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

Vantage West Credit Union is governed by a nine-member Board of Directors. These volunteer leaders are elected by and from the Membership, and it is their primary duty to ensure that Vantage West is operated in the Membership’s best interests. Terms are for three years and are staggered so that approximately an even number of seats come up for election each year. Directors are expected to possess integrity, speak frankly, and make sound and ethical judgements. They must be able to commit the time necessary to effectively serve the Membership, including monthly meetings, strategic planning sessions, and training courses. The Board’s role is strategic and visionary. The Board designates objectives and sets policies that the President/CEO uses to oversee the credit union’s operations. This practice keeps the Board focused on high-level strategy while giving the President/CEO and his or her staff the ability and flexibility needed to achieve the Board’s objectives. The volunteer leadership model sets Vantage West apart from other types of financial institutions. Directors contribute their leadership, knowledge, ideas, and vision to the benefit of their fellow credit union Members. In exchange, they receive practical leadership and team experience, financial institution and management education, and networking and educational travel opportunities. More importantly, Directors enjoy the satisfaction that comes from helping shape Vantage West such that it remains financially sound as a credit union, an employer, and its Members’ first choice in products and services to help them meet their financial needs. Above all else, the Board of Directors helps Vantage West fulfill its purpose to Invest in people today to achieve a more prosperous tomorrow.

DIRECTOR QUALIFICATIONS General Director Expectations Directors of Vantage West Credit Union will be expected to bring to the Board a broad range of knowledge and depth of experience from their chosen business or profession, as well as an understanding of the principles and values of Vantage West and the communities it serves. Directors should evidence a demonstrated ability to deal with business, financial, and social issues. This implies a capacity to provide additional strength, diversity of views, and up-to-date perspectives to the Board and its deliberations. Directors should have a fundamental understanding of their role and responsibility to the credit union. Directorship on the Board of Vantage West is not a public office, and although the Board will be representative of the community that it serves, the Director’s primary responsibility is to act at all times in the best interests of the credit union’s Membership. This fiduciary duty is both a legal obligation and a mandate under the terms of the credit union’s bylaws. A Director should be able to work productively with others and have the ability and willingness to commit the time and effort required to do so. Directors should be fully informed regarding their responsibilities and liabilities as a Director prior to a commitment to serve. Minimum Requirements To be eligible and qualified to serve on Vantage West Credit Union’s Board of Directors, a Director must be a Vantage West primary Member whose Membership is in good standing, must have the ability to comply with the Governance Handbook, and must meet all of the following minimum requirements:

Desired Expertise and Experience Based on a determination of the overall expertise required by the Board as a whole, specific expertise in the categories below will be considered positive attributes for potential candidates. It is recognized that not all candidates will have all expertise, experience, and attributes listed, and that they may change from time to time depending on the credit union’s needs, and that the objective of articulating such desired expertise, experience, and attributes is to achieve a well-balanced mix of such skills and expertise on the Board of Directors.

Desired Attributes The attributes below will be considered when selecting candidates for Board appointment or selecting nominees for Board election, as applicable. Alignment with Vantage West Credit Union Principles:

Added Considerations for Directors in General:

Membership Representation Potential Director candidates will not be denied consideration by reason of race, color, sex, religion, disability, age, national origin, veteran status, geographic location, or affiliation with some special constituency group, nor will any candidate be selected solely for such reason.

Supervisory Committee

Five voting members and two alternate 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 also performs audits of our financial statements each year 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. 

TO LEARN MORE: If you would like more information about BOD and Supervisory Committee opportunities at Vantage West Credit Union, send an email to nominatingcommittee@vantagewest.org.

Officials Compensation

Vantage West Credit Union’s current Notice of Director and Supervisory Committee Member Compensation