Vote Now for the Northwest’s Next Emerging Credit Union Leader

It is no secret that there is a deep talent pool in the credit union industry, and one need look no further for proof than the many nominees for the Northwest Credit Union Association’s (NWCUA’s) Emerging Leaders Contest.

The Emerging Leaders Program is a unique, long-term program offered by the NWCUA to help participants build the skills needed to become the next generation of great credit union leaders. The Emerging Leaders Contest, then, is an opportunity for one lucky credit union pro from the Northwest to attend tuition-free.

A panel of judges reviewed and scored each entry, and three finalists emerged. The winner will be determined through online voting, which is open now through Feb. 28 on the NWCUA’s dedicated contest page.

Meet the Finalists

Heather Fate has worked at TAPCO Credit Union for the past seven years, where she started as a teller. For the past four years, though, Fate has worked as the compliance specialist, a role in which she enjoys the challenge of keeping up with regulatory changes. And as a department of one, she wears many hats to help keep her credit union compliant.

Fate said she hopes the skills she acquires through the Emerging Leaders Program will allow her to improve her own performance, as well as the performance of her credit union.

“Through this program, I would like to enhance my communication skills and elevate my decision-making abilities,” Fate said. “I anticipate that the program will facilitate one of my major goals: ongoing professional development.”

To learn more about Heather Fate or to vote, click here.

Sadie Kenney has been with White River Credit Union since 2002. Over the years she has steadily added to her responsibilities, which now include compliance, human resources and staff training. That means her day-to-day duties range from making sure her credit union is compliant with state and federal regulations to training staff and volunteers, managing employee benefits and documentation, and maintaining high employee morale.

“We are a single branch credit union with only 18 employees, so we all wear many hats,” Kenney said, “and it is my pleasure and passion to improve function, compliance and morale for our little group.”

Kenney is passionate about the credit union system, especially because of its community roots.

“I believe in the spirit of credit unions! ‘People helping people’ is an amazing and inspiring motto,” Kenney said. “It is awesome to see this acted out every day when I go to work. I love when I am out in our small town and members recognize me and ask me questions or give feedback on the credit union.”

This year, Kenney began to expand her horizons even further by attending the Washington State Credit Union Day at the Capitol to discuss and promote credit union concerns in the State Legislature. She said she hopes the Emerging Leaders Program will equip her to better serve White River Credit Union and possibly open doors in her career that she has not yet considered.

“A good leader is someone who inspires creativity and confidence in others, drawing out their hidden talents by supporting and encouraging them to utilize what they bring to the table,” Kenney said. “A good leader brings out talents you may not even see in yourself!”

To learn more about Sadie Kenney or to vote, click here.

As the director of marketing at Verity Credit Union, Melina Young oversees all of the marketing, including the development of new products, analysis of current offerings, and working with various departments to determine the best product or service to advertise at any given time. Young’s work also includes establishing and maintaining Verity’s brand, website and social medial presence, as well as the “Verity Mom” program.

“I want the opportunity to grow and I believe this program is the best channel for me to do that moving forward,” Young said. “I love credit unions and I want the opportunity to represent Verity and all of the Northwest credit unions in this program.”

No stranger to contests, Young recently made it into the top 15 of the CUES Next Top Credit Union Executive competition, where she had the opportunity to receive coaching from DDJ Myers, the instructors of the Emerging Leaders Program.

“I had an opportunity to experience the executive coaching from DDJ Myers,” Young said. “Having access in a small group to their team is something that I think will be immensely beneficial to me throughout the program. I know that the DDJ Myers crew will hold everyone accountable and work to make everyone stronger and better leaders by the end of the program. I am really looking forward to that opportunity.”

To learn more about Melina Young, or to vote, click here.

Foundation Scholarships Available

The Emerging Leaders Program is an investment in your potential and your future, and with it comes an opportunity to partner with the Northwest Credit Union Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to inspire leaders and cultivate opportunities, and up to $1,500 can be awarded per year for each applicant.

Scholarships are reviewed and awarded on a monthly basis, so to receive a scholarship that can be applied to the Emerging Leaders Program, credit union professionals must submit an application no later than Feb. 28, 2013.

About the Emerging Leaders Program

The Emerging Leaders Program is a unique leadership opportunity built to support you. Learn skills to take more effective action, build the practices of an authentic leader, and begin fully reaching your potential. The program is designed to include a unique curriculum in an all-encompassing learning experience. You will receive six executive/leadership coaching sessions from DDJ Meyers throughout the program to support your learning and development. Think the Emerging Leaders Program is right for you? Click here to visit our website.


Questions? Contact Monica Titley: 206.340.4844,

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