LANGLEY, B.C. – First West Credit Union is saddened to learn of the recent passing of Peter Podovinikoff, a friend, former colleague and well-known figure in the Canadian credit union system. Podovinikoff served as Chief Executive Officer at Delta Credit Union—which merged with First Heritage Savings Credit Union in 2001 to become Envision Financial, now a division of First West Credit Union. He served as President at Envision Financial until his retirement in 2004.
Podovinikoff’s contributions to First West’s predecessor credit unions and the Canadian credit union system are substantial. His leadership contributed to the creation of the Credit Union Central of British Columbia—now known as Central 1—and the Credit Union Central of Canada. Internationally he was involved with credit union and cooperative development projects in Asia, Australia, South America, Africa and Europe—accomplishments that earned him a spot in the Canadian Credit Union Hall of Fame in 1999.
“It can be said, without exaggeration, that Peter believed passionately in and dedicated his life to the credit union system” says Richard Hill, Director on the First West Board of Directors and Chair on the First West Foundation Board of Directors. “He had a profound impact on our organization. As a founding member of the First West Foundation 25 years ago, Peter was a strong advocate for giving back to our communities in meaningful ways to improve the lives of others. Anyone who worked with him and witnessed his dedication first-hand was fortunate indeed and will hopefully live by his example.”
In addition to lending his vision towards the creation of the First West Foundation, Podovinikoff served for 25 years on the Foundation’s Board of Directors. He believed that supporting local community is the most meaningful action a person can take. He was also keenly tied to charitable activities at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, serving as a founding board member of the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Foundation. For this and his many other community contributions, Podovinikoff was awarded the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
In honour of Podovinikoff and his contributions to the credit union, First West will be gifting $5,000 to the Peter Podovinikoff Scholarship Fund, administered by the First West Foundation, philanthropic partner to First West. This fund, established by Podovinikoff, generates scholarships to students attending Kwantlen Polytechnic University who demonstrate extensive community commitment. Since 2006, the fund has provided more than $28,600 in scholarship opportunities.