Highlights from the 2017 Foundation Impact Report

The annual Foundation Impact Report was released last week at the Mountain West Credit Union Association’s 2018 Annual Meeting and Convention.

Established in 1982, the purpose of the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation is to promote leadership development and the advancement of the Credit Union Movement. It accomplishes this through leadership development programs and initiatives that support the long-term success of credit unions in their communities.

What follows is a brief recap of some of the highlights of our accomplishments in 2017.

The Executive Leadership Program

Since its inception in 2013, The Foundation has awarded 20 impressive scholars a total of nearly $87,000 to support their journey through The Executive Leadership Program. Selection for the 5-year program is highly competitive and the recipients represent an elite group of leaders who are committed and determined to further the Credit Union Movement.

The Executive Leadership Program links several valuable and well recognized Credit Union leadership programs together for the express purpose of developing leaders specifically for the Credit Union industry. The program trains rising leaders in areas that include exemplifying organizational values, problem solving, empowering others, workplace prioritization, coaching, time management, and setting and measuring goals.

Leadership Institute Scholarships

Last year, the Foundation awarded scholarships totaling $19,000 for 12 Credit Union leaders to attend the Leadership Institute.

Now in its 8thyear, the Institute is a comprehensive leadership program that trains Credit Union leaders in areas including problem solving, empowering others, workplace prioritization, coaching, time management, and setting and measuring goals. Since the Institute was founded, over 200 leaders from credit unions in Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming have made their way through the program.

Chief Executive Institute

Founded by The Center for Credit Union Leadership, Chief Executive Institute was created specifically for newly seated CEO’s or successors. Using the Baldrige Excellence Framework, the program is hands-on and pragmatic, offering new CEO’s a place where they can address tough questions about growth, sustainability, technology, leadership, and attracting and nurturing new talent.

The intensive curriculum meets for five 2-day sessions that span the course of a year. At the close of 2017, a total of 9 scholars had completed the program and 3 graduates are now implanting the Baldridge Leadership Model within their Credit Unions.

The Gary Plank Scholarship

The Foundation awarded four $5,000 Gary Plank Scholarships in 2017, sending

3 young leaders and 1 Development Educator to the World Conference in Austria. The annual Conference is a tremendous opportunity for leaders to acquire valuable information, network with Credit Union professionals from all over the world, and get inspired by the passion and enthusiasm for the worldwide Credit Union Movement.

All four scholarship recipients were selected based on their overall contribution to their Credit Unions and their communities. Additionally, these four individuals have all demonstrated a personal commitment to the Credit Union cooperative model and a remarkable potential for further influence within the Credit Union Movement

Professional Development Scholarships and Grants

In 2017, the Foundation awarded 66 scholarships totaling $61,469 for initiatives promoting leadership development, financial education programs, community outreach, and initiatives that support growth and compliance in our small Credit Unions.

Scholarships included the Brayman-Beach scholarship which provides $5,000 in funding for a Credit Union member earning a business degree, 2 grants totaling $6,300 for small Credit Unions to better serve their communities, and $11,810 in Community Investment Funds that helped 4 Credit Unions serve the underserved and provide financial education.

Leadership Research

In 2015, the Foundation launched a ground-breaking Leadership Research project focused on acquiring a deeper understanding of what makes a high-performing credit union leader.The research identified 9 traits of high performing Credit Union CEOs through data collected from Credit Union CEOs in the Mountain West region. These 9 traits are now being taught to Credit Union Leaders throughout the Foundation’s leadership development programs.


Thank you to everyone who supports and contributes to the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation and the cooperative programs and opportunities made possible through your generosity.We look forward to continued success in 2018 and beyond as we work together to strengthen the Credit Unions in our association, and further the Credit Union Movement.


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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