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Democratic member control is key to our success.

Representing the interest of our members, the board works closely with the senior leadership team to ensure First Credit Union's success as a financial co-operative.

 
 

Local Leadership

First Credit Union is governed by an elected Board of Directors, all of whom live and work in the communities we serve. Each Director uses their expert skills, knowledge, and abilities to help set the strategic direction of First Credit Union.

 
 

Meet your Board of Directors

 

 

Guy Chartier, Chair

May 2015 - Current

As an executive leader with extensive experience in organizational management and innovation, Guy brings a strong knowledge base in strategy, finance and risk management to First Credit Union's board. He has been the Executive Director for the Powell River Division of Family Practice since 2013.

Prior to healthcare management, Guy held various positions in international education in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. He earned a bachelor's degree in Education at University of Montreal and a master's degree in Business Administration at Royal Roads University.

Guy is an active member of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD); he is passionate about community development for a sustainable future and also served on the board of Powell River Community Futures. Guy has completed all three levels of the Credit Union Director Achievement (CUDA®) program and holds the Accredited Canadian Credit Union Director designation.

 
 

Meet the rest of our Board of Directors

Michael Matthews, Director

May 2015 - Current

After a career in international education, Michael brings strengths in organizational structure, financial management and strategic planning to the First Credit Union board. Michael grew up in Oxford, UK. Following university, he taught Physics and Philosophy before coming to Canada and taking Canadian citizenship.

Michael spent several years as Chair of the International Baccalaureate World Heads' Council and is currently a Director of the Johanna Heumann Foundation, a Swiss charity that funds university education in developing countries. Since retiring in 2012 Michael has continued to lead accreditation teams to schools around the world on a pro bono basis on behalf of the Council of International Schools.

He is passionate about contributing to his local community and also serves on Pacific Region International Music Academy (PRISMA) and PR Community Foundation boards. Michael has completed all three levels of the Credit Union Director Achievement (CUDA®) program.



Catherine Bell, Director

May 2017 - Current

Catherine's deep-rooted history with credit unions dates back to her Grandfather, a founding member of the Courtenay Credit Union. Her parents strongly supported credit unions as a means of investing in local businesses and community; a passion that she inherited. In addition to her commitment to credit unions, Catherine brings strong governance and financial acumen to the First Credit Union board. Her diverse professional background includes Vice President for the BC Government and Service Employees Union, MP for Vancouver Island North, and owner of Zocalo Cafe and Gallery in Courtenay. In addition to experiencing the fiscal responsibilities of being a small business owner, Catherine's financial experience includes fiduciary responsibility of approving and monitoring her Union's multimillion dollar budget, and as a Member of Parliament, she participated in the federal budget process. Catherine has completed all three levels of the Credit Union Director Achievement (CUDA®) program and holds the Accredited Canadian Credit Union Director designation.


Tim Wall, Director

September 2016 - May 2017 + May 2017 - Current

Tim is an energetic finance professional who provides leadership and management skills with over 18 years of board experience (Signal Hill Community Association, Rotary Club of Powell River, and Powell River Community Foundation). He brings advanced knowledge in budgeting, financial reporting, decision analysis and problem solving  to  First  Credit  Union's  board. 

His  experience  working  with  the Alberta Children's Hospital as Controller as well as for the City of Calgary in areas such as accounting and engineering services provided him with a solid background for director responsibilities. Tim has been involved in the Powell River community while working as the Chief Financial Officer for City Transfer/Augusta Recyclers and more recently as the Owner/Operator of Avid Fitness. Tim has completed level one of the Credit Union Director Achievement (CUDA®) program.

 

​Vickey Brown, Director

May 2018 - Current

Vickey resides in the Legendary Village of Cumberland with her husband and two teenage boys. She has an educational background in Environmental Studies and Political Science, with a post graduate diploma in Community Economic Development. Her work experience is primarily in non-profit leadership and small business.

Vickey has almost 20 years' experience on non-profit boards. She served a 4 year term as School Trustee representing the Village of Cumberland from 2014-18, chaired the Cumberland Community School Society from 2011 - 2014, and is currently the President of the BC Association of Farmers' Markets. She was elected as a Councillor for the Village of Cumberland in 2018. Vickey brings a wide skill set to the Board, including: business development, marketing and promotions, strategic planning, policy development, governance, and HR. Vickey has completed all three levels of the Credit Union Director Achievement (CUDA®) program.

