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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.


News from your Board of Directors

Stay in the know with quarterly updates from your elected Board of Directors.


Governance Reports

Find our Annual Reports, Financial Reports, and AGM Minutes.



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, a master's degree in Business Administration at Royal Roads University and an International Masters for Health Leadership at McGill 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


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.

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.


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 sons. She has an educational background in Environmental Studies and Political Science, with a post graduate diploma in Community Economic Development and Public Leadership and Policy 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 past President of the BC Association of Farmers' Markets. She was elected as a Councillor for the Village of Cumberland in 2018 and mayor in 2022. 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 is an accountant with Cloutier Matthews LLP.

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.


Fabien Gendron, Director

May 2022 - Current

Fabien is an entrepreneur and Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) running a Canada-wide cloud-based accounting practice. His firm is a Certified Living Wage Employer, which reflects Fabien’s approach and views businesses’ social responsibility; views that align with the co-operatives model of credit unions and of the B-Corp Certification movement. 

Fabien has been a credit union member for close to 40 years, starting with his local Caisse Populaire Desjardins in Quebec when he was a kid. His involvement in the co-operative model took concrete form when, in 2011, he became a member of the Triple Rock Land Cooperative, a member-owned co-housing project on Denman Island. This was followed by taking on the role of director with the Union Bay Credit Union in 2015 and, now, First Credit Union.

Fabien has called the Comox Valley home since 2003, and he is delighted to be raising four wonderful kids here, with his wife and best friend, Jenn.


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

We welcome your feedback. Get in touch at

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


Executive Leadership Team

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


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 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 Executive Team

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Kirsty Reid, Chief Member Experience Officer  

Kirsty has over 20 years of experience with First and currently is responsible for the member experience strategy of the Credit Union, including overseeing the retail, commercial and wealth management operations. With a track record of introducing positive change through collaboration, Kirsty leads her teams with the goal of delivering an exceptional member experience focused on 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 is a past member of 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.

Marty Cattermole

Marty Cattermole, Chief Risk Officer

Marty is responsible for identifying, analyzing and mitigating internal and external risks. He provides leadership in the management and execution of the Credit Union’s enterprise risk management framework. Marty has been a member of our senior management team for over 25 years with experience in all areas of branch operations, commercial and retail credit. 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.


Godfrey Van de Leur, Chief Financial Officer

Godfrey’s responsibilities include the oversight of all areas of finance. He has five years of experience in the Credit Union system, most recently as Senior Manager, Financial Planning and Analysis at Coastal Community Credit Union.  Godfrey has a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from Simon Fraser University with a major in Accounting and a minor in Economics and Godfrey holds a Chartered Professional Accountant Designation (CPA, CMA).  Godfrey has financial management and operations management experience in the energy, wholesale distribution and grocery industries and has served overseas with the Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency. Godfrey has extensive experience with budgeting, forecasting, financial analysis, regulatory reporting and mergers & acquisitions.  Outside of work Godfrey enjoys curling, golf, snowboarding and hiking with his wife and daughter.

Charlene Reinisch

Charlene Reinisch, Chief People Officer

Charlene oversees the human resources and governance functions for the organization. In her role, Charlene leads the People & Culture team, helping to create a supportive, enriching, and rewarding experience for our First Credit Union team, and also works closely with the CEO and Board of Directors in ensuring effective and compliant governance practices within the organization.

Charlene is a current CPHR Candidate, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Communication from Royal Roads University and a Certificate in Advanced Management from UBC Sauder School of Business, and is Lean Green Belt Certified. She is a current member of both local and national credit union DEI & Reconciliation working groups, was a former member and chairperson of the First Young Leaders committee, and is an active volunteer with Powell River & District United Way. In her time off, Charlene enjoys camping and boating in the beautiful qathet region, and loves to get creative when cooking & entertaining with friends and family.

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Tara Chernoff, VP 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, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer

As Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer Adam oversees the Innovation, Technology, and Credit departments at First Credit Union. 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.