Northwest Credit Union Foundation Takes Steps to Drive Greater Community Impact

10/23/18

Stephen Pagenstecher headshot

The Northwest Credit Union Foundation Board of Directors met during the annual MAXX Convention in Tacoma, Wash., last week to approve its modernized bylaws and governance, elect its Board of Directors, and name its new Board table officers. The Foundation also officially announced at MAXX the creation of several mission-focused commissions.

The Foundation, powered by a network of credit unions, is working to harness and deliver resources that strengthen the financial lives of people and communities throughout the Northwest.

“We want to build on the groundwork our credit union community and their Foundation has laid, and drive greater impact,” said Troy Stang, Northwest Credit Union Association President and CEO. “We are excited about our newly created commissions, which will bring credit union leaders into the trenches with community leaders and nonprofit organizations, and bring solutions to the table.”

To lead the Foundation’s new intentional approach, Stang recently named Sharee Adkins to the position of Executive Director. Adkins has served as NWCUF’s Managing Director since early 2017. Prior to that, she led fundraising efforts and implemented large-scale initiatives at public and non-profit organizations in Idaho and Washington. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Boise State University and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from the University of Idaho.

“It’s an honor to serve Northwest credit unions, and to collaborate with them to make a difference,” Adkins said.

The Foundation will launch its first commission, focused on economic empowerment in the coming months. Others will be created and announced in the near future.

The Economic Empowerment Commission will be convened to explore affordable workforce housing solutions, small business success, and workforce development. The Foundation is working with credit unions throughout the Northwest to identify and implement solutions to address this region-wide issue.

“Professionals such as teachers, manufacturers, nurses, and police officers want to live where they work,” said Sharee Adkins, the Foundation’s Executive Director. “In nearly every community our credit unions serve, workforce housing is a challenge. Credit unions are uniquely positioned to address this critical issue.”

During its meeting in Tacoma, the Foundation seated its new Board. Those now serving include:

  • Chair: Stephen Pagenstecher, VP of Member Experience, Point West Credit Union, Portland
  • Vice Chair: Shelli Millhuff, President and CEO of Nordstrom Federal Credit Union, Seattle
  • Secretary Treasurer: Jim McCarthy, President and CEO of Trailhead Credit Union, Portland
  • Director: Deanna Hanley, VP of Lending, PrimeSource Credit Union, Spokane

Barbara Mathey, President and CEO of IBEW & United Workers Federal Credit Union, was appointed by Chair Pagenstecher as Immediate Past Chair, a non-voting role, and Stang will serve as the NWCUF’s Board President, also a non-voting role.

“The Northwest Credit Union Foundation has been building a strong base since its inception to create real impact for credit unions, their members, and the communities they serve in the areas of asset building, economic impact, and cooperative development,” Pagenstecher said. “I’m honored to be a part of the leadership of the board at this exciting time, where those efforts have led to innovative initiatives to address important needs in our communities, including affordable workforce housing, education savings, financial literacy, and so much more.”

The Foundation also recently added Program Director Claire Hendrix to the team. Hendrix will develop and manage the Foundation’s grant portfolio to improve the prosperity of credit union communities across the Northwest. She received her bachelor’s degree in sociology and social justice from the University of Portland, and her master’s degree in sustainable development from the School for International Training.