This year the 6th annual STAR Gala will be held on Friday September 27, 2013 at Mile High Station.


This year the Gala will be held at Mile High Station—located on Old West Colfax— Mile High Station has a long history in the heart of downtown Denver. The original building, the Midwest Steel and Ironworks Building, dates back to the turn of the century and employed hundreds of steelworkers and craftsmen. Today, the newly renovated building showcases features such as, restored steel I-beams, exposed brick, an elevated second floor, and custom chandeliers, offering a unique rustic and fiesta friendly atmosphere.  Check out the video below for a look at our new venue.

During their January board meeting the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation approved the rollout of the Mountain West Credit Union Executive Leadership program. This new program will provide substantial funding for credit unions in all three states to help them in developing their executive leadership. The program will link some of the most important and well recognized leadership programs together in the credit union movement and provide a consolidated scholarship and funding source. These programs will include: Western CUNA Management School, the Development Education Program, and the Mountain West Credit Union Association’s Leadership Institute. These programs coupled with both a comprehensive executive coaching system and well designed and far-reaching mentorship process makes this new initiative both unique and aligned with the leadership needs of our tri-state movement. Watch for more information on this important new initiative coming your way soon.
2012 Star Gala
Press Release
Photo Gallery

On Friday night—October 12, 2012—the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation celebrated the very best in the three state credit union community.  The night was supported by many including the Gold and Silver level sponsors: Bellco Credit Union, CUNA Mutual Group, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union, Elevations Credit Union, Mountain West Credit Union Association, Strategic Partners, Berenbaum Weinshienk, Centennial Lending, Ent Federal Credit Union, and Westerra Credit Union.

The night was punctuated by the Gala’s award presentation Emceed by Emmy Award winning, television and radio personalities Denise Plante and Murphy Huston of the “Murphy & Denise Morning Show” on KOSI 101.  Denise and Murphy presented six awards to a crowd of more than 260 credit union participants.  The award lineup included:

Sooper Credit Union- Credit Union of the Year Award (100M - 500M) recipient for their innovative Clean Energy Loan program which provides loans to businesses and individuals to purchase solar panels and other energy saving initiatives.

Desert Schools Federal Credit Union- Credit Union of the Year Award (over 500M) recipient for their innovative internal profitability programs that leveraged a sporting theme and prioritized programs that brought the strongest impact to the bottom line.

Susan J. Brayman, Director Bellco Credit Union- Distinguished Service Award recipient. Ms. Brayman was recognized for her tireless work serving the credit union community at Mountain West Credit Union Association (then the Colorado Credit Union League), the Association of Credit Union League Executives, Filene Institute, Credit Union Service Corporation, the Mountain West Credit Union Foundation, Bellco Credit Union, and Strategic Partners (then Colleague Services).

Carroll Beach, Chairman Elevations Credit Union- Distinguished Service Award recipient. Mr. Beach served on the Credit Union National Association Board of Directors, Credit Union Legislative Action Committee, CUNA Mutual Group Advisory Committee, Credit Union Service Corporation Board of Directors, Credit Union House Board Chair, American Association of Credit Union Leagues Chairman, Credit Union Service Network of Colorado, President and CEO of Colorado Credit Union System, CEO of SunCorp, President of Credit Union Service Corporation, and President COO of CO-OP Shared Branching.

Kara Kirschner of First Credit Union- Emerging Leader Award recipient. Kara is active in her Mountain West Credit Union Association Chapter, the Arizona Youth Involvement Network  and her local Chamber of Commerce.Kara is also a Credit Union Development Educator.

Pima Federal Credit Union- Community Impact Award recipient. Pima Federal Credit Union’s outstanding Community Stewardship Program that focuses on giving back to the community by engaging credit union employees to volunteer for the charitable organization of their choice.  The program initiated in early 2011resulted in 131 employees (85% of all staff) spending 1,039 hours volunteering for the local community.

Partner Colorado Credit Union—Honorable mention for the Community Impact award.  Partner Colorado Credit Union’s Kappa Alpha Psi (Financial Literacy and Partnership) program received honorable mention for their outstanding community based program that provides financial education to young (black) male high schools students that have applied and been excepted to the Kappa college preparation program.
Pima Federal Credit Union Community Impact Video

Partner Colorado Credit Union Community Impact Video



Arizona Credit Union Foundation Awards Young Professional Scholarship to Attend the World Council Event in Gdansk, Poland miriamlimoncomp

(Phoenix) – June 8, 2011 – The Mountain West Credit Union Association, the trade association for Arizona, Colorado and Wyoming’s credit unions, announced Miriam Limon, Communications Specialist with AEA Federal Credit Union as this year’s recipient of their Foundation’s annual Gary L. Plank World Council of Credit Union’s (WOCCU) Young Credit Union Professionals Program Scholarship (WYCUP).

