First West Credit Union

First West Credit Union

March 08, 2012 14:39 ET

First West Credit Union Celebrates International Women's Day 2012

LANGLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 8, 2012) - First West Credit Union salutes women everywhere today as the world celebrates International Women's Day. Observed on March 8 each year, International Women's Day is a day dedicated to honouring the many outstanding economic, political and social achievements and contributions made by women around the world.

First West Credit Union is a longstanding champion of women in business, as six of the 11 members of the credit union's leadership team are women including the organization's CEO and its two regional presidents. First West is also currently ranked as the 7th biggest B.C. organization managed by women, according to Business in Vancouver.

"It is so important for people to take the time to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of women around the globe on this special day," says Launi Skinner, CEO of First West Credit Union and two-time recipient of the Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award from the Women's Executive Network. "More than ever, we need women who will inspire others in our communities to achieve more than they think is possible and to overcome more than they think they are capable of doing. I believe that it is all of our responsibilities to inspire others, to reach out to those around us, advocate for what is right and lead by example."

Paulette Rennie, president of Valley First, adds, "I am proud to be a part of an organization that is dedicated to growing our team members' careers. Since I joined Valley First in 1995, the organization has given me numerous opportunities to grow my career, increasing my breadth of experience and knowledge within the credit union industry. First West has always placed a tremendous amount of importance on fostering and promoting the interests and professional development of all its employees, including the more than 1,000 women who work here."

"This year's United Nation's theme for International Women's Day is all about empowering women," says Shelley Besse, president of Envision Financial. "While our organization has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to the growth and development of women leaders internally, it is also important to note that our support for women extends internationally. Since 2001, First West has contributed close to $155,000 to the Canadian Co-operative Association's Women's Mentorship Program in an effort to reduce poverty and support the development of co-operatives and credit unions in Africa, Asia and the Americas."

International Women's Day is officially celebrated in more than 60 countries around the world. In 2012, the UN theme for International Women's Day 2012 is Empower Women - End Hunger and Poverty. For more information, visit

About First West Credit Union

First West Credit Union offers members the financial strength, comprehensive product selection and extended branch network of a large financial institution while maintaining local brand identities and a unique grassroots approach to service. Led by Launi Skinner, First West is British Columbia's third-largest credit union with $6.2 billion in assets under administration, 167,000 members and 1,300 employees. It operates 37 branches throughout the province under the Envision Financial and Valley First brands. For more information on First West Credit Union, visit

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