Mountain West Credit Union Association Announces New Board, Annual Award Winners

Board named along with Professional, Director of the Year and HOPE Award Winners

DENVER, Co. (May 14, 2018) – The Mountain West Credit Union Association’s Board of Directors announced it elected a new slate of officers after the Association’s Annual Business Meeting held April 27, 2018.

Serving as Chairman of the Board is Jim Yates, President and CEO of First Education Federal Credit Union in Cheyenne, WY. Jay Curtis, President and CEO of First Credit Union in Chandler, AZ, will serve as Vice-Chairman. Colleen Curtis, President and CEO of Southwest Healthcare Credit Union in Phoenix, AZ will serve as Treasurer. Greg Mills, President and CEO of Aventa Credit Union in Colorado Springs, CO will serve as Secretary.

“I am looking forward to working with these amazing individuals who are tremendously dedicated to supporting the credit union movement,” said Scott Earl, President and CEO of the Mountain West Credit Union Association. “Their passion for our members is evident in their ongoing commitment to serve in this capacity in addition to their responsibilities at their respective credit unions. For that, we thank them and are grateful.”

Additionally, there were four board seats up for re-election. All four incumbents chose to run for an additional term and were elected by acclamation.  They are:

  • Robert Ramirez, Vantage West Credit Union was re-elected for a 3-year term in the at-large category.
  • Greg Mills, Aventa Credit Union was re-elected for a 3-year term in the Class 2 category.
  • John Uchida, Space Age Credit Union was re-elected for a 3-year term in the at-large category.
  • Jim Yates, First Education Federal Credit Union was re-elected for a 3-year term in the Class 3 category.

Annual Awards Presented

The Mountain West Credit Union Association also presented its annual credit union Professional and Director of the Year, as well as the Hope Award, at a special dinner also held April 27 at The Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs, CO.

Each year, the Association solicits nominations to determine the Professional and Director of the Year. The Association also gave out the HOPE Award. HOPE stands for “Helping People Every Day.” HOPE nominees were recognized throughout the year either at their credit union, a Chapter event or within their state.

Jim Yates – Professional of the Year

Professional of the Year

Jim Yates, President and CEO of First Education Federal Credit Union in Cheyenne, WY and newly named chairman of the Mountain West Credit Union Association Board of Directors, was awarded the Credit Union Professional of the Year. “Jim has been an active member of his community, as well as the Association, for many years,” said Earl. “His dedication to the credit union movement, and the technologies that will keep us relevant, is a tremendous benefit to both the Association, and our member credit unions.”

He began his career in 1984 as a teller and from there, moved into accounting and IT. In 1993, he joined First Education Federal Credit Union, where he is now the President and CEO. He is an active Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE), and was instrumental in the formation of what is now the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation. He is active in the Cheyenne community where he currently serves as President of the Cheyenne Schools Foundation. In addition, he has served on numerous national Credit Union National Association (CUNA) committees. He has a degree in Economics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and studied business management at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky.

Yates is an innovator and supports ideas that are geared to advance technology. He was at the forefront of CULedger initiative, a growing initiative for a sovereign digital identity platform. His tireless dedication to serving and is reflected in the numerous committees and other activities that he has participated in over the years.

 

Walker Fleming – Director of the Year

Director of the Year

Walker Fleming, chairman of the board, Bellco Credit Union (Denver, CO) was named the Director of the Year. He has been active in the credit union movement since 2010 when he joined the credit union’s supervisory committee, and has been Chairman of the Board since 2013. He is a great supporter of the movement and regularly participates in Hike the Hill visits in Washington, D.C. In 2015 he hosted the opening reception for the World Council of Credit Unions and CUNA in Denver as well as attending the conference. In addition to his credit union service, he is a member of the Boy Scouts Trustee Board and the Denver Police Foundation Board.

 

Jane Vela – Hope Award Winner

HOPE Award

Jane Vela, from Landings Credit Union in Tempe, AZ was named the recipient of the HOPE Award. Vela embodies the “People Helping People” quality every day. In the decade she has worked for the credit union, she has developed deep relationships with members. Her compassion led her to assist one particular member obtain disability benefits after a life altering accident. She also assisted him with a budget and helped him purchase his first home. She has assisted him through additional life changes and helped him navigate through the HARP Program, apply for social services, and other services. She now engages with other staff in collecting donations to help the member and his grandson enjoy time together such as movies or special events.

 

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 twitter.com/mwcua or on Facebook at facebook.com/mwcua. To learn more about credit unions visit AsmarterChoice.org.

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