We welcome your questions

We’re happy to answer any questions you have relating to our recruitment process or working at First West. For general recruitment-related inquiries, contact our talent attraction team at hrdirect@firstwestcu.ca.

We’re here to help you succeed

It takes courage to pursue a new career. We have a passionate team of people working behind the scenes to help you take the next step towards employment with First West.

Amanda Wantke

Senior Manager, Talent Attraction

Amanda Wantke

Senior Manager, Talent Attraction

As senior manager of First West’s talent attraction team, Amanda draws upon her 13+ years of experience across the credit union to ensure that our teams and new employees in all areas of the business are set up to succeed together. Her belief in continuous improvement and change management led Amanda to obtain her LEAN Blackbelt certification and her Certified Change Management Professional (CCMP) designation.

An advocate for leadership development, Amanda was the founder of the First West Young Leaders employee network group and is the current Chair of the BC Young Leaders Committee. She was selected as an award recipient for the Canadian Credit Union Association’s National Young Leader award in 2021 and is currently the Vice-Chair for the National Young Leaders Committee.

Amanda is currently enrolled in the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at the Australian Institute of business, and when not studying or at the office, you’ll likely find her on the baseball field with her son.

Jen Deslauriers

Senior Talent Attraction Specialist

Jen Deslauriers

Senior Talent Attraction Specialist

As senior talent attraction specialist, Jen manages a diverse portfolio of recruitment needs among shared services teams at First West.

Jen is a seasoned talent attraction and HR professional who’s accumulated more than 20 years’ experience in recruiting—10 of those within Canada’s credit union system. She developed her respect and appreciation for cooperative values during her time at Vancity Credit Union, where she worked as Manager of Talent.

Regarded as an innovative leader, Jen draws on outside-the-box tactics to discover new recruits. While she’s been involved with numerous initiatives within First West’s human resources team, her first passion is connecting the right candidate with the right role.

Away from the office Jen enjoys spending quality time with her family in the Comox Valley.

Utah Cowx

Senior Talent Attraction Specialist

Utah Cowx

Senior Talent Attraction Specialist

Utah believes that a great career comes from people feeling connected to their company and community. This is what he seeks to create for each individual he helps find their next career move at First West.

From his diverse experience gained while working with local municipalities, startups and established organizations, Utah knows  that strategic hiring decisions benefit both the employee and employer to grow and thrive. For this reason, you’re likely to find Utah actively seeking talented professionals on social media and engaging with local and professional groups to find a match for opportunities here at First West.

Outside of the office, Utah loves spending time with his family and exploring the excellent food scene in the Lower Mainland.

Mauricio Guerrero

Talent Attraction Specialist

Mauricio Guerrero

Talent Attraction Specialist

With Mauricio on your side, you’ll have a full understanding of your exciting new career step at First West. When you sit down for an interview, expect a few get-to-know you questions, that’s how he really gets a grasp on your likes, talents and goals. And that’s great for you, because Mauricio has insights that he will openly share to help you create a path to success with us.

For more than five years, Mauricio has expanded his human resources experience, helping to recruit employees for retail, Healthcare and technology industries. He’s met countless people in that time and knows how to help you turn your diverse career background into a comprehensive toolbox of skills that will help you thrive.

Maurico’s perfect day is connecting someone with a passion to use and amplify their unique abilities by taking the right new step in their career. And his favourite part of welcoming a new employee to First West is inviting to join a people-focused culture.

In those rare moments that he isn’t perusing LinkedIn or Indeed for potential new job candidates, he’s often getting out to enjoy life in the Lower Mainland. Especially if there’s a park to stroll with his best fur-friend, Spazz.

Leah Ward

Talent Attraction Advisor

Leah Ward

Talent Attraction Advisor

You’ve never met a “people-person” like Leah. From her first job coordinating high-energy events around the world to her 10-years as the right-hand person for business executives, she thrives when she’s with her community.

Leah also loves growing the First West community with new team members who are the right fit with the organization’s inclusive, forward-thinking, flexible and fun culture. So, make sure to tell her all about your passions and ambitions! (Psst. If you really want to impress Leah, come to your interview prepared with some solid knowledge about First West.)

Having diverse career experience herself, Leah has learned that your future is in your own hands and she is an expert in matching people to the right job, training or development opportunity that will elevate their potential. And she takes her own advice! In addition to her business management credentials (BCIT, 2008) she continues to learn and expand her expertise in human resources.

Connect with Leah to chat about how you could grow your career at First West – or to get some of her excellent golfing tips or trail recommendations near Pitt Meadows where lives with her husband, young daughter and dog.

Rebecca Desjarlais

Onboarding Enablement Lead

Rebecca Desjarlais

Onboarding Enablement Lead

Rebecca has worked with First West for over 15 years, taking some early career steps in a Valley First branch while also completing high school. She has held many roles that directly help members thrive as well as those that support broad operations and growth at the credit union. Her career also includes some diverse experience, from coffee barista to research assistant, and even as a pub trivia host (and she remains well recognized by her peers for her wealth of music trivia knowledge)! Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Arts with a dual major in English & Art History from The University of British Columbia, is a PROSCI certified change management practitioner, and is LEAN white belt certified.

As a passionate advocate for community and belonging, Rebecca has helped cultivate, foster, and sustain First West’s commitments to equity, inclusion, and diversity. She is a member of the First West Indigenous Employee Network and has served on the First West Young Leaders and First West Women’s Network committees. In 2022, Rebecca was selected as both an award recipient and scholarship winner for the Canadian Credit Union Association’s National Young Leader Award. She is currently an active member of the National Young Leaders Committee.

As an authentic and energetic leader, Rebecca can find the fun in most situations. She is so excited to welcome you and support you on your career journey at First West!