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13 CA and NV CUs on ‘America’s Best Credit Unions’ Forbes List

The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues would like to congratulate 13 locally headquartered credit unions across California and Nevada that ranked on Forbes annual “America’s Best Credit Unions in Each State” list!

For this seventh annual ranking, Forbes partnered once again with market research firm Statista to survey approximately 26,000 U.S. residents on their favorite financial institutions headquartered in each state, including credit unions.

Participants were asked to name all the banks and credit unions where they currently have — and previously had — a checking or savings account, and to identify financial institutions they know through the experiences of friends and family.

Respondents were also asked to share their level of satisfaction with the bank or credit union, their willingness to recommend it to others, and to rate the organization based on criteria. This included customer service, the quality of financial advice offered by representatives, fee structures, ease of navigating digital and in-person services, and the degree of trust the financial institutions inspired.

Survey responses from the last three years were taken into consideration, with more recent data and responses from current customers weighted more heavily in the analysis than the older data and responses from former members, customers, and friends and family.

All told, 207 credit unions and 185 banks were ranked in one or more states. The rankings for these top credit unions in California and Nevada are as follows:

California State Ranking

  • 1) SchoolsFirst FCU: 2,871 employees; CEO Bill Cheney; founded in 1934.
  • 2) Arrowhead CU: 486 employees; CEO Darin Woinarowicz; founded in 1949.
  • 3) American Airlines FCU: 787 employees; CEO Gail Enda; founded in 1982.
  • 4) Valley Strong CU: 592 employees; CEO Nicholas Ambrosini; founded in 1940.
  • 5) Global CU: 1,975 employees; CEO Geoff Lundfelt; founded in 1948.
  • 6) Logix FCU: 833 employees; CEO Ana Fonseca; founded in 1937.
  • 7) 1st Nor Cal CU: 89 employees; CEO David Green; founded in 1949.
  • 8) Patelco CU: 857 employees; CEO Erin Mendez; founded in 1936.
  • 9) California CU: 512 employees; CEO Steven O’Connell; founded in 1933.
  • 10) Noble CU: 205 employees; CEO Gino Cayanan; founded in 1941.
  • 11) Golden 1 CU: 2,052 employees; CEO Donna Bland; founded in 1933.
  • 12) San Diego County CU: 900 employees; CEO Teresa Campbell; founded in 1938.

Nevada State Ranking

  • 1) Mountain America CU (headquartered in Utah with a large Nevada footprint): 3,298 employees; CEO Sterling Nielsen; founded in 1936.
  • 2) Clark County CU: 202 employees; CEO Matt Kershaw; founded in 1951.
  • 3) America First CU (headquartered in Utah with a large Nevada footprint): 3,341 employees; CEO Thayne Shaffer; founded in 1939.
  • 4) One Nevada CU: 201 employees; CEO Paul Parrish; founded in 1950.

For each bank and credit union, Statista collected online text reviews and ratings posted between February 2021 and March 2024. This research accounted for 20 percent of the scoring while the surveys accounted for 80 percent. Financial institutions with the highest scores landed on the credit union and bank lists. Large nationwide banks and credit unions with branches in more than 15 U.S. states — such as JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo — were excluded.

“The best credit unions, however, are addressing these risks head-on,” states the Forbes article. “Golden 1, in fact, is using AI to spot identity theft and offering customers educational programs to help them defend against fraud. Still, it’s not easy for consumers to assess which organizations they can trust with their financial wellbeing. So Forbes has made that task a little easier for consumers by ranking the Best Credit Unions In Each State 2024.”

The article goes on to state that technology has been both a blessing and a curse for the nation’s credit unions, which are defined as community-centered financial nonprofits in which each member is a part owner. While digital advances have made managing one’s finances more convenient — with tools that enable customers to handle tasks remotely, such as depositing checks through an app, transferring funds online, and receiving answers to questions via text — these tech innovations have also opened up the doors to digital fraud.

“Unfortunately, financial institutions and their customers are commonly targeted by scammers,” said Golden 1 CU CEO Donna Bland, as quoted in the Forbes article.

You can read more here!

As with all Forbes lists, companies pay no fee to participate or be selected. For questions about this list, email


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