Annual Meeting and General Election


67th Annual Business Meeting Details
American Southwest Credit Union
The Co-Op You Can Bank On

Saturday May 21st

7:30 AM Continental Breakfast & Mingling

8:00 AM Meeting Start Time

Location: Cochise College Student Union

901 N Colombo Ave, Building 1000

Click for Campus Map

General Election Details

The General Election will take place during the Annual Meeting on May 21st.

This year, the General Election will be for 3 board seats.  All seats are for 3-year terms. There are 3 incumbent candidates.  Nominations have ceased and are not allowed from the floor.  Only members age 16 and older may participate in the election.

Please review a brief biography of the four candidates. American Southwest Credit Union’s Board of Directors is comprised of members who volunteer their time working with management to set policy and oversee the credit union.


Mary Hyder: Mary has been the Finance/Business Manager for a contract valued at over $480M on Ft Huachuca for over 20 years. Prior to this position, she served as a Finance Supervisor on a smaller government contract for the Logistics Directorate.  With these positions she has learned to work with large groups of employees; has learned about policies and procedures for various entities; and the varying degrees of financial management, while all staying within the Generally Accepted Accounting Practices. Mary holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Mary has been a volunteer for American Southwest Credit Union, serving in several positions on the Supervisory Committee and the Board of Directors for over 24 years. She also has been a volunteer with the Miss America system for the past 30 years. She is currently the Executive Director of the Miss Sierra Vista Scholarship Pageant. Mary grew up in Northern California and has called Sierra Vista home for the past 37 years. Mary is the mother of two; grandmother of three; and the great grandmother of one.  Mary’s spare time is spent with her family and enjoying watching her children and 3 grandchildren grow, graduate from college and raise families of their own.




Patrick Ledger: It has been a privilege to serve on the American Southwest Credit Union Board of Directors.  I am a true believer in regional credit unions focused on the financial well-being of our local communities. If elected to another term, I will work diligently on behalf of all American Southwest Credit Union members to help ensure our continued growth and success. I am employed at Arizona Electric Power Cooperative in Benson, Arizona, where I have served as the chief executive officer for the last eleven years.  I am also an attorney with more than twenty years of experience in business, corporate policy, and a wide-range of financial matters. My family and I live in Hereford, Arizona, in an adobe home we built in 2001.  We enjoy hiking and camping, improving our home, and we are active in our local church. Our daughter is a sophomore at the University of Arizona, and our two sons attend Buena High School.





T. Blake Burgess:  T. Blake Burgess, age 62, is a certified public accountant and has over 30 years of banking experience. He has been a member of the ASCU Board of Directors since 2020 and is the current chairman of the ASCU Asset-Liability Committee. Upon retirement in 2019, Mr. Burgess was the Senior Vice President of Finance and Risk Management for a regional bank in Idaho. He holds bachelor’s degrees in Accounting and Finance from Boise State University.  Mr. Burgess is retired and lives full-time in Green Valley, Arizona.







William “Bill” Cooke:  My name is Bill Cooke.  I came here in December of 1987 via the US Army with my wife, two boys and two girls. We first resided in Ft. Huachuca. The Army stationed me here as a Communication Specialist. We later moved off post, and to our current address on Dove Drive. We like the weather, except the winds, as my bad joints like the warm climate here. My two girls have moved on and are both married. My wife Shauna retired after 15 years from being a support teacher at Joyce Clark Middle School to 7th and 8th grade children with special needs. When Wells Fargo held up my First Interstate Bank and forced me to have my money with an on-post Armed Forces Bank, I pulled my money out and put it into the “then” Huachuca Federal Credit Union. I never plan to bank anywhere else. I like the personal experience I get when I ask questions and get the correct answers while conducting business at ASCU. I have an Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s Degree in Computer Information Systems. I currently own a one-person business where I fix the hardware and software of computers. My community involvement consists of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  As a member of that church, I am in my 12th year of helping people as a technical missionary assisting anyone with their family history via a program called I help anyone find their ancestors, saving stories and memories using that program.  I am currently 95% retired, as I sometimes do computer and or printer related jobs for a company based out of Louisiana.


draft ballot. Candidate Burgess Blake T. (incumbent), Candidate Cooke, William "Bill", Candidate Hyder, Mary (incumbent), Candidate Ledger, Patrick (incumbent). All candidates are listed in alphabetical order.


67th Annual Meeting Agenda

Welcome by Chairman

Pledge of Allegiance

Introduction and opening remarks


Appointment of Parliamentarian

Approval of Minutes from the last meeting

Chairman’s Report

Supervisory Committee Report

President/CEO Report

Old Business

New Business – Board Position Voting

Door Prizes

Closing Remarks


Chairman’s Report: As has been the practice of American Southwest Credit Union (ASCU), the staff continues to place people above profits while providing to its member-owners the best available financial services needed to assist them in achieving their personal financial goals. As a cohesive team, the ASCU Board of Directors (BOD) and Operational Staff will continue to honor the member-owners of this financial institution to be of the greatest importance to us. Our loyal member-owners deserve our full attention anytime you contact us. You have placed your full trust and confidence in our ability to remain the Co-Op on which you can rely. We thank you for getting us through the past few years with the COVID Pandemic, and as we look forward, we will face the rising rates as a team. ASCU remains one of the finest credit unions in our state, and in our nation as well. We appreciate your dedicated support and encourage you to continue inviting friends and acquaintances to become members of the Credit Union family.

