Western CUNA Management School Challenges and Provides Students with Growth Opportunities

Western CUNA Management School’s Idaho cohort.


Twenty-three Northwest credit union professionals graduated recently from the Western CUNA Management School. They were part of a class of 109 graduates that celebrated their achievements on July 19.

The career and leadership development program takes three years to complete. It offers a mix of on-campus, high-level academic curriculum and hands-on credit union practical experience.

Ranelle Crosby and Paul Lucariello were two of the recent graduates who hail from the Northwest.

Crosby, VP of Consumer Lending at Malheur Federal Credit Union, said the experience was rewarding and challenging.

Western CUNA Management School Graduates from Washington

Western CUNA Management School’s Oregon cohort.

“‘Trust the Process’ is something you hear often your first year of WCMS and what an amazing process it is,” Crosby said. “While the program gave me a better understanding of credit union financials, it also taught me a lot about myself and helped me grow as a leader. A quote that helped me get through the process was, ‘If it excites you and scares you at the same time, it probably means you should do it.’”

Lucariello, VP of Lending with Pioneer Federal Credit Union, said the experience was “eye-opening.”

“For three summers and two major research projects I got a fire hose of valuable information that has helped me understand credit unions and the movement in a full scope,” he said. “The friendships and contacts from fellow classmates and schoolmates are irreplaceable and will prove to be valuable for my entire career. WCMS is a true cooperative platform with virtually unlimited resources.”

Western CUNA Management School Graduates from Oregon

Western CUNA Management School’s Washington cohort.

The full list of WCMS Northwest graduates includes:


  • Matthew Rice, East Idaho Credit Union
  • Paul Lucariello, Pioneer Federal Credit Union -ID


  • Chris Benson, First Tech Federal
  • Ranelle Crosby, Malheur CU
  • Alicia Finch, Clackamas Federal
  • Laurie Meyer, Rogue CU
  • Jeff Roberson, Rogue CU
  • Christine Ruzzi, Northwest Credit Union Association


  • Erika Aranda, Lower Valley CU
  • Alicia Carlson, Inspirus CU
  • Scott Haeg, Connection CU
  • Mindy Hager, Kitsap CU
  • Michelle Hatton, Solarity CU
  • Angela Lowe, Verity CU
  • Miraya Mather, Granco Federal
  • Kassandra Maxson, Evergreen CU
  • Bob McCaffrey, Inspirus CU
  • John McPartland, Numerica CU
  • Scott Rabe, STCU
  • Megan Shover, Spokane FCU
  • Evan Strandberg, iQ CU
  • Tony Trunkhill, Numerica CU
  • Eric Zittel, Harborstone CU

WCMS helps credit union professionals from 13 western states to develop their career and leadership potential. Information about registration for 2019 can be found online. Your Association’s Foundation is a resource for scholarships for professionals employed by NWCUA member credit unions. In addition, The Kathy Thomson Legacy of Life & Learning Scholarships are available for Idaho credit union professionals.

Posted in Around the NW.