Learn about the elected leaders who act on behalf of First West’s members

As a co-operative financial services institution, First West is overseen by a democratically elected, 12-person board of directors, responsible for stewarding the credit union’s operations on behalf of members and overseeing the management of the credit union's business and affairs.

Shawn Neumann, ICD.D

Board Chair

Shawn Neumann, ICD.D

Board Chair

Elected to the credit union board in 1998, Shawn has been First West’s board chair since 2011. Shawn’s current responsibilities include serving on the Governance and Nominations, Government Relations and Partnership and Human Resources committees. As board chair, Shawn is also an ex-officio member of all other committees.

Shawn holds an Institute of Corporate Directors, Director (ICD.D) designation and a bachelor of arts in economics and history.

Shawn is founder and CEO of Domain7 Solutions Inc., a global digital product and platform agency company. At Domain7, Shawn works with a diverse group of organizations and companies to build digital products and platforms that help with digital transformation and organizational change. This allows him to bring his perspective on the rapidly changing, technology-driven marketplace to the board and its discussions.

At Domain7, Shawn led the acquisition of U.S.-based Joint Venture Inc. (2010), a digital firm that serves U.S. corporate and government clients. Shawn founded Domain7 Studios, a documentary film production business focused on discovering and telling stories of positive social and organizational change. Recently Shawn established Domain7 UK, a subsidiary serving clients in southern England.

Shawn has extensive experience in credit union mergers and acquisitions, including:

  • Member of the credit union board that negotiated the merger of First Heritage Savings Credit Union and Delta Credit Union to form Envision Credit Union in 2001
  • Member of the credit union board that negotiated the merger of Envision Credit Union and Valley First Credit Union to form First West Credit Union in 2010
  • Chair of the credit union board that led negotiations for First West to acquire Enderby and District Credit Union in 2013
  • Chair of the credit union board that led negotiations for First West to acquire Island Savings Credit Union in 2015

Shawn’s key board competencies include business growth and transformation, entrepreneurial leadership and board governance.

In addition to his work at Domain7, Shawn remains keenly interested in volunteering, both locally and internationally.

Wayne Becker, CPA, CA

Director

Wayne Becker, CPA, CA

Director

Elected to the credit union board in 2006, Wayne currently serves as chair of the Audit and Conduct Review Committee and as a member of the Human Resources Committee.

Wayne holds his chartered accountant (CPA, CA) designation and a bachelor of arts in accounting and economics.
Wayne practiced accounting for 28 years as a partner at Becker Daley, a Kamloops, B.C.-based accounting firm. In addition, Wayne articled for Price Waterhouse and served as a director of Practice Review for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia. Wayne has also participated in land development in the Kamloops area.

Wayne has a broad range of experience within the credit union system including:

  • Member of the credit union board that negotiated the merger of Envision Credit Union and Valley First Credit Union to form First West Credit Union in 2010
  • Member of the credit union board that led negotiations for First West to acquire Enderby and District Credit Union in 2013 and Island Savings in 2015

Wayne’s key board competencies include financial accounting and audit, risk management and treasury.

Wayne is a proud volunteer in his community and has been active with his local Rotary Club, Kamloops Chamber of Commerce and Red Cross. He is also passionate about coaching minor hockey and baseball.

Paul Challinor, CPA, CA, ICD.D

Director

Paul Challinor, CPA, CA, ICD.D

Director

Paul, a Chartered Professional Accountant for more than 35 years, was elected to First West’s board in 2019. He currently serves on the Audit and Conduct Review and Risk, Investment and Loan committees.

A recent retiree as a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Vancouver, Paul was the leader of PwC’s Financial Services practice in BC from 2000 to 2015.

Throughout his PwC career he served large public, private and member-owned financial services organizations, providing audit and advisory services to many of BC’s large credit unions, alternative lenders (including fintechs), wealth managers and insurance companies. Paul has worked with a broad range of regulators including BCFSA (which regulates BC credit unions) and OSFI (which regulates federal credit unions).

His extensive financial services experience enables him to provide strong financial oversight of First West and support its continued growth and success. Paul’s board experience includes six years on the board of Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, three years on his church’s parish council and the board of the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia.

Along with his wife Ellen, Paul has lived in Tsawwassen for 25 years where they raised their family and where he is actively involved in local badminton and squash and completed the Ride to Conquer Cancer six times.

Paul’s key board competencies include financial accounting and audit, business growth and transformation and risk management.

Meryle Corbett, FCPA, FCMA, C.Dir

Director

Meryle Corbett, FCPA, FCMA, C.Dir

Director

Elected to First West’s board in 2019, Meryle is a chartered director and FCPA with 40 years of business experience across a number of industries.