 



Fred Wagner, Director

May 2021 - Current

Fred Wagner and his wife became members of First Credit Union, Bowen Island Branch in 2012 when they relocated from Williams Lake.  He joined Central 1 Credit Union (the central financial facility for over 130 credit unions in B.C. and Ontario) as Senior Vice-President, Trade Services.  In August 2014 he commenced early retirement. Following time spent in commercial banking, his career with B.C. credit unions spanned over 20 years. This led to a comprehensive understanding of the co-operative sector. In 2008 he was chosen to be the representative on the Board of Central 1 Credit Union for northern B.C. credit unions. While a Director, he was appointed Chair of the Audit and Systems Operations Committees. Throughout his career he was active in numerous local community initiatives and organizations including Rotary. He is currently the Chair of the Bowen Island Municipality Finance Advisory Committee.

Fred believes in cooperative values and supporting the credit unions’  commitments with its members and local communities. He hopes to provide the benefit of a credit union director resident on Bowen Island.

 

Sharon Hadden, Director

July 2021 - Current

Sharon has been a resident of Buckley Bay since 1976, and a became a member of the credit union soon after. Sharon co-owned and managed Fanny Bay Oysters for 23 years, during which time the company grew from a small shucking shed with 3 employees to a multi million-dollar business exporting shellfish world-wide.  The company was sold in 2007. She has since earned her MBA in Executive Management at Royal Roads University in 2010, and her CGA designation in BC in 2012.  Sharon currently runs a successful Comox Valley accounting practice.

A credit union member since the late 1970s, Sharon enthusiastically accepted an invitation to join the UBCU Board of Directors in 2013. Sharon has also served as a board member for the Community Justice Centre of the Comox Valley.  She enjoys traveling, fishing and playing slo-pitch and golf, and she is the proud mother of three sons.



Petra Chambers, Director

July 2021 - Current

Petra Chambers has over 25 years’ experience in non-profit leadership as an Executive Director & Consultant specializing in multi-sectoral partnership. Her expertise is the areas of evaluation, performance measurement and using a ‘complex systems’ lens to create desired change in organizations and communities. Petra has an MA in Conflict Analysis and Management with an organizational specialization from Royal Roads University; and a graduate certificate in Evaluation from the school of Public Administration at the University of Victoria. She grew up on Hornby Island and was a member of Union Bay Credit Union at 4-years-old. She became a director on the Union Bay Credit Union board in 2019, after returning to live on Hornby. Petra became a First Credit Union Director after the merger in 2021. She currently works semi-remotely as a consultant in BC and Alberta. Petra has completed all three levels of the Credit Union Director Achievement (CUDA®) program.


 

Your Board is elected by you and works hard to represent you.

We welcome your feedback. Get in touch at board@firstcu.ca.

Interested in a role on our Board of Directors?

As a financial services co-operative, First Credit Union is a jointly owned and democratically controlled business that supports the needs of its members and strives to build financial healthy communities. The Board provides critical guidance and oversight for the Credit Union by determining strategic direction, setting policies, representing members' interests and working with management to maximize the Credit Union's impact.

We provide our members with a range of financial products and services to help them meet their financial goals, while at the same time strengthening our communities by turning our members' deposits into millions of dollars of credit, shared profits, and community investments to support local economic, social and environmental initiatives. Co-operatives differ from other businesses in some important ways. For example:

  • They are values-driven businesses
  • They have social and economic objectives that put profits at the service of people
  • They are owned and controlled by their members
  • They create jobs and financial benefits that stay in the local community
  • They are guided globally by seven co-operative principles.

If this sounds like something you would like to be a part of, we invite you to learn more about becoming a Director with First Credit Union!

Links to PDF reports, financials, governance docs, credit union rules

 
 

Senior Leadership Team

We focus on the well-being of members, employees, and communities by bringing our vision of creating financially healthy communities to life.

 
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Linda Bowyer, President & CEO

Linda is responsible for leading the development and execution of First Credit Union's long term strategy to create value for our members.

With experience as a Senior Executive at TD Canada Trust, CIBC and the insurance division of BCAA, Linda specializes in building high performance results-based teams, change management, leadership, sales & service distribution, and operations & process improvement. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration and a MBA from Simon Fraser University, as well as a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma. Linda is also the Board Chair of the Credit Union Agency Alliance Ltd. (CUAAL), and a Director on the Boards of Stabilization Central Credit Union, the Canadian Credit Union Association (CCUA), and the World Council of Credit Unions.

