Member Owned.
Member Led.

Get to know the candidates in the 2020 Board of Directors Election.

Review Candidates | Geographic Area of Divisions

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One of the many privileges of your credit union membership is that you have a say in how we're governed through democratic elections for our Board of Directors (who are all member-owners too!).

Annually, Connect First Credit Union reviews the composite skills and experience set on the Board to determine its future needs and to ensure ongoing effective governance. This year, candidates required an understanding of board governance along with professional skills, expertise or background in one or more of the following areas:

  • Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • Financial Literacy
  • Human Resources
  • Technology Governance

As you review the candidate profiles, you’ll see “Endorsed” next to the names of candidates who the Nomination Committee determined, through a rigorous due diligence process, were the most qualified relative to the skills and experience the Board is looking for in 2020.

In the 2020 election there are six (6) positions available on the Connect First Credit Union Board, four (4) three-year term positions, one (1) two-year term position and one (1) one-year term position, allocated across Divisional Directors and At Large Directors, reflective of our geographically dispersed organization. The geographic area for each Division is identified at the bottom of this page, below the candidate profiles.

Division Seats Currently on the Board of Directors Seats Available in 2020 Election
Divisional At Large
(Members Of All Divisions Vote)
Calgary Division Seats
(First Calgary Finanicial & Legacy Financial)
8 2 Seats
(3-year term)
3 Seats
(3-year term; 2-year term; 1-year term)
Chinook Financial Division Seats 3 1 Seat
(3-year term)
Mountain View Financial Division Seats 4 0 Seats

You’ll first cast your vote(s) for your Divisional candidates (if applicable), and then for the At Large seats. You are able to select the same candidate in your Divisional vote as the At Large vote, if your division has seats in both of these categories this election. Terms for those candidates successfully competing for “At Large” seats will be allocated based on number of votes. For example, those receiving the largest number of votes for an “At Large” seat will be allocated the 3-year term.


Get To Know The Candidates:

Victoria Bradbury

from the Calgary Division - ENDORSED

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As a Chartered Professional Accountant, I understand finance and accounting. As a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors, I have extensive experience serving on boards ensuring effective governance, continuous improvement and implementation of best practice. I am also a Fellow Chartered Accountant of England & Wales and a Certified Management Consultant with over 25 years combined international and Canadian experience with PwC and across industry.

Being fluently bilingual and having worked in Europe and across Canada, I have a unique perspective and experience in innovative financial and management strategies. I understand good governance and have the professional skills necessary to ensure the interests of the membership and the credit union are always prioritized.

As well, and more importantly, I truly believe in Connect First’s values. Connect First is not just a financial institution, it’s an organization that puts its members and community first by providing the tools to help members plan and achieve their dreams. It’s about innovation and thinking differently. It’s about giving back, listening and growing our communities for everyone: ourselves, our children, our seniors, our newcomers and our future generations.

These are the same values I support and embrace both professionally and personally.

With the challenges of the current economic climate and the recent merger, strong governance skills, accountability, respect and a keen desire to work together are key to achieve Connect First and its membership’s strategic vision. I believe that my attitude, skills and experience make me an ideal fit for the Connect First board.

Michel Cantin

from the Calgary Division - ENDORSED

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For the past 9 years, I have had the great privilege to represent you, member-owners, on the Board of Directors of Connect First Credit Union. Over that period, our credit union has successfully completed two large amalgamations and experienced tremendous growth, delivering value to you through enhanced services and continued dividends. With the economic and competitive environments still challenging, I believe that continuity and strong governance are key to steer our organization forward.

Over my tenure, I have been a member of all Board Committees and I am currently the Chair of the Risk Committee. I am committed to governance excellence and regularly dedicate time to attend training sessions, conferences and other opportunities to stay up to date with developments affecting credit unions. I also completed my Certified Credit Union Director designation.

This year, the Board is looking for individuals with skills in financial literacy, human resources and technology governance, areas in which I have experience though my regular employment and the Board. I believe I have the expertise to continue to effectively serve as a Director of Connect First. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Science and my professional experience spans 20 years in the fields of HR consulting, employee benefits, pension plans & business development. I have been a proud Calgarian for over 13 years, where I live with my wife, three daughters and a few pets.

I would be delighted and honored to continue representing you on the Board of Connect First Credit Union.

Robert Petryk

from the Calgary Division - ENDORSED

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If re-elected I would bring continuity and over ten years of governance experience to the oversight of our successful and thriving credit union. Over the past ten years, I have contributed in a variety of roles on our Connect First board including:

  • Vice Chair
  • Chair - Governance Committee
  • Chair - Investment & Credit Risk Committee
  • Representative and Board Chairperson of Credit Union Central of Alberta.

