Leadership

Community First Credit Union Leadership

One of the many great things that makes credit unions different than banks is the fact that we are not-for-profit financial cooperatives that are Member-owned and Member-controlled. Our Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee are made up of Members who volunteer their time and talents to serve and represent the interests of our Membership.

Each position is elected by our Members for a three-year term through a democratic vote at our Annual Meeting of the Membership.

Associate Board Members

Want to do more with your credit union? Start with becoming an Associate Board Member.

To make sure we have talented leaders ready to serve our credit union, the Associate Board consists of qualified candidates ready to fill future vacancies on our Board of Directors.

View all the details of our Associate Directors program or reach out today to learn more!

Highlights:

  • Participate in all Board and Strategic Planning meetings
  • Access all Board-related training and educational opportunities
  • Serve as voting members on Ad-Hoc Committees formed by the Board

Board of Directors

Carolyn Welch
Board Chair

Carolyn joined the Supervisory Committee in 2013 and became its Chair in 2014. A year later, she joined the Board. A graduate of Golden Gate University with a BA in Accounting, Carolyn served at the Chief Financial Officer of North Coast Opportunities from August 2007 until she retired in 2019. Carolyn is a longtime member of the Ukiah Valley Trail Group and has served as its Vice President. Carolyn has served as the credit union’s Board Treasurer and is now serving the Board Chair. Carolyn lives in Ukiah, Mendocino County.  

Marrianne McBride
Board Vice Chair

Marrianne is an experienced executive with a demonstrated leadership record in working with non¬profits. She is the President and CEO for Sonoma County's Council On Aging and the 2012 recipient of North Bay Business Journal's Nonprofit Leadership Award. Marrianne is also a seated member of Sonoma County Health Action. She resides in Cloverdale, Sonoma County

icon of a person-image coming soon
Jason Scott
Board Secretary

Jason is currently Global Director of Analytics at Naked Wines where he oversees their business intelligence and data science functions. He brings over 10 years of professional experience in big data analytics and data science to the Community First Board. He is passionate about leveraging data and insight to better serve our membership. He holds a MSc in Managerial Economics and Strategy from the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University and a BSc in Economics and Mathematics from UCLA. Born and raised in Santa Rosa, he's a proud alumnus of SRJC and Montgomery High School.

icon of a person-image coming soon
Brian Cochran
Board Treasurer

Brian has served as the Assistant City Manager for the City of Petaluma since 2019, and his previous experience includes Finance Director for the City of Napa and Finance Manager for the City of Novato. Brian is currently the Treasurer and has been a member of the Board since 2010. Brian lives in Petaluma, Sonoma County.

Robert Scott
Board Member

Rob spent more than 30 years of increasingly complex government affairs experience, including influencing regulatory policymaking at the federal, state, and local levels of government. He has been a state government or public affairs manager or director, and, for the past two decades, championed the Mendocino Coast communities and has held many Board and Advisory positions at the Chamber, Hospital, and Westport Village, among others. Rob lives in Westport, Mendocino County.

Tina Rivera
Board Member

Tina is the Director of Health Services for the County of Sonoma and has served on the Board since 2019. Tina oversees an agency with 889 people and a budget of approximately $330 million. Tina lives in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County.

*Not Listed: Board Members Medhane Kidane and Kristen Madsen
Arlene Colombini

Arlene was the credit union’s longest serving Board member, serving on the Board since 1961 and retiring from her role in 2024. Her institutional knowledge and many contributions to the Membership prompted the credit union to establish an annual multi-school school scholarship in her name, beginning in 2010. Arlene served in education for 47years; the first 17 years in administration for Ukiah Unified School District, and another 30 years at Mendocino College – much of that time as Coordinator of Instructional Services. Arlene retired in 2003 and is active with her adult children and grandchildren. Ms. Colombini lives in Redwood Valley, Mendocino County.

Thank you Arlene!