 

Meet the rest of our Senior Leadership Team

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Kirsty Reid, VP Member Experience, Wealth Management & Retail    

Kirsty oversees the member experience strategy for the Credit Union, including training and development in advisory services, the contact centre, and branch support. She is also responsible for First Wealth Management. With a track record of introducing positive change through collaboration, Kirsty focuses on delivering an exceptional member experience and improving members' financial well-being.

Kirsty is a recipient of the CCUA National Young Leader's award, a past member of the National Young Leaders Committee, and a founding member of the BC Young Leaders Network. She currently sits on the Aviso Member Experience Advisory Council and the Partner Advisory Council. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in business, a Certified Financial Planner® designation, a Graduate Certificate in Strategic Human Resource Management, and is Lean Green Belt Certified. In her off time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters in the community she's fortunate enough to call home.

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Marty Cattermole, Chief Risk Officer

Marty's main responsibilities include oversight of our Retail and Commercial Lending departments and portfolios. He also oversees Commercial Services, Branch Developments and Upgrades. As a member of our Asset Liability Committee (ALCO) he is involved in the financial management of our company with an added focus on our Loan Syndication and securitization programs. Marty has a degree in Business and Economics, numerous accreditations in Finance and a passion for continued education and learning. Marty is a father, grandfather and an active participant in the Powell River community. Using his experience and knowledge he has been able to support and provide direction to other organizations including many years on Economic Development Committees and the Canadian National Lenders Committee.

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Alan Fougere, Chief Financial Officer

Alan's responsibilities include oversight of all areas finance including: accounting, treasury, securitization, clearings, payroll and benefits. Alan holds a Chartered Professional Accountant designation (CPA, CGA) and a Bachelor of Business Administration majoring in Finance from Vancouver Island University. He participates in advocacy roles within Central 1 Credit Union and the BC Financial Institution Commission. Alan is active with youth and in the community coaching minor hockey and volunteering with non-profit organizations providing accounting services as a board member with the Powell River Kings and Myrtle Point Golf Club. Outside of work Alan enjoys fishing, golf, hockey, and ATV-ing with his wife and two young sons.  

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Frank Oldale, VP Technology

Frank is responsible for oversight of Information Technology and Information Systems. He has more than 25 years' experience with Hardware Infrastructure, Networking Infrastructure, Virtualization, Systems Automation and Software Development. Frank also oversees the management and operations of both our Production and Disaster Recovery data centers and our electronic delivery channels. Frank and his wife live in Powell River where you will find them regularly enjoying the many outdoor activities available. He volunteers for special needs advocacy groups as well as Powell River outdoor recreation groups.

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Charlene Reinisch, VP Risk & Corporate Governance

Charlene oversees the governance, enterprise risk management, and corporate administration functions for the organization. In her role, Charlene works closely with the CEO and Board of Directors in planning and executing strategic initiatives, maintaining the organization's risk management framework, and ensuring effective and compliant governance practices within the organization.

Charlene holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Communication from Royal Roads University and is working towards her CRM-E (Canadian Enterprise Risk Management) designation through McMaster University. She currently represents First Credit Union as a member of the steering committee for the BC credit union Risk Management Alliance, has been a member and chairperson of the First Young Leaders committee, and is an active volunteer with organizations such as Powell River & District United Way and Powell River Community Foundation.

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Tara Chernoff, VP Social Impact & Marketing

Tara and her team are responsible for creating positive social and environmental impact in the communities we serve and all aspects of marketing and external communications. An enthusiastic lifelong learner, Tara holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, a Graduate Certificate in Social Innovation, a Certified Marketing Specialist designation, and is currently working toward her Master of Co-operative and Credit Union Management at Saint Mary's University. She is a member of the Canadian Credit Union Association Community Impact Committee and co-founder and chair of the 100+ Women Who Care - Powell River Chapter. Tara and her husband have three sons and feel fortunate to live in a community where they can enjoy lots of outdoor activities like boating, swimming, skiing, and hiking.

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Adam Fraser, VP Innovation & Credit

Adam has over a decade of experience in the credit union system having worked in progressively senior leadership roles within commercial banking with Coastal Community Credit Union. Adam holds an MBA from Royal Roads University, a BBA with a concentration in Finance from Vancouver Island University, and is a Fellow of the Credit Union Institute of Canada and an Accredited Commercial Lender granted through CCUA and Dalhousie University. Adam is a past winner of the Canadian Credit Union Association's National Young Leader Award and has been recognized as a winner of the Top 20 Under 40 Award on Vancouver Island. In his time off Adam enjoys spending time with his young family, mountain biking, running, and golfing.