On July 1, credit unions in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming came together as members of the GoWest Credit Union Association. The name, “GoWest” embodies the bold, pioneering spirit of the West, and certainly, of the more than 300 credit unions in the six states GoWest serves.
While credit unions are unique and multi-faceted, they are united by a singular goal: to increase the tangible value they deliver to their memberships and the impact they make in the communities they serve. It is an honor for GoWest Credit Union Association, GoWest Solutions, and GoWest Foundation, to champion the credit unions of the West. It is a responsibility that is being taken very seriously.
Advocacy is Job One!
Across the GoWest region, more than 16.5 million people have chosen credit unions as their preferred financial services partners – and for good reason. It’s all about Structure, Value, and Impact – “SVI.” As not-for-profit cooperative financial institutions, credit unions put their members first. That structure drives the value they return to members and the impact they have in making communities stronger.
Advocacy protects credit unions’ ability to serve their members and communities, and it is the primary strategic focus of the association. With our members’ support, GoWest is positioned to dedicate more resources and horsepower to the numerous areas in which public policy impacts credit unions’ operating environment.
Hyper-local advocacy is a banner of the uniqueness of each of the states we serve. A dedicated Vice President of Legislative Affairs is positioned in each state capitol, collaborating with members to elect credit union champions to office, and to advance priority legislation. Full-time teams are also dedicated to expanding grassroots advocacy opportunities and regulatory advocacy. With 12% of the U.S. Senate and 10% of the U.S. House now represented in GoWest’s geographic footprint, it’s clear that elected officials from our states will chair or serve on key committees. Designated staff are fully focused on supporting GoWest members’ interests in the beltway, and on partnering with CUNA to advance the federal agenda.
A full-circle advocacy strategy is critical and as a result, policymakers will see credit unions as the solution for Main Street.
The Solutions Credit Unions Need and Expect
Given the volume of complex challenges and opportunities on the credit union horizon, GoWest Solutions will play a vital part in connecting members with a suite of leading innovation and technology business partners. This will help to ensure credit unions have relevant solutions for their members. Intentionally focused beyond the typical service corporation role, GoWest Solutions will provide expanded 24/7 compliance services, offered by some of the industry’s most experienced experts. Programming to enhance professional growth and talent development is available. Well-trained and fulfilled employees help to make credit unions the exceptional financial services providers they are. That’s when members become net promoters and invite their friends and loved ones to come along and be part of the Movement.
Collective Action Making an Impact
There is no better financial services model than not-for-profit, cooperative credit unions. Joined together, they accelerate their impact and ability to promote financial wellness for all. Their GoWest Foundation will be a key partner in this work. Powered by a network of credit unions, the foundation is uniquely positioned to harness and deliver resources that improve the financial lives of people and communities. Through this resource, look for the regions’ credit unions to impact challenges such as affordable housing, rural access to financial services, and more. Many business partners and philanthropic organizations have a desire to make communities and consumers stronger, and through the foundation, they will see credit unions at the intersection of communities’ needs, and the opportunity to change the world.
The Credit Union Movement of the Future is Here.
“Go Forward. Go Together,” is more than a tagline. It leans on the cooperative spirit of the credit unions of the West. It is great to see the energy already building in the GoWest family, and we could not be more excited to be a part of it.
GoWest Credit Union Association is the trade association representing credit unions in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. GoWest advocates on behalf of more than 300 member credit unions, and their 16.5 million consumer members. The region’s not-for-profit cooperative credit unions take a bold, innovative, and forward-thinking approach to improving the lives of their members and enriching their communities.