Board of Directors: Call for Applications
Vantage West is accepting applications now through December 4, 2020 for Members who wish to be considered by the Nominating Committee for nomination to the Board of Directors in 2021. To apply, click here.
Vantage West Credit Union Announces New President/Chief Executive Officer
Vantage West Credit Union has announced the selection of a new President and Chief Executive Officer. Following a nationwide search, the Board of Directors has selected Sandra Sagehorn-Elliott as their new CEO. Sagehorn-Elliott is set to officially begin her position with Vantage West on October 5.
“Finding the right executive to lead our organization and contending with the challenges of hiring during a pandemic was not an easy task, but the Board is confident that Sandra is a great fit for our organization. Sandra’s experience and knowledge of the financial services industry is exactly what we need to lead Vantage West into the future” –Oscar Lizardi, Chairman of the Board
Sagehorn-Elliott has more than twenty years of experience in the financial services industry and comes from Workers Credit Union in Fitchburg, MA where she was EVP/Chief Operating Officer of the $1.6 billion organization since 2015. During her tenure there, Sagehorn-Elliott was responsible for all operations and oversaw a commercial lending portfolio of $165 million. Sagehorn-Elliott developed a new leadership development program, rebuilt the credit union’s training function, and championed the creation of a ground-breaking member financial wellness initiative. Prior to her time at Workers Credit Union, Sagehorn-Elliott was SVP/Chief Operating Officer at Bellco Credit Union in Colorado. Her time at Bellco Credit Union spanned fourteen years and also included positions in the areas of customer relationship management, marketing, and the call center. Sagehorn-Elliott holds a bachelor’s degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University.
“I am thrilled to join a credit union with such a rich history and am eager for the opportunity to lead Vantage West. The credit union has expanded its presence and impact across Arizona while remaining true to its roots of service to Members from all walks of life. I look forward to continuing that legacy.” -Sandra Sagehorn-Elliott
Board of Directors
About the Board of Directors
The Board of Directors (the “Board”) has the authority and responsibility for steering the business affairs of Vantage West Credit Union (the “Credit Union”) in accordance with the Credit Union’s Bylaws and applicable federal or state laws, rules and regulations, as well as good business and governance practices.
The Board’s impact on the Credit Union arises from fiduciary oversight, to strategic development, to relationship building, and Membership growth and engagement. The Board is accountable for promoting and advancing the mission and vision of the Credit Union. The Board provides oversight and due diligence on safety and soundness matters. The Board analyzes situations with a macro lens and assists management in tailoring solutions to align with the Credit Union’s goals and values.
The Board engages in macro governance — in defining, deliberating, and deciding matters most consequential to the Credit Union’s short- or long-range well-being — and does not cross the line into micromanagement by participating in the actual operations of the Credit Union.
Board Officer Responsibilities
While the Board as a whole is responsible for effectively governing the Credit Union, the Board officers are responsible for leading and operating the Board. They ensure necessary tasks are completed smoothly and promote a positive Board culture. The Board officers are the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer.
The Board Chairperson is identified as the chief elected official of the Credit Union and may act as a representative of the Board and Credit Union to third parties. The Chairperson is instrumental in hiring and supervising the Chief Executive Officer and, thus, is committed to a constructive partnership with the Chief Executive Officer built on a shared understanding of mission and vision; reciprocal communication; and respect, trust, and support for each other.
The Chairperson assures the integrity of the Board’s processes. The Chairperson is responsible for ensuring the Board behaves consistently with the mission of the Credit Union, the Bylaws, the strategic plan, the Board’s policies, rules, and guidelines, and those imposed by law and good governance practices. This includes:
• Calls and leads meetings of the Board, works with the Chief Executive Officer to set an agenda, and presides over the meetings to ensure that all Directors can be heard and participate in the decision-making;
• Meeting content and discussions take place on those topics and issues which, according to Board governance policy, are clearly the Board’s to monitor or direct;
• Topics or information that is neither for monitoring results/performance nor for Board decisions will be minimized and noted as such;
• Discussions and deliberation are interactive, open, fair, and thorough, as well as timely, orderly, and kept to the point;
• Takes a leadership role in the Board’s strategic and generative thinking to ensure a futuristic view of the Credit Union’s vision; and
• Board decisions and direction are communicated through the Chairperson to the Chief Executive Officer to ensure one cohesive voice.
The Chairperson is authorized to make any reasonable interpretation of the Board’s policies, rules, and guidelines. Specifically:
• The Chairperson is empowered to chair Board and Membership meetings with all commonly accepted authority of that position and is the Board representative while conducting official business with the Chief Executive Officer.
