WESTERN VISTA CREDIT UNION ANNOUNCES 2024 BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND HISTORY-MAKING OFFICER TEAM

Cheyenne, Wyo. (April 1, 2024) – Western Vista Credit Union announced at its annual meeting that Cindy Garvin, Christine Kronz and Aimee Lewis were re-elected to another term on the credit union’s board of directors and Theresa Talmadge was elected to her first term.  

Garvin and her husband own and operate J&G Landscaping. She serves as treasurer for the Natrona County Republican Party and maintains the organization’s bookkeeping functions. She has been a member of Western Vista for 16 years and was first appointed to the board in 2021.

Kronz is a professional photographer and opened her studio, Christine Kronz Photographer, LLC, in 2008. She volunteers for Coats for Kids, Cheyenne Frontier Days, the Old West Museum and the Foster Grandparents program. Kronz has been a member of Western Vista for nine years and has served on the board of directors for six years. 

Lewis is a pharmacist and works for the University of Wyoming as a drug utilization review manager. She served an eight-year term on the board of directors for the United Way of Laramie County and is the secretary of the American Drug Utilization Review Society. She has been a member of Western Vista for more than 30 years and has served on the board of directors since 2013. 

Talmadge and her husband have owned and managed their business for more than 30 years.  She is an active community volunteer, supporting numerous non-profit fundraisers, the Central Wyoming Home Builders Association’s Home and Garden Show and Little League Baseball. She has been a member of Western Vista for more than 12 years. 

Following the annual meeting, the board of directors convened and elected its officer team. They are:

Aimee Lewis, Chairman                  
Vickie Nelson, Vice Chairman          
Christine Kronz, Secretary
Cindy Garvin, Treasurer                   
Tim Bolin, Assistant Secretary
Mark Mercer, Assistant Treasurer 

Talmadge will serve as a member-at-large. 

Lewis makes history to lead an all-female executive team. “My father completed a thirty-year stint as chairman of the board for Western Vista in 2012,” said Lewis. “This year marks the 50th anniversary of women securing the right to have a credit card in their own name. Today we recognize that women make most of the household financial decisions and I am honored to represent the female members of the credit union in this capacity.”

WESTERN VISTA CREDIT UNION NAMED DIAMOND AWARD RECIPIENT AMID RECORD-BREAKING COMPETITION

LAS VEGAS – (March 27, 2024) – Western Vista Credit Union was among 168 credit unions nationwide named as winners of the prestigious Diamond Awards – the annual marketing excellence competition for America’s Credit Unions Marketing & Business Development Council.

Western Vista Credit Union received top honors (Best in Category) in the E-mail – Single or Series division for its member onboarding campaign. The campaign and strategy were developed by West Edge, a Wyoming-based marketing, branding and creative technology firm, with guidance and oversight from Lorrell Walter, chief marketing officer at Western Vista.

Credit unions, advertising agencies and associations submitted a record 1,451 submissions for the prestigious awards. In all, 168 organizations from 44 states and the District of Columbia were selected as winners.

“Solid member communication is paramount to our success,” said Lorrell Walter, chief marketing officer at Western Vista. “As we consider our investments in marketing and communication, we first ask ourselves, ‘Is the product or service we’re promoting truly making our members’ lives easier and/or better?’ From there, we ensure the message for it is presented in an impactful, memorable way. With this recognition, we’re thrilled that our peers agree we’ve hit the mark!”

“We are absolutely delighted to honor Western Vista Credit Union and the other 167 winners with this level of recognition,” said Lesli Bishop, Diamond Awards chair and chief marketing officer at Family Savings Credit Union in Gadsden, Ala. “It’s evident that these credit unions not only embody the spirit of the credit union movement but also propel it forward with their innovative approaches.”

This year’s Diamond Awards marked a milestone, celebrating 30 years of excellence in credit union marketing and setting a new record with over 350 awards distributed – underscoring the exceptional quality of marketing work being produced by credit unions nationwide.

Chief Marketing Officer Lorrell Walter with Western Vista Credit Union’s “Best in Category” Diamond Award Photo Credit: EPNAC

 

Western Vista Employees Volunteer 4033 Hours in 2023

Cheyenne, Wyo. (January 31, 2024) – Western Vista Credit Union employees remain committed to serving the community. In 2023, the credit union and its employees have gave 4033 hours of support and service to the communities they serve.

