As part of our ongoing governance modernization, we are pleased to announce that all eligible Members as of June 30, 2019 were invited to have a voice in the future of Vantage West during our upcoming election, which will primarily be held online. We have selected Election Services Corporation, a company that has facilitated over 6,900 elections over the past three decades, to administer the election process.

Ballots can be cast in one of two ways between August 19 and September 21, 2019, both of which were disclosed to all Members in early July via our newsletter included with mailed statements and eStatements:

For eligible Members who have opted to receive eStatements, Election Services Corporation will send an email to the email address we have on file for you on August 19 with a link and a unique PIN that you may use to participate in the online election.

For eligible Members who have not opted to receive eStatements, you must have requested a paper ballot by July 31, 2019 to participate in the election. If you requested a paper ballot by the deadline, Election Services Corporation will mail one to you from their headquarters on August 19. Members who did not request a paper ballot by the deadline and have not already opted to receive eStatements will not eligible to vote in this year’s election.

Members who choose to vote online must submit their ballot online no later than 11:59 pm Tucson, AZ time on September 21, 2019 for it to be counted. Paper ballots from those Members who requested one must be received at the address that will be specified in the ballot materials no later than 11:59 pm Tucson, AZ time on September 21, 2019 for it to be counted. Election Services Corporation will conduct ballot counting activities.

The results of Member voting will be announced at the 2019 annual meeting which will be held September 26, 2019 at 6:00 pm at the Doubletree by Hilton, 445 S. Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85711. In addition to the annual Membership meeting and the announcement of election results, we invite you to join us for fun prizes and appetizers.

Whether you choose to vote online or request a paper ballot, we hope you will add your voice as a Member-Owner to our modernized governance process during this year’s election.

Six Board seats are up for regular election. The seven candidates running for these six seats are listed below in alphabetical order by their first name, with their biographical/personal statements. The six candidates receiving the greatest number of votes will be elected to the Board of Directors. During the Annual Meeting, no votes will be cast and no call for nominations from the floor will be made for these seats.

Dona Franko

Biographical Profile:

With 23 years of experience, Dona is a small business owner across multiple industries. Her background includes executive assistance for c-suite professionals as well as the former administrative liaison for Vantage West’s Supervisory Committee. Dona is an active community volunteer and earned her Associate’s Degree in Paralegalism from Pima Community College.

Personal Statement:

Hello! My name is Dona and I have been an Arizona resident for 40 years and I love it! I graduated and played college basketball for Pima Community College where I received my Associate’s Degree in Paralegalism.  I now live in Tombstone, AZ and am employed as a Paralegal/Executive Assistant for Arizona G&T Cooperatives in Benson, AZ.

I have been a credit union member for 25+ years and believe in the mission of credit unions and their importance to the community. I am also a small business owner who understands what it is like to be a “small guy”. In such a HUGE banking industry, I realize what an important role credit unions play for small business owners.

I was previously employed at Vantage West for four years thus giving me great experience and insight on the workings of credit unions. Since my departure at Vantage West, I have served on the current board since December of 2018 making great strides. I would love to continue with the current board members on that mission and feel we make a great team! Our team has shown amazing and continued commitment since the previous board’s departure in 2018.

I thank you for taking the time to read a little bit about me and I hope that I can count on your vote to continue my service to Vantage West Credit Union members!

Oscar Lizardi (Incumbent – Chairman)

Biographical Profile:

Oscar has practiced corporate and transactional law for more than 24 years. He also serves on various community boards focused on the socioeconomic conditions of youth. Oscar received his B.S. in Finance from ASU and graduated Cum Laude from the U of A College of Law and was the 2016 Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Hispanic Business Man of the Year.

Personal Statement:

Aligning service to strategy …

My younger years were shaped by my family’s two fundamental priorities: education and community service. My mother, a longtime elementary school teacher, and my father, an associate school superintendent, who were deeply involved in the community, raised me in Nogales, Arizona. My youth was peppered with giving back to the community through various charitable causes.

As an adult in Tucson, I continue my service to the community by connecting with a long list of community organizations, many of which support children who are underprivileged or in distress, including Child & Family Resources, the Children’s Action Alliance, San Miguel High School, the Tucson Conquistadores, Angel Charity for Children, and Tu Nidito.  I also served on the state Board of Directors for Community Colleges and the University of Arizona President Search Advisory Committee, drawn by the impact education and workforce development have on economic and social issues. I am proud to have been named Hispanic Business Man of the Year in 2016.

Consistent with my family’s passion for education, I hold a finance degree from Arizona State University and a law degree, Cum Luade, from the University of Arizona, with my legal practice having naturally gravitated to include the representation of the unique interests of banks and lenders.  In 2015, however, it was through my legal representation of Vantage West that I learned my spirit of service aligned with the credit union philosophy — a commitment to our communities, offering financial services to the underserved, engaging youth in financial literacy, and returning profits/value to our Membership.

With a mission, vision, and purpose I support, and my deep-set commitment to Vantage West within the context of a strategy to transform into a more Member-centric, agile, and innovative financial cooperative, I am honored to be nominated for a position on the Board of Directors. Having served as Board Chair for less than one year, I feel like this TEAM is just getting started at making the difference we can for our employees, Members, and communities and the credit union movement. Thus, I welcome the opportunity to serve the Membership in the coming years.

