Two Colorado credit unions announce partnership

The long-standing credit unions celebrate the opportunity to broaden the Western Slope’s access to leading financial services

Canvas Credit Union, one of Colorado’s leading credit unions serving communities across the Front Range for more than 82 years, and Grand Junction-based Western Rockies Federal Credit Union (Western Rockies FCU) announce a collaboration and planned merger.

With the partnership the credit unions celebrate the opportunity to broaden the Western Slope’s access to leading financial services, enhance community involvement in the area, and expand the Canvas family.

With 30 branches throughout metro Denver and northern Colorado, Canvas will join forces with Western Rockies FCU to bolster their collective impact with Western Slope communities.

Western Rockies FCU’s three branches in Grand Junction, Rifle and Fruita will remain open to serve members and the credit union’s more than 40 team members will be welcomed as part of the Canvas family.

The merger has been approved by the credit unions’ boards, which are both in unanimous support of the combination. The process has moved from application review with the state of Colorado and the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) to the Western Rockies Federal Credit Union member vote on Dec. 30.

“Since moving to Colorado more than six years ago, I fell in love with our great state and the incredible people who make it even more vibrant. With that deep love for Coloradans driving us, our team has been dreaming about how we can expand our impact well beyond the Front Range. The opportunity to welcome the Western Rockies Federal Credit Union members and team to our Canvas family opens the door to manifest even more positive change for people across Colorado. One of Canvas’ vision pillars is to be a leader in the communities we serve, which nurtures collaboration among our fellow credit unions and has led to this opportunity to heighten our collective impact,” said Todd Marksberry, CEO & president at Canvas Credit Union. “We are eager to work in partnership with Western Rockies FCU to continue growing the 85-year legacy they have built. As CEO and president, Kristi Porter has been the backbone for Western Rockies FCU and its members for more than 40 years, and she will play a crucial role to Canvas’ collaboration with the Western Slope community.”

A primary driver behind the strategic relationship includes the opportunity to expand access to leading financial services in the Western Slope.

High overhead expenses – from technology, compliance needs and innovation efforts in order to meet consumer expectations – are a costly reality of today’s credit union landscape.

By uniting with one of Colorado’s leading credit unions, the Western Slope community will gain access to the latest financial products and services. Canvas also plans to explore opportunities to open more branches along the Western Slope, in its efforts to continually evaluate and enhance the member experience.

Another motivator for the combination is community involvement, and the desire to bring more support, value and community investment to Western Slope communities.

Since the Great Recession, Western Rockies FCU has not had the opportunity to invest in its communities as deeply as it would like due to budget challenges. Canvas’ four pillars of community giving – schools, families, veterans, first responders – will be launched directly within the Western Slope to support the region’s greatest needs.

“Today marks a huge milestone for Western Rockies FCU. Todd is a long-time friend and collaborator. We’ve been dreaming together for some time about how our two organizations could come together and better serve the Western Slope,” said Kristi Porter, CEO and president of Western Rockies Federal Credit Union. “It is very exciting to see what was once an idea become a reality. This means so much to me because I know with Canvas we can provide even more value to our team, our members and our entire community.”

As it enters the Western Slope, Canvas’ immediate plans include gathering input from community members. Canvas seeks to integrate the feedback with its industry-leading model, ultimately delivering an enhanced and tailored experience to best fit the community’s needs.

“Canvas’ model begins with listening first. We want to hear from Western Slope members and residents about what they seek from their financial services and community leaders, and apply this to what we believe we do really well,” said Tansley Stearns, Canvas’ chief people and strategy officer. “Canvas is committed to all Coloradans. We’re eager for the opportunity to serve the Western Slope and help elevate the financial situation of all Coloradans.”

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