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Friday, April 4, 2014

Meriwest CEO presents Keynote Address to High School Students

Meriwest CEO presents Keynote Address to High School Students

SAN JOSE, CA – April 4, 2014 – Independence High School’s Academy of Finance, in San Jose, CA, recently hosted a Student Networking event where students were instructed on the fine art of social mixing, networking, and building relationships. The event also included a panel of business speakers, breakout business education sessions, and a keynote address. This year, Meriwest Credit Union’s President and CEO, Julie Kirsch, served as the Keynote Speaker for the Academy of Finance students.

The Academy of Finance (AoF) is a small learning community offering high school students an opportunity to study accounting, international trade, leadership, and the use of technology in preparing for college and the financial services industry. It also allows students the opportunity to earn college credit while still in secondary education. The program is offered in more than 260 secondary education institutions nationwide. Meriwest Credit Union staff has served on the AoF Advisory Board for over five years.

In her keynote address, Ms. Kirsch spoke to the students about her experiences as a college student and as a small bookstore owner when she was 21 before she found her way back to finish her degree. It was not until taking a marketing class as part of her business major that she had finally found her niche. As she took more marketing classes she discovered it was the part of business that most appealed to her and eventually became her major and path to leadership. Since joining Meriwest Credit Union in 1991, Ms. Kirsch has been the Vice President of Marketing, Executive VP and Chief Operations Officer, and, effective August 2013, President and Chief Executive Officer. The major take away from Ms. Kirsch’s address was that as high school students, it’s okay if you don’t have it all figured out yet with respect to education and career aspirations. She said that students should find what they like doing, work really hard, be passionate in what they do, ask lots of questions and make the most of the opportunities presented to them.

"Having Meriwest CEO, Julie Kirsch, be the featured speaker was an inspiring story to aspire to greatness for the AoF Academy Scholars.” said Academy of Finance President, Mark Clark. “Since the majority attending were female, I feel they may have a different outlook from others! Anything is possible for these students! Thanks, Julie."

“I hope I was able to de-myth the perception that the road to being a CEO is always meticulously planned. There is an awful lot of stress and pressure on youth today to have a road map and life plan so I wanted to let them know that it is okay to be unclear about the future.” said Julie Kirsch, President and CEO of Meriwest Credit Union. “Success comes from finding what you love doing and doing it very well. I’m confident that the students in attendance will find their path to success, whatever that might mean, particularly given they are ahead of the curve through their

Photo Caption: Julie Kirsch presents to Independence High students at the Academy of Finance Student Networking Event. 

About Meriwest Credit Union

Meriwest Credit Union, one of Silicon Valley’s largest and established financial institutions, has been providing proactive, personal, convenient and innovative financial services to over 67,000 businesses and families throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Tucson, Arizona, for more than 50 years. More information can be found at

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