Manny Lucero (Incumbent – Director)

Biographical Profile:

Manuel (Manny) Lucero received his B.A. in English Literature and M.S. in Management from Arizona State University. His background includes financial services, business development, and community affairs. He has worked with various community organizations including A New Leaf, AWEE, Maricopa Women’s Business Center and Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Maricela Meza (Incumbent – Secretary)

Biographical Profile:

A first-generation college graduate and Tucson native, Maricela graduated from the University of Arizona with her Bachelor’s Degree and the University of Arizona College of Law with a Juris Doctor Degree. Her background is in private practice law. She volunteers on a range of local boards and currently serves as Employee Relations Director for Tucson Unified School District.

Personal Statement:

I am a native Tucsonan, a University of Arizona alum, and am a licensed attorney with legal experience that includes over a decade in private practice. Currently, I serve as the Director of Employee Relations for a local school district.

Tucson is a special and multi-faceted community, fostered through entities such as Vantage West. As an interim board member and a thirteen year Vantage West member, I have been afforded the opportunity to witness the commitments Vantage West has made to ensure the membership is provided the utmost financial care, stability and innovation, with a particular focus of investing in people to have a more prosperous tomorrow.

I currently serve on the Arizona Supreme Court Committee on Character & Fitness. Here, I am charged with weighing evidence to determine whether individuals may be admitted to the Arizona Legal Bar.  In weighing the ethical considerations and arguments, the ultimate answer always boils down to, “will the public be at risk and is this decision in the public’s best interests?”  If elected, I would take the same care in making decisions which affect the Vantage West membership.

Through working in private and public sectors, and serving on community boards, I believe I have ample experience to serve on the Board of Directors. Throughout the years, I have served on the UA Law College Association Board, Pima County Bar Association, Child & Family Resources Board, UA Hispanic Alumni Board, State Bar Committee on Women and Minorities in the Law and various others.  My prior volunteer experience has provided me the opportunity to understand what collective decisions need to be made to move an organization forward.

When not working, you can find me cheering on the Arizona Wildcats and teaching at Academia de Baile, a local non-profit dance school. I thank you for your consideration.

Frank Trembulak (Incumbent – Vice Chairman)

Biographical Profile:

Frank retired in 2016 as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Geisinger Health System in Danville, Pennsylvania. He was a founding Supervisory Committee member of Service 1st Federal Credit Union and has been active in many community and civic organizations. Frank earned his B.S. in Accounting from Susquehanna University.

Personal Statement:

Retiring in 2016 with more than forty-five years of significant leadership experience in several service fields and forty years of experience in credit union strategy, growth and service to members and communities in Pennsylvania, I relocated to Tucson and became a Vantage West Credit Union member. I have in essence adopted the Greater Tucson Community, Arizona and specifically Vantage West Credit Union to focus my energy, experience and service to the benefit of our Members and the communities we serve. I look forward to contributing to enhancing the service experience of every Member every time as Vantage West assists all Members meet their financial challenges, needs and planning.

Matthew Woods

Biographical Profile:

After 23 years serving in the United States Air Force, Matthew transitioned to the private sector and earned his B.S. in Management in May 2019. Since then, he has begun a Master’s program with ASU Law with an anticipated graduation date of May 2021. Matthew appreciates credit unions and their role in the community and is enthusiastic about being a part of what Vantage West is doing in Arizona.

Doug Zimmerman (Incumbent – Treasurer)

Biographical Profile:

After a 38-year career as a Chief Financial Officer, Doug is preparing for his retirement. He is an Arizona native who desires to be involved in the community during his retirement years and is also on the board of an Arizona-based healthcare provider. Doug received his B.A. in Economics from Albion College and is licensed as a certified public accountant in Arizona.

In addition to electing new Directors, eligible Members will have the opportunity to vote on three important ballot initiatives. It is the credit union’s position that all three initiatives are favorable for Vantage West.  We formed this position after extensive discussion and careful consideration of feedback solicited from the Membership over the past several years. We are confident that a “yes” vote on all three initiatives will help advance the credit union in our ongoing modernization. This will support the credit union’s ability to better serve the Membership. Highlights of each initiative are included below.

      1. Ratification of Restated Bylaws, which were approved by the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions on July 12, 2019.

These Bylaws have been wholly rewritten for the first time since 2006 and will allow for smooth functioning of your credit union’s internal governance process while being consistent with both our Members’ values and with applicable law for years to come. Among other items, the restated Bylaws are:

  • User friendly. As the means by which the Members delegate authority to the Board of Directors, the Bylaws can be easily read and understood to ensure that your credit union remains Member-centric and ethically, legally, and financially sound.
  • Comprehensive without being overly detailed. As an example, the Bylaws include sufficient detail to create a clear, fair, and legal framework around the Director nomination and election process without being unduly rigid.

Consistent with applicable law.  The Bylaws explain how your credit union will satisfy its legal and regulatory requirements.

Restated Bylaws – June 2019

      2. Approval of Amendment to the credit union’s Certificate of Organization, which is a formality to align our Certificate of Organization with the restated Bylaws.

Amendment to Certificate of Organization – March 2019

      3. Approval of the Official Compensation Policy, which is the final step in a process begun in 2017 when Members approved a change in Bylaws to permit reasonable compensation for credit union officials. The policy was created with input from Members over the past three years, as well as data from objective third-party industry experts. Reasonable compensation will help ensure that Vantage West benefits from top talent responsible for overseeing the credit union’s strategic direction, safety, and soundness.

Official Compensation Policy – August 2019


For more information on the annual meeting agenda and financial workshops, please visit