Canvas celebrates Western CUNA Management School grads and a surprise, tear-filled promotion

Sara Ott and Malcolm Johnson complete three-year credit union leadership program, with a Canvas twist.

LONE TREE, CO (August 14, 2019) — The Canvas family is proud to recognize its most recent graduates of the Western CUNA Management School (WCMS): Sara Ott, Vice President of Mortgage Lending, and Malcolm Johnson, Assistant Vice President of Community Engagement.

Graduation took place on July 25, 2019, on the Pomona College campus in Claremont, CA. The ceremony was only the beginning of this story. In true Canvas fashion, not only did Sara graduate with High Honors, she also became the first woman in CUNA history to receive the Rick Craig Prize. Since 2012, this annual award has been presented to the student whose second-year project is deemed to be the most outstanding.

Adding to this monumental occasion, Canvas President and CEO Todd Marksberry revealed, in a surprise announcement, that Malcolm Johnson was being promoted to Assistant Vice President of Community Engagement. Tears and hugs followed as Malcolm’s family joined in on the celebration. Watch the Canvas video of the surprise announcement:

Sara and Malcolm join an impressive list of WCMS graduates and current students within the Canvas family. “I couldn’t be prouder of our family, not only of Sara and Malcolm, but all our team that have taken part in this stellar program,” said Todd. “We’re known for our great people, and supporting their efforts to continually be better just makes sense.”

With more than 14 years of executive lending experiencing to her credit, including a Senior VP role at Centennial Lending, LLC, Sara hit the ground running when she joined the Canvas family in October 2017 as VP of Mortgage Lending. Rolling out a new online application is just one of the many improvements she has spearheaded. Since last fall, mortgage lending has grown more than 12% at Canvas.

Malcolm joined the Canvas family more than 10 years ago as a branch manager before moving to a role in the finance department. His ability to bring people together made him a perfect fit for the Community Involvement team, where, in 2016, he became the director until his recent promotion to AVP. “Malcolm exemplifies our commitments of leadership and heart in the communities we serve” said Steve Ferrero, Chief Community Engagement Officer. “For the past 11 years, his presence has enhanced our culture, and his smile brightens our halls and our hearts every day.”

Western CUNA Management School students, grads, and alumni from Canvas Credit Union gather to celebrate.

About Canvas Credit Union

Canvas Credit Union (Formerly Public Service Credit Union) is a safe and insured financial institution with over $2.7 billion in assets and more than 250,000 members. Canvas provides a full array of financial products and services, including savings, checking, loans, mortgages, and online and mobile options. Serving Colorado communities for more than 80 years, Canvas currently has 29 branches.

About Western CUNA Management School

For more than 50 years, Western CUNA Management School has been preparing leaders in the credit union industry with the knowledge and skills needed to contribute to their organization and their own personal career goals. This prestigious program includes Strategic Planning, Operations, Finance, Marketing, Lending, Human Resources, Technology, Business Development, Economics, Business Law, Communications, Leadership, and much more.  For more information


Tansley Stearns
Chief People & Strategy Officer
Canvas Credit Union

Canvas Credit Union
9990 Park Meadows Drive
Lone Tree, CO 80124
United States of America

More News