Congratulations to the 2017 Executive Leadership Scholars!

We are proud to introduce this group of elite emerging leaders devoted to the development of ongoing growth and leadership.

All Executive Leadership Scholars are selected using a comprehensive process including application submission, letters of recommendation, leadership skills assessments, and panel interviews. The program is a five-year journey during which scholars are taught leadership skills, operational principles, and credit union philosophy while being mentored by an experienced executive coach.

Jennifer Hernandez

Jennifer Hernandez is the Director of Consumer Loan Fulfillment for OneAZ Credit Union in Arizona. Having served the Credit Union industry for the past 21 years, Jennifer began her career as a teller before working her way up through FSR, Loan Officer, Underwriter and Supervisor positions. Experience in both front line and back office roles has provided her with a broad understanding of Credit Union operations that has only deepened her commitment to the Credit Union Movement.

Early in Jennifer’s career, she realized that ongoing education would be a necessary and vital requirement in order to move up within the organization into more challenging positions. Even while managing a full time job and raising a family, Jennifer obtained a Bachelor of Science in Management and attended the Credit Union Leadership Institute. The Executive Leadership program is the next step in her commitment to ongoing education and professional development.

In addition to her professional successes, Jennifer donates countless hours and financial resources to a variety of causes within her community including an annual Christmas Angel program, the Phoenix Rescue Mission, the Arizona Special Olympics, the local public school’s DECA program, and a variety of other fundraising and mentoring campaigns.

Nina Myers

Nina Myers, VP of Operations for Fitzsimons Federal Credit Union in Colorado began her Credit Union career as a teller, not seeking much more than a steady paycheck. She was finishing up a Bachelor’s Degree and trying to choose a career path. It didn’t take long for Nina to realize that the Credit Union philosophy aligned closely with her personal values and interests. Her desire to contribute to her community along with an attraction to working in the financial arena, solidified her decision to choose Credit Union service as the right career choice.

It wasn’t long before Nina was promoted from teller to loan officer where she was able to use her experience to build bridges between departments and open opportunities for them to work together better. After achieving success as a loan officer, Nina ascended to marketing director and then to VP of lending and member services before moving into her current position at Fitzsimons.

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Nina is deeply committed to serving her community. She is highly involved in the Denver AmeriCorps Alums chapter, serves as a volunteer for a program that supports refugees, and received the Peacemaker of the Year award through the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center.

Nina believes that the Executive Leadership Program will be pivotal in helping her move to the next level of her career and grow into the kind of leader that creates a lasting impact within her community and the Credit Union movement as a whole.

PJ Brennan

PJ Brennan is Wyoming Regional Director for Blue Federal Credit Union in Cheyenne. Having served the Credit Union industry for the past 17 years, PJ is currently tasked with leading a team of six Branch Managers spread throughout the Wyoming Region. PJ began his career working for a couple of national banks, but realized that he wanted to align his professional life with a deep desire towards “servant leadership” that’s focused on the growth and well-being of the people within his community. With the realization that a top-down leadership model that serves only to accumulate and exercise power doesn’t align with his personal values, he joined the Credit Union industry where he is able to embrace a model of leadership that favors teamwork and cooperative achievement.

Over the last few years at Blue FCU, PJ has built powerful relationships with over 100 member service employees where he works to facilitate continued improvement to the quality of member services. He was selected to represent the Credit Union’s Retail Operations group as the liaison for two core system conversions over the past two years, has participated in several continuing education and leadership development programs, and received the Spirit of Service Nomination in December of 2013.

In addition to his professional success, PJ volunteers with the Greater Wyoming Big Brothers Big Sisters program, Cheyenne Animal Shelter, and a suicide prevention program. He believes the Executive Leadership Program will provide the opportunity to refine and polish his leadership qualities and expand his knowledgebase of core areas of Credit Union operations, preparing him for his ultimate goal of becoming a Credit Union CEO.

Bree Dronen

Bree Dronen is the Member Services Manager for Laramie Plains Community Federal Credit Union in Wyoming where she is responsible for a team of four to six Member Service Representatives. After spending her early career in a variety of fields, Bree joined the Credit Union industry two years ago and knows with certainty that this is where she’ll remain for the rest of her professional life. Starting her Credit Union career as a Member Service Representative, Bree has been promoted twice over the past two years and graduated from the Wyoming MWCUA Leadership Institute. Bree believes that Credit Union leaders have a unique opportunity to be positive effectors of change, and that it’s their duty to promote continuous growth within themselves, their peers, and the entire industry in effort to further the Credit Union movement.

Bree volunteers for several local and national non-profit organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters, National Intramural-Recreational Sport Association, and the University of Wyoming Athletics department. Over the next few years, Bree plans to obtain an MBA in Finance, complete the Credit Union Development Education program and attend Western CUNA Management school. She believes that the Executive Leadership Program will have an immediate impact on current work as well as offer the structure and opportunities for continued growth.

If you or someone you know is ready to move their career to the next level, we encourage you to find out more about the Executive Leadership Program and how you can apply at

About Dan Finerty

Dan Finerty is the Director of Marketing at the Mountain West Credit Union Association, a Credit Union champion, a Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE), and an award-winning marketer. Dan has over 14 years of marketing experience in communications, retail, packaged goods, and, of course, Credit Unions. He believes that Credit Unions have an incredible story to tell and works with some of the brightest Credit Union professionals to help promote Credit Unions to the public. Dan holds two Bachelor’s of Science in Marketing and in Management. He is also a swell guy.

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