Meet Our Chief Executive Institute Scholars

Meet Our Chief Executive Institute Scholars 

This year the Center for Credit Union Leadership has launched the Chief Executive Institute.  The institute is an executive-level learning experience designed to help position credit unions for growth and leadership by developing awareness, understanding, and workplace application of the Baldrige Excellence Framework.  The program is partially underwritten by scholarships from the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation.


Tessa Bonfante, Chief Operating Officer, Denver Community Credit Union

Tessa has 28 years of credit union experience; 18 in a credit union leadership role.  She is currently Chief Operating Officer at Denver Community Credit Union.  Tessa has served on the Denver Area Chapter of Credit Unions Board of Directors, 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 several CUNA and CUES training programs.


 Jane photo 1.26.16 (1) Jane Dobbs, CEO, Canyon State CU

Jane worked as a consultant for NCUA and DFI specializing in credit union re-development.  She also served as interim CEO for conserved or troubled credit unions.  Jane has served on several non-profit boards, including Year Up and Hustle Phoenix. She has been trained as a supervisor/manager, in public speaking, executive leadership, and more.  Jane is a finance major at Arizona State University and the recipient of the Branch Manager of the Year Award, Gold Club Recognition for Sales Achievement, and employee of the year.


faries_photo John Faries, CEO, Columbine FCU

John has worked in senior leadership at Space Age Federal Credit Union, Aventa Credit Union and as a member of the Board of Directors of Missouri Student FCU. He has served as a national and state leader on the National Youth Involvement Board as its Chair and the Denver Area Chapter Board, and is currently Chair of the Colorado Government Affairs Committee and the Mountain West Credit Union Association Budget Committee. Columbine FCU has been recently named the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation’s 2015 Credit Union of the Year.  John holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Accountancy from the University of Missouri.

 Jeremy Gibson  

Jeremy Gibson, CEO, Trona Valley FCU

Jeremy served as Chief Operating Officer at Trona Valley for almost 4 years.  He has served on the Green River Chamber of Commerce, and named as a member of the first cohort of the Center for Credit Union Leadership’s Executive Leadership Program where he graduated from Western CUNA Management School with the highest scores awarded in its history.  He was selected the 2013 Emerging Leader by the Center for Credit Union Leadership.  Jeremy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Regis University.

 DS_022 Jennifer Godel, Chief Human Resource Officer, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union

Jennifer is an experienced Human Resources professional with skills in talent acquisition and management, employee development, and cultural transformation.  She serves on the board of Empower College Prep, Northrise University, North Phoenix Baptist Church Personnel Committee, and Executive Council Member.  Jennifer is a SHRM-SCP, SPHR and a Western CUNA Management School Graduate.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Arizona State University and a Master of Business Administration from Grand Canyon University.


Mark Portrait 2016  


Mark Hachtel, CEO, BCS Community Credit Union

Mark has more than 30 years of small credit union experience and has helped redesign and develop several small credit unions.  He has held leadership positions in his community including the Boy Scouts, and the local Lacrosse Booster Club.  He attended the University of Utah and studied mass communication as well as several CUNA training programs.



Eric Renaud, CEO, Pima Federal Credit Union

Eric has been involved in credit unions since 2003 and worked as an executive since 2008.  He began his career at Pima Federal Credit Union in 2011 as its Chief Financial Officer.  Eric has recently been involved with Tucson Values Teachers and was trained at the CUNA Leadership Institute. He holds a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Business and Public Management and a Master of Science in Business from State University New York.



Brian Rohrbacher, CEO, Atlantic City FCU

Brian has more than 20 years of credit union experience.  He started his credit union career as a teller at Wyoming Employees Federal Credit Union and has been the CEO of Atlantic City Federal Credit Union since 2012.  Brian has served as Chairman for the Association’s Wyoming Government Affairs Committee, the Budget Committee and is now a member of the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation Board of Directors.  He is a Western CUNA Management and Leadership Institute graduate, and a recipient of the Association’s Advocacy Leadership Award.  He holds an Associate of Science from Central Wyoming College.


 0050 Tyler Valentine  

Tyler Valentine, CEO, Laramie Plains FCU

Tyler has been in a credit union executive leadership role since 2006.  He has worked as a Chief Operations Officer, and became President of Laramie Plains in 2008.  Tyler currently serves as Chairman of Laramie Chamber Business Alliance, Vice Chair of Hospice of Laramie, and Treasurer of the Board of Mountain West Credit Union Foundation.  He is a Development Educator and holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Banking.


This course joins the lineup of the Center for Credit Union Leadership’s program offerings to develop leaders specifically for the Credit Union Movement. These programs give credit unions access to research-backed curriculum to develop their staff and ensure the future of their organization.

Center for Credit Union Leadership Programs

Credit Union Leadership Institute – an in-depth series of workshops designed to develop the talent and skills of emerging leader within the credit union movement.

Executive Leadership Program – a funded, five-year curriculum that focuses on giving credit union leaders the knowledge, skills, and background required to lead a credit union. This program includes the Credit Union Leadership Institute, Credit Union Development Educators (DE), Western CUNA Management School, executive coaching, and mentoring.

Chief Executive Institute – a graduate-level program for senior decision makers to lead their organizations in a complex and changing marketplace by leveraging the Baldrige Excellence Framework.