Employees who have given significantly of their time (100+ hours) are:

Lorrell Walter (537.5)
Mick Finnegan (440.5)
Steven Leafgreen (437)
Dan Moss (380)
Tanr Tempel (209)
Crystal Mancera Meisner (209)
Lachelle Teasley (208)
Kerri Brown (180)
Melody Fenton (130)
Toni Ganison (106)
Rachel Zimmermann (106)
Daizy Parker (100)

WESTERN VISTA CREDIT UNION ANNOUNCES 2023 BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND OFFICER TEAM

Cheyenne, Wyo. (May 10, 2023) – Western Vista Credit Union announced at its annual meeting that Mark Mercer and Vickie Nelson were elected to another term on the credit union’s board of directors.

Mercer is the technology supervisor for the Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities. He has been a member of the Laramie County Community College computer information systems technical advisory committee and has served on the governor’s link Wyoming broadband advisory committee. He has been a member of Western Vista for 40 years and has served on the board of directors since 2014.

Nelson has spent much of her life working at credit unions and retired as president/CEO of River-Rail Federal Credit Union. She has been a member of Western Vista for nine years and has served on the board of directors since 2020. She holds a master’s degree in accounting and earned the Credit Union Compliance Expert (CUCE) designation from the Credit Union National Association.

Following the annual meeting, the board of directors convened and elected its officer team. They are:

Mark Mercer, Chairman
Aimee Lewis, Vice Chairman
Christine Kronz, Secretary
Vickie Nelson, Treasurer
Tim Bolin, Assistant Secretary
Cindy Garvin, Assistant Treasurer

La Velle Van Voast, who served on the board of directors from 2019 to 2022, announced her resignation from the board of directors. She recently relocated to Great Falls, Mont. to be closer to family. She will remain on the board of directors for the Western Vista Community Foundation.

Pursuant to the bylaws, the board of directors filled Van Voast’s position by a board appointment. Frank Magazine, of Cheyenne, will serve on the board for one year on an interim basis.

Magazine is the former CEO of Melvin Brewing, Wyoming’s largest brewery, and has been a member of Western Vista since 2009. He graduated from Auburn University with a degree in chemical engineering. He has served on several non-profit boards and is currently on the board of directors for the Laramie County Library.

LORI MCLEAN RECEIVES BROWN-WELLS SERVICE AWARD

Casper, Wyo. (May 8, 2023) – Lori McLean, mortgage loan originator at Western Vista Credit Union, was named the 2023 recipient of the Brown-Wells Service Award.

McLean received the award on Thursday, May 4, 2023 at the Wyoming Mortgage Lenders Association (WMLA) Conference in Cody, Wyo.

McLean has more than 11 years of experience in the mortgage lending industry and 24 years of experience in the real estate industry. She has originated more than 1400 mortgage loans, helping countless people realize the dream of home ownership.

She served 10 years on the WMLA board of directors and has served on the boards of directors for Casper Youth Baseball and the Wyoming Landlord’s Association.

The Brown-Wells Service Award was established by the WMLA in 2014 to honor an individual within the Wyoming mortgage lending community who exemplifies service above self in commitment to his or her profession, customer, and the community they live in.

The award was named after Mike Brown and Scott Wells who were both Officers/Directors of the WMLA Board. Brown was one of the founding members of the WMLA which was formed in 1986. Both individuals held high ethical standards in business and used their professional knowledge to serve the community in many ways.

 

WESTERN VISTA CREDIT UNION ANNOUNCES PROMOTIONS

Cheyenne, Wyo. (April 12, 2023) – Western Vista Credit Union is pleased to announce the promotion of two members of its team.

Ann Riney has been promoted to director of underwriting, assistant vice president. Riney has been a member of the Western Vista team since June 1987 and is the credit union’s longest-tenured employee.

Riney manages underwriting and the consumer loan processing department. During her tenure, she successfully implemented indirect lending and credit card programs and provides training on loan policy to the lending team. She has attended Creditor Law Center Mapother Bankruptcy School and received certifications from CampusMortgage on the Dodd-Frank Rollback and FHA Direct Endorsement. Riney was named to the Quarter Century Honor Roll by the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions (NAFCU) in 2017.