I have university degrees in Commerce and Law, and an MBA. I also have the ICD.D designation and many courses attended through our board training process

Currently, I am Managing Director of the Petwin Investment Trust with over 50 employees in Canada and the United States. Earlier, I practiced law in Calgary.

As Board representative to Alberta Central, I have worked to promote our brand and operating model among Alberta credit unions. I have been elected as Board Chairperson of Alberta Central which permits unique opportunities for Connect First to have an impact on the greater Alberta credit union system. I also represent Alberta and Manitoba Centrals on the national board of Cooperators Insurance Group which gives us a direct voice to our member insurance provider; and promote our Connect First brand to other cooperatives across Canada.

I believe strongly in our values based way of caring about our members, and southern Alberta communities. I would appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve for another term and maintain our relationships in the Alberta credit union system, and nationally through Cooperators Insurance Group.


Matthew Becker

from the Mountain View Division - ENDORSED

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I am an accomplished business leader of a complex publicly traded company. I would bring entrepreneurial and strategic leadership skills to the board of directors as I also own and operate a successful real estate development company. I am results orientated and I value family and community.

As Canadian Compliance Director, I provide strategic direction to Mistras Group Inc (NYSE: MG). I have a broad range of responsibilities at Mistras managing departments including safety and environment, quality assurance, human resources, system integration, and government compliance. My leadership has helped Mistras Canada grow, both through acquisition and organic growth, from a two-office non-destructive testing company to sixteen-office company servicing industries including energies, manufacturing, infrastructure and aerospace.

I would bring significant human resources experience to the board including recruiting and retaining senior level positions, setting employee compensation strategies, setting employee performance expectations, succession planning and determining employee bonus eligibility.

I would also bring substantial acquisition and system integration experience to the board. This business acquisition experience includes participation in acquisition committees to identify strategic targets, complete acquisitional due diligence, then develop and execute integration strategies. My system integration experience includes implementing enterprise management systems and ensuring systems meet compliance and individual business unit requirements.

I am seeking board election as I believe my values, experience and skills will positively contribute to making a meaningful impact to Connect First’s members. As a board member I will aim to provide strategic direction that focuses on the members achieving positive financial performance and asset growth

J. Anne Johnson

from the Calgary Division - ENDORSED

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I have established, operated, and managed businesses in Calgary, Okotoks, Black Diamond, and Carstairs in the hospitality, publishing, and agricultural industries. With this array of experience, I bring a keen understanding of business development and entrepreneurship to the boardroom table. I understand that being flexible and keeping pace with change in any industry, while retaining the bedrocks of good customer service and community involvement, are key to growing and maintaining a business.

As a community leader, I have six years of volunteer board experience, including three as the President of the Tuxedo Park Community Association. Through hands-on learning and by grasping every possible opportunity to grow our organization, I have led a dedicated team of volunteers to create a successful and constructive board that values community above all. We have built processes and procedures into the association’s daily operations and overarching goals, ensuring our financial stability, good governance, and future succession planning. I believe in clear communication, strong planning, and positive collaborations that benefit all parties involved.

I see those same principles in Connect First Credit Union—of fidelity, customer loyalty and appreciation, and community building. While working with Connect First in my businesses and my volunteering roles, I have witnessed firsthand the fantastic work they do and the benefits that work brings to the diverse communities in which they operate. I want to be a part of that, to help Connect First Credit Union grow and prosper, while its communities and members do the same.

Charlie Van Arnam

from the Mountain View Division - ENDORSED

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I’m Charlie Van Arnam and I am seeking your support to continue as a Board Director for Connect First Credit Union.

I was the Board Chair of Mountain View Credit Union at the time of the merger with Connect First Credit Union and have been Vice Chair of the Board of Directors since the merger. I have years of experience serving on local, provincial and national boards, in addition to being twice elected as a municipal councillor.

I have a background in accounting, have taken most of the credit union training opportunities available and spent my working life as a partner in a successful family mixed farming operation.

As a Director, my first responsibility is to serve the best interests of Connect First Credit Union as a whole. While working to envision a rapidly changing world and a future dominated by technological advances, I believe it is also important to remember our origins and keep in mind those members who prefer more traditional financial services.

My wife and I have volunteered extensively all our adult lives in support of our church, the local school, as 4H leaders, as coaches and in other community groups.

These are exciting and challenging times for our credit union. I am honoured to have served our members and employees on the Board, and with your support, I would be honoured to continue serving.

Carey Taubert

from the Chinook Division - ENDORSED

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Carey Taubert, CPA, CCD, B.Comm

Chartered Professional Accountant. Rural. 13 Years of Commitment.

I have a passion for the health of our “neighbourhood” credit union --- it is at the core of my community of Hussar and it has been my sincere pleasure to serve as a board director for the past 13 years, with constant dedication of ensuring our rural members have a voice at the board table.

