Top Company 2020: Financial Services
These three companies are shaking up the world of financial services
In its 33rd year, ColoradoBiz‘s Top Company honors the Colorado companies that have drive, determination, a vision and a plan and are ultimately making the state a better place to live and work. These three companies – one winner and two finalists –represent the 2020 Top Companies in Financial Services.
Co-CEOs Tessa Bonfante and Shane Silvernale describe Denver Community Credit Union as being built for people, not profit. The member-owned credit union creates products and services to empower the financial decisions of its more than 31,000 members in Adams, Arapahoe, Jefferson and Denver counties.
“Our size allows us to be large enough to provide traditional products like mobile banking, but small enough to develop products in response to our local community’s needs,” Bonfante says. “We are able to keep our deposits local, because of our structure, with about 85% of all deposits being returned directly to our local economy in the form of loans to members and local businesses.”
The 86-year-old credit union provides financial education for its members through the Clear Money Program, which features financial coaching sessions and online courses. Other resources include such things as an alternative to payday lending for members in need of a small dollar emergency loan, hoping to keep people out of the cycle of debt.
“Our credit union’s purpose is not profit, but advancing the financial opportunity of our members, our staff and our community,” Silvernale says. “We ask ourselves with each decision if this choice is in the best interest of our member-owners.”
Its #DenverCommunityGives initiatives gave back to the community through giving drives, service projects and volunteerism, including donations of 1,617 pounds of food to a local anti-hunger organization and 1,281 volunteer hours with area nonprofits in 2019 alone. Team service projects included building outreach kits for homeless veterans and making 30 fleece blankets for those in crisis.
Member-owned, not-for-profit Elevations Credit Union empowers its members with financial education and solutions while creating a safe and supportive environment for its employees.
In 2019, its more than 550 employees participated in diversity and inclusion training, a key part of Elevations’ strategic plan. It also launched an employee-led innovation portal to allow a sharing of ideas on ways to improve the credit union’s products, services and culture.
To help members during the COVID-19 pandemic, Elevations has deferred payments on 2,168 loans and 677 mortgages and instituted senior hours. It also gave $150,000 in matched Elevations Community Relief Fund donations to community partners supporting first responders and their families.
The Elevations Foundation has donated more than $1.5 million in community resources since its founding in 2010, including more than $539,000 in 2019. The Foundation focuses on awarding scholarships to graduating seniors for higher education and community grants to local nonprofits.
First Western Trust helps clients create customized financial plans through services including wealth planning, trust and estates, investment management, private banking, risk management/insurance and mortgages, along with a wide variety of business programs.
In the last decade, the FW Connects committee has helped coordinate a wide range of opportunities and involvement with more than 60 different charitable organizations. As a result, First Western Trust has been named an honoree of The Civic 50 Colorado by CSR Solutions of Colorado in partnership with Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. It also was recognized during the 2019 Civic 50 Colorado Awards, which honors the state’s 50 most community-minded companies.