Member News: Employee Appointments and Accolades at Credit Unions Across the Northwest


Community 1st Credit Union Names New President/CEO

William (Bill) Paulen has been chosen to succeed retiring Chief Executive Officer Roger Gieseke at Community 1st Credit Union, based in DuPont, Washington.

Paulen comes to Community 1st from Generations Credit Union in Olympia, where he oversaw a transformative turnaround as President/CEO from 2014 to 2017. Prior to leading Generations, he held responsible management and lending roles within the financial industry. He also brings regulatory experience as a Financial Examiner with the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions/Division of Credit Unions.

Mr. Paulen is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a degree in finance. He has called Washington State home for the last 20 years.

STCU Employee Selected as Emerging Leaders in Payments Program’s First Participant

Last week, Melissa Kuntz of Spokane Teachers Credit Union was selected as the inaugural participant in WesPay’s Emerging Leaders in Payments Program (ELP).

WesPay — a payments association focused on rules and regulatory compliance, risk management principles and operational sound practices across various payments channels — launched the ELP Program in an effort to help develop the next generation of payments leaders. The yearlong program integrates personal mentorship, payments education and training, and development of leadership skills.

“WesPay is dedicated to shaping the future of payments, and there is no better way for the association to accomplish that vision than investing in our future payments leaders,” said Sheila Gomes, Executive Vice President with Bank of Hawaii and Chair of the WesPay Board of Directors. “We are enthusiastic about the program and the selection of Melissa Kuntz as she embarks upon the program.”

Unitus Community Credit Union Realigns Organizational Structure

Unitus Community Credit Union has realigned their organizational structure in order to maintain their standard of member service while continuing on a path of sustained growth.

Unitus has seen employee growth of more than 10 percent since September of last year, a period that included the integration of the new Assistant Vice President role. In response to the changing employee structure, Unitus has realigned their organizational chart to ensure all roles and responsibilities continue to contribute efficiently to organizational growth plans. Under the new structure, the Unitus Leadership team will contain an Executive Vice President, three Senior Vice Presidents, and four Vice Presidents along with President and CEO Steve Stapp.

Jason Werts, who retains his role as Chief Operating Officer, accepts the expanded responsibility of Executive Vice President. Greg Spear, Chief Financial Officer, Gayle Evans, Chief Human Resources Officer, and James Alexander, Chief Risk Officer, will each retain their roles and assume the designation Senior Vice President.

David Fehrer will retain his role as Vice President and Chief Information Officer. Brian Alfano, previously Vice President of Member Services, will retain his role as Vice President and now serve as Chief Retail Officer. Brian Devereux, previously Vice President of Lending, will retain his role as Vice President and now serve as Chief Lending Officer. Laurie Kresl, previously Vice President of Marketing & Brand Development, will retain her role as Vice President and now serve as Chief Marketing Officer.

For more information on Unitus’ Leadership Team, visit their Management page.

First Tech FCU’s SVP of HR Wins Portland Business Journal’s HR Leadership Award

First Tech Federal Credit Union’s Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Chary Krout, was selected as one of three Human Resources Leadership Award recipients of Portland Business Journal’s Healthiest Employers of Oregon Awards. Krout has spent more than 20 years with First Tech.

Portland Business Journal’s HR Leadership Award recognizes leaders in Oregon and SW Washington who demonstrate excellence in HR management and advocate for their employees’ health and wellness through program innovation.

Under Krout’s leadership, First Tech has designed a complete well-being program, which allows employees to choose the resources that best fit their needs. In addition to a wellness focus, Chary has been a champion for developing internal talent. Most recently, she launched First Tech’s Emerging Leaders program, a five-month rotation across several business units offering employees a deep dive into other departments’ processes, cultures, and functions.

“We’re thrilled that Chary is being recognized for her outstanding leadership in support of our health and wellness initiatives,” said Monique Little, Chief People and Administrative Officer at First Tech. “Her honesty and transparency reflect in her work and demeanor, ultimately leading to the success of her department as well as the credit union as a whole. Under her guidance, the credit union now understands that employee engagement and culture is not an HR initiative – but supported by HR – and driven by all leaders within the credit union.”

Posted in Around the NW.