As a finance leader MeryIe has implemented large IT systems, developed business models in many organizations, prepared strategic plans, designed Bill 198 COSO internal controls, liaised with auditors / bankers, and negotiated mergers, acquisitions, TSX listings and international contracts. Her board experience includes 40 years on community non-profits, 10+ years on private corporate boards ($40+ million in assets), 20+ years on provincial and national professional association boards including the complex merger of CA/CMA/CGA designations into CPA (Chartered Professional Accountants).

Meryle is the founder of the Okanagan Women’s Leadership Network and a local Finance Leaders Cohort emphasizing leadership, business and networking skills. Meryle has been recognized as “Woman of the Year” by City of Kelowna and “Most Influential Women in BC” by BC Business.

Meryle’s key board competencies include financial accounting and audit, risk management and board governance.

Riyaz Devji

Director

Riyaz Devji

Director

Riyaz was elected to First West’s board in 2018. He currently serves on the Risk, Investment and Loan Committee and is vice-chair of the Human Resources Committee. He also serves as a director of the First West Foundation.

Riyaz attended the University of British Columbia prior to embarking on a successful career in the food and beverage industry. Riyaz has owned and operated successful food and beverage companies including North American Tea and Coffee Inc. and Associated Brands. Riyaz was part of a team that successfully merged those two companies and in 2013 sold the new entity to Treehouse Foods— a $7 billion company that has more than 50 manufacturing plants and 15,000 employees. Riyaz currently works as a management consultant for Treehouse Foods/Associated Brands.

During his time as a First West board member, Riyaz has been able to contribute using his strong business savvy and experience.

Riyaz’s key board competencies include business growth and transformation, entrepreneurial leadership and people and culture.

Riyaz also serves as a board member for Junior Achievement of British Columbia.

Jeff Dyck

Director

Jeff Dyck

Director

Jeff was elected to the credit union board in 2017 and serves on the Audit and Conduct Review and Human Resources committees. He is also on the board of the First West Foundation.

Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with distinction.

Jeff is the president of Terravista Enterprises Ltd., a Lower Mainland IT services company. Prior to starting his own IT company, Jeff acquired, grew and sold TSC Software, creator of atrieveERP – Western Canada’s leading HR, payroll and finance solution for school districts. He then spent 10 years as a senior manager at SRB Education Solutions in various roles, including general manager, product manager – ERP Division and IT director. In those capacities Jeff learned about the operations of a mid-size enterprise, preparing strategic plans, developing policies and procedures, launching new products and brand and reporting to a board of directors. These skills have brought great depth and diversity of thought to the First West board.

Jeff’s key board competencies include entrepreneurial leadership, business growth and transformation and financial services.

Jeff is an active participant in the Envision Run for Water event.

Richard Hill, ICD.D

Director

Richard Hill, ICD.D

Director

Richard has served on the boards of Island Savings Credit Union and First West Credit Union since 2006. He currently serves as vice-chair of the Governance and Nominations Committee and as a member of the Human Resources Committee. Richard is vice-chair of the First West Foundation.

Richard holds an Institute of Corporate Directors, Director (ICD.D) designation.

As president and owner of Yellow Point Lodge Ltd., Richard has many years of experience in the hospitality industry. He also has extensive expertise in the operation of a medium-sized business on Vancouver Island.

Richard was a member of the Island Savings Credit Union board until its acquisition by First West in 2015.

Richard’s key board competencies include entrepreneurial leadership, board governance and people and culture.

Richard is a strong community supporter and is the founder of the Kick One In program that helps Vancouver Island food banks feed families. An advocate of supporting communities, Richard and his family have designated nearly 70 acres of the Yellow Point Lodge property to remain undeveloped in perpetuity for the enjoyment of current and future generations.

Darryl Kropp

Director

Darryl Kropp

Director

Darryl was elected to First West’s board in 2018. He currently serves on the Audit and Conduct Review and Governance and Nominations committees.

Darryl has a project management professional (PMP) designation in addition to a Lean black belt and bachelor of business administration.

With more than 20 years of technology leadership experience in utilities, aerospace and human services, Darryl leads the Vancouver practice for RedMane Technology Canada, which exists to create innovative technology solutions that improve the lives of people in need.

Darryl has a knack for finding efficiencies and creating a positive member experience which he brings to discussions at the First West board table.

Darryl’s key board competencies include business growth and transformation, risk management and entrepreneurial leadership.

Darryl has lived in Abbotsford with his family for 17 years and gives back to his community through his service as board chair for Northview Community Church.

David Letkemann

Vice-Chair

David Letkemann

Vice-Chair

David was elected to the credit union board in 2006 and currently serves as vice-chair. David’s current committee responsibilities include serving as chair of the Governance and Nominations Committee, as vice-chair of the Risk, Investment and Loan Committee and as a member of the Government Relations and Partnership Committee.

David graduated from law school and holds a bachelor of business administration with a double concentration in marketing and finance.

