Shelley Besse

Chief Credit Officer

As First West Credit Union’s chief credit officer, Shelley Besse is responsible for credit policy, adjudication and recovery. She provides senior leadership oversight to all lines of business, including retail and commercial lending, loan syndication and securitization, joint ventures, junior debt as well as mezzanine and equity investments.

Shelley is a highly respected leader with extensive knowledge and experience in the financial services industry. Since joining Envision Financial in 1984, Shelley has held a number of increasingly senior leadership roles including branch manager, assistant vice-president of marketing and communications, vice-president of branch operations, vice-president of sales and service and vice-president of risk management and operations. She was appointed to lead First West’s merger transition in 2009 and successfully delivered against a three-year strategy to create a high-performing operations team within First West’s new operating model.

Following this role, Shelley was appointed senior vice-president of operations, sales and member experience and focused on providing employees with operations support and for developing and implementing an enterprise-wide continuous improvement strategy known as Lean. In 2012, Shelley became president of Envision Financial. Four years later in 2016, Shelley was appointed chief operating officer of First West where she was responsible for leading First West’s regional operations, encompassing retail, business and commercial banking, wealth management, general insurance, and operations for all of First West’s local market brands.

In 2012, Shelley received international recognition for her leadership and business acumen when she was awarded a Silver Stevie Award in the category of Female Executive of the Year – Consumer Services and a Bronze Stevie Award in the category of Female Executive of the Year in Canada.

Shelley holds an MBA from Royal Roads University, a certificate in financial planning, is a graduate of the Stanford Executive Program, specializing in strategy and organizational design and has received an Operational Risk Management professional designation from the International Council for Operational Risk Management. Shelley is the past chair for the Surrey Board of Trade. Shelley currently sits as a board director for Canadian Credit Union Association and is a member of the Aviso Member Advisory Board.

Featured Posts

October 6, 2016
This past summer, First West Credit Union’s Chief Operating Officer, Shelley Besse travelled to Mexico where she traded in a good book and her beach umbrella for a hammer and nails, and her sandals for work boots, all in an effort to make a meaningful difference for one deserving family by building them a new home.
Shelley shares her experiences, and a valuable takeaway, below: 
Instead of a...