Congratulations to The New 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 to participate in a five-year journey where they will learn leadership skills, operational principles, and credit union philosophy all under the watchful eye of an experienced executive coach.

JasonNelson-500Jason Nelson is Vice President of Development for Red Rocks Credit Union in Highlands Ranch, CO. Jason has held a variety of positions at Red Rocks, and with each new position he has proven his ability to create growth and improvement.

Jason, who holds a Masters degree in Leadership, has more than 10 years of credit union service under his belt in addition to serving as a board member for several for-profit and non-profit organizations. He is a strategic thinker, excellent problem solver and doesn’t shy away from a challenge. His strong focus on continual personal and professional development has created a large sphere of influence that reaches well beyond the walls of Red Rocks.

Jason believes that his influence can be measured by the degree to which he inspires those around him to develop to the best of their potential. Over the years, he’s sought out multiple opportunities to strengthen his leadership skills and believes that his participation in the Executive Leadership Program is the perfect opportunity to continue that growth.

Peter-500Peter Bullard is Vice President of Member Experience for Credit Union of the Rockies in Golden, CO. A graduate of Purdue University, Peter has over 5 years of experience in credit union service, during which he has accrued an impressive list of awards and accomplishments.

Peter has demonstrated an ability to create growth and improvement within every position he has served and with every new challenge that has come his way. In particular, he has a passion for learning and for sharing that knowledge with others. Over the past few years, he’s made Credit Union of the Rockies the “go to” place for financial education and assistance. He is a true team player with a solid reputation amongst his coworkers for being generous, genuine, and caring. Peter is a regular volunteer at local animal shelters and a mentor for an outreach organization focused on teaching underprivileged kids the core values of courage, discipline, integrity, wisdom, compassion and humility.

Leah-Friedenberg-500-2Leah Friedenberg
is the Director of Payment Services for Pima Federal Credit Union of Tucson, AZ. Leah has been with Pima since 2001, serving in several key supervisory and leadership roles and demonstrating a strong sense of dedication both to members and to the community as a whole. Between the years of 2009-2012, Leah chaired a committee devoted to financial literacy, volunteerism and fundraising, obtaining several awards, including the MWCUA Community Impact Award.

Leah attended the MWCUA Credit Union Leadership Institute in 2015, something she considers to be a career highlight. In addition to her participation in the Executive Leadership Program, she has set a personal goal to obtain her Associate and Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Leah believes that the tools, resources and knowledge she will gain as a result of these ambitious pursuits will allow her to contribute to an ever increasing degree within Pima and the credit union movement as a whole.

More about The Executive Leadership Program

The program is organized into four areas, or Quadrants.

In Quadrant 1, scholars focus on general leadership skill development at The Credit Union Leadership Institute. Participants dive into real life case studies and are charged to work with their peers to come up with practical solutions. This equips them with the knowledge, experience and confidence to step into roles of greater responsibility and facilitates deep relationships that enhance and strengthen the credit union community.

Quadrant 2, Development Educator Training, is all about enriching leaders with a greater knowledge of Credit Union history and philosophy. The DE program is designed to promote social responsibility and leadership development through interactive education and professional networking. DE students are afforded the opportunity to collaborate with other professionals from both inside and outside the Credit Union industry, in the US and around the world.

Quadrant 3 is all about learning the ins and outs of Credit Union operations through Western CUNA Management School. The school is designed for managers and upper-level operational staff who have set credit union management as their career goal and understand the need to keep abreast of developments in our industry. The wide variety of subjects covered gives students the breadth of background required to be valuable, well-rounded members of management well equipped to meet the challenges of the future.

In Quadrant 4, Leadership Program candidates are assigned a coach and a mentor. Leadership does not develop outside of influence and ongoing feedback, and the requirements of the Executive Leadership program are intense. The candidates selected are up to the challenge, but having a coach and a mentor to help guide them along the way is one of the most valuable components of the program. Scholars, working with a credit union mentor, will engage in problem solving and project management using an action learning hands-on process in an actual credit union environment.

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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