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Elevations Credit Union named a national Top Workplace by USA Today

USA Today recently announced Elevations Credit Union as a recipient of the national Top Workplaces 2024 award.

Elevations ranked as a top employer, outperforming more than 75 percent of similar-sized organizations (500-999 employees). Of approximately 370 total organizations recognized in this category, the credit union is one of 21 Colorado-based organizations and two Boulder-based employers.

“We are honored and proud to be recognized as a top workplace in the nation,” said Elevations President and CEO Gerry Agnes. “We strive to be the best place our employees have ever worked, and it’s so rewarding to see we’re making that a reality.”

The list and rankings are determined solely by employee feedback gathered through a survey administered by a third party, Energage LLC. The confidential survey uniquely measures 15 culture drivers that are critical to organizational success. More than 68% of eligible Elevations employees participated.

Leading up to this honor, Elevations was recognized by Top Workplaces 2023 as a national leader in the financial services industry in addition to the following cultural categories: compensation and benefits, innovation, leadership, purpose and values, professional development, employee well-being, employee appreciation and work-life flexibility.

In 2023, Elevations Credit Union was also named one of the top 10 places to work in its size category via the Denver Post’s Top Workplaces award. Additionally, the organization is a twotime winner of the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award, the only presidential recognition for performance excellence that a U.S. organization can receive.

“It’s incredible to see that our employees feel heard and valued,” said Chief People Officer Tammy Teitscheid. “When people feel they’re making a difference and believe in a purpose, we all win.”

Elevations offers a competitive benefits package, hybrid options for support staff, volunteer time off, self-led employee resource groups centered on women, mental health, the LGBTQ+ community, the Hispanic community and veterans. The organization also offers frequent feedback touchpoints throughout an employee’s tenure. For professional development, the organization offers free LinkedIn Learning courses, work mentorship and shadowing. Elevations also frequently promotes employees from within the organization.

Gerry Agnes — CEO of the Year 2022 Finalist

Colorado is full of devoted entrepreneurs, business leaders and tech-savvy visionaries who are constantly taking the business world to new heights. It’s no secret that here, at ColoradoBiz, we love the Colorado business community. That’s why, every year, we spotlight the most impressive CEOs throughout our Centennial state and give credit where credit is due — to the forward-thinking minds constantly chasing the next great idea and upholding their business practices to the most purposeful ideals. We’re proud to introduce our finalists for CoBiz’s prestigious 2022 CEO of the Year award.

READ: 2022 CEO of the Year — John Street


Gerry Agnes  
President & CEO, Elevations Credit Union 

Gerry Agnes, CPA-turned-community banker, has been CEO and president of Elevations Credit Union since 2008. With 600 employees, the organization serves more than 176,000 members in 16 Colorado counties. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Elevations launched a deferment program for members with consumer and commercial loans, adopted CARES Act forbearance options for those with mortgages, created short-term repayment plans to aid members with negative balances on checking and savings accounts, and assisted 4,041 members through mortgage forbearance and consumer and commercial loan deferments – all to ensure members wouldn’t face penalties resulting from unpredictable financial hardship. 

READ — CARES Act stimulus payments: What to know and what to watch for

Scotsman Guide, the authoritative news and data source for residential and commercial mortgage originators, ranks Elevations the No.1. Credit Union Mortgage Lender in Colorado, and in 2021, the National Youth Involvement Board ranked Elevations No. 1 in reaching the most students in Colorado with financial literacy presentations. 

When Agnes, now 63, initially interviewed for the CEO position in 2008, Elevations had $776 million in assets. Upon being hired, he boldly set a goal for Elevations to win the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Fourteen years and two Baldrige awards later, Elevations is closing in on $3.5 billion in assets. 

5 Ways Small Business Owners in Colorado Can Survive Inflation

More than 50% of American small business owners who responded to CNBC’s latest “Small Business Confidence” survey think the U.S. economy is in “poor” condition and say inflation is their top challenge. Time has proven that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans weren’t a cure-all for pandemic-related issues small business owners in Colorado are facing. The good news is there are a few things well-meaning business leaders in a bind can do now to improve customer relations and cope with higher federal reserve interest rates.

READ — How the Inflation Reduction Act May Impact Your Business

Think Like a Pilot — Get a Line of Credit Now

Would you rather fly with a pilot who stares at the controls or is constantly scanning the horizon for unexpected obstacles? The answer is obvious, yet many small business owners in Colorado lack a strategy for weathering economic shifts. The pandemic proved how important it is for small business owners to monitor their expenses, know which levers they can pull to generate cash flow and have a financial safety net independent of government aid. Vigilant scanning allows for earlier detection of challenges, while a line of credit can provide a short-term path for adjusting strategies. Small business owners who opened lines of credit before COVID-19 were able to absorb rising costs over time to help bridge the gap between when they paid their vendors and when they could pass the increased cost along to their customers. The best time to apply for a line of credit is when finances are stable. Once disaster strikes, it’ll be more difficult to get it approved or get help financing losses. 

