First West Credit Union

First West Credit Union

June 14, 2012 13:55 ET

First West Credit Union Joined by Kenyan Female Credit Union Leader for 10-Day Mentorship Opportunity

Local Credit Union Continues Its Longstanding Commitment to International Cooperative Movement

LANGLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 14, 2012) - Recently, First West Credit Union hosted Roselyne Jituti, the general manager of Kencom Savings and Credit Co-operative from Kenya for a 10-day mentorship program as part of the Canadian Co-operative Association's (CCA) Women's Mentorship Program. Notably, as a longtime supporter of the CCA, First West has contributed more than $305,000 to the organization's international development efforts over the last decade.

"The First West team was thrilled to have had the opportunity to meet and work alongside Roselyne during her time here at the Envision regional office," says Catherine Dangerfield, assistant vice-president, automotive services at First West Credit Union and Roselyne's host for the 10-day program. "It was an excellent opportunity for both Roselyne and the team members here to share our experiences and learn from each other. As we discovered, many of the challenges we face at First West including membership and deposit growth and delinquency management are also issues Roselyne faces in leading her credit union in Kenya."

Dangerfield adds, "Although First West and Kencom Savings share some similarities, there are certainly considerable cultural differences between us. For example, the gender imbalance in Kenya is significant as most of the employees that work for Roselyne are men and her board is comprised of all men as well. As an educated business leader, she faces many cultural biases and challenges that many of us in Canada simply do not experience. This is why we take great pride in our support of CCA's Women's Mentorship Program as we are doing our part in helping female credit union leaders such as Roselyne gain the knowledge and skills necessary to build healthy and sustainable credit unions in their communities."

To read more about Roselyne's experiences at First West from Dangerfield's first-hand perspective, visit www.firstwestcu.ca.

In addition to supporting the Women's Mentorship Program, First West has also participated in the CCA's credit union coaching program and women's leadership forum for many years. In May 2012, First West also announced a commitment of $150,000 over three years to the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada's Build a Better World campaign, an organization that has worked in partnership with the CCA for the past 50 years.

The First West team and its local regions strive to create vibrant communities by investing in ways that will truly make a difference in the communities where its members and employees live and work and in the communities our members care about. In 2011, First West contributed more than $1.6 million of its operating profits to local communities through scholarships, sponsorships and donations; this also includes the credit union's contributions to the First West Foundation. To encourage and acknowledge the devotion of its community investment, First West also provides paid time off to full-time employees to volunteer and assist charities.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20120614-CCBAawards.jpg

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 $6.6 billion in assets under administration, more than 169,000 members and close to 1,400 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 www.firstwestcu.ca.

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