She subscribes to the credit union philosophy of “people helping people” and has volunteered for numerous organizations, including Junior Achievement, American Red Cross, Juvenile Diabetes and the Wyoming Credit Union League.

Tanr Tempel has been promoted from indirect lending manager to director of indirect sales. Tempel is a seasoned sales professional and has spent the last 17 years in banking and healthcare.

He works with automotive and RV dealerships across Wyoming, as well as in Colorado, Nebraska and Montana, cultivating relationships to expand Western Vista’s lending portfolio in the western region. Tempel has been instrumental in the growth of the credit union’s indirect lending program in his five years at Western Vista.

He holds a Bachelor of Science from Montana State University-Bozeman. Tempel has received Western Vista’s volunteerism award several times in recognition of his community service to organizations such as the Central High School Athletic and Activities Club, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, BEAST Foundation and the Cheyenne Country Club, where he serves as the board president.

How to insure deposits

You may have heard that your deposits at Western Vista and other federally insured credit unions are insured by NCUA up to $250,000. That’s a fact.

Five things you should know about your credit union deposits:
  1. No member of a federally insured credit union — such as Western Vista — has ever lost a penny of insured deposits. The safest place for your cash is at the credit union!
  2. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), is an independent agency of the U.S. government, which means your insured deposits are backed by the federal government.
  3. Your savings, checking, certificate, IRA and trust accounts can be insured by NCUA. Investment products such as mutual funds, annuities and insurance cannot.
  4. Accounts you may have at other credit unions do not affect your NCUA insurance coverage at Western Vista.
  5. Your money is automatically insured when deposited at Western Vista. However, it’s a good idea to periodically review the structure of your deposits to ensure that all your funds are adequately insured. Simply stop by a branch and speak to a member of our team or call/text 1-800-310-2197.
Did you know that, with savvy structuring of your savings, you can insure even more?

Structuring your family fortune to maximize NCUA insurance protection is easy once you understand the rules. For example:

  • Each account owner’s deposits are insured up to $250,000.
  • If you have a joint account, you could insure an additional $250,000, and your partner can insure $250,000, for a total of $500,000.
  • If you have an IRA, it’s separately insured up to $250,000.
  • If you have a trust account, it’s separately protected for another $250,000.

All those exceptions to the “insured to $250,000” promise can really add up!

If you have $250,000 in a savings account, $1000 in a Panorama checking account and $250,000 in an IRA, the savings and IRA accounts are separately insured, so you are federally insured by NCUA up to $500,000. However, the $1000 in checking is not separately insured, because checking and savings balances are counted together.

If you get married and open a joint checking account and deposit $500,000 (lucky you!), the entire amount is federally insured because half is assigned to you and half to your spouse. That’s because you signed signature cards to create equal joint ownership. Now you have a total of $1,000,000 in federally insured funds!

Are business accounts insured?

Yes, business accounts are federally insured by NCUA up to $250,000.

However, any personal funds that the owner keeps in the business account will count toward the $250,000 limit of the business. If the owner puts that money in a separate, personal account, then it will not be combined with the business and both accounts will be federally insured up to $250,000.

If you have questions about NCUA insurance at your business, please call/text 1-800-310-2197.

More resources

NCUA’s “Your Insured Funds” brochure offers dozens of examples and rules for structuring your deposits to maximize federal insurance. The possibilities are almost endless!

The NCUA’s share insurance estimator to run your own calculations and check if your deposits are adequately insured.

Why should I bother?

Is it worth the time to review how your money is structured at Western Vista or other financial institutions? In short, YES.

While banks and credit unions rarely fail — and regulators have faithfully protected depositors from losses — it’s ultimately your responsibility to decide how and where to invest your money. We are happy to help you review and determine how to maximize NCUA insurance protection for your money, but the final decision will always be yours.

WESTERN VISTA CREDIT UNION PROMOTES LEADERS, RE-STRUCTURES EXECUTIVE TEAM TO RESPOND TO BUSINESS GROWTH

(January 31, 2023) – Western Vista Credit Union is pleased to announce five new leadership opportunities to ensure operational efficiency and organizational effectiveness as the credit union continues expanding and bringing additional products and services to its members. 

