Highlights 2015


New Fellowship Announced 
On July 23, Western CUNA Management School (WCMS) celebrated its 2015 graduating class—the NU Class—in an elaborate affair. Ninety-seven students graduated with Northwest Credit Union Association President and CEO Troy Stang serving as the commencement speaker.

Click here to view the WCMS graduation photo gallery.

Rich Lentz of Spokane Teachers CU became the seventh person in WCMS history to graduate with highest honors, earning high honors on the three examinations taken over the three-year period as well as on each of his two projects. Lentz also won the Rick Craig Prize for Excellence in Project II recognizing excellence in a student's second-year project.

Six students graduated with “High Honors,” Wendie Ellis of Numerica CU in Washington, Lori Gull of Idaho Central CU in Idaho, James Hossfeld of SchoolsFirst FCU in California, Jared Johnson of Redwood CU in California, Justin Kautz of Public Service CU in Colorado and Joel Swanson of Alaska USA FCU in Alaska. Eleven students graduated with “Honors,” Jonathan Brouse of Mountain America CU in Utah, Annette Coronado of SCE FCU in California, Jeremy Gibson of Trona Valley Community FCU in Wyoming, Kris Keller of Spokane Teachers CU in Washington, Joshua Markle of Members 1st CU in California, Beth Matuszewich of Public Service CU in Colorado, Arnold Ramirez of ThinkWise CU in California, Chad Tanner of America First CU in Utah, Jolene Thrash of Coast Central CU in California, Robin Wiessner of Eagle Community CU in California and Jennifer Yogi of HFS FCU in Hawaii.

In addition, every year the senior student who best represents high moral character, leadership, credit union dedication, and academic achievement is nominated by his or her class to receive the Charles M. Clark Memorial Award. This year’s recipient was Ramirez, who was called by his peers as a “leader and inspiration to the class since Day 1.” He was also called “supportive, humble, and gracious”.

WCMS 1999 graduate Mark Meyer, CEO of the Filene Institute, received this year’s James D. Likens Alumni Recognition Award for significant achievement in the credit union field since graduating from the school.

In a time-honored tradition of giving back to WCMS, the graduating class also presented WCMS President Jim Likens with fundraising checks totaling $95,000.

This year’s graduation not only celebrated the great accomplishments of the NU Class, but it also honored a revered WCMS leader. President Dr. James Likens is retiring from WCMS after 44 years with the school.

In honor of his enduring commitment to education and making life better for others, WCMS Board Chairman and Rogue Credit Union (Oregon) CEO Gene Pelham announced the creation of the James D. Likens Pomona College Fellowship. This fellowship, designed to live on in perpetuity, will offer an internship to one Pomona College student every summer to work at a not-for-profit organization and help improve its ability to be a positive force to change lives.