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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

Jeff Meshey

President & CEO

Desert Financial Credit Union

Location: Phoenix

Founded: 1939

Industry: Financial Services

Jeff Meshey is the president and CEO of Desert Financial Credit Union, a leading financial institution based in Phoenix.

Born and raised in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Meshey developed a strong work ethic and an entrepreneurial spirit. He graduated from the University of Mount Union with a degree in accounting and became a certified public accountant. He began his career with Ernst & Young, specializing in financial institution audits.

In 1994, Meshey joined Desert Schools Credit Union as vice president of finance. Over the years, he demonstrated his leadership skills and built meaningful relationships beyond numbers.

In 2017, following the retirement of the previous leader, Meshey assumed the role of president and CEO. He led the organization through a rebranding from Desert Schools Credit Union to Desert Financial Credit Union, a significant undertaking that aligned the institution’s mission, vision and values, the credit union said. Under Meshey’s leadership, Desert Financial has achieved over 90% job satisfaction among employees.

“If you have ever spoken to another leader about rebranding, you know that it is a massive undertaking,” Meshey said. “For our team specifically it was a big lift because we planned and executed the rebrand in-house. There were a lot of risks to consider and critical decisions to make along the way. We knew that if we refused to innovate and adapt to our members’ needs and the changing business environment, we could potentially be left behind and miss out on some amazing opportunities. We even produced a TV commercial which aired during the Super Bowl featuring local icon Alice Cooper supporting our ‘Schools Out’ advertising campaign. In the end, our rebranding changed our entire organization for the better and I am incredibly proud that we took that risk.”

In the next five years, Meshey aims to expand the membership base and continue the credit union’s commitment to sharing financial success with the community. Desert Financial will strengthen its reputation for giving back through grants, gifts, initiatives and volunteer efforts, driving change in the communities it serves, the organization said.

Under Meshey’s leadership, Desert Financial expanded its service area with a statewide charter and opened new branches in Northern Arizona. Membership growth has increased, community giving has doubled and total assets have surpassed $8 billion.

Desert Financial has received numerous accolades, including being named the Top Credit Union in Arizona by Forbes and winning the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Ethics. Meshey has