About Community West Credit Union
Community West Credit Union started as Steelcase Employees Credit Union, a not-for-profit financial institution for the employees at Steelcase. Operating out of a small office in Steelcase’s Desk Plant, the credit union was chartered in February 1967, with Robert Seino as CEO.
In 1971, Steelcase Employees Credit Union moved into its first official branch, which was a house on Eastern Avenue. In 1977, the credit union moved into a newly constructed building on 40th Street. Steelcase Employees Credit Union’s growing community brought about their second branch location, known as “The Cage” into the Panel Plant in 1984.
Following Seino’s retirement in 1987, Diana Nash was hired to take over the position of CEO. Two years later, the credit union built its Kentwood branch location off East Paris and 60th Street, replacing the branch located in the Panel Plant.
With the retirement of Nash in 2000, Charles Rea was appointed as the new CEO. The credit union expanded in 2002 with the opening of the Ramblewood (Wyoming) branch. In 2004, Steelcase Employees Credit Union underwent a big change by officially changing its name to our current namesake, Community West Credit Union.
In 2006, with the lease of the 40th Street Branch expiring, the credit union closed this branch. Ready for further expansion, Community West Credit Union opened a newly constructed Hudsonville branch in 2006.
In 2011, Jon Looman took over as CEO following the retirement of Rea. Big changes happened for the credit union in 2015. Community West merged with Founders Community Federal Credit Union, establishing our current Middleville branch. In the same year, Community West also merged with Rockford Community Federal Credit Union, our current Rockford Branch. As if that wasn’t enough change, in May, the credit union moved from the Wyoming branch location to its newly constructed Grandville location.
In 2017 the credit union reached a major milestone, celebrating 50 years. The credit union continued to grow in 2018 by merging with Tradewinds Credit Union to establish our current Comstock Park branch. By 2019, we broke ground for construction on the new Kentwood branch and headquarters to create some much-needed space for the team. The new HQ allowed for all departments to be housed in the same location instead of being spread out at all 6 six branches.
2020- the year we all will never forget. Construction was greatly hampered by the sweeping pandemic. Pushing through setbacks and delays, the new branch opened in 2021 while construction continued to complete the back office.
In 2022, our current President and CEO, Heidi Hunt, was appointed. Shortly on the heels of a new CEO, we moved branch locations to our newly renovated office in Middleville.
Our story is never finished! Check back here to stay tuned for our latest ventures!
Community is in our name and part of our DNA. Community West Credit Union is dedicated to supporting the local communities where we live, work, and play through volunteerism, sponsorships, and donations.
Many of our team members make regular contributions of their time, talent, and treasure to worthy causes. They assist with fundraising efforts, volunteer at area schools, serve on community boards, help at local events, and more. Together, we support several charitable organizations, including:
- Kids’ Food Basket
- Relay for Life
- Feeding America
- Habitat for Humanity
- Critter Barn (Zeeland/Ottawa County)
- Kent and Barry County Animal Shelters
- Walk to End Alzheimer’s
- MCUL golf outing (proceeds benefit Children’s Miracle Network)
- Junior Achievement
- North Kent Connect
Vern Hyde Scholarship
16th Annual this year (2023)
Started in 2007
Community West Credit Union understands the value of higher education and how it helps prepare younger generations to serve their communities, as well as the difficulties many students face in addressing the high cost of tuition and other related expenses. Community West awards the Vern Hyde Scholarship to four area students* each year to encourage young adults to pursue their educational goals. Two awards are granted to high school seniors entering college for the first time during the fall semester; a third award is offered to a high school senior attending a trade program after graduation, and a fourth award is offered to a returning college student.
The scholarship recognizes students who have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills, volunteer efforts, and community involvement. Scholarship funds may be used to offset the cost of tuition or textbooks, and all eligible students are encouraged to apply.
Over the span of 16 years, Community West Credit Union has awarded $47,000 through the Vern Hyde Scholarship to local students in the pursuit of higher education.
Realizing that, as an organization, we could do more in our community, the Community West Legacy Foundation was created in June 2021. The Foundation aims to assist in developing and supporting charitable organizations whose focus positively enriches Michigan communities.
The Foundation is made up of four pillars: Community Development, Financial Literacy, Empowering Youth, and Advocation of Human Rights.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Mission Statement:
Community West Credit Union embraces a culture of positive change, authenticity, acceptance, and inclusion through building awareness, continued education, and being an ally to all.
We are working to create an environment where everyone belongs, feels welcomed, and empowered to bring their whole, authentic selves as meaningful contributors. As an employer and community organization, we are committed to making decisions without discrimination based on race, religion, color, sex, national origin, disability, age, height, weight, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression or any other classification.
In June 2020, Community West established an internal Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Group. Since its conception, the DEI Group has organized diversity, equality, allyship, unconscious bias, and dis/ability training for all staff. In 2021, we adopted the expansion of protected classes for federal employers in the EEO, Anti-Harassment, and Affirmative Action policies to include height, weight, familial status, marital status, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender identity, or gender expression.
In January 2023, as we continued to evolve and grow, we elevated as an organization to include belonging. Our internal group is now called Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DIBs). We continue to expand our knowledge and ensure we align with Community West Credit Union’s Strategic Plan.
Become a CWCU Member Today
When you join Community West Credit Union, you not only save money – you can work toward improving your financial health knowing you’re backed by a friendly team who truly cares about you and your goals. Get started today by visiting your nearest branch location. You can also submit an online form or get in touch with us by calling 844.348.8960.