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Vantage West Credit Union – 2012 Winner, The Principal® 10 Best

As did many other credit unions, Vantage West experienced tough times in 2008. But instead of cutting benefits, Robert D. Ramirez, the credit union’s president and CEO, focused on growing revenues by taking care of employees. “My goal was to enhance the member value proposition by keeping employees motivated and well-compensated with salary and benefits,” Ramirez explains. “I told employees, ‘If you take care of members, I will take care of you. I won’t touch your salaries and benefits.’ They kept their promise, and I kept mine. We were profitable by 2009, and we’ve been profitable ever since.”

Winning-edge benefits

  • 77 – 90 percent employer-paid medical insurance premiums for employees and dependents
  • 401(k) plan with a 100 percent employer match on the first four percent of pay, and then a 50 percent match on the next four percent of pay, as well as an automatic 1percent contribution; average employee deferral of 6.6 percent
  • 457(b) and 457(f) plans
  • 100 percent employer-paid premiums for long-term disability insurance
  • 100 percent employer-paid premiums for life insurance
  • Extensive wellness program with biometric screenings

Charitable donation

Vantage West selected Steele Children's Research Center to receive a $2,500 donation from The Principal Financial Group Foundation, Inc. as part of their Principal 10 Best award.

Vantage West Credit Union logo

Fast Facts

  • Location: Tucson, Ariz.
  • Type of business: Credit union
  • Number of employees: 387
  • Founded: 1955
  • Percent of employees participating in 401(k) plan: 86 percent
  • Web site:

Why the judges selected them

Sheri Fitts, Principal 10 Best Judge and vice president, Retirement Marketing, LPL Financial (transcript):

About the company

Vantage West is a full-service financial institution offering a wide array of personal and business accounts, ranging from savings and checking accounts to loans, mortgages, merchant services, consumer credit cards and much more. Federally chartered in 1995 to serve military and civilian personnel working at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, today Vantage West is the largest credit union in Southern Arizona and serves more than 115,000 members.

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