At YNCU, we put our members first. That’s because every YNCU Member is an owner, and our Members are the only people we answer to.
We believe in the kind of fuss-free, honest banking that big banks just can't deliver. That's because we're not a bank—and when you partner with us, we take your money seriously.
We believe in building strong relationships, fuelling local growth, and creating personalized solutions that deliver real financial returns.
Welcome to the neighbourhood. It's nice to be here.
In the Region of Waterloo, the St. Louis Parish Credit Union began in a church hall in 1947. The purpose of the organization was to “promote thrift among its members and provide loans for provident and productive purposes.” After the first year, the credit union had 440 members and $41,881 in shares. Historical documents show consistent growth, resulting in the need to purchase a business phone, a 13-column adding machine, and a typewriter in 1954.
By 1957, the first of several changes happened, allowing more people to bank the credit union way, and launching a history of partnerships. Thirty small credit unions, from factories to the hospital to civic employees, joined over the years until 2004 when Waterloo Regional and Brantford Community came together as Grand River Credit Union. Similarly in Brantford and Paris, credit unions that began on factory floors, like Massey-Harris, Spalding, and Levi Strauss, grew to welcome the surrounding community.
A merger with Your Neighbourhood Credit Union in Windsor and LaSalle in 2007, a former teachers’ credit union, introduced a new name to the organization. Mitchell & District Credit Union joined in 2008, bringing a significant agricultural community to the fold. A fixture of the community in Woodstock, Standard Tube Employees’ Credit Union, joined in 2009 followed by Fiberglas Employees (Guelph) in 2010.
Boomerang Credit Union, formerly London Civic Employees, joined in 2013, and CN Employees London followed shortly thereafter in 2014. Most recently, YNCU expanded our geographic footprint by extending the neighbourhood to northern Ontario with the merger in 2016 with Community First Credit Union, based in Sault Ste. Marie and Timmins.
Our Mission: Your experienced and trusted financial partner, creating value for you through innovative and convenient solutions, smart advice, and community connections.
Our Vision: Dynamic connections for your financial success.
FINANCIALLY THRIVING ORGANIZATION
YNCU is financially strong and provides the services our members need. We foster growth enabling us to provide innovative services, attract talent and serve future generations.
GREAT PLACE TO WORK
YNCU has a culture that invests in people. We value staff and provide them with the training to perform at their best.
YNCU puts the member first. We build financial well-being together by aligning our principles and service offerings to the changing needs of the memberships.
COMMITTED COMMUNITY PARTNERS
YNCU is committed to building better communities. We build community through education, investment, and volunteerism.
COMPELLING DIGITAL EXPERIENCE
YNCU is constantly transforming our digital offering to meet evolving expectations and create an exceptional digital member experience. We offer products and services where and when they are needed.
ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL & GOVERNANCE
YNCU is environmentally responsible and socially conscious in our business decisions. We exercise sound and diverse governance in the operation of our credit union.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION
YNCU is committed to providing an environment of inclusivity, acceptance, and awareness. We are working hard to create meaningful change and learning how to contribute positively to the conversations happening in our communities..
Forging relationships with our members and others that are authentic, built on trust and mutual respect, and create positive, lasting memories.
MEMBER FIRST SOLUTIONS
Making the member experience our first priority, and passionately acting on this belief by providing outstanding service and result.
The important contributions our staff make each day in serving our members, and in achieving our vision and mission.
Being fiscally responsible in meeting the needs and expectations of our members, and in sustaining the financial health of the credit union.
Ensuring our policies and actions reflect the values of our members and making life better each day by doing the right thing for the communities served.
ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY
Being accountable for all the decisions we make, the resources we use, the relationships we engage in and acting with integrity and transparency in all that we do.
Chief Executive Officer
Gord Harrison is Chief Executive Officer for YNCU, where he works closely with the Board of Directors, serving as manager of corporate operations and as the main link between the divisions within the organization.
Gord joined YNCU in 1984 and has progressed through a number of leadership roles throughout his tenure, including his most recent role as Chief Financial Officer. Gord studied Economics at McMaster University.
In terms of his personal leadership style, Gord attributes a variety of life experiences to who he is as a person and as a leader. “I strive to empathize with people and be as fair to everyone as possible. I have found humour is a great way to bring people together, encouraging our employees to see the good in people, always giving them the benefit of the doubt. While I do not take myself too seriously, I do my best whenever possible as the leader of this organization.” Gord Believes YNCU has a great team of staff who serve the YNCU membership and their communities professionally and with pride.
On a weekend afternoon you can find Gord entertaining or golfing with family and friends.
Chief Financial Officer
Lara Stilin was welcomed back to YNCU as Chief Financial Officer in January 2021. She was previously YNCU’s Director of Finance and Accounting where she oversaw the organization’s external financial and regulatory reporting. In October 2019, Lara broadened her experience with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation as their Director of Tax, Treasury and Transactions before her return to YNCU. As CFO, Lara is our Senior Executive responsible for Finance, Accounting and Facilities.
Lara received her Bachelor of Business Administration with an accounting specialization from Algoma University.
Upon assuming her role as CFO, Lara became the youngest ever CFO for the credit union. “As a young person, I’m excited to continue to contribute to my community. This opportunity to work in the credit union helps push the community forward.” Outside of her role with YNCU, Lara is also a board member of the F.J. Davey Home—a long term care facility in Sault Ste. Marie.
