Board of Directors
The CU*NorthWest board seat is just one of Chuck Papenfus’ volunteer efforts in the credit union industry. He also sits on the California Credit Union League Board of Directors, is a member of the Catalyst Western Region Council and is a member of the Southern California Credit Union Alliance. He has a Masters from Claremont Graduate University and Bachelors of Science from the University of California, San Diego. Papenfus came up the ranks at Inland Valley where he started right out of college in special projects in 1985 and became CEO in 1993. The credit union is located in Fontana, California.
Leslie Johnson – Vice Chairman
CEO, CALCOE FCU
Leslie started in the banking industry in 1988 for Yakima Valley Bank as a teller. In one year there, she held several different positions, back up mortgage loan teller, insurance clerk and drive up teller. In July 1989, Leslie was hired on at CALCOE FCU as a teller, loan processor, and assistant to the manager. She graduated from CUNA’s Western’s Management school in 1998. In June of 2000 she was hired to replace the retiring manager. Leslie holds a bachelors degree in business from Central WA University. She has held the position of treasurer for the Yakima Valley Chapter on and off for 13 or so years. Leslie is active with local managers meetings and spearheaded a community school supply drive for 4000 kids in her community. The project originated in 1991 and for the 1st 10 years, she organized the majority of the great event.
Leslie loves the outdoors including farming, boating, RV’ing and traveling. She is married with two step-daughters and one grand-daughter.
In her leadership roles as both a trade association chair and a member of the CUNA Charter Review & Enhancement Task Force, Debie Keesee has been a convincing voice for supplemental capital, member business lending and other initiatives that benefit the credit union movement as a whole.
Ms. Keesee’s service to credit unions spans nearly four decades. She has served in positions from the front lines to the CEO’s office. She began her credit union career at Fairchild Federal Credit Union (Global Credit Union) in 1976 and went on to serve in board and supervisory committee positions at Ironworkers Local #14. By 1985, she was appointed CEO at Roundup Federal Credit Union, where she held the reins until 1992.
Ms. Keesee worked with small and mid-sized credit unions from 1992 to 1996 in her role as an account executive and conversion specialist for FISERV, then joined Spokane Media FCU as CEO in 1997, a position she still holds. Ms. Keesee chaired the board of the former Washington Credit Union League from 2009-2010, successfully managing its merger with the Oregon Credit Union Association. In October, 2012, Ms. Keesee was elected chairman of the Northwest Credit Union Association’s board.
Ms. Keesee is currently a member of CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Committee, as well as the Small Credit Union Committee.
She attended Eastern Washington University, and is a graduate of the Western CUNA Management School. She has earned the designation of Credit Union Development Educator.
Jo An Sanders is a native of Spokane, Washington but a staple now in Cheney, WA – a farming and college town just west. She spent the first decade of her career in the banking industry moving from one to another until she found the credit union experience and set down roots. Jo An joined Cheney FCU in 1991 and has grown the credit union assets by 380% and has one of the lowest expense ratios in the business. Jo An became CEO in 1994 and has guided the credit union on a steady path ever since. The Credit Union recently expanded its reach throughout the West Plains area – tripling its potential member base.
Jennifer began her credit union career in 1988 at a credit union in Las Vegas NV. She spent the next decade working in almost every position to secure a well-rounded credit union education while obtaining a Bachelors of Science in Finance, Accounting, Management and a Master’s in Business Administration. The next decade was been focused on executive management as a Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President until she relocated and accepted a Chief Executive Position in Los Angeles, California in 2007. Jennifer is a Certified Chief Executive as a graduate from Credit Union Executive Society’s CEO Institute in 2003.
Ms. Oliver took the helm at South Bay Credit Union in 2010 and is pleased to be able to perpetuate the cooperative spirit in her hometown community. Jennifer lives in Hermosa Beach with her husband and two young children.
Since 1994, Mr. Karnes has been CEO of CU*Answers, a credit union-owned CUSO that provides core processing, consulting, management, and technology services. An active participant in the credit union industry since 1985, Mr. Karnes currently serves on the Boards of Xtend and eDOC Innovations and formerly served on the Board of Callahan and Associates for many years.
Mr. Karnes is an active speaker and facilitator for credit union Board planning sessions and industry events across the country, and regularly participates in industry commentary in forums such as creditunions.com. Mr. Karnes has an infectious vision and drive for bringing credit unions together to explore the power of collaboration in entirely new ways. His enthusiasm for imagining and building new credit union business models has been helping to change the way many credit unions will approach serving members now and in the future.
CU*Answers is an energetic CUSO providing the foundation for an extensive network of credit union-owned businesses. CU*Answers directly serves over 175 credit unions and 1.9 million members daily through its core operations and services. As the catalyst and driving force behind cuasterisk.com, a network alliance of credit union vested CUSOs, CU*Answers daily reaches out to over 600 credit unions and 6 million members.
Although the foundation is a technical network based on the CU*BASE® core processing suite, CU*Answers goes far beyond a data processing solution. From the front lines of credit union lobbies all the way to the desktops of credit union members at work and at home, CU*Answers partners with credit unions to make sure that members receive the services they need and the returns they deserve. With over 125 credit union owners, CU*Answers is more than a vendor; they are a credit union partner.
Steve joined the credit union industry right out of college in 1985 working as an auditor for the Colorado Credit Union League and he obtained his CPA license in 1987. In April 1989, he joined Metrum Community Credit Union as the President/CEO.
He began volunteering in 1993 serving on the Denver Chapter and on various regulatory subcommittees and environmental scan task forces for the trade association. Steve’s background lead him to volunteer at SunCorp Corporate Credit Union from 1995 to 2013, holding all the Executive Committee positions, including the Chair twice. In addition, he served on SunCorp’s ALCO for over a decade.
In 2008, Steve was a founding member of CUVM, a vendor management CUSO, with eight other credit unions and united a group of credit unions in 2014 to completed a data processing search, which lead him to CU*NorthWest.
His greatest volunteer opportunities came through coaching his son and daughter from recreation leagues to competitive basketball and high school in-line hockey.