More than 525 people attended Mountain West Credit Union Association’s annual convention in Phoenix, Ariz. earlier this month when the MWCUA board of directors elected Robert Ramirez, president/CEO of the $1.1 billion Vantage West Credit Union in Tucson, as the new chair of the board.
The board also elected Susan Frank, president/CEO of the $3.1 billion Desert Schools Federal Credit Union in Phoenix, Ariz., as vice chair of the board, John Uchida, president/CEO of the $102 million Space Age Federal Credit Union in Aurora, Colo., as treasurer, and Jim Yates, president/CEO of the $47 million First Education Federal Credit Union in Cheyenne, Wyo., as secretary.
Other re-elected board members were Dan Desmond, president/CEO of the $791 million TruWest Credit Union in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Walt Marx, president/CEO of the $43 million College Credit Union in Greeley, Colo. Newly elected board members were Doug Ferraro, president/CEO of the $2.4 billion Bellco Credit Union in Greenwood Village, Colo., and Dan Kester, president/CEO of the $265 million Sooper Credit Union in Denver, Colo.
Mike Williams, president/CEO of the $108 million Colorado Credit Union in Littleton, completed his term as MWCUA chair and was recognized for his accomplishments.
“I want to thank Mike for his steadfast leadership and guiding hand,” said Scott Earl, MWCUA president/CEO. “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.”
At the convention’s annual awards dinner, MWCUA presented its Volunteer of the Year award to Dale Rutt, board member and past chair of Sooper Credit Union, for his service and belief in the credit union movement. The second award, the 2013 Professional of the Year, was presented to Mark Lau, president/CEO of the $126 million 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.
Advocacy awards were presented to Colorado Credit Union as the Advocacy Team of the Year. Ana Corona, branch manager of the $231 million A.E.A Federal Credit Union in Yuma, Ariz., was awarded the Legislative & Political Coordinator of the Year for MWCA. She also won the Arizona LPC of the Year award. The Colorado LPC of the Year went to Eva Gaudio, senior vice president of Governmental and Student Relations at the $1.2 billion Elevations Credit Union in Boulder, Colo. Steve Higginson, president/CEO of the $102 million Reliant Federal Credit Union in Casper, Wyoming, received the Wyoming LPC of the Year award.
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 and the MWCUA. Eighteen young professionals participated in all of the convention Friday’s activities and attended extra mentor sessions.
The convention’s Children’s Miracle Network breakfast featured a special guest, Miss Arizona, Piper Stoeckel, who presented credit unions with recognition awards for their fundraising efforts. Top fundraising credit unions recognized were the $19 million Alhambra Credit Union in Phoenix, Ariz., the $168 million Altier Credit Union in Tempe, Ariz., the $397 million Arizona Central Credit Union in Phoenix, and the $552 million Credit Union of Denver in Lakewood, Colo.