Launi Skinner

Chief Executive Officer

Launi Skinner is chief executive officer of First West Credit Union, one of Canada’s leading credit unions with close to $10 billion in assets, 250,000 members and more than 1,700 employees. Launi leads the vision and strategic direction for First West while ensuring the organization’s locally-led brand network—Envision Financial, Valley First, Enderby & District Financial and Island Savings—remains committed to simplifying lives and helping members and communities thrive.

Launi has more than 25 years of managing large and complex businesses in both the U.S. and Canada. Before her current position with First West, Launi spent 15 years with Starbucks where her last role as president gave her oversight of 11,300 stores, management of revenues in excess of $7 billion and leadership of a geographically dispersed management team overseeing 130,000 employees. She also had responsibility for U.S. store development, annually managing $400 million in new store builds, $300 million in renovations and global store design.  
Launi has been recognized for her leadership and business acumen numerous times throughout her career. She has been named one of “Four Women to Watch” in Fortune Magazine's 50 Most Powerful Women feature, awarded an honorary doctorate by the British Columbia Institute of Technology and named as one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women four times culminating in a Woman’s Executive Network hall of fame entry. Additionally, she received the 2011 Stevie Award for Best Canadian Executive and was named one of Business in Vancouver’s Most Influential Women in Business for 2012.
Launi holds a diploma in business from Okanagan College, received her CGA designation has and completed the ICD program. She is currently a board member for Central 1 Credit Union, Qtrade Financial Group, Rocky Mountaineer and the chair of Science World. In the community she serves as a community leader for the Minerva Foundation for B.C. Women as well as past event chair for the Vancouver YWCA Women of Distinction Awards.

Featured Posts

August 18, 2015

According to First West Credit Union CEO Launi Skinner, true leadership is not showcased by how many awards and accolades you have but is defined by the success of the people on your team.

While Skinner is no stranger to accolades — during her 20 year career, which includes her tenure as President of Starbucks and Chief Operating Officer of 1-800-Got-Junk, she’s received a honourary doctorate by BCIT, was appointed to the Woman’s Executive Network Hall of Fame in...

July 16, 2014
Corporate leaders and sports team coaches are often compared—so what have the top World Cup managers taught us?
For the last month, billions of people across the globe were captivated by the World Cup action in Brazil. Thrilling on-field action had supporters on the edge of their seats. Split second decisions turned defeat to victory. Heroes quickly became villains and villains became heroes. The...
March 11, 2014

Pining over what was won’t help credit unions face what is

We’ve all experienced them. Those events in time that forever change the course of the road you’re travelling down—in your own life, with your family, at work.

I know I have. One example that comes to mind readily is when I was at Starbucks. The organization was opening stores in key markets in the U.S. and Canada and knew it had something special—but it wasn’t sure...

March 5, 2014

Credit unions need to rediscover the pioneering spirit

It was one of those news stories that made me go “wow!” The world’s largest online retailer—Amazon—unveiled their Prime Air drone project to the world in December. If you haven’t seen the video yet, you need to. In the near future, Amazon could be offering store-to-door delivery within hours (possibly minutes) of placing...

December 4, 2013

Credit unions now seeking regulator’s consent and member approval

Langley, B.C.— Following several months of due diligence, the boards of Island Savings and First West Credit Union have unanimously approved the business case that would see Island Savings join First West.

Through First West’s unique partnership model, Island Savings would retain its local brand, local leadership, local decision-making and Island-centred community focus.

September 11, 2013

The boards of Island Savings and First West Credit Union announced today they are undertaking exploratory discussions that would see Island Savings join First West Credit Union.

Through First West Credit Union’s one of a kind partnership model, Island Savings would retain its local brand, local leadership and Island community focus.

“I’m really pleased with the decision our board made to engage in discussions with First West,” says James McKenzie, board...