Leslie Castellani

Leslie Castellani leads First West Credit Union’s Strategic Initiatives and Corporate Affairs team. In this role, she is responsible for strategic initiatives and planning, corporate governance and government relations. Leslie is focused on advancing First West’s strategic priorities by creating a dynamic, collaborative and engaging team environment that encourages diverse thinking, fosters corporate alignment and inspires the achievement of First West’s Why: To simplify lives, helping members and communities thrive.

Leslie’s leadership career spans the technology, telecom and financial services industries. She joined First West in 2011 as vice-president, communications and public relations with responsibility for building the First West brand and strengthening media and public relations in the communities served by First West’s regional brands. Her team was instrumental during the journey that led to Island Savings members approving by majority a special resolution to join First West in January 2015.

Before joining First West, Leslie led CEO communications at Telus and inspired an internationally award-winning creative and digital services team for nearly five years. She also led communications and industry analyst relations for six years at Pivotal Corporation, a customer relationship management software company.

A graduate of the University of British Columbia, Leslie holds a Bachelor of Commerce. Her executive education includes training in Blue Ocean Strategy at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France and advanced management at the University of Southern California.

As a champion of First West’s social vision to Lead Well and active community leader, Leslie has managed youth sports teams and is a past director and president of Semiahmoo Family Place. After gaining national awareness in 2015 for helping her son overcome a rare syndrome, Leslie is sought out for guidance and support by families across Canada facing the same medical condition. An advocate for healthy living and social connection, in 2018, Leslie was appointed chair of the What Really Matters Capital Campaign to build a new YMCA centre of community in Surrey City Centre. Leslie was appointed by the Province of British Columbia to serve on the University of the Fraser Valley Board of Governors starting January 2017.