The Connect First Credit Union leadership team is committed to shaping the financial landscape of our province, and providing Albertans with opportunities for meaningful growth.
Paul is the Chief Executive Officer of Connect First Credit Union, one of the largest financial cooperatives in Canada. Connect First manages more than $6 billion in assets under administration, proudly employs 700 Albertans, and serves over 125,000 members in 40 locations throughout central and southern Alberta. Paul leads the strategic visioning for Connect First Credit Union, with a Member First focus.
Paul's educational background includes an Honours Business Administration degree from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario and a Masters of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business at York University. In 2012 he completed the Director Education Program and holds the ICD.D designation.
Paul currently serves as Vice Chair for the Canadian Credit Union Association, and previously served for 9 years on the board of Alberta Central.
As Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer for Connect First Credit Union, Jackie provides leadership in the areas of Corporate Governance, Government Relations, Corporate Communications, Strategic Planning and Innovation, including business transformation, process improvement and the development of new products and services. She also oversees the credit union’s project management office.
Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts (honours), post-graduate diploma and the ICD.D designation granted by the Institute of Corporate Directors. Jackie’s 30-year career in financial services has included senior roles focused on Strategy, Communications, Retail Banking, Human Resources, and Governance.
Jackie has a reputation for driving positive transformational change enabling Connect First to make a difference and create value for our members, employees and the communities we have the pleasure of operating in.
As Chief Technology Officer for Connect First Credit Union, Catherine is an experienced Information Technology leader with expertise in aligning technology with business goals.
Catherine’s career in financial services spans 30-years, the majority of which has been dedicated to technology. Catherine’s passionate focus is leveraging technology to making banking something our members do, not somewhere they have to go.
Catherine is a volunteer advocate in her community and devoted to giving back to those in need.
As president of Mountain View Financial for Connect First Credit Union, Stephen provides strategic leadership and direction to all the lines of business in the Mountain View region, including: retail banking, commercial & real estate banking, small business banking, and wealth management.
Stephen has dedicated his 27-year career to the Alberta credit union system through progressively senior positions at Credit Unions across the province, most recently as Vice President, Operations at Mountain View Credit Union. He holds a range of industry credentials, and has completed the executive course through the CEO Institute of the Credit Union Executive Society.
Stephen forges personal connections and builds lifetime relationships to deliver simple solutions that enable strong and sustainable operations within the Mountain View Financial region. He firmly believes in the financial cooperative model and the benefits it brings to the financial well-being of Mountain View’s members and the communities his and his teams are privileged to serve.
Kendra brings extensive financial services experience to her role as Chief Credit and Risk Officer for Connect First Credit Union, including positions in a chartered bank, credit union and a federal crown corporation where she held leadership roles in commercial and agriculture business development and credit, operational controls and compliance, and strategy. In addition to her numerous industry credentials, Kendra holds a Certified Chief Executive (CCE) designation through the CEO Institute of CUES, is Chair and Implementation Co-Lead of the BOC subcommittee for online account opening and online lending, and is the Alberta Credit Union representative on the National FCC/CU Liaison Committee and Canadian Credit Union Association Agriculture Sub-Committee.
At Connect First, Kendra provides strategic leadership in the areas of Retail Credit, Commercial Credit, and Risk Management, ensuring that member, employee and credit union assets are protected, while operating efficiently and at acceptable risk levels.
Kendra is known for challenging existing processes and translating leading-edge conceptual thinking into practical strategic actions. She implements innovative solutions that yield long-term benefits, enhanced competitive advantages, and organizational value through empowered, proactive, and results-oriented teams.
As Chief Financial Officer for Connect First Credit Union, Sandra provides leadership in the areas of Treasury, Corporate Accounting, Corporate Finance, Centralized Operations and Corporate Services.
Among her many credentials, Sandra holds a Masters of Business Administration (Athabasca University) and a Post-Baccalaureate Degree in Management.
Sandra is passionate about the cooperative model, having spent her 25-plus year career dedicated to the robust management practices of the financial resources for cooperatives.
Sandra currently is a proud member of the Resolve Campaign, and is a devoted advocate of ending Homelessness in Calgary.
As President of Chinook Financial for Connect First Credit Union, Keith provides leadership to all lines of business in the Chinook Financial region including: retail banking, commercial and agricultural banking, and wealth management.
Keith has dedicated his entire career to serving the Canadian credit union system, working for both credit unions and the Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corporation. During his 20+year career in financial services, Keith has held senior portfolios in: credit, collections, business development, adjudication, and risk management. His professional designations include: Certified Credit Professional (Credit Institute of Canada), and a certificate in International Banking Risk and Regulation (Global Association of Risk Professionals).
Keith has a relentless focus on delivering exceptional member experiences and building collaborative teams. He is dedicated to Connect First’s mission to Make Money Make a Difference and positively impacting both our member’s lives and the communities served by Chinook Financial.
In his spare time, Keith enjoys golfing and travelling with his wife.
As the President of First Calgary Financial & Legacy Financial, Shelley Vandenberg leads a team of more than 350 employees dedicated to making financial lives better for members. She provides strategic leadership to the major lines of business: retail banking, commercial & real estate banking, business banking, wealth management, and indirect lending. Her career in financial services has spanned 25-years and she has held a variety of progressive, senior level roles, and holds a Masters of Business Administration (University of Fredericton).
Shelley has a reputation of contributing to business success through strategic alignment and relationship development. Her proven experience in logical, efficient problem solving, and the development of high caliber, enthusiastic teams, makes her an energetic and dynamic member of Connect First Credit Union’s Executive team.
As a current Director of Momentum, she has actively led a Payday Loan initiative, a partnership between First Calgary Financial and Momentum, in helping educate Calgarians on how to avoid an endless cycle of debt caused by payday loans.
As Chief People and Culture Officer at Connect First Credit Union, Bob provides leadership to the Human Resources and Talent Management teams in their work supporting and developing an engaged, knowledgeable and productive workforce of over 700 employees. He also champions the preservation and growth of Connect First’s organizational culture.
Bob’s career includes over 20 years in the credit union sector, with most of that time spent in various human resources related roles. His educational background includes a Bachelor Commerce degree from the University of Alberta, as well as a Communications Diploma from Mount Royal College. Bob holds the designation of Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR).
He enjoys contributing to his community with a special interest and passion for facilitating various Junior Achievement programs in local schools.