Mountain West Credit Union Association: The Leadership Institute

Growing the next generation of Credit Union leaders

A tall order?

Perhaps not, if you are one of the participants in the Mountain West Credit Union Leadership Institute Program. In 2011, eleven emerging leaders from Wyoming credit unions were the first group to participate in this transformational event. Arizona was added in 2012 and this year, we conducted three concurrent sessions for about 30 credit union leaders in Wyoming, Colorado, and Arizona.

What is the Leadership Institute?

The Leadership Institute is a series of four 2-day workshops conducted over a 7-8 month period that includes team and group projects, leadership seminars, and practical application exercises. The sessions are facilitated by the Peregrine Leadership Institute, a company headquartered in Gillette Wyoming. Peregrine Leadership includes experienced leaders who can share their own successes and challenges of leadership based upon their personal leadership journeys.

Each of the 2-day sessions includes 4-6 essential leadership topical areas associated with communications, ethical decision-making, coaching/mentoring, dealing with conflict, and team-based leadership. Collectively, Peregrine’s leadership facilitators have all worked previously in government (state and federal) and in private business: the energy sectors, education, law enforcement, defense, emergency management, retail, and services/support industries. The facilitators’ past positions include supervisor, manager, human resource specialist, corporate trainer, company officer, and senior executive. We are a diversified team of highly trained and motivated professionals with an absolute passion for values-based leadership.

The Institute is not for the faint of heart!

Leadership is not a group hug, sing-along session designed to promote warm feelings, peace, and harmony within the workplace. Instead, leadership is an action-packed, hands-on effort that frequently includes hard choices, ethical dilemmas, solid people skills, and an unwavering adherence to strong core values. Leadership is about earning trust and respect through modeled behaviors. Leadership is about inspiring people to reach their potential and achieve the vision. Leaders recognize the value that employees bring to the organization, harness their potential, and guide them towards achieving a well-communicated vision. Leadership is a team effort that involves more than just faithful followers, but also includes peers and superiors within a collaborative workplace environment of continuous improvement, growth, and change.

And just what do I mean by leadership?

Leadership is about bringing out the potential in others through the active expression of core values in order to obtain goals. Leadership is essential for organizational success. Leadership is winning the hearts and minds, all the time, everywhere. Leaders are made through hard work and dedication. It is how we grow organizations and impact lives.

But, as we all know, leadership is not just an idea: leadership is action and participation. With the Institute, the focus is on workplace application. We do not dwell on irrelevant leadership theory. Instead, our focus is on workplace application. We do not use roleplaying in our workshops, rather we use proven methods for practical adult education. Our approach is unique and it is in this uniqueness that is the value-added difference you will realize as a participant with the Leadership Institute.

Are you ready to take the leadership leap?

If so, consider Mountain West’s Leadership Institute for 2014. Space is limited to no more than 15 participants per state, so please apply as soon as possible. Here’s how…

  • Fill out the program application
  • Get a letter of recommendation from your credit union’s chief executive officer
  • Submit your application and letter of recommendation by DATE to: Mountain West Credit Union Foundation, Attn: Dr. Dan Santangelo, 1009 Grant St. Denver, CO 80203. (If you prefer, you may email these documents to

Finalists for the Foundation Executive Leadership Program will be invited to participate in a final assessment and interview process. A total of three recipients will be selected – one from each of the three Mountain West states (Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming).


For any questions related to the Foundation Executive Leadership Program, please contact:  Dr. Dan Santangelo, Executive Director | 720.479.3276


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