GoWest’s Leadership Institute graduates 36 professionals

Now in its 12th year, the Institute has helped hundreds hone their leadership skills, move forward in their careers, and guide their credit unions into the future.

TIGARD, OR (October 5, 2022) — Thirty-six credit union professionals are now better prepared to propel their careers forward and help guide the Movement into the future, thanks to the training they received during the GoWest Credit Union Association’s  Leadership Institute. Graduation events were held in September in Cheyenne, Denver, and Phoenix.

The comprehensive, seven-month program was created in partnership with Peregrine Global Services. The curriculum is based on the “BE-KNOW-DO” leadership model and includes 360-assessments, class instruction, group work and presentations, coaching, and practical application in the workplace.

  • The BE aspect of leadership training helps participants identify and strengthen their personal leadership brand, with a focus on using strong values when making decisions and troubleshooting issues.
  • The KNOW model helps students to honestly comprehend their current level of interpersonal skills and build on them. The training focuses on communication strategies, team leadership competency, and personal supervision styles while providing tangible problem-solving, change management, and performance management tools.
  • In the DO model, participants learn how to facilitate learning throughout their team and enable more productive communication, planning, and mentoring. It also teaches conflict management and provides team evaluations.

The professionals who graduate from the Leadership Institute intuitively anticipate needs and proactively work to enrich the Credit Union Movement as a whole, while developing their own skills to carry the vision into the future.

“Having watched the Institute’s journey from the original vision to make a measurable impact on the future of credit unions to 12 years later, with more than 340 graduates, and leaders blossoming throughout our Movement is inspiring and gives me great confidence for the future,” said Nicole Brusewitz, GoWest’s senior vice president of strategic development and learning.

Sharing that confidence about the future is recent graduate Lamar T. Johnson, a service area manager for Colorado Springs-based Ent Credit Union. Johnson said that he came to understand that “one’s leadership skills and abilities should always be evolving into something better each day.” It was also, he added, a “tremendous opportunity to network and establish lasting credit union family relationships.”

Participants in the Leadership Institute are in career stages ranging from emerging leaders to supervisors, managers, and aspiring team leads, and it’s not unusual for the training to lead them to higher roles. Such is the case for Leah Friedenberg, senior vice president of organizational development at Pima Federal Credit Union in Tucson. She graduated from the Institute in 2015.

“I’ve enjoyed increasing responsibility within my credit union and am now in a role where I can leverage these leadership lessons and content to make an impact on other growing leaders on our team,” Friedenberg said.

GoWest plans to offer the program in 2023 to credit union professionals in all six of the states it serves.

“After joining our team and credit union leaders for the graduation events in the past several weeks, it’s clear the Credit Union Movement is in great shape,” said Troy Stang, GoWest president and chief executive officer. “The next generation of talent we are investing in is well equipped to ensure credit unions will be relevant to tomorrow’s market, and will help to accelerate the impact these cooperatives make in communities across the GoWest region.”

About GoWest Credit Union Association

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 17.4 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. Follow GoWest Credit Union Association on LinkedIn at, Facebook at, and Twitter at for the latest updates on the regional Credit Union Movement. 


Katy Wagnon, SVP, Marketing & Communications

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