Credit Union in the Arizona Daily Star Readers’ Choice poll.  Vantage West is federally insured by NCUA. vantagewest.                                                                   

 Media Contacts:
Jill Casey

Vantage West Credit Union



Cynthia Miller

Vantage West Credit Union


Public Service Credit Union Announces their Suit Drive for Soldiers

PSCU is Collecting Business Battle Wear for Service Men and Women through February 24th.

LONE TREE, CO (February 15, 2018) – Public Service Credit Union (PSCU) is collecting business suits and attire for service men and women through February 24, 2018.

PSCU is partnering with Farmers Insurance, Arc Thrift Stores, and No Barriers Warriors to help men and women who have served in the armed forces suit up in a different way. “Transitioning from military life into the civilian workforce is an ongoing challenge for many,” says Malcolm Johnson, PSCU’s Director of Public Relations and Community Involvement. “This is just one way we can give back to the brave men and women that have served.”

New and gently used men’s and women’s suits, professional attire, and accessories are being accepted at all 29 PSCU locations from Colorado Springs to Fort Collins. Visit the PSCU website at to find a nearby drop-off point. Arc Thrift Stores are also providing a selection of clothing and accessories gathered from local Colorado shops. All donated attire will be distributed to service members at a future Suits for Soldiers event.

About Public Service Credit Union (

Public Service Credit Union (PSCU) has been safe, secure, and insured for the past 80 years. Today, PSCU holds assets in excess of $2.3 billion and has more than 225,000 members. PSCU provides a full array of financial products and services, including savings, checking, loans, mortgages, and online and mobile banking options. Members can access their accounts and conduct transactions at PSCU’s 28 branches, and at over 200 shared branch locations throughout Colorado. In addition, through the credit union’s partnership with the CO-OP network, members have surcharge-free access to more than 30,000 ATMs across the country.

About Farmers Insurance (

“Farmers Insurance®” and “Farmers®” are tradenames for a group of affiliated insurers providing insurance for automobiles, homes and small businesses and a wide range of other insurance and financial services and products. Farmers Insurance is proud to serve more than 10 million households with over 19 million individual policies nationally, through the efforts of more than 48,000 exclusive and independent agents and approximately 21,000 employees. Farmers Insurance Exchange®, the largest of the three primary insurance insurers that make up Farmers Insurance, is recognized as one of the largest U.S. companies on the 2017 Fortune 500 list. For more information about Farmers Insurance, visit, Twitter and Instagram, @WeAreFarmers, or

Arc Thrift Stores (

The mission of the Arc Thrift Stores Inc is to enhance the lives of individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families by providing funding to support the Arc and ACL Chapters in Colorado and Advocacy Denver.

No Barriers Warriors (

No Barriers Warriors, a program of No Barriers USA, improves the lives of veterans with disabilities through curriculum-based experiences in challenging environments. The No Barriers Warriors experiences serve as both an opportunity for growth and catalyst for change as these brave men and women stretch physical and emotional boundaries, foster camaraderie, pioneer through adversity, and step up to serve others. Through experiences that are one part adventure, one part curriculum, and one part physical challenge, veterans are shown that what’s within them is stronger than what’s in their way.



Contact Information

Media Contact: Joe Greene, VP, Marketing

Company Name: Public Service Credit Union

Email Address:



CHEYENNE, WY – The Blue Foundation, Blue Federal Credit Union’s 501(c)(3), is proud to offer a total of $12,500 in scholarships this year to members of the credit union.  Six scholarships of $2,000 each will be awarded to current high school seniors that are members of Blue Federal Credit Union in memory of Myrtle Knight. The Shirley Howard Blue Foundation Scholarship of $500 will also be awarded to a student attending Laramie County Community College in Wyoming.

Applicants must be members of the credit union, have a share savings account in their own name, graduate from a U.S. accredited school or home school in the spring of 2018, attend college in the fall of 2018, and must completely fill out the scholarship application by April 1, 2018.

“As Blue Federal Credit Union and the Blue Foundation have grown, we are excited to see our scholarship program also expand,” said Michele Bolkovatz, Vice President of Marketing at Blue Federal Credit Union and a member of the Blue Foundation Board.  “We look forward to offering more scholarships this year to our young members than we have in the past.”

