At the Table: InRoads’ Brooke Van Vleet Shares Lenders’ Perspective on State, Federal Advisory Groups


When policy decisionmakers ask for credit union input, advocates lean forward. For Brooke Van Vleet, President and CEO of InRoads Credit Union in St. Helens, Oregon, that’s doubly true this fall.

She recently began serving as a member of Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s Council of Economic Advisors and has also accepted an invitation to provide input as a small entity representative (SER) to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act Work Group (SBREFA).

Van Vleet brings three decades of financial services experience to those boards, having served in executive roles including Chief Information Officer, Chief Administrative Officer, and President and CEO, at large and medium-asset-sized credit unions.

The Oregon Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors represent academic, business and industry, or financial institutions. Their role is to provide timely advice to policymakers before the quarterly release of the state’s Economic and Revenue Forecast.

Van Vleet looks forward to bringing perspective to the Council as a leading lender in Columbia County.

“We’ve been involved in small business lending since the 80s and are viewed as the small business lender of choice in the community,” Van Vleet said. ”We have a sizeable and diverse commercial loan portfolio serving businesses that provide jobs in our market.”

Van Vleet will be serving a three-year term. She has already attended one of the Council’s virtual quarterly meetings.

“The Council of Economic Advisors is always important, and this year as the economy is challenged by COVID-19 and lately by the impact of the wildfires, input from the business and financial services community will be critical,” said Pamela Leavitt, Policy Advisor for Oregon State Advocacy and Grassroots,  Northwest Credit Union Association. “We appreciate Brooke for lending her voice to the Council.”

With regards to her advisory role for the CFPB, the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) requires the Bureau to convene such a group if rulemaking may have a disproportionate impact on small businesses. The work group is expected to meet virtually over two days next month to discuss a rule on data collection of small business lending,

Often referenced as “HMDA for business,” the rule was mandated in the Dodd-Frank Act passed in 2010. This is one of the last substantive rules that remains from that landmark legislation. The legislation requires financial institutions to compile, maintain, and submit to the Bureau certain data on credit applications by women-owned businesses, minority-owned businesses, and small businesses. The data includes the census tract of the business and the race, sex, and ethnicity of the principal business owners, in addition to several other data points.

Van Vleet will be able to provide input on how the rule might impact her credit union and other financial institutions.

“It’s an honor to be selected,” Van Vleet said, adding that, “Hopefully this input will positively inform and shape the Bureau’s rulemaking.”

John Trull, NWCUA’s Vice President, Regulatory Advocacy, said Van Vleet’s service to the SBREFA Work Group will make an impact.

“It’s always positive when credit union advocates add their voices on important policy issues and in rulemaking,” Trull said. “The Northwest Credit Union Movement will gain traction with Brooke at the table.”

Posted in Leadership.