2022 Press Releases

East Kootenay Community Credit Union and Heritage Credit Union enter into merger discussions

A collaborative and thorough process will ensure the combined credit union
is in the best interests of members, employees & the community.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BRITISH COLUMBIA, June 9, 2022 – The Boards of Directors for East Kootenay Community Credit Union (EKC) and Heritage Credit Union (HCU) are pleased to share they have initiated preliminary merger discussions and aim to create a new credit union that will deliver enhanced benefits to their respective members, employees and communities.

“Partnering with Heritage Credit Union will potentially create a better, stronger credit union and is an exciting opportunity for our respective members and employees,” explained Lynnette Wray, Chair of the Board of Directors at East Kootenay Community Credit Union. “Our Boards and management teams know we must grow and evolve in order to compete, to take advantage of changing technology, and to better serve our members and employees. We believe a merger between HCU and EKC may be how together, we begin to achieve that goal.”

The credit unions emphasized that additional analysis and a thorough consultation will happen. “Any merger we consider must be in everyone’s best interests,” stated Joleen Kinakin, Chair of the Board of Directors at Heritage Credit Union. “EKC and HCU are committed to consulting with our members and employees on this important effort so their voices are heard. The credit union we create must build on our respective legacies while fueling the potential of our members, employees and the communities we serve.”

The credit unions have entered a Memorandum of Understanding and are developing a comprehensive business case for the new, combined credit union. Other steps in the merger discussions include a thorough due diligence process, engagement and consultation with members and employees, and obtaining regulatory consent. Progress with these steps will determine the timeline of a merger, but both credit unions are eager to proceed with the next stage of merger discussions.

East Kootenay Community Credit Union is headquartered in Cranbrook and has 10,936 members, 48 employees and 4 branches (Cranbrook, Elkford, Fernie & Sparwood) in the East Kootenays, and currently has $456 million in assets under administration. Heritage Credit Union is headquartered in Castlegar and has 7,015 members, 32 employees and 3 branches (Castlegar, West Boundary & Slocan Valley) in the West Kootenays, and has $256 million in assets under administration.

For more information and interviews, please contact:

Jody Burk, CEO
East Kootenay Community Credit Union
jburk@ekccu.com or 250.417.4722
Doug Eveneshen, Interim CEO
Heritage Credit Union
deveneshen@heritagecu.ca or 250.304.1683

East Kootenay Community Credit Union (EKC) Welcomes a New Board Executive

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 26, 2022

EAST KOOTENAY – 2022 marks the 72nd Anniversary of East Kootenay Community Credit Union (EKC). The Annual General Meeting was held on April 27, 2022 and welcomed a new Board Executive to the table. Lynnette Wray of Cranbrook now holds the Chair position, with Barb Nunes of Sparwood joining her as the Board's new Vice Chair. Stephen Fairbairn of Elkford was re-elected as the Board Secretary.

A new Director has also been named to the Board. Denine Milner has been appointed to her first term and comes with a diverse background in governance, policy and contract negotiations.

A special thanks to outgoing Chair Jean-Ann Debreceni for her 25 years serving on the Board to date as she steps into her role as Director for the EKC Board.

Current Board:

  • Lynnette Wray – Chair (Cranbrook)
  • Barb Nunes – Vice Chair (Sparwood)
  • Stephen Fairbairn – Board Secretary (Elkford)
  • Jean-Ann Debreceni – Director (Cranbrook)
  • Diane Byford – Director (Cranbrook)
  • Jose Galdamez – Director (Cranbrook)
  • Russ Pask – Director (Fernie)
  • George Freitag – Director (Cranbrook
  • Denine Milner – Director (Cranbrook)

The EKC Board continues to focus on strategic priorities, including retention and recruitment.

"We have an excellent team at EKC, including staff, management, and Board members, and we strive to make a positive difference in the lives of our employees and promote diversity, equity and inclusion. We love to support our communities by providing excellent financial services as well as through our community giving. We appreciate each of our members, and if you're not a member yet, we would encourage you to come to talk to us about the benefits of joining our credit union," states Lynnette Wray, EKC Board Chair.

