A Recap of the 2018 Star Gala with the Event’s Coordinator, Diana Stoick

This past October, the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation hosted the 11th Annual Star Gala at the exclusive Chateau Luxe in Phoenix, Arizona. Each year, this event allows us to recognize some of our industries finest while raising money for programs that support the long-term success of Credit Unions within their communities.

Money raised from the Gala funds Foundation programs that provide scholarships for numerous leadership, professional development and academic opportunities; financial services, development and public financial education grants; and other programs supporting credit unions in Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming.

I recently spoke with Diana Stoick, who has served as the Director of Events for the Mountain West Credit Union Association for the past 21 years, about this year’s Gala. In addition to producing the Association’s two biggest yearly fundraisers – the Annual Golf Tournament and the Star Gala – Diana manages the MWCUA Leadership Institute in all three states, assists with the management and recruitment for the Chief Executive Institute and the Executive Leadership Program, and helps with several young professional events.This is our conversation.

Q: This was the first year the Gala has been hosted in Arizona. How was the new location received?

Diana: The location was impressive. Chateau Luxe is a stunning, unique, elegant venue. Their staff was professional, accommodating, and easy to work with. The weather in October in Phoenix is perfect, and after the awards ceremony, we had dancing and dessert outside on a beautiful patio.

It was wonderful to have so many more of our Arizona Credit Unions represented this year, but we were thrilled that many Colorado and Wyoming Credit Unions were also represented.

As you know, this was our 11thAnnual Gala, but the first in Arizona. As we plan to alternate the Gala’s location between Colorado and Arizona from now on, we hope that many Arizona Credit Unions will join us in Denver next year.

Q: This was your 8th year in charge of the Gala. What do you find most rewarding about putting on an event like this?

Diana: I have a great team to work with and that makes all the difference. It takes about a year of planning to pull off a great event, and the staff I work with to make it happen is just phenomenal. One of our biggest goals is to create an event that is really fun for people. Most of us don’t have much opportunity in our daily lives to dress up and go to a formal event like this and we want to make it truly special for every guest.

The Gala is a wonderful example of how the philosophy of People Helping People extends to the relationships between Credit Unions. The Gala itself, of course, is a fundraiser to support programs that benefit Credit Unions in our association. The money raised allows the association to offer a ton of scholarships and grants. What Credit Unions in our association give, they get back. But, the Gala also shines a spotlight on what individual Credit Unions are doing in their communities. The event recognizes many of the ways our Credit Unions are living the People Helping People philosophy on multiple levels.

Q:What were one or two highlights of this year’s Gala that impacted you personally?

Diana: I really loved seeing our young professionals – the 20 under 40 – recognized. As many of our CEO’s are moving towards retirement, it’s vital that we have a strong group of leaders to replace them. The young leaders who were honored at this year’s gala show incredible leadership and passion for the Credit Union movement.

Also, the tribute to Sue Brayman was wonderful. Sue provided vision and leadership to the Foundation for more than 25 years. It was her unwavering commitment to the People Helping People philosophy that led her to spearhead the launch of the Colorado Credit Union Foundation which was the predecessor of this Mountain West Credit Union Foundation. We were especially honored to have her daughters join us for this year’s Gala.

Congratulations to our 2018 award recipients!

These award winners capture the true spirit of the credit union philosophy of people helping people. By pausing each year to recognize the outstanding efforts of those in the credit union movement, we are reminded of the importance of our founding principles and it reinvigorates our passion. The honorees make a difference in their communities, and in the lives of their members, every single day. It’s why we do what we do.

 Dani Gomez, Hughes Federal Credit Union – Emerging Leader Award

Landings Credit Union– Credit Union of the Year

John Uchida, CEO, Space Age Federal Credit Union – Distinguished Leader Award

Premier Members Credit Union – Community Impact Award Recipient

Hughes Federal Credit Union – Community Impact Runner-up

Click Here to View the full Star Gala Photo Gallery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *