Desert Financial Named Az Business Angel of the Year

The credit union gave more than $3.3 million in local donations, relief, support in 2020

December 17, 2020 1:31 PM EST

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PHOENIX, Dec. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Desert Financial Credit Union has earned the title "Angel of the Year-Business" by Az Business Angels magazine.

The state's largest credit union has long built a reputation as a company committed to philanthropy, volunteerism and community engagement. In 2020, CEO Jeff Meshey, who's been with the credit union for 26 years, says when the pandemic struck and the needs in the community became evident, he and the leadership team decided to double down on the "people first" strategy. In 2020, gifts and donations from Desert Financial totaled more than $3.3 million.

"It's always been our philosophy that if we do the right thing, that goodwill is returned," Meshey says. "While so many people and businesses struggled in 2020, we had built the kind of reserves that allowed us to share success. It's humbling to be named Angel of the Year in Business alongside so many other accomplished givers in the business community. And we're grateful for the loyalty and support of our members, community and team that enabled that kind of generosity," he added.

All year long Desert Financial invested gifts of time, money and awareness in the name of the company's mission to Share Success. Through their Random Acts of Kindness program, more than 9,000 gestures were made, including taking boxed lunches to the staff at local grocery stores, gifting a local nursing home with 11 iPads, donating 33 Chromebooks to a Title 1 School, donating $10,000 to a local family to help with medical expenses and travel for their critically ill infant, distributing gift cards at the annual Fiesta Bowl Parade and to members at the drive-thru windows, and instituting senior hours at local branches. Generous support included:

  • $173,000 in scholarships
  • Supplies for teachers in 43 schools
  • $1.1 million in donations to local nonprofits for COVID-19 relief
  • $67,000 in donations to Laptops 4 Learning
  • $353,000 in donations to Valley of the Sun United Way
  • $780,000 in donations to fund the 1 Darn Cool School at Phoenix Children's

In December, during the Season of Giving campaign at Desert Financial, the Executive Management team made phone calls to 13 nonprofits to announce a surprise $10,000 cash gift for each. Some of these smaller nonprofit organizations were especially impacted by the pandemic as they saw dips in donations combined with spikes in demand.

"It was great to be able to surprise these nonprofits and give them a boost at the end of a difficult year," said Ron Amstutz, Executive Vice President.

Az Business Angels magazine and the Arizona Community Foundation created the Business Angels awards four years ago to pay tribute to Arizona's not-for-profit community and thank the supportive business community. Desert Financial was honored with the top business award for the second consecutive year for its ongoing philanthropic giving, volunteerism and community-centric work.

Desert Financial was founded 81 years ago by 15 educators who pooled together just $78.75 to create a financial services company for teachers. Today, the not-for-profit, member-owned cooperative is the largest credit union in Arizona and one of the most recognizable financial brands in the Valley. 

About Desert Financial Credit Union

Celebrating 81 years in Arizona, Desert Financial is the state's largest local credit union with $6 billion in assets, more than 340,000 members and 47 physical locations across the Valley, plus our fully online eBranch serving all of Arizona. As a not-for-profit cooperative, Desert Financial takes pride in sharing success. In 2019, Desert Financial gave nearly $11 million to Valley nonprofits, the community and members. Learn more at Desert Financial Credit Union and find news and information @desertfinancial on Twitter.


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SOURCE Desert Financial Credit Union

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