On a weekend afternoon Lara is likely out for a walk with her dog, Kona, or playing a round of golf.
Chief Human Resources & Support Services Officer
Hilary Anderson is Chief Human Resources and Support Services Officer, where she leads the YNCU HR team and is responsible for Member Support and Payment Services. She joined YNCU as a member of the Chief Leadership Team in March 2021 after serving on the YNCU Board of Directors from 2011-2020. Hilary holds a Business Accounting diploma from Georgian College and is currently working towards her Executive MBA.
Hilary is an active volunteer for the Animal Rescue Foundation and sits on the board for Caring Support, a start-up that matches health care employees with health care employers.
Hilary says her leadership style has grown working with leaders with a variety of strengths and weaknesses. “In my experience, while I’ve worked for leaders that easily fit into my style, I’ve also been put in challenging situations. My hope is that I’ve been able to take the best from all and integrate that into my way of working with others.”
On a sunny weekend you can find Hilary sitting in the backyard around the pool with friends and family, listening to 80’s music and enjoying great food and company.
Chief Information Officer
Russ Voutour joined YNCU in March 2021 as Chief Information Officer, where he oversees Infrastructure, Enterprise Services, Information Technology Governance, Innovation and Business Technology.
Russ received a degree in Computer Science from the University of Guelph and has worked in the financial services industry for 15 years, including various areas such as digital, analytics and architecture. He was a member of the founding team for Sonnet Insurance, which was Canada’s first digital direct insurance company. Before joining YNCU, Russ was the Head of Technology for TD Insurance.
A big believer in serving his community, Russ held the title of Technology Chair for TD’s United Way Campaign, as he is a supporter of Habitat for Humanity.
As a leader, Russ believes in the power of diversity and inclusion. “I think diversity within a team leads to diversity of thought—you have to be conscientious about creating an environment that offers opportunities for everyone to contribute.”
On a weekend afternoon you can find Russ cooking wood fired pizza in the backyard or woodworking in his shop.
Chief Lending Officer
Marc Rivard is Chief Lending Officer, our Senior Executive responsible for Business Services and Retail Lending. With almost 20 years of lending and financial services experience, Marc came to YNCU after holding various roles at a major financial institution including personal banking, commercial services, sales management and branch management.
Marc earned an undergraduate degree in Marketing from the University of Guelph and went on to earn his graduate degree, MBA Financial Services, from Dalhousie University.
Marc credits his leadership skills to growing up in a family of entrepreneurs. “Entrepreneurs are dedicated, take ownership for their actions and must often juggle work and family. In turn I believe that hard work with a strong empathetic approach to leadership is the key to success.”
On a sunny Saturday you can find Marc biking with his family or visiting a local restaurant to enjoy some food and drinks.
Chief Member Experience Officer
Archie Bonifacio serves as Chief Member Experience Officer of YNCU, where he oversees Marketing and Corporate Communications, Public Relations, Members Services and Wealth Management. Archie’s career in financial services began over 20 years ago including leadership roles with a full-service brokerage firm where he was responsible for marketing in Canada and led marketing initiatives in the UK and the US. Archie joined the credit union system in 2013 and served as Head of Wealth for two large Ontario credit unions prior to joining YNCU.
Archie obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from McMaster University and has a Master of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University. His designations include Certified Financial Planner, Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute and Responsible Investment Specialist.
As a leader, Archie feels his role is to unleash the potential of his team. “I want to empower my team to do their best and achieve our common purpose. I have also known very generous leaders and I believe there is more to an organization’s purpose than generating profits.”
On a weekend afternoon Archie can be found walking with his wife, his two daughters and his two doodles to his neighbourhood’s Downtown shops where the Doods get dog treats at the pet shop, and the humans get people treats at the café. He also likes to pick up dinner at the local butcher and cheese shop.
Board Roles and Relationships
Credit Unions are regulated by provincial legislation (www.fsra.com) and each undergoes audits and annual inspections to ensure strict adherence to sound financial practices. The Board of Directors represents the interests of the members and sets policy and overall strategy of the credit union, while qualified staff maintain the hands-on responsibility for the day-to-day operations.
Joining the Board
Each board member is usually elected for a three-year term. Nominations are received prior to the fiscal year end. Both nominators and nominees must be a member of YNCU in good standing for a minimum of one year and be at least 18 years old. If you're interested in seeking election to the Board of Directors, please contact the Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board Elections and Annual Meeting
Elections of the Board of Directors generally take place at the credit union’s annual meeting. Not only a forum for elections, the annual meeting provides an opportunity for the Board to report to members on the activities of the credit union over the past year. Members have an opportunity to discuss matters of concern and can vote on policy decisions and any proposed amendments to the bylaws of the credit union.
Director Training Program
Credit union Directors serve in a volunteer capacity. To help Directors serve members, credit unions offer the Credit Union Director Achievement (CUDA) program. CUDA is a formal certificate program available from the Credit Union Institute of Canada, the national education training organization for the Canadian credit union system.
Julien Den Tandt
We're committed to the wellbeing of our staff members and we're proud to pay a living wage that aligns with the actual cost of living in our communities.