What’s in Store: Langley-based credit union helping alleviate poverty

Envision Financial’s parent company of First West Credit Union, based here in Langley, has just made a significant donation aimed at alleviating global poverty.

A $50,000 cheque has been cut to the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) of Canada to aid in their Build a Better World campaign, explained First West’s CEO Launi Skinner.

Skinner led a delegation of five other credit union CEOs on a nine-day CDF tour of Cambodia last year, to learn first hand about the poverty in developing countries and potential solutions.

This contribution is part of First West’s $150,000 commitment to the campaign, which globally is endeavouring to raise $12 million in four years to alleviate global poverty and support development of co-operatives and credit unions in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

During the past two years, First West has contributed a total of $100,000 to the program.

 In addition to this financial support, First West has actively participated in other CCA initiatives including its women’s mentorship program and its credit union coaching program.

 In the coming months, as part of the women’s mentorship program, First West will be hosting an international female credit union leader for the ninth consecutive year.

In the past, the organization has hosted women leaders from countries like Ghana and Kenya.

Additionally, as part of the credit union coaching program, First West leaders have travelled to a multitude of countries including Ghana, Malawi, Uganda, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, and Botswana to share information and learning from co-operatives overseas.

 â€œThe entire First West team is so proud of our continued commitment to the important work of the Canadian Co-operative Association and the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada,” said Barry Delaney, senior vice-president of business development at First West.

He explained that through the past 50 years, the CDF has worked in partnership with the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) – an organization that First West has supported for more than a decade, contributing more than $355,000 to various international development efforts.

“We’ve seen firsthand how the work that international credit unions and cooperatives undertake in countries around the world is literally life-changing. And for us to be able to contribute to that movement is an incredible privilege,” Delaney added.

The First West team and its regional brands strive to create “vibrant” communities by investing in ways that will make a positive and lasting difference in the communities where its members and employees live and work, he said.

In 2013, First West contributed more than $1.6 million of its operating profits to local communities through scholarships, sponsorships, and donations; this also includes the credit union’s contributions to the First West Foundation.

Additionally, First West provides paid time off to full-time employees to volunteer and assist charities.

Entrepreneur class offered

Libraries are always a great source of information on a multitude of subjects, including the topic of entrepreneurship (say that 10-times fast).

Anyway, the Aldergrove Library is hosting a free information session for anyone thinking about working for themselves.

A Small Business BC representative will offer some basics about starting a small business during a two-hour session on Tuesday, April 22, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Contact the library if you’re interested in attending, at 604-856-6415.

Anti-spam workshop!!!

 Speaking of workshops aimed at the entrepreneurs in town, the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce has a two-hour seminar next week that might be worth checking out.

The business organization has invited Paula Skaper of Kinetix Media to lead a workshop about the impending Canadian anti-spam legislation that comes into force July 1. She’ll explain how that will redefine how businesses legally communicate with customers, prospective customers, and partners online, and how that’s going to alter marketing plans.

This seminar is being offer at Hampton Inn & Suites next Thursday, April 24, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., for the cost of $50 for non-chamber members, $35 for members.

Registration is required ahead through the chamber office at 604-530-6656 or at info@langleychamber.com.

Hospital hosts networking

And on the subject of the chamber, the monthly Open Late for Business event is coming up fast.

On the same day as the anti-spam seminar, Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation is hosting the evening networking session at the hospital.

Unlike the seminar, however, this event is free. It runs from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at 22051 Fraser Hwy. and is becoming an incredibly popular event for the chamber.

Hosted on a monthly basis by different chamber members, these events allow people to mingle and network in a casual and sometimes even fun environment.

While the event is free, pre-registration is still required for catering purposes, so again, call or email the chamber.

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