Jody Burk, CEO of EKC, says, "We invest our hearts and minds to power our member's financial goals and dreams. We are continually looking to increase our workforce with many opportunities available currently. We encourage anyone interested to please visit our website at EKCCU.COM or our Facebook."

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Media Contact
Pam Pinch
Governance and Executive Coordination Specialist, GPC
250.464.0647
ppinch@ekccu.com

About EKC
EKC was established in 1950 and has grown to over $456 million in assets. It serves over 11,034 members throughout the East Kootenay. EKC is a community-based financial cooperative that offers a full range of banking, financial planning (EKC MoneyWorks) and general insurance (KIS Ltd) services. Our community branches are located in Cranbrook, Elkford, Fernie, and Sparwood. Please visit us at one of our branches, Facebook, InstagramLinkedIn or at EKCCU.COM

East Kootenay Community Credit Union (EKC) Supports Ukraine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 1, 2022

East Kootenay Community Credit Union (EKC) has committed $5,000 to support the rapidly escalating crisis in Ukraine.

Credit unions have a long-standing history of helping members. There are more than 400,000 credit union members in Ukraine.

The funds will be directed to the Red Cross and the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) 'Ukraine Crisis! Call to Action'.

The Red Cross supports people displaced, humanitarian needs generated by almost eight years of conflict and needs due to heightened tensions in Ukraine.

CDF’s 'Ukraine Crisis! Call to Action' will use the donations to respond to the humanitarian and resilience needs of their project's beneficiaries and their families, CDF Ukraine's staff and families, and their local partner's staff and members. The beneficiaries are more than 2,000 vulnerable women, including internally displaced persons living in the Kyiv, Khakov, and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts of Ukraine. The 2014 invasion has already impacted them, and this is another blow to already vulnerable people.

Jody Burk, CEO of EKC, says. "The escalating humanitarian crisis affecting Ukrainian is very sad and very tragic. I am particularly concerned about the impact on Ukrainian women, who are often left on their own to keep themselves and their children safe. Our donation will go towards international relief with the Red Cross and CDF. I have seen, first hand, the value CDF provides on the ground while partnering with Cooperatives to deliver grassroots relief."

"Historically, credit unions have made a significant difference when they work together. We hope to make a small difference, including the lives of women and children," states Jean-Ann Debreceni, Chair, EKC.

Members and the public can donate directly to CDF Ukrainian https://cdfcanada.coop/ukraine-crisis-call-to-action/ or the Red Cross.

Media Contact

Jane Davies
250.421.8687
marketing@ekccu.com
Pam Pinch
Governance and Executive Coordination Specialist, GPC
Executive Assistant
250.464.0647
ppinch@ekccu.com

About EKC
EKC was established in 1950 and has grown to over $456 million in assets. It serves over 11,034 members throughout the East Kootenay. EKC is a community-based financial cooperative that offers a full range of banking, financial planning (EKC MoneyWorks) and general insurance (KIS Ltd) services. Our community branches are located in Cranbrook, Elkford, Fernie, and Sparwood. Please visit us at one of our branches, Facebook, InstagramLinkedIn or at EKCCU.COM

EKC Cranbrook Branch WINS GOLD for Best Financial Institution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 22, 2022

East Kootenay, BC – The Cranbrook Townsman and Kimberly Bulletin readers have spoken and the results are in for our Best of the Best 2022 Reader’s Choice Awards Cranbrook & Kimberley!



There was a total of 5,349 votes cast and East Kootenay Community Credit Union WON GOLD in Best Financial Institution.

This will appear in the February 22 Cranbrook Townsman and Kimberley Bulletin with all of the winners being announced.

Media Contact

Jane Davies
250.421.8687
marketing@ekccu.com
Pam Pinch
Governance and Executive Coordination Specialist, GPC
Executive Assistant
250.464.0647
ppinch@ekccu.com

About EKC
EKC was established in 1950 and has grown to over $456 million in assets. It serves over 11,034 members throughout the East Kootenay. EKC is a community-based financial cooperative that offers a full range of banking, financial planning (EKC MoneyWorks) and general insurance (KIS Ltd) services. Our community branches are located in Cranbrook, Elkford, Fernie, and Sparwood. Please visit us at one of our branches, Facebook, InstagramLinkedIn or at EKCCU.COM