Brooke Van Vleet Takes Gavel as Chair, NWCUA Board of Directors

Lynn Heider
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Brooke Van Vleet Takes Gavel as Chair, NWCUA Board of Directors 

SEATAC, WA Brooke Van Vleet was selected by the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWUCA) Board of Directors to serve as Chair in the coming year, an appointment announced during the NWCUA’s MAXX Convention in SeaTac, WA this month. Van Vleet is President & CEO of St. Helens Community Federal Credit Union, based in St. Helens, Oregon. Van Vleet, who had been serving as Vice Chair, accepted the gavel from Jack Fallis, President & CEO of Spokane, Washington-based Global Credit Union. Fallis will continue to serve as a Director. Van Vleet has served on the NWCUA Board of Directors since 2013. 

As a veteran of the Credit Union Movement, Van Vleet has deep Northwest roots and 25 years of executive leadership experience. Prior to taking the reins at SHCU, Van Vleet served as Chief Administrative Officer at First Tech Federal Credit Union.  She was interim President & CEO of then Oregon-based First Tech Credit Union prior to its merger with Addison Avenue FCU, which created First Tech Fed.  Van Vleet spent over 16 years total at First Tech, and also served as a vice president at the former Portland Teachers Credit Union.   

I am humbled and honored to have received the support of the NWCUA Board to serve as its chair.,” Van Vleet said. “To ensure our continued success, I believe one of the most important roles our Board has is to work in partnership with the staff, to develop the strategic direction of our association, and to build and support a strategy that is relevant to all of our membership.” 

John Zmolek, President/CEO of Seattle-based Verity Credit Union will serve as Vice Chair of the NWCUA Board, and Bert Fisher, CEO of Shelton, Washington-based Our Community Credit Union, will serve as Secretary-Treasurer. 

Zmolek is no stranger to volunteer board service; he first served as a Director for Verity CU before becoming its CFO in 1986, and eventually its CEO. 

“In the Pacific NW, credit unions have come together to build the best charter possible. The result is we have the best membership penetration in the nation,” Zmolek said. “I like being part of that continuing effort.  And, as is usually the case, by volunteering for the NWCUA board, I receive a lot more than I give from all the smart people I get to work with.” 

Fisher began his NWCUA Board service in January, 2013. He has severed in senior leadership positions at Shelton, Washington-based Our Community Credit Union since 2005, and has been President/CEO since 2011. 

“Engagement between NW credit unions, the NWCUA and all of our respective Boards is a vital step in our overall mission of relevancy, advocacy, and growing market presence,” noted Fisher. “The wonderful fact about knowledge is that once you share it, you do not lose it. Instead everyone operates on a higher plain collectively. This in-turn, becomes our competitive advantage in an ever-changing financial market landscape.” 

Benson Porter, President/CEO of the $15 billion Tukwila, Washington-based BECU was newly seated on the NWCUA’s board, replacing his colleague, Parker Cann, SVP and General Counsel of BECU. Cann completed three years of service to the NWCUA Board and plans to retire from BECU at the end of 2016. 

The NWCUA recently announced it will provide a full suite of management services, products and programming to Idaho credit unions, outlined in a two-year Strategic Alliance agreement with the Idaho Credit Union League (ICUL). The ICUL’s Board structure will remain intact during the agreement; however, the two organizations’ boards are expected to regularly meet and collaborate in executing the policy advancement, public awareness, and collective action agenda in the three-state region.


The Northwest Credit Union Association is the not-for-profit trade association representing 154 of Oregon and Washington’s credit unions. Northwest credit unions returned $352 million in direct financial benefits to their 5.2 million members last year. The NWCUA is the voice of the Northwest credit union movement, providing legislative, regulatory and public advocacy in addition to education, compliance, networking support and business solutions to credit unions. For information on how to join a credit union, please visit

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Posted in NWCUA.