Banking on Youth in the Fraser Valley

Talented local youth selected to manage Coast Capital’s ‘for youth, by youth’ community giving program

Vancouver, B.C. – May 29, 2014 – Coast Capital Savings has announced the 2014 members of the Fraser Valley Young Leaders Community Council, one of three regional Young Leaders Community Councils that help determine the funding priorities of Coast Capital’s annual $1.5 million community granting program.

Coast Capital’s Young Leaders Community Councils are regional advisory groups each made up of four representatives from the community and four Coast Capital employees, all 30 years old or younger. Each Council is responsible for reviewing Coast Capital’s quarterly community grant applications, and making recommendations for the allocation of community investment funds. The grants, up to $30,000 each, must clearly align with of the credit union’s community promise to build a richer future for youth in their communities based on four guiding areas of focus: education, family and social connections, financial well-being, and health.

“Having young leaders oversee and adjudicate a substantive community grants program is an innovative approach to the process of community investment and one that not only ensures our granting dollars are being directed to the organizations that align with our for youth by youth commitment, but also resonate with the demographic who utilizes these resources,” says Tracy Redies, president & CEO, Coast Capital Savings. “Our focus is to help our communities build a richer future for youth. The best way to accomplish that is to get youth involved in the decision making process.”

These are not your average youth. The 2014 Fraser Valley Council are emerging young leaders with experience in the areas of business, finance, and not-for-profit. In addition to busy and accomplished student and professional lives, the Council members are active local and international volunteers, and have diverse hobbies ranging from curating art exhibits and classic automobile restoration to martial arts training. The 2014 Fraser Valley Young Leaders Community Council:

  • Samantha Shepherd (Chair), a Certified Financial Planner with Coast Capital Savings
  • Sidrah Ahmad-Rasheed, coordinator of student transitions at the University of the Fraser Valley
  • Zenaida Telfair, a psychiatric nursing graduate working at Surrey Memorial Hospital
  • Hassan Khan, an online fitness entrepreneur
  • Suneet Maan, a psychology major at UBC
  • Pavan Rakhra – Coast Capital Savings
  • Aaron Theilade – Coast Capital Savings
  • Ryan Keigher – Coast Capital Savings

 “We all give back to our community in our own ways,” says Samantha Shepherd, chair of the Fraser Valley Council. “But being a part of this council is special – we all recognize how important the opportunity that Coast Capital Savings is giving us here to make real change for our fellow youth.”

Coast Capital Savings annually invests seven per cent of pre-tax profits in charitable programs and local initiatives to help strengthen the communities that they serve. This amounted to $4.8 million in 2013 for a total of $50 million since 2000.
“Community giving is integral to credit union DNA. We know there is an urgent need to support those aged 13 – 29, and we believe, through our programs and our members’ support, Coast Capital’s community leadership can make a significant difference through providing funding and assistance, and through building capacity and expertise in our youth,” says Redies. 
Coast Capital has also announced the 2014 members of the other two regional Young Leaders Community Councils in Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island. For more details.

About Coast Capital Savings 
Coast Capital Savings is Canada’s second largest credit union, owned by its 512,000 members. It has 50 branches in the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley and Vancouver Island regions of British Columbia and has exciting plans to grow. Product innovations include Canada's first free chequing account from a full-service financial institution. Coast Capital offers one of Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures™ and was named one of 2014’s BC Top Employers. It is a member of Canada's Best Managed Companies Platinum Club and an Imagine Canada Caring Company. To learn more, visit


For more information, please contact: 
Erin McKinley    
Senior Media Relations Advisor

For information on changes to deposit insurance and the transition period if we become a federal credit union, see the notice pursuant to the Disclosure on Continuance Regulations (Federal Credit Unions).