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Archana Krishnan says working for Westoba Credit Union allows her to give back to her community. “I immigrated to Canada six years ago, without any friends or family here,” says Krishnan, a business analyst. “Our community in Brandon supported me and my husband to flourish in our new life. I am empowered to pay it forward to those in need, thanks to the opportunities and support Westoba provides me.”
Krishnan is a member of the ‘Westoba Inspire Committee,’ which allows employees to contribute through payroll deductions to support local non-profit organizations. In 2022, the fund granted $19,000 to the Westman Cricket Association practice pitch and The Pas and Area Animal Shelter.
Through a partnership with Each One Teach One, Westoba trains employees to deliver basic financial skills workshops in the community to help participants make the right financial decisions for themselves and their families.
Elizabeth Modersohn, vice-president, IT & operational excellence, is proud of Westoba’s commitment to supporting its community and employees. And she says these initiatives also allow employees to get to know each other and have fun. A prime example: Westoba is a two-time Westman Lip Sync Battle champion, raising funds for United Way Brandon.
“The lip sync group is made up of geographically diverse team members who do not typically work together,” Modersohn says. “Separation and distance may have created barriers, but we didn’t let anything impact our teamwork. And the entire organization gets behind the team. Westoba’s staff are passionate people and encourage one another regardless of the challenge.”
The company also provides many opportunities for engagement and development for employees. Krishnan and Modersohn are members of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) working group, which aims to foster a greater understanding and awareness of what diversity and inclusion means to staff and members. The group provides resources and education and encourages ways for Westoba to incorporate DEI in all aspects of business.
Krishnan is also the 2022-23 executive chair of Emerging Leaders of Westoba. Six members from different departments are selected for the program each year and have the opportunity to learn from leaders through meetings and mentorship opportunities.
Modersohn says initiatives that help the community and empower employees translate to a better work experience. “Organizational values and culture make a significant difference in job satisfaction,” she says. “Staff have immense pride working for an organization that is community and purpose driven. For example, when staff contribute to the Westoba Inspire Fund, they have the power to change lives and communities.”
Krishnan appreciates these opportunities and how they enrich her personal and professional life. When she received her Canadian citizenship, she says, the whole organization celebrated and featured her and four other new Canadians on its website.
“Through Westoba, I am offered the opportunity to volunteer and contribute to my community. I am given a range of professional development opportunities and regular coaching and mentorship from my leaders, which helps me progress in my professional life,” she says.
“Westoba truly walks the talk when it comes to DEI. I can see the reflection of our community when I look at Westoba’s workforce. I believe that Westoba truly cares for me and my community. The fact that Monday mornings get me excited to go to work says it all.”
This article is produced by the Advertising Department of the Winnipeg Free Press, in collaboration with Westoba Credit Union