Valley First

Paulette Rennie to bring 25-year credit union career to a close

May 10, 2016

Penticton, B.C.—During the First West Credit Union AGM session in Kelowna on May 9, Paulette Rennie—a 25-year veteran of the B.C. credit union system—publicly announced her retirement.

Rennie, who is president of the Valley First and Enderby & District Financial divisions of First West Credit Union, shared she will be stepping down from her role in June and bringing to a close a financial services and leadership career that spans more than three decades.

“Paulette is an inspirational and transformational leader,” says First West Credit Union CEO, Launi Skinner. “From the branch to operations to senior leadership, she’s done it all. When I first met Paulette I was struck by her passion for the credit union and how she represents the co-operative principle of neighbour helping neighbour. Her retirement is a real loss to First West and the credit union system.”

Rennie joined Valley First in May 1989. Following a brief stint in Vancouver, she returned in 1995 to open the Cherry Lane branch in Penticton. Shortly after, Rennie moved to the Valley First regional office and over the next 12 years she took on increasingly senior roles before being appointed acting chief executive officer. It was in this role Rennie led Valley First through the final stages of its merger with Envision Financial, to form First West Credit Union, and on Jan. 1, 2010, Paulette became president of the Valley First division of First West Credit Union.

“Choosing the right time to retire was one of the tougher leadership decisions I’ve had to make,” says Rennie. “After 25 years, your colleagues and members become close friends. When I look back, it’s these close connections and friendships that I will cherish the most. I know I’ve been successful because I’ve had so many great people around me. I’m also incredibly thankful that I got to work with a tremendous team and serve so many loyal members.”

During her time as a leader at Valley First, Rennie led the organization through significant growth and modernization. She guided the credit union through expansion into Kamloops and Enderby, introduced two new banking systems, brought fee-free chequing to the Southwest Interior and mentored many others as they became today’s leaders.

“An important part of who we are at First West is our local connections,” says Skinner. “Paulette’s incredibly valuable insights have helped us make and navigate through some of the harder decisions and larger projects we’ve tackled in recent years – we wouldn’t have enjoyed the same level of success without Paulette’s experience on our side.”
 
“It’s been a pleasure to work with Paulette; we will all miss her. It’s impossible to put into words the impact someone can make in 25 years. The countless careers she helped build, the deep and personal relationships she forged and the way she inspired us to be better people and leaders. Paulette will truly leave a lasting impression on all of us.”

Beyond the credit union system, Rennie takes great pride in giving back to community. She was instrumental in bringing the Valley First Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan to Penticton, has been a strong supporter of Challenge Penticton Canada and has served as a board member with the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan as well as an advisory member on a number of committees for the City of Penticton.

With her credit union career coming to a close, Rennie says she’ll have more time to enjoy family, travelling and lowering her golf handicap.

About Valley First

Valley First is a premier provider of banking, investment and insurance services for residents and businesses in the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys. As a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.'s third-largest credit union with 54 branches and 38 insurance offices throughout the province, Valley First brings innovative products, an extensive branch network and local decision making to the banking experience. For more information on Valley First, visit www.valleyfirst.com.

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