The business of acting local
Sidhu’s story begins in Campbell River, B.C., where he grew up. His parents worked in real estate and had a strong connection with many of the local businesses. Growing up in a tight-knit community taught Sidhu the importance of relationships, reputation and being invested in your backyard. These are all traits that have travelled with him throughout his career.
“In a smaller community, it’s all about building genuine relationships, and your brand is critical because everybody knows one another by name. Those are the same philosophies that help guide us in the credit union system as well,” explains Sidhu.
After gaining valuable experience working within a few different senior roles at various financial institutions, Sidhu returned to Envision Financial in the spring of 2017 where he now works as the Regional Manager of Commercial Banking, leading the largest centre for First West Credit Union. The advantages of working with a member-owned cooperative were clear for Sidhu.
“What I love most about the credit union culture is having the ability to be nimble towards change and staying in tune with what is happening in each community. The needs of business in Surrey could be vastly different than the needs of business in downtown Vancouver. You can’t paint all businesses with a broad brush.”
He’s quick to point out why having a local perspective is essential when it comes to supporting the objectives of local businesses.
“All of our local communities are unique. They all have nuances and economic differences that play a huge factor in the decision-making process for local businesses. Being able to support these businesses with their financial strategies and having a seat at the table means that we have earned their trust, and trust is essential in this business,” says Sidhu.
Supporting his community
The “act local” mantra isn’t reserved only for the office. Sidhu is heavily involved in his community of Surrey and surrounding areas, where he lives with his wife Ruby, and their two sons, Arjun and Karam. He is very supportive of sharing his leadership lessons through local mentorship— having facilitated development workshops at local schools focused on leadership, public speaking, and personal branding.
His main community focus now is on the Swing FORE The Full Cupboard annual golf tournament that he founded two years ago. The tournament raises food, funds, and awareness for Envision Financial’s signature cause, The Full Cupboard – a community program that supports food banks in the communities where the credit union operates.
With Sidhu’s guidance and leadership, Envision has been able to raise over $130,000, the equivalent of 490,000 meals that local food banks can provide those in need in the community.
“We know that hunger has no boundaries and that local food banks are such an important pillar in our communities. This tournament is just one of the ways our entire organization is working towards our goal of eradicating hunger,” says Sidhu.
He’s also quick to point out that it is a team effort that goes into this tournament.
“This event is planned and executed solely by Envision volunteers. It’s inspiring to see the passion, commitment and time that they commit to this tournament, and it’s reflected in the tremendous success that we’ve been able to have thus far,” says Sidhu.
Sidhu is extremely proud of the work that’s gone into the golf tournament and hopes that the success will continue for many years to come.
About Envision Financial
Envision Financial is a premier provider of banking, investment and insurance services for residents and businesses throughout the Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland and Kitimat regions. As a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.’s third-largest credit union with 51 branches throughout the province, Envision Financial brings innovative products, an extensive branch network and local decision making to the banking experience. For more information on Envision Financial, visit www. envisionfinancial.ca