Kelowna resident recognized with national award

KELOWNA, B.C. – Garrett Jones, Regional Manager of Business Banking with Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, was recently recognized with a Canadian Credit Union Association (CCUA) National Young Leaders Award (NYL). CCUA’s NYL Award celebrates businesspersons under the age of 35 who have made significant contributions to Canada’s co-operative banking movement.

Award nominations were submitted in November and the selection process required chosen nominees to submit an essay on leadership and undergo a panel interview— which was comprised of credit union leaders and past NYL award winners.

“Throughout this journey, I learned so much about myself and the credit union system, and this knowledge has made me a stronger community leader,” says Jones. “I was fortunate to have a remarkable team of individuals who assisted me along the way, with feedback, advice and encouragement.”

The NYL Award is presented to five Canadian credit union employees every year. In previous years, the five award winners gave a short presentation to their credit union peers at the CCUA national conference, however, given the COVID-19 pandemic, this was done via web-conference. The recipients presented on what the word “impact” meant to them.

In addition to focusing on his extensive list of community efforts, Jones centred his presentation on the importance of corporate social responsibility.

“The collaborative and innovative nature of credit unions presents an amazing opportunity to join forces to make a positive and sustainable impact for our members, communities, society and planet,” says Jones. “We have made tremendous strides in this area, and through cooperation, connection and unity, we can do even more.”

The other four NYL Award recipients were:

Jessica Thiessen, Prospera Credit Union (BC), Kyle Setter, Connect First Credit Union (Alberta), Emily Strybosch, Libro Credit Union (Ontario), Joel Graham, Conexus Credit Union (Saskatchewan)

Learn more about the National Young Leaders Committee here:

Company Information

About Valley First

Valley First is a premier provider of banking and investment 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 46 branches 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

Media Contacts

Josh Juhlke

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c: 604.309.6066