Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is elected by the membership to oversee Westerra’s strategic direction in serving members. Each Board Member brings their unique experience, talents, knowledge and perspective.
Andy Raicevich, Chairman
Andy Raicevich is a retired assistant superintendent for Denver Public Schools, having also served as a teacher, principal, human resources director, lobbyist and in support services. He has served as a Trustee for the DPS Retirement System and a Trustee for Colorado PERA. Most recently, he served as Executive Director of the Denver Teachers Club. A longtime credit union member, Andy was elected to the Westerra Board of Directors in 2011.
Larry Ottele, Vice Chairman
Larry Ottele is a retired teacher and administrator with 32 years of service in Jeffco Public Schools. He joined Jeffco Credit Union in 1968 and was elected to the Board in 2005, serving as Vice Chairman for two years. Larry has an undergraduate degree in business administration, a master’s degree in economics and additional graduate work in school administration with an emphasis in school finance.
Kathy Betts, Secretary
Kathy Betts worked with Safeway Stores for 32 years in a variety of positions including retail management, employment and recruiting. She is currently employed with Heritage Title Company. Prior to joining the Board of Directors, Ms. Betts served for six years as the Safeway Rocky Mountain Federal Credit Union Supervisory Board Chairman. She has been involved with several community committees including the Red Rocks Community College Employee Advisory Council. She currently sits on the Board of Trustees for the Denver Children’s Home and the Board of the Krewe de Colorado, a fundraising committee for not-for-profits.
Barry Beal, Jr., Treasurer
Barry Beal, Jr. has been a member of the credit union for over forty years. He has over 25 years of corporate accounting experience. Throughout his professional career, he had the responsibility of working with auditors and legal counsel addressing financial reporting, internal control and operational issues. Mr. Beal's beliefs are to maintain a high level of ethics, work hard, and protect the members' assets. Mr. Beal served on the Supervisory/Audit Committee from 2005-2012 and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2012.
William S. Abbey
William Abbey graduated from Regis University and received a Masters degree from the University of Northern Colorado. He retired from Denver Public Schools in 2001 after serving most of thirty-five years as an elementary principal. He was elected to the credit union’s Credit Committee in 1997 and served two years on the Nomination/Election Committee. He served on the Supervisory/Audit Committee from 2003-2011 and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2011. He is currently an educational consultant and continues to be active in professional, civic and community organizations.
Jim Kullhem was a teacher and principal with Denver Public Schools for 34 years. He has worked at both the elementary and secondary levels. Currently, Jim serves on the Prospect Recreation and Park District Board. He is also a past President of both Southwest Kiwanis and the Denver Principals Association. He served on the DCTA negotiations team in the late 1970s and 1980s, the DPS Retirement Board in the 1980s, and the DPS recruiting team in the 1990s. He was the founding Principal of Grant Ranch School K-8 when it opened in 2001. He served on the credit union’s Supervisory Committee for 12 years and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2010.
Ron Walker is a retired senior high school assistant principal serving Jeffco Public Schools for 34 years, including 24 years in Administration and 10 years as Driver Education Program manager. He served on the American Driver and Traffic Safety Education Association Board for 12 years and volunteered for Boy Scouts of America for 10 years. Ron was elected to the Jeffco Credit Union Supervisory Committee in 2004 and served as chairman from 2005 – 2009. He served on the Westerra Supervisory/Audit Committee and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2016. Ron earned his Bachelors Degree from Colorado State College and Masters Degree in Curriculum/Instruction from the University of Northern Colorado.
Members of the Supervisory/Audit Committee are volunteers appointed by the Board of Directors to periodically review the credit union’s financial position. Each brings a strong background and excellent experience to their important role with the credit union.
Jack Swanzy, Chairman
Jack Swanzy is a retired architect having worked with Jeffco Public Schools for 13 years, including seven years as Executive Director of Facilities Planning and Design. Throughout his career, Jack was recognized with numerous awards by the American Institute of Architects and the Council of Educational Facilities Planners International for his school designs and facilities planning. He served on the Board of Directors for the Jefferson County Public School Administrators Association and has volunteered with Boy Scouts of America, Rocky Flats Cold War Museum, Lakewood United Soccer and numerous other organizations. Jack served on the Jeffco Credit Union Supervisory Committee from 2007 - 2009. He earned his Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering from University of Wyoming.
Norm Ruggles, Vice Chairman
Norm Ruggles has over 30 years experience in pension law, business operations, retirement benefits, retirement fund investments and actuarial principles--and has worked extensively with retirement system Boards of Directors, system members and elected officials. He served as Executive Director of the Denver Public Schools Retirement System from 2006-2010 and led retirement associations in California and Washington. He earned his J.D. from University of Tulsa College of Law, earned a B.A. in Technical Journalism from Colorado State University and served in the U.S. Army. Norm has served on Westerra's Supervisory/Audit Committee since 2016.
Glenn Mohr, Secretary
Glenn Mohr worked for Denver Public Schools, Englewood Schools, and Aurora Public Schools, having served as educational assistant, teacher, Manager of Budgeting, Director of Business and Operations, and Chief Financial Officer. He also was on the Investment Committee of the Denver Public Schools Retirement System, and served as Board Treasurer for Denver Educational Senior Citizens, Inc. Mr. Mohr received his M.B.A. in Management at the University of Colorado at Denver, and has been a member of Westerra for almost his entire life.
