Nine from Oregon, Washington Join Ranks of WCMS Graduates

Nine credit union professionals from Oregon and Washington—including three who graduated with distinction—were among this year’s 75 graduates from Western CUNA Management School (WCMS), a rigorous long-term credit union education program held each summer on the campus of Pomona College in Claremont, Calif.

Rachel Pross, compliance and risk manager at Northwest Community Credit Union, and Erynne Hallock, assistant vice president of branch administration and sales at Numerica Credit Union, each graduated with high honors, and Jeanne Pickens, vice president of marketing at Rogue Federal Credit Union, graduated with honors.

The remaining six graduates from the Northwest were Lisa Gallegos (First Community Credit Union), Robyn Higdon (Wenatchee Valley Federal Credit Union), Kim Peterson (TwinStar Credit Union), Juanita Richards (Horizon Credit Union), Emily Richardson (First Community Credit Union) and Paula Vaughn (Olympia Credit Union).

“At orientation on the very first day of our WCMS journey, we were told that credit union leaders must have a balance of head and heart to take our movement into the future,” Hallock said. “Over the next three years, WCMS taught us that balance. The camaraderie that developed between Kappas, the intense classes and the credit union leaders who spoke to us about strength and humility in challenging times enhanced our knowledge and touched our hearts. WCMS was an experience I will never forget, nor will I ever be the same. The rest of the Kappa class and I are prepared to make a difference.”

Each class of WCMS students, primarily made up of credit union managers and upper-level staff, gathers for two weeks each summer for three consecutive years. The students are immersed in an all-encompassing credit union education that analyzes every aspect of credit unions and the larger movement, preparing them to not only become the next generation of credit union leaders, but to do so with an eye on effecting positive change.

“Western CUNA Management School is a positive, enriching and educational experience that is truly a gift for anyone who has the opportunity to attend,” Pickens said. “Not only did I gain knowledge that will be used for years to come, I have great friendships and a network of credit union professionals that I can call upon at a moment’s notice. WCMS is something different for everyone, but every person walks away with something special that they didn’t have before.”


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Posted in Around the NW, Community Impact, CUNA, Financial Education, GoWest Solutions, NWCUA.