David is a lawyer and partner at Linley Welwood LLP, a law firm specializing in business law, located in Abbotsford, B.C. David leads Linley Welwood’s litigation department and regularly oversees all aspects of the litigation process. In 2010, David played a key role in a merger that led to the creation of Linley Welwood LLP. David approaches all board meetings and discussions with his strong legal sense and leans on his 22 years of experience to provide meaningful insight and guidance.

In addition to his service on various board committees, David has been involved in numerous credit union mergers and acquisitions, including:

  • Member of the credit union board that negotiated the merger of Envision Credit Union and Valley First Credit Union to form First West Credit Union in 2010
  • Member of the credit union board that led negotiations for First West to acquire Enderby & District Credit Union in 2013
  • Member of the credit union board that led negotiations for First West to acquire Island Savings Credit Union in 2015

David’s key board competencies include law, board governance and business growth and transformation.

In addition to his work at Linley Welwood LLP and First West, David is a founding director of both the Run for Water Society and the Run for Water Foundation. He currently still serves on both of those boards.

Cathy McIntyre, C.Dir

Director

Cathy McIntyre, C.Dir

Director

Elected to the board in 2017, Cathy currently serves as chair of the Human Resources committee and as a member of the Audit and Conduct Review and Governance and Nominations committees. She is also a director of the First West Foundation, where she chairs the Finance and Investment Committee.

Cathy holds numerous board certifications including chartered director (C. Dir.), audit committee certification (A.C.C) and human resources and compensation committee certification (H.R.C.C.C). She also holds a post-degree diploma in accounting, a master’s in business administration, a bachelor of arts in psychology and the Canadian Risk Management (CRM) designation.

Cathy is a senior executive with more than 30 years of business experience and 20 years of board experience. Known for corporate strategy, all aspects of marketing, branding, communications, consumer research and stakeholder engagement, Cathy began her career as a marketing and communications professional in a number of multi-national corporations. In 1997 she founded Strategic Initiatives, a nationally recognized marketing research firm with clients among many leading businesses in Western Canada.

Cathy’s key board competencies include board governance, entrepreneurial leadership and business growth and transformation.

Beyond First West, Cathy sits on the boards of Peninsula Co-op, Consumer Protection BC, CADTH and the Arthritis Society of Canada. She also serves as vice-chair of the board of governors of the University of Victoria. She previously served on the boards of the United Way of Canada, United Way of Greater Victoria and the CMA Society of BC, among others. Her board roles have included board chair, governance chair and nominations chair.

Renee Merrifield

Director

Renee Merrifield

Director

Renee was elected to First West’s board in 2017. She serves as chair of the Government Relations and Partnership Committee and as a member of the Audit and Conduct Review and Governance and Nominations committees. Renee is also vice-chair of the First West Foundation.

Renee holds master’s degrees in both theology and business administration in addition to a bachelor of arts.

As CEO of Troika Group, Renee leads a Western Canadian organization of development projects and construction companies including Troika Developments and CorWest Builders in Kelowna and TroiWest Builders in Edmonton. Renee has projects in four provinces including commercial, residential and master-planned community developments on more than 1,200 acres. Renee has won several prestigious awards including EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year in Real Estate (2015), BIV’s Most Influential Woman in Business in 2015, 2012’s Maureen Enser Future Leader Award winner, one of CHBA Canada’s Top 20 Most Influential People in Residential Development, and the recipient of the 2017 Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada.

Renee’s key board competencies include entrepreneurial leadership, business growth and transformation and government relations.

In addition to her board position at First West, Renee is chair of the Breakfast Club of Canada National Board and previously served as vice-chair of the Premier’s Women’s Economic Council, member of the External Advisory Committee for University of British Columbia Okanagan and a member of the National Girls and Young Women’s Advisory Council.

Ken Voth

Director

Ken Voth

Director

Ken brings more than 38 years of experience to the credit union board, serving as a director since 1980. Ken currently serves as chair of the Risk, Investment and Loan Committee and as vice-chair of the Government Relations and Partnership Committee.

Ken is the president of Voth Developments Ltd., a family construction and development business formed in 1964. Ken has been involved in several residential, industrial and commercial developments across the Lower Mainland, Okanagan and Northwest USA.

Ken has extensive experience in credit union mergers and acquisitions and played a major role in significant business decisions that led to the formation of First West Credit Union.

Ken’s key board competencies include real estate and/or development, business growth and transformation and entrepreneurial leadership.

In addition to his service to First West, Ken serves as a director on the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

First West's board of directors works relentlessly to ensure the strength and security of the credit union. We're helping build a more adaptive business that responds to an ever-changing marketplace and our members' needs, now and in the future.
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Shawn Neumann, Board Chair

Our board members make a difference to our credit union and our community

We look for critical thinkers with business and financial acumen, who are willing to devote their time to advancing our credit union for our members.