John-Thomas Gaietto is Director of Information Security for SquareTwo Financial with over 18 years experience implementing and maintaining industry best practice technology solutions. In his current role, Mr. Gaietto leads security operations over multiple locations, as well as directs vendor risk management, compliance certification management, regulator/auditor management, risk mitigation, disaster recovery and incident response. His volunteer service on non-profit boards includes serving as President of the Green Mountain Swim Club and Chairman of Cub Scout Pack 748. He has served on Westerra's Supervisory/Audit Committee since 2017.
Johnny Lydia has 32 years experience in DPS and concurrent membership in the credit union. His work experience includes service as Chief Personnel Officer in Human Resources, personnel supervisor, and teacher. His relevant administrative work experience in budgeting, policy interpretation, and compliance with governmental regulations supports his commitment to serve on the Supervisory/Audit Committee. Mr. Lydia has served on the Supervisory/Audit Committee since 2003.
Kim Martinez serves as Vice President, Finance & Operations for Denver Public Schools Foundation, overseeing all Finance, Accounting, Budgeting, Forecasting, Grant Compliance, Audit, Human Resources and Information Technology functions since 2006. Her duties include supporting a grant program for Denver Public Schools, awarding over $1,000,000 since inception. Kim is a Certified Public Accountant. Her work experience includes seven years with a CPA firm where her responsibilities included audit work for Westerra. Kim was appointed to the Supervisory/Audit Committee in 2011.
Executive Leadership Team
Westerra’s leadership team operates on the leading edge of change within the retail financial services industry. Collectively, they provide the expertise necessary to deliver quality financial products in an environment of safety and soundness. The Westerra executive team includes:
Jay Champion, President and CEO
Jay Champion became President and Chief Executive Officer of Westerra Credit Union on December 1, 2018. Jay joined Westerra from Boulder-based Elevations Credit Union where he most recently served as Chief Operating Officer overseeing lending operations—including commercial, consumer and mortgage lending programs—and directing retail delivery channels, including all branches, the contact center, and digital experiences. He was also responsible for governmental affairs and marketing, focusing on building relationships and brand awareness for the credit union with current and prospective members.Jay’s career spans over 30 years of lending and financial services expertise. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from East Texas State University, a Master of Business Administration from Texas A&M University-Commerce, and is a graduate of the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University. Jay donates his time to serve on the Mountain West Credit Union Association Colorado Governmental Affairs Committee and as an MBA mentor at the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business. Jay is a current Board member of the Texas A&M University-Commerce Foundation, and also has a long history of prior service on numerous boards of community service and philanthropic organizations. He has been a featured speaker at numerous national credit union conferences and has been published in local and national credit union publications. His interests and hobbies include kids' sports (coaching or spectating at baseball games and gymnastics events), fishing, cycling, cooking, entertaining, reading, and traveling with family. Read the press release.
Jason Sasena, Chief Lending Officer
Jason Sasena, CMB®, joined Denver-based Westerra Credit Union as Chief Lending Officer in April 2019 driving the organization’s lending strategy and credit oversight. He brings more than 20 years’ experience as a thought-leader in the mortgage banking industry, overseeing residential mortgage leadership, marketing and technology. His leadership roles have included serving as Senior Vice President of National Mortgage Production at Lake Michigan Credit Union, headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he led the credit union to become the #1 purchase lender in the state of Michigan and third largest mortgage lender in the credit union industry. In his career, Jason has also held leadership roles with Kinecta Federal Credit Union, JP Morgan Chase, GMAC Residential Capital and ditech.com. Jason is an active member of several industry associations such as Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Certified Mortgage Banker’s (CMB®) Society, and actively serves on the American Credit Union Mortgage Association (ACUMA) Board of Directors. Jason was a contributing author of The Mortgage Professionals Handbook. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from Midland, Michigan-based Northwood University supplemented with a Master’s Degree in Internet Marketing from Orlando, Florida-based Full Sail University. He is also a graduate of the Cardwell Group 306/2 Leadership Symposium.
Steven Schmidle, Chief Financial Officer
Steven joined Westerra Credit Union in April of 2019 to serve as Chief Financial Officer. He brings more than 20 years of operational, strategic, and leadership experience within financial institution management. Previous to joining Westerra, Steven served 13 years as Chief Strategy and Performance Officer, and Senior Vice President of Finance, for Elevations Credit Union in Boulder, Colorado. In these roles he was responsible for the accounting and finance operations of the credit union, financial reporting, treasury and secondary markets, risk management, project management, and strategic planning. Prior to that, he also served as Chief Financial Officer for Park Side Federal Credit Union in Montana, Assistant Vice President of Finance for First National Bank of Colorado, and Financial Analyst for First Tennessee Capital Markets. Steven received his Master's of Accountancy from the University of Colorado Denver in 2004 and his BS in Finance from the University of Memphis in 1997. He has volunteered his time to such organizations as Flatirons Habitat for Humanity, Rocky Mountain Performance Excellence, and Western CUNA Management School Alumni Association.
Our Compensation Philosophy