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


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Joy Audet

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.