Education is the key to enabling people to reach their financial goals.
It’s this belief that drives Helen Gibson, vice president of marketing and education at $325 million asset Denver Community Credit Union, in directing all of the institution’s advertising, marketing, training, community outreach, and business development efforts.
A former teacher, Gibson leverages financial education to help people improve their lives.
“Every member is their own person with their own values,” Gibson says. “It’s our job to inspire them and empower them to reach the next level, not to tell them what they should be doing.”
During her 10 years at Denver Community, Gibson has achieved several prestigious milestones.
She serves as chair of the Bank on Denver Advisory Board and as a director on the Denver Chapter Board of the Mountain West Credit Union Association (MWCUA). In 2015, Gibson won MWCUA’s Emerging Leader Award.
Gibson’s managers note her substantial impact on the credit union’s financial education and community outreach programs.
“After she joined the team in 2007, our Clear Money financial education program grew 126% in reach in five years,” says Tessa Bonfante, chief operations officer. “Helen loves the members, but she moves beyond member service to changing systems within the organization and the community to be a force for financial capability.”
Gibson sees in the credit union movement a desire to help people better themselves.
“What I love about the credit union movement is that it is focused on empowering people, not providing charity,” Gibson says. “When we don’t give people the tools they need to be successful, we’re not actually creating dignity and long-term success.”
Gibson credits her success—including overseeing the introduction of a multichannel onboarding system that increased new member relationships by 14.6%—to support from her managers.
“Throughout my 10 years here, my managers have empowered me, listened to me, and provided me a seat at the table,” she says.
Outside work, Gibson enjoys hiking, camping, and snowshoeing with her husband and two adopted children.
She also serves as a director on Adoption Options, a nonprofit, secular adoption agency in Denver.
Bonfante sees a bright future for Gibson within the cooperative movement.
“I have no doubt her involvement will spark change and innovation not only within our organization, but in the industry as a whole,” she says.