BC Credit Union Leaders Recognized for Outstanding Service

VANCOUVER – Two former B.C. credit union leaders were honoured with Distinguished Service Awards during the Central 1 Annual General Meeting on Friday, April 23, 2021. The recipients are Helmut Pastrick, now-retired Central 1 Chief Economist, and Tamara Vrooman, past President & CEO of Vancity.

The BC Distinguished Service Awards, hosted by the Credit Union Foundation of BC, are awarded to individuals in recognition of outstanding service in the BC credit union system. The award is not limited to credit union directors and employees but includes all persons who have made excellent contributions to the BC credit union system and the co-operative movement. Award recipients have extensive background and practical experience in the development and operation of credit unions, demonstrated leadership in the preservation and extension of the philosophy of “people helping people”, awareness of the role of credit unions as co-operatively developed socioeconomic institutions and the ability and willingness to speak forthrightly on credit union challenges and opportunities.

Helmut Pastrick

Recently retired, Helmut Pastrick served as Central 1’s Chief Economist, following many years working for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Helmut led Central 1’s economic department, which provides economic advisory, insight and forecasting to the B.C. (and later Ontario’s) credit union system. Having worked through multiple recessionary cycles, Helmut provided an invaluable analytical voice during times of economic duress to credit unions. Recognized across Canada as an expert economic and housing forecaster, Helmut elevated the credit union system to the forefront of media and policy makers with his objective, tell-it-like-it-is commentary. He was an original member of the B.C. government’s influential Economic Forecast Council, a group of economists appointed to provide the government with an unbiased assessment of the economy. Helmut’s expertise helped to increase the credit union system’s reputation and credibility among the financial and business community across Canada. Most recently, Helmut was named to the Expert Panel on the Future of Housing Supply & Affordability convened by the federal and B.C. governments.

Tamara Vrooman

Tamara Vrooman is a transformational leader with a strong financial background who understands the intrinsic link between a strong and sustainable economy and a healthy community.

Tamara is currently CEO of the Vancouver Airport Authority (YVR), Canada’s second busiest airport. Prior to this, Tamara was President & CEO of Vancity, Canada’s largest community credit union with $28 billion in assets, and Deputy Minister of Finance for the Province of British Columbia and as Secretary to the Treasury Board and CEO of the Public Sector Employers’ Council.

Her expertise has been sought by organizations, leaders and governments at all levels—regional, provincial, national and international—whether on the economy, social change, or environmental sustainability, and often at the intersection of all three. Most recently, Tamara was appointed Simon Fraser University’s 12th Chancellor.

Tamara chairs the board of the Canada Infrastructure Bank and the Rick Hansen Foundation, in addition to other board roles. She is the recipient of the Order of British Columbia (2019), Peter Lougheed Award for Leadership in Public Policy (2016) and BC CEO of the Year Award – Major Private Company, Business in Vancouver (2015) among many other citations.


The Credit Union Foundation of B.C. would like to offer both congratulations and thanks to the award recipients who have helped to shape B.C.’s thriving credit union system through their passion and service.


About the Credit Union Foundation of B.C.
Founded in 1958, The Credit Union Foundation of British Columbia is the provincial wide philanthropic organization of the credit union system founded and funded by British Columbia credit union members. The Foundation’s primary purpose is to provide education awards to British Columbia resident post-secondary students in need of financial assistance for academic, technological, or vocational training at accredited schools within the province. The Foundation also provides international support for cooperative programs and oversees the Distinguished Service Award given to those industry leaders who have furthered the credit union movement in BC.

For further information please contact:

Nicole Eich, Program Manager

Credit Union Foundation of BC
[email protected]