Western CUNA Management School Honors its 2013 Graduating Class

(August 5, 2013) — An enthusiastic 88 members of the Lambda Class of 2013 accepted their diplomas on July 25 at the 52nd graduation ceremony of Western CUNA Management School. The school was held July 14-26 at Pomona College in Claremont, CA

Seven students graduated with “High Honors,” while an additional four students graduated with “Honors.”

Students earning “High Honors” were:  Rebecca Bower, WA; Douglas Brisbon, WA; Brandi Gleason, WA; Daryl Holdaway, UT; Nathan Linde, WA; Christopher Monti, ID; and Rich Scholes, OR. “Honors” students this year were: Jason Ehn, CA; Thomas Newins, AK; Darren Nishioka, HI; and James Staub, HI.

Nathan Linde, assistant vice president of the contact center for Washington State Employees CU, won the Rick Craig Prize for Excellence in Projects I and II.

Each year the graduating student who best represents the qualities of high moral character, leadership, credit union dedication, and academic achievement is nominated by his or her class to receive the Charles M. Clark Memorial Award. This year’s recipient was Douglas Brisbon, business development manager for Seattle Metropolitan CU in Washington.

Chris Jillson, CEO of Sandia Laboratory FCU in New Mexico and a 1990 graduate of WCMS, received this year’s James D. Likens Alumni Recognition Award for significant achievement in the credit union field since graduating from the school.

According to a time-honored tradition of giving back to WCMS, the graduating class presented WCMS President Jim Likens with fundraising checks totaling $92,000—$13,000 from a class auction event by the three classes and $79,000 raised over the past three years by the Lambda class, representing the largest class gift in WCMS history.

“What is it that brings us together? What is it that inspires us to be here?,” said Bill Cheney, commencement speaker and president and CEO of the Credit Union National Association. “There is something different about us. In reality, we’re not an industry—we’re a movement. It’s that ‘credit union difference’—balancing head and heart.”

Cheney added the future of the movement is “brighter than ever,” with incredible opportunities for credit unions to become America’s preferred financial institution. “WCMS is cultivating the leaders of tomorrow who will highlight the credit union difference, the movement, and win the hearts of Americans and small businesses.”

Western CUNA Management School is sponsored by the credit union leagues and associations serving Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

WCMS graduates who over the years have developed their skills and knowledge at the school occupy positions of leadership and responsibility in credit unions and CU system organizations across the nation.

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