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Coast Capital appoints accomplished executives to key HR and finance roles

Surrey, B.C.: Coast Capital Savings is beefing up its leadership team with the appointment of two new senior executives to spearhead the credit union’s human resources and finance portfolios.

Stepping up to assume the role of chief financial officer is David Gaskin who springs into his new role from his previous post as Coast Capital’s senior vice-president, finance. While Matthew Handford, who previously led human resources strategy for organizations including WestJet and the Forzani Group/Canadian Tire, assumes the newly created position of chief people officer.

“Coast Capital Savings is privileged to have Matt and David bring their rich and varied experience and competencies in human resources management and financial accounting to our senior leadership team,” said Don Coulter, president and CEO. “They will no doubt make valuable contributions to Coast Capital Savings and their appointments illustrate our commitment to both, bringing in the best outside talent to move our vision forward and also recognizing and developing the fantastic leadership we already have on our team.”

Mr. Gaskin began his career with the organization as an assistant controller with the credit union's legacy institution, Pacific Coast Savings, and has risen through the ranks for nearly 20 years. A chartered professional accountant and former auditor with the provincial Office of the Auditor General, David provided critical financial leadership through two mergers that led to the formation of Coast Capital Savings in 2000. He has also lent financial, accounting, and analytical expertise to a wide range of projects and needs including acquisitions, annual operating plan development, budget development, enterprise analytics, and business performance reporting.

“Over my many years with Coast Capital, I have had a front-row view of the organization’s impressive financial growth as we’ve focused on meeting the needs of members. I’ve formed excellent working relationships across our business units through my career,” Gaskin said. “I hope to leverage this organizational knowledge and continue to work closely with internal and external stakeholders to maintain and build on Coast Capital’s financial strength.”

Mr. Handford has more than 15 years of strategic HR leadership experience. Matt served as senior vice-president, HR and e-Commerce, for the Forzani Group (now part of Canadian Tire), which owns leading brands such as Sport Chek, Sport Experts, and Atmosphere. He was executive vice-president of people, for WestJet, and has served as worldwide vice-president of human resources for Crystal Decisions/Business Objects, a role that involved overseeing HR teams in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

“Coast Capital has built a reputation as an award-winning, people-centred organization with a corporate culture that’s among the top ten most admired in Canada and this is an exciting opportunity to advance the credit union’s promise to change the way our employees feel about work, forever,” Handford said. “I’m looking forward to working with the HR team and staff across the organization to realize this employee promise.”

David has a master’s of business administration from Simon Fraser University, while Matt holds a master’s of industrial relations degree from Queen’s University.

Both are actively involved in the community. David has volunteered with Pacifica Housing Advisory Association and Abbeyfield Heritage Housing Society in Victoria. He now serves on the boards of both the Greater Vancouver YMCA and the BC Credit Union Pension Trust.

While with the Forzani Group, Matt was chair of the organization’s Power of Sport for Kids program, created to help disadvantaged youth participate in sports. His other volunteer experience includes, Lynn Valley’s Brockton School, North Vancouver Minor Hockey, Mt. Seymour Little League, and the Calgary Food Bank.

Coast Capital Savings is Canada’s largest credit union by membership, owned by its 522,000 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. In 2014, it invested $5.7 million into local communities, focusing on empowering and engaging youth. Coast Capital is one of Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures™, a member of Canada's Best Managed Companies Platinum Club, and an Imagine Canada Caring Company. To learn more, visit


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