The WYCUP is a scholarship program designed to promote credit union professionals under the age of 35 years old. As Arizona’s 2012 WYCUP representative, Miriam has also been automatically nominated for one of five scholarships WOCCU will award to attend the 2013 World Credit Union Conference in Ottawa, Canada.

The scholarship is given to individuals that have made a significant impact locally, regionally or nationally in the credit union movement. Thomas Martin, President/CEO of AEA Federal Credit Union feels that Miriam is a “Rare find. Her impassioned commitment to the fundamental credit union purpose of people helping people extends far beyond her role as Communications Specialist at AEA Federal Credit Union in Yuma, Arizona.”

Ms. Limon will attend the 2012 World Credit Union Conference LET’S GDANSK, from July 15-18, 2012 at the Polish Baltic Philharmonic Hall in Gdnask, Poland.

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Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming Foundations Come Together Creating Three Times The Positive Strength
For Credit Unions and Communities


(Denver, Phoenix, Casper) May 15, 2012 Recently at Mountain West Credit Union Association’s First Annual Meeting and Convention held at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado on May 9-12, 2012, the Board of Directors from the Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming Foundations approved a proposed merger of the three state foundation merger. The Board of Directors of the newly formed Mountain West Credit Union Foundation will include individuals representing each of the three states:


John Uchida

Space Age FCU-Chairman

Judy Auvil

San Tan CU-Vice Chair

Jane Prancan

Bellco CU-Secretary

Marsha Tynsky

Trona Valley Community FCU-Treasurer  

Walt Marx

College Credit Union of   Greeley

Brian Barkdull

American Southwest CU

Scott Earl

Mountain West Credit Union Association  

Bob Hoel

Filene Research Institute

Todd Pearson

Arizona Central CU

Tyler Valentine

Laramie Plains Community   FCU

Mike Williams

Colorado Credit Union


This merger has produced the first tri-state credit union foundation in the U.S. John Uchida, Foundation Chairman said, “This unique and exciting merger will provide credit unions in the three states a way to build ongoing professional development, enhance financial education initiatives, help shape and train the next generation of credit union leaders, and ensure continued services to the underserved in our communities.”  

Chairman Uchida also indicated that the new Board will meet within the next 30 days to develop policies, design a capital retention strategy, and set a date for the first board planning session.


About the Mountain West Credit Union Association

The Mountain West Credit Union Association is the regional tri-state trade association representing 154 member credit unions, 3.2 million credit union members and $29 billion in assets throughout Arizona, Colorado, and Wyoming.  Not-for-profit in nature, credit unions provide low cost financial services to their members.   Founded in 2011, the Mountain West Credit Union Association serves and supports member credit unions through advocacy, communications, community outreach, education & training, operations, public affairs and regulatory & compliance services. The Mountain West Credit Union Association is affiliated with Credit Union National Association (CUNA), World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), and CUNA Mutual Group. 


Small credit unions in Colorado and Wyoming are often in need of support for their operational and compliance initiatives.  These demanding programs can be expensive and sometimes just out of reach for small credit unions.   In order to assist small credit unions in the areas of operational and compliance programming, the Credit Union Foundation of Colorado and Wyoming will be offering new grants in 2012 focused on these kinds of programs.  While the funds are limited, these grants will be available to help supplement the needs of small credit unions.  For more information on both operational and compliance-based grant criteria and funding, contact Dan Santangelo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Each year your Credit Union Foundation of Colorado and Wyoming and The Credit Union Foundation of Arizona help advance the credit union movement by promoting credit union leadership, education, social responsibility, and supporting long-term success in our credit union community.  Now, here is an easy way to support the Credit Union Foundations and contribute to the success of our movement by including your Foundation Fair Share donation with your 2012 dues statement.

Fair Share is a modest 7 cents per member, or interested credit unions can make a donation at the Foundation Leadership level by donating 10 cents per member.  These important donations will be used to support affordable financial services, credit union development, financial education, leadership development, and education.  Additionally, your donation will be used to support Foundation initiatives in your home state.

Professional development scholarships are available for credit union volunteers, management and staff to attend any credit union related educational opportunity. Full and partial scholarships may be available, so visit the Credit Union Foundation today!


The Credit Union Foundation of Colorado and Wyoming invites you to participate in our annual Broadmoor Golf Tournament in Colorado Springs, CO!  Next year we will play the Broadmoor’s East Course on Thursday, May 10, 2012, with a shotgun start at 12:00pm.  This is the course that the LPGA played on in 2011.

The deadline to participate is Thursday, April 26, 2012. 

Full details and a registration/sponsorship link will be available Jan. 2012.