• The Chairperson may be a representative of the Board to outside parties by announcing Board-approved positions and communicating the Chairperson’s decisions and interpretations within the areas delegated to the Chairperson.
• The Chairperson may delegate his/her authority but remains responsible and accountable for its use.
In ensuring the Board process is executed effectively, the Chairperson also has the authority and responsibility to:
• Preside over Board meetings and the Annual Membership Meeting;
• Govern the activities of the various Board committees, including appointing appropriate committee members and chairs and Board Liaisons; chair the Executive Committee and serve on the Corporate Governance Committee;
• Serve as the principle liaison between the Board and the Chief Executive Officer;
• Assume ultimate responsibility for the integrity of the Credit Union’s finances, working with appropriate Directors and committees to oversee the budget of the Credit Union and ensure adequate resources; and
• Ensure that the Board’s directives are implemented and monitored.
• Strong knowledge of the Credit Union’s mission, Bylaws, strategic plan, and Board policies
• Demonstrated commitment to exceptional Board governance
• Understanding of the financial services industry
• Experience in facilitating, moderating, and encouraging open communication and in-depth discussion
• Ability to devote adequate time to Board responsibilities
Board Vice Chairperson
• Strong understanding of the Credit Union’s mission and the Board’s governance role
• Experience in facilitating, moderating and encouraging open communication and in-depth discussion
• Willingness to assume the role of Board Chairperson when necessary
• Ability to devote adequate time to assisting the Board Chairperson, as necessary
The purpose and role of the Secretary is to ensure the timely and accurate preparation, completion, and safekeeping of the corporate records of the Credit Union in accordance with the Bylaws and applicable law or regulation.
In discharging his/her duties, the Secretary works closely with the Corporate Secretary and the Chief Executive Officer’s Executive Assistant to whom the Secretary has delegated the following secretarial responsibilities:
• Provide the Membership (e.g., Annual Membership Meeting) and Directors (e.g., regular and special Board meetings) with required meeting notices;
• Prepare agendas with the Chairperson and the Chief Executive Officer;
• Take minutes at Membership and Board meetings and keep a record of Supervisory Committee reports;
• File and preserve with the corporate records of the Credit Union all minutes and reports of the Board;
• Acquire necessary signatures on all official documents; and
• Provide guidance on proper meeting procedures.
The Secretary confirms the above-delegated secretarial responsibilities are conducted in a timely manner and in accordance with Board guidelines, procedures, and practices and/or directives of the Board Chairperson, Chief Executive Officer, and/or Corporate Governance Committee.
In this respect, the Secretary reviews and approves draft meeting minutes for content, completeness, and adherence to any established minute-taking guidelines prior to presentation to the Board and signs the approved meeting minutes after they have been approved by the Board.
The Secretary must be prepared to assume the leadership role when the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson are unavailable.
• Familiarity with Board guidelines, procedures, and practices
• Organized, keen attention to detail
The purpose and role of the Board Treasurer is to oversee the financial position of the Credit Union. The Treasurer is responsible for overseeing the accuracy and safekeeping of all assets including funds, securities, bank papers, and any other items of value. In discharging his/her duties, the Treasurer works closely with the Chief Executive Officer and the EVP Chief Financial Officer.
The Treasurer applies his/her knowledge of accounting to monitor finances, reviewing the preparation of monthly financial reports and the annual audited financial statements, summarizing the Credit Union’s financial performance for the Board on a quarterly basis and to the Membership at the Annual Membership Meeting, and ensuring the Credit Union’s financial policies are respected. In ensuring that Credit Union assets are protected and invested in accordance with Credit Union policies, the Treasurer is expected to collaborate with or be the Board Liaison to the Asset Liability Committee.
The Treasurer reviews the Credit Union’s draft annual budget prior to presentation to the Board of Directors. The Treasurer also reviews the annual financial statement audit results and corporate tax forms and oversees and/or participates in the presentation of this material to the Board.
• Understanding of all financial concepts and thoroughly familiar with the details of the financial statements
• Ability and willingness to work with the Board Liaison to the Asset Liability Committee, EVP Chief Financial Officer, controller, and auditors, as necessary
Click Here if you would like to read the Official Board of Directors Responsibilities and Description of Director, Officer, and Board Liaison Duties
Three voting members comprise Vantage West’s Supervisory Committee. The group is appointed by the Board and functions independently to safeguard the assets of Vantage West and its Members. The Supervisory Committee engages an independent third-party CPA firm each year to perform audits of our financial statements to ensure accurate record keeping. Members of the Supervisory Committee possess integrity as well as the ability to speak frankly and make sound judgments. They should also be able to dedicate time for meetings, training events, and conferences (sometimes involving travel). Applications from Members interested in a future appointment to the Supervisory Committee can be submitted below.