Supervisory Committee

Name
Position
Zhao (Cho) Qiu
Committee Chair
Kathleen de Chadenedes
Committee Member
Christine Haggarty
Committee Member
Roy Dajalos
Committee Member
David Williams
Committee Member

Executive Team

Scott Johnson, CEO

Community First CEO Scott Johnson joined the credit union in 2021 and comes from an impressive career background, holding multiple leadership roles with an emphasis in technology management. Previously serving as both Chief Strategy Officer and later Chief Revenue Officer at Unify Financial Credit Union, Scott also managed the investments of the credit union. Before joining the credit union industry, Scott was the Chief Technology Officer at Pacific Life Insurance Company and held multiple information technology roles during his tenure there. He brings this deep understanding of technology application and hopes to help foster the further growth and forward momentum of Community First.

Andy Dickhut
Chief Marketing and Experience Officer

Andy joined CFCU in 2022. He hails from the Midwest where he has led the marketing teams of several credit unions. Prior to credit unions, he worked in ad agencies working with financial clients such as USAA and T. Rowe price. Currently, the Chief Marketing & Experience Officer, Andy heads up the marketing team as well as the Digital Banking team. He has an MBA in Marketing from the University of Missouri.

Chris Kraemer
Chief Information Officer

Chris Kraemer is the Chief Information Officer for Community First Credit Union.  Chris grew up in Ukiah, California.  Chris left Ukiah to attend ITT Technical Institute where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Engineering Technologies.  Chris returned to his hometown and began his career at the credit union, where he has provided technological solutions and support for over two decades.  Chris provides strategic planning and oversight for all the credit union’s information technology systems and equipment.

icon of a person-image coming soon
Fitzgerald Reyes
Chief Financial Officer

With an Executive MBA in business analytics at Saint Mary’s College of California and a bachelor’s degree in accounting, Fitzgerald offers nearly two decades of credit union expertise in finance, accounting, collections, and card services. As a passionate executive, he drives strategic initiatives through effective collaboration and continuously seeks opportunities to leverage his skills for the betterment of the organization. Known for a blend of analytical prowess and a solid financial background, Fitzgerald remains committed to driving sustainable growth and delivering impactful outcomes.

icon of a person-image coming soon
Rick Herbert
Chief Risk Officer

Rick serves as Chief Risk Officer with responsibilities for Internal Audit, Vendor Management, Compliance, Cannabis Banking, and overall Risk Management.  He has eight years executive experience in the CU industry including as a former CEO.  Rick has an extensive banking career with 17 years at the Federal Reserve Bank and held senior leadership roles in a 15-year career with ADP, where he currently serves on the Board of ADP Trust Company.  His BA is in Business Administration and Economics with Advanced Management studies at Duke University.  Rick currently resides in coastal Georgia and splits time between there and CFCU.

icon of a person-image coming soon
Cary Shumway
Chief Lending Officer

Cary joined Community First in April of 2023 with more than 20 years of lending leadership experience at credit unions, including oversight of origination, processing, funding, servicing, and collections. Cary has served on multiple industry councils and committees, including Experian, CUNA Lending Council, and Origence.  Cary earned her bachelor’s in management from the University of Phoenix and is currently pursuing her MBA with the University of Phoenix with an expected graduation in 2024. Cary is a wife of 24 years and a mother to two children. Cary spends her spare time shopping, entertaining and volunteering her time at local schools.

Monika Besancon
Chief Operating Officer

Monika Besancon joined CFCU in 2009 and has held several senior leadership roles during her tenure; Vice President Mortgage Lending, Chief Lending Officer and currently as Chief Operating Officer leading the branch network, contact center and card services teams.   Monika’s career spans credit unions, mortgage companies and fintechs.  When Monika is not working, she enjoys RV’ing with family and friends, babysitting her grand dogs, browsing antique shops, and volunteering at local non-profit organizations in her community.

Sara Griggs
Chief People Officer

Sara joined Community First in 2007 and currently oversees Human Resources and Learning & Development. Sara has been with three credit unions over a span of 19 years. The past 11 years she has specialized in Human Resources at Community First. Sara earned a B.A. in Human Communication at Southern Oregon University in 2005, and a Masters of Science in Human Resources Management & Organizational Leadership from Regis University in 2012. Sara graduated from the Leadership Santa Rosa program in 2020. Sara is the mother of three busy children. Sara enjoys spending her free time trying new local restaurants, exercising, and traveling.

Katie Behrhorst
Executive Assistant

Bio coming soon!