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Helen Blackburn is joining Surrey, B.C.-based Coast Capital Savings Credit Union as chief strategy and innovation officer, a role that will help advance the credit union’s plans for growth, according to a statement released on Wednesday.

Blackburn’s professional experience includes a stint as senior vice president of strategy and chief financial officer of Vancouver-based Central 1 Credit Union, the trade association for credit unions in British Columbia and Ontario. She has also held senior roles in strategy and finance with Vancouver-based Credential Financial Inc. and Toronto-based Northwest and Ethical Investments LP.

Blackburn, a chartered professional accountant, was most recently senior vice president of strategy and analytics for Burnaby, B.C.-based PBC Health Benefits Society, which operates as Pacific Blue Cross.

“Helen is a transformational leader with a track record of developing strategic, operational and financial plans that have enabled the B.C. and Ontario credit union system to capitalize on growth opportunities and increase member engagement,” says Don Coulter, president and CEO of Coast Capital, in a statement.

“We are confident that her deep knowledge of the credit union sector and rich expertise in business strategy will advance Coast Capital’s mission of helping our members improve their financial well-being through simple financial help,” he adds.

The opportunity to join Coast Capital was an “irresistible” one, says Blackburn, describing herself in a statement as having a strong affinity for the credit union system.

“Coast Capital has an exciting vision and I look forward to working with the team to further build on the organization’s culture of innovation,” she says.

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