Know Which Levers to Pull to Generate More Cash Flow

  • Increase gross profit (for example, by increasing your prices or reducing your cost of sales.)
  • Improve accounts receivable collection (i.e., shorten your cash operating cycle) by shortening the payment terms you offer your customers or making a stronger effort to collect overdue balances
  • Increase accounts payable turn rate by paying bills at the latest allowed time and renegotiating terms with your suppliers 
  • Invest your spare cash. If your cash flow has become stable and predictable, you can consider investing your excess cash. You can earn additional interest income as well as have the necessary cash to dip into during tough times.

READ — Choose Your Own Adventure: What’s Your Investment Path? 

Be Transparent

Being candid with your customers is essential for relationship building. Small business owners in Colorado should be forthcoming about challenges they’re facing that impact the customer experience, share what steps they’re taking to address them, admit mistakes, encourage feedback and show gratitude for customers and staff at every opportunity. Customers want to know you’re making choices that align with their wants, needs, values and charitable interests. 

Don’t Cut Corners With Culture and Talent Management 

American small business owners have a reputation for paying minimum wage and expecting maximum commitment from staff. That doesn’t work in the era of “The Great Resignation,” even in Colorado where the minimum wage will increase 8.68% to $13.65 per hour in 2023. To attract and retain top talent, small business owners in Colorado need to cater to what today’s workers want — and it’s not just more cash. The pandemic increased demand for better health benefits, work-life balance, flexible schedules, empathetic leadership and respect. About 58% of U.S. workers polled for the Argyle-Leger Confidence Report cited respect as their top work-related work motivation. 

READ — The Great Resignation’s Untapped Talent: The Autism Community

Prove Your Product/Service Is Worth the Price

Small business owners generally want to provide quality goods and services at affordable prices but may not know how without hurting their profits. Some simply can’t for reasons beyond their control, like chronic supply chain disruptions. So, what can a small business owner do to calm a customer who balks at, say, a $20 sandwich? Show how increased prices come with increased value in the form of customer experience, customer satisfaction, customer service and community support. For instance, that $20 sandwich would be easier to swallow if customers knew it was made with high-quality ingredients sourced from ethical ranchers and farmers based in Colorado. Providing a unique experience and outstanding customer service is one of the few advantages small business owners in Colorado have over impersonal online competitors. 

Keep Calm and Call Your Financial Partner

It’s a tough time for small business owners in Colorado. However, help and peace of mind can be found. We encourage you to bring your questions and concerns to a business banker who is uniquely equipped to debunk scary news reports with facts that enable small business owners in Colorado to make educated decisions.


Nadine Trujillo Rogers Nadine Trujillo-Rogers, Business Banking Sales Manager, Elevations Credit Union

Paul Watkins HeadshotPaul Watkins, Senior Commercial Loan Officer, Elevations Credit Union

Gytis Tuminas HeadshotGytis Tuminas, Vice President of Finance, Elevations Credit Union 

Business Expansion is Still Possible

As someone who has served Front Range businesses with over 14 years in the industry, as a commercial loan officer with Elevations Credit Union I’ve seen, and helped, businesses weather the hard times and prosper in the good times. Most of what I do is advisement. Yes, I am going to secure your loan, but I am also there to share how to achieve milestones and take the next steps for your business.

The COVID-19 pandemic certainly surprised us all in how quickly we had to pivot to a world where sheltering at home was safest, and we are still navigating this new normal in our daily lives. The pandemic has also amplified many of the barriers to expansion that businesses face: hiring a skilled workforce, cost of and access to building materials, and the availability of land as demand increases. Looking at this list can be daunting for any business owner, and there are challenges facing businesses of every size across industries and across the country.

Something I’m passionate about is helping businesses overcome challenges and find opportunities to achieve their long-term goals, and many businesses share the goal of expansion.

For those wanting to expand — with the right preparation, guidance, and planning you will be able to achieve your goals. Part of navigating these challenges to achieve your goals comes down to being aware of the nuances of the issues and identifying organizations, funding sources, and individuals capable of helping achieve your goals.

The first step is planning — and it’s something you can do each day without being overwhelmed by world events.


The first step is planning — and it’s something you can do each day without being overwhelmed by world events. If you have your finances, staff, and realtor in order, you will not have to scramble when the time is right to make a move. Being prepared is one piece to the puzzle, and having trusted advisors involved in the conversation to help guide you makes expansion more attainable.

Build a Team You Trust

With trusted advisors, organization, and planning, you are enabled to make an informed decision. When you have a team you can depend on for honest input, it makes it easier to answer questions, like whether or not now is the right time to expand, if it makes more sense for you further down the road, and what may be other options.

Timing, Timing, Timing

A lot is possible for you and your business, the key is finding the right advisors, being prepared and — perhaps most importantly — timing. This can also be the one factor most out of your control. This is why being prepared and having a trusted team of advisors will lead to not only you feeling ready to take the next step, but actually being ready when the timing is most advantageous toward meeting your long-term goals.

While these times are unpredictable and daunting, it’s good to stay optimistic about your goals and continue to work each day to lay the foundation for future growth and expansion.


If you’re ready to take the first step in building your trusted team, visit: Elevations Credit Union.

Barnes Jason 220126 0303 JpegJason Barnes is a Commercial Loan Officer for Elevations Credit Union.