Rogue Credit Union CEO Gene Pelham Named to Lead NWCUF Board

The Northwest Credit Union Foundation Board of Directors elected officers for its Board of Directors and welcomed two new Board members during NWCUA’s MAXX 2021 annual convention.

Gene Pelham, President and CEO of Rogue Credit Union in Medford, Ore., was named Chair of the Foundation Board by his peers during a meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 6, at the conference.

Joining Pelham as officers for Foundation Board’s 2021-2022 term will be Kelly Schrader, a philanthropic executive leader in the Portland area, who will serve as Vice President, and Shelli Millhuff, President & CEO of Nordstrom FCU, who will serve as Secretary/Treasurer.

In accepting his new role, Pelham said the Foundation’s recent strategic realignment to help credit unions collectively “expand and accelerate the positive impact you make in communities across the region.”

He said Northwest credit unions are helping “our members and communities tackle some of the most daunting challenges they face,” including affordable housing and access to financial services in rural communities.

“All of you, in one way or another, are doing just that,” Pelham said. “But as individual credit unions, having a real impact on these issues can be daunting.”

But by collectively working through the NWCUF, Pelham said, “our collective impact on those daunting societal issues – and others – has no limits.”

Pelham succeeds Stephen Pagenstecher, Chief Operations Officer at Point West Credit Union in Portland, who has served on the Foundation Board for nine years, including two as Chair.

Also at MAXX 2021, during the Foundation’s popular Donor Appreciation Breakfast, attendees welcomed the Foundation Board’s two newest members: Charlotte Nemec, President and CEO of Canopy Credit Union in Spokane, Washington, and Tom Berquist, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of BECU in Tukwila, Washington.

Nemec began working for the Credit Union Movement in 1995 as a Human Resources Specialist. In the past 26 years, she has held several positions and was named President and CEO of Canopy Credit Union in 2018. She currently serves on two nonprofit boards, Women and Children’s Free Restaurant and Spokane United Way. She is also a member of the Greater Spokane Incorporated Board of Trustees and Chairs the Whitworth Leadership Institute.

“I’m honored to become a part of the Northwest Credit Union Association Foundation Board. The work the Foundation has been doing is in perfect alignment with what Canopy Credit Union strives to accomplish,” Nemec said. “I’m excited to learn from an amazing group of Board members and the Foundation team, many of whom I’ve admired for a long time.”

Berquist has been with BECU since 1994, and among other leadership duties, he heads marketing, cooperative affairs, affinity programs, and strategic planning efforts for the credit union. Berquist currently serves on the boards of Housing Hope, Business Impact Northwest, and the Member Loyalty Group.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve on the NWCUF Board. The Foundation’s work over the past few years has been inspiring and demonstrates the positive difference credit unions make when they work together,” said Berquist.

Other NWCUF Board members include Jim McCarthy, President and CEO of Trailhead Credit Union in Portland, Oregon, Jackie Hoonjan, President & CEO of Pacific Cascade Federal Credit Union in Eugene, Oregon, and Dan Thurman, President & CEO of East Idaho Credit Union in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

“Charlotte and Tom are two passionate, engaged, and exemplary leaders who will bring their deep experience and expertise to advancing the Foundation’s vitally important work,” said NWCUF Executive Director Sharee Adkins. “They will both be effective ambassadors and will help ensure strong, forward-thinking, and high-functioning governance of the Foundation long into the future.”

Visit the Foundation’s website to learn more about how it is working with credit unions and other partners to strengthen the financial lives of people and communities across the Northwest.

Posted in Foundation Board.