I have had the privilege of contributing on the Board as:

  • Board Secretary of the full Board
  • Chair of the Audit & Finance Committee
  • Member of the Governance, Human Resources & Nominations committees

I am a self-employed Chartered Professional Accountant who recently completed the Certified Credit Union Director Program to show my commitment to serving this thriving organization. I am currently the chair of the Audit & Finance committee. I analyze financial information daily for a living and bring this frame of mind to every meeting.

As a seasoned director of CFCU, I have a strong understanding of the governance structure. I annually attend the Alberta Central Conference to strengthen my relationships within the CU system and advocate for our members.

The CFCU’s mission to “Make Money Make a Difference” strongly resonates with my personal values as I volunteer extensively for the betterment of our community. I strongly believe in our values-based way of caring about our members and our rural & urban communities.

I am committed to representing you, our members

Sarah Arthurs

from the Calgary Division

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Sarah Arthurs, M. Ed., R. Psych.

Thank you for taking time to vote for Directors in your Credit Union. Your participation makes us different from the big banks!

It has been my privilege to serve as a Director of Connect First Credit Union, now including Mountain View, Chinook and First Calgary, for three terms. I am seeking reelection because I believe strongly in the importance of credit unions as financial institutions owned by their members and committed to their communities. As Alberta continues to experience challenging economic times, it will be important for Connect First to be vigilant about ensuring members are our top priority.

I bring experience and expertise gained as Vice Chair of the Human Resources Committee which is pivotal in enabling the Board to oversee the work of the CEO. I have served on the Risk Committee, Audit Committee and chaired the Nominations Committee. I have completed the Credit Union Director Achievement Program and was also First Calgary Financials’ representative on the Alberta Central Credit Union.

As a Registered Psychologist, I bring insight around group processes, excellent listening and clarification skills. Visit my websites, NewScoopYYC.coop and Cohousing Connections.ca to learn about my work as an entrepreneur; supporting the development of co-ops, strong communities and new cohousing projects. Your support will enable me to bring my skills and expertise to the mission of CFCU to make money make a difference for individuals, families, businesses and our communities.

Thank you for your consideration – I look forward to meeting the challenges ahead!

Kevin Van Koughnett

from the Calgary Division

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Kevin T. Van Koughnett, B.Sc., MBA, P.Eng.

  • I’ve been a credit-union member for 35 years. “Making Money Make a Difference” for our members resonates with me as does the importance of credit-unions being “local” in our communities.
  • It is important that we strive to make our members, employees, and communities successful just as it is important to me that my family can thrive in our community.
  • I’m appreciative of the service received over many years from the First Calgary Dalhousie Branch and the help and information received from staff as a director. Their efforts and expertise clearly make a difference.
  • Educational, professional and long-term credit-union governance experience and leadership:
    • Education: electrical engineering (Queen’s University), MBA finance and entrepreneurship (University of Calgary).
    • Retired after a 37 year career as a professional engineer and in senior leadership positions most recently in renewable energy.
    • Governance training: Institute of Corporate Directors and credit-union director courses.
    • Total credit-union director experience: 28 years with 7 years on ConnectFirst including chairing Audit and Nominations committees.
  • If you were to ask directors I’ve served with, I think, they’d say that Kevin:
    • is hard working,
    • highly analytical,
    • well prepared for meetings,
    • does not shy away from asking the tough questions,
    • member focused, and
    • embraces collaboration and teamwork.
  • Additional perspectives I bring to the board are as a retiree, proud grandparent and as someone who has worked and volunteered in both urban and rural Alberta.
  • Your vote will help me to continue to make a difference

Clifford Dutka

from the Calgary Division

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I believe it is essential for the Connect First Credit Union board to have a voice of technology security in this modern era. When Connect First stated they were looking technology experts on their board of directors, I saw this as the perfect opportunity to bring my expertise.

Over the last eight years, I have worked with some of the largest banks and non-government financial organizations around the world, working with them on their internal practices and policies. While working with these organizations, I would help them reshape their business policy to be in line with modern Privileged Identity and Access Management best practices. I would also work with them to understand how they can integrate their systems with the new policies and the systems that control them.

Through my international experience, I am aware of and continually staying up to date on foreign regulations. This knowledge is advantageous, as the developed world tends to follow each other and implement similar regulations. I am bringing this knowledge to the board so that we can make forward-thinking decisions on technology.

Throughout my 20-year career in Information Technology, I have consistently been in a leadership role. Always willing to offer my mentorship and guidance to people of all levels of expertise.

An essential part of the mentorship work I have done is encouraging diversity within the technology field. Having a diverse team encourages new ideas and strengthens any team.

I look forward to serving the membership of Connect First with your vote.

Geographic Area of Connect First Credit Union’s Divisions