Denver, CO – May 10, 2023 – Jay Champion has made the decision to resign as CEO of Westerra. As with any decision of this magnitude, it was not made lightly and many factors were considered. Champion leaves the credit union in a strong, well-capitalized financial position, with earnings above expectations for the year.“I appreciate all of the opportunities I’ve had to work with Westerra’s inspiring staff, incredible members and vibrant communities,” said Champion. “Westerra’s purpose, vision, and mission are bigger than any one of us, and should outlive all of us. While I’m excited about my future opportunities, I’ll always look upon my time at Westerra very fondly.” Champion led Westerra through the challenges of the pandemic and the economic uncertainty that followed. He also served as the catalyst for Westerra’s digital transformation – progress that continues to this day.
“I want to thank Jay for his leadership and dedication to Westerra over the past four-and-a-half years,” said Andy Raicevich, Chairman of Westerra’s Board of Directors. “ His guidance has been appreciated and we wish him the best in this next chapter.”
In the interim, the Board has appointed Steve Schmidle, Chief Financial Officer, to be the Acting President/CEO while a long-term plan is explored. Schmidle has served as Westerra’s Chief Financial Officer for the past four years and has 25-years of experience in credit unions and the financial services industry. In addition to his CFO duties, he has also overseen Westerra’s enterprise solutions group, enterprise risk management, technology, and operations teams.
“Westerra is well on its way to becoming the modern financial community where all members truly belong,” said Schmidle. “Now, more than ever, with the current volatility in banking, the world needs financial institutions like Westerra that people can trust and believe in to put them first. I am proud of our solid history and member-focus and will continue to help us work toward the important future goals and vision that will sustain the credit union in perpetuity.”