 “It’s an exciting time to be part of the Western Vista team,” said Steven Leafgreen, president/CEO at Western Vista Credit Union. “In my six years leading this organization, I have witnessed tremendous growth. I am extremely proud of the work we have done, and I am honored to recognize my executive team for their efforts.” 

 Lorrell Walter has been promoted to chief marketing officer. Walter, who has worked at the credit union for more than six years, oversees and directs all marketing and communication initiatives. 

She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of California, Davis and has more than 22 years of public relations and marketing experience. In 2022, Walter received the inaugural Community Outreach Professional of the Year award from the Credit Union National Association Marketing and Business Development Council for her work with the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce, Air Force Association, Kiwanis, Wyoming Breast Cancer Initiative and Cheyenne Frontier Days. 

Mike Mason has been promoted to chief financial officer. Mason began his career at Western Vista in 2019. He oversees and directs the strategic and tactical activities of accounting, operations, facilities, compliance and human resources. 

He holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management from Trinity University.  

Dan Moss has been promoted to chief information officer. Moss moved to Cheyenne from Montana to join the Western Vista team in 2021 and has been instrumental in the success of several technology initiatives. 

Moss retired from the United States Army in 2009.  He holds a master’s degree in information technology management from Webster University. Most recently, he was recognized with Western Vista’s volunteerism award for his work with the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee, Hunting with Heroes Wyoming and the Laramie County Library Foundation. 

PJ Brennan has been promoted to senior vice president, sales and financial services. Brennan has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services sector. He has served in numerous roles, most recently as Western Vista’s financial services director. 

Dan Buchan changes roles and is now senior vice president, credit and lending. Buchan began working at Western Vista in 2018 and brings more than 20 years of experience in the areas of credit, underwriting, and risk management.  

He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, serves on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity of Laramie County, and has previously served on the board for the Old West Museum and the Cheyenne Depot Museum. 

Western Vista Credit Union Warns Against Possible Phone Scam

(May 10, 2019)  – Cheyenne, WY – Western Vista Credit Union has received reports of a possible phone scam in which the caller is spoofing the credit union’s 800 number in attempt to gather personal information from credit union members.

“Western Vista employees will never call you and ask for personal information such as your social security number, account number or answers to your security questions,” said Steven Leafgreen, president/CEO of Western Vista Credit Union. “Criminals are becoming more sophisticated, manipulating caller ID in an attempt to imitate credit union personnel.”

If a member receives a call of this nature, they are advised to immediately hang up and call the credit union directly at 307-634-2197 or 307-234-8194 to verify the legitimacy of requests for information.

Additional tips:

  • NEVER provide your Social Security number, credit card numbers or bank account information to anyone during an unsolicited phone call.
  • Don’t give in to high-pressure calls seeking personal information.
  • If you receive a call from someone claiming to represent your financial institution, hang up and call the customer service number on your statement or the institution’s website.
  • Notify your financial institution if you suspect your account may be subject to fraud. Request a freeze on your accounts and credit/debit cards.
  • Regularly monitor your credit.

WVCU WINS CHEYENNE CHAMBER COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD

Western Vista received the Community Service Award from the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce at its annual banquet. The award is given to a business that ‘make a difference through outstanding initiatives and contributions.They generously put others first and are businesses who support charitable organizations.”

Western Vista Federal Credit Union has had a prominent presence in the Cheyenne community for nearly 80 years, supporting and encouraging community development and growth. Western Vista’s employees donated 4,086 hours of volunteer time to a variety of different organizations, including Cheyenne Frontier Days, the Library Foundation, Kiwanis, Rotary, BDAR, youth athletics, the Air Force Association, Cheyenne Stampede Hockey and, of course, the Chamber.

As a company, the credit union supported its staff with an additional 664 hours of time dedicated to lunches, meetings, etc. that occur during regular credit union hours. Combined, the credit union and its employees have given 4,750 hours of support and service. For an organization of this size, this is a truly impressive display and a great representation of the credit union spirit!