The Operational Staff is under the new leadership of Jay Williamson, our President/CEO, since December 2021 and they have made great strides in recruiting, training, and retaining a professional staff. All decisions made by the staff are made with the mindfulness of how you, our member-owners, would anticipate the staff to do to keep your funds safe and to keep ASCU the financial institution of choice in our communities.

The past twelve months have been challenging, with the mixture of the Pandemic and the anticipation of the rise in interest rates. The senior management, as always, makes very safe investments with the funds that are on hand and do not risk any of your funds on deposit, and always maintains a remarkably high liquidity level. The breadth of our donations within our communities have seen great growth along with our employees’ personal involvement in their community project of choice with their time. Projects and entities that we have supported have benefitted greatly by ASCU’s promise to support the communities in which we serve.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as Chairman of ASCU’s Board of Directors this past year. I have always considered it a privilege and an honor to work with such a talented BOD, Supervisory Committee and other ASCU volunteers in the years I have been associated with ASCU as a member of either the Supervisory Committee or the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors and the staff of ASCU look forward to another year of growth as we progress through the future.


Mary Hyder, ASCU Board Chairman


Supervisory Committee Report: Currently the Supervisory Committee for American Southwest Credit Union has four members: Rick Stephenson, Karen Karkalla, Dennis Skelton and myself, Charles Baker.  We are volunteering our time on behalf of the membership with the primary responsibility of overseeing the Credit Union board and management.  We meet our responsibility by reviewing management documents, staff reports and board decisions to ensure they comply with current policy.  We were pleased with the smooth transition to our new CEO, Jay Williamson, and new board members. Thanks to all the board, management and staff involved in the transition.

We also engage a Certified Public Accounting firm to audit the financial statements of the Credit Union and review the audit results.  This was the second year of our contract with Turner, Warren, Hwang & Conrad (TWHC) to perform the audit of our financial statements for the 12-month period ending June 30, 2021.  COVID impact on the audit continued to result in the audit being performed remotely.  In October 2021, TWHC completed their opinion audit, providing their final reports on 12 November.  We are pleased to announce they concluded that the financial statement presents fairly, in all material aspects, the financial position of the Credit Union.  TWHC is currently beginning work on the 2022 audit.

The Credit Union continues to utilize CastleGarde Inc to review, test and assess our Information Technology systems and services.  The Supervisory Committee is happy to announce our IT meets sound standards and no deficiencies were found.  The CastleGarde reports provide additional useful information on threats and actions to reduce our risks.  The Credit Union also uses Affirmx to assess our compliance with regulations, providing risk indications of credit union operations.  The committee reviews this information and is happy the risks are assessed as low by Affirmx.

We have enjoyed serving the membership this last year and look forward to working for you next year.  We are currently one member short for the committee.  If you are interested in serving on the Supervisory Committee, please contact me by mail at: ASCU P.O. Box 370 Sierra Vista, AZ  85636.


Charles Baker, Supervisory Committee Chair


President/CEO Report: It is my pleasure to provide ASCU’s member/owners with the annual President’s Report for 2021, my first year with ASCU. I’m happy to report that, financially, ASCU had another excellent year. We broke the $300 million mark in total assets growing from $294 million in 2020 to over $342 million in 2021. Net income was strong, too, with $2.6 million in net earnings. Our membership also grew and we ended the year with 29,261 members. Loans grew by $7 million dollars and we ended the year with total loans of $174 million. For a second year, a big part of that was loans to small business in the form of the Paycheck Protection Program. Of the PPP loans that we assisted, only one business has failed through the last two years of the pandemic. With the expanded charter we received a couple of years ago, we reached out to the small businesses in Graham County and helped out those that were truly underbanked and not well-served. That’s something we can all take great pride in–helping those in need. That’s the job of a financial Co-Op and why your membership matters.

ASCU paid members interest dividends in the amount of $690,092 and $224,330 in loan incentives paid directly back to members in 2021 for a total amount of $914,422 in member dividends. We also gave over $20,250 to local charities in 2021, making a meaningful difference in the communities we serve.

In 2021 we made several improvements to better serve our members that include a new payment option as we launched contactless cards for both debit and credit cards. We also opened our new location in Douglas in April of 2021 so we can better serve our members in that community.

Finally, I would like to say a final thank you to Gil White who was chairman of the board for many years here at ASCU. In 2021, he stepped down and was replaced by Mary Hyder. We greatly appreciate his many years of service to our organization.


Jay Williamson , CEO/President


Staff Recognition

5 Years 2021

Kayli Bohn 8/30/2016

Joseph Hartzell 5/24/2016

Yesenia Porras 8/2/2016

10 Years 2021

Marcus Brown 8/1/2011

15 Years 2021

Stephanie Brown 1/3/2006

25 Years 2021

Ellen Bolduc 10/22/1996



Back row from left to right: Ron Curtis, Executive VP of Lending; Brad Richardson, VP of Mortgage Lending & IT; Lauren Padgett, Executive Vice President; Mark Farr, VP of Commercial Lending. Front row from left to right: Heather Verdonk, VP of Accounting & Compliance; Jay Williamson, CEO/President; Leslie Hitchins, Human Resources Director; Barbara Foster, VP of Branch Operations.


Branch Managers from left to right: Arcelia Kearny, Benson; Yesenia Porras, Green Valley/Sahuarita; Fe Currie, Sierra Vista & Ft. Huachuca; Maria Montano, Douglas






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