The Blue Foundation is committed to improving the financial well-being of communities in Wyoming and Colorado and allows Blue to contribute to many worthy causes, including scholarships and furthering education.  Scholarships are offered every year, and applicants are narrowed down based on educational merit, individual financial need, and their contributions to the community.

Last year, the Blue Foundation awarded a total of $12,500 in scholarships. Jackson DePenning, Theodore Dulchinos, Angelina Gregg, Sarah Krysl, Sawyer Ruben, and Jenna Wichmann each received $2,000. The Shirley Howard Blue Foundation Scholarship was awarded to Matthew Waterman, who received $500.

The Blue Foundation Scholarship application and full details can be found at

Blue Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit financial institution serving the communities of Wyoming and Northern Colorado. Our purpose is to create a true cooperative that’s connected to and inspired by the communities we serve, committed to building lifelong relationships with our members and recognizing their loyalty, and guided by the belief that their success is ours. Please visit for more information.



Campco Federal Credit Union has its Crasher!

Gillette, Wyoming – Campco Federal Credit Union is pleased to announce that Jesse Jacobs has been selected to attend Crash the GAC 2018 by The Cooperative Trust and Credit Union National Association to represent Mountain West Credit Union Association.

I am thrilled to be chosen as a Crasher at GAC.  My passion for the Credit Union movement continues to grow with every conference and school I attend.  The energy young professionals have about the movement is tremendously addicting and I can’t wait to bring that energy home to Campco Federal Credit Union.   My goal is to absorb all the knowledge and network with as many people as I can.  Many thanks to Campco Federal Credit Union, Mountain West Credit Union Association, The Cooperative Trust, and Credit Union National Association for their support and making this trip possible.  – Jesse Jacobs

Crash the GAC is a career-changing program for credit union young professionals that allows them to experience CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference in a dynamic way with exclusive networking opportunities and mentoring sessions with industry leaders, previously from organizations such as Filene Research Institute, National Credit Union Foundation, Credit Union National Association, and CUNA Mutual Group.

“The Crashers program is great for young credit union professionals, for GAC, and for the entire movement,” said CUNA CEO and President Jim Nussle. “The Crashers get to network and participate in the premier event of the credit union industry, the GAC benefits from their enthusiasm and fresh perspectives, and the movement is invigorated by a new generation of fired-up advocates who have learned how to reach out to legislators to effect change.”

Credit Union National Association provides Crashers with a complimentary registration fee to attend the conference, and many state leagues and associations provide scholarships or other financial assistance. This year 78 Crashers will attend Crash the GAC representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

As a past attendee of GAC, I can confirm that it is one of the finest conferences with the largest attendance of both Credit Union participants along with vendors in the industry.  The opportunity provided by the Cooperative Trust and Credit Union National Association to send Jesse as a “Crasher” is an exceptional opportunity.  Jesse is the perfect award winner as she continues to lead in our community and with our management team.  Jesse and young people like Jesse the type of leaders that keep the Credit Union movement fresh, exciting, and forward thinking. -Kurt Thelen, Campco FCU

“As we continue to grow The Cooperative Trust and Crash opportunities, we’re always challenging ourselves to elevate and advance the program to provide the most impact for young professionals and the credit union system,” says Lauren Culp, Manager of The Cooperative Trust. “We know that it’s more important than ever that young people have a voice and are included in the conversation as we look to the future of our industry. This year, thanks to the generous donations of several forward-thinking credit unions, we’re thrilled to provide the Crash the GAC opportunity to an additional 26 young professionals.”

The Crash the GAC is brought to you by The Cooperative Trust and CUNA, in association with Credit Union Leagues/Associations.


About The Cooperative Trust: The Cooperative Trust, with its award-winning Crash programming, is the international community of young credit union professionals, brought to you by Filene Research Institute and made possible by Credit Union National Association. To learn more, check it out live at


About Filene: Filene Research Institute is an independent, consumer finance think and do tank dedicated to scientific and thoughtful analysis about issues affecting the future of credit unions, retail banking and cooperative finance. Filene is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Nearly 1,000 members make the Institute’s research, innovation and impact programs possible.


About CUNA: Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is the only national association that advocates on behalf of all of America’s credit unions, which are owned by more than 100 million consumer members. CUNA, along with its network of affiliated state credit union leagues, delivers unwavering advocacy, continuous professional growth and operational confidence to protect the best interests of all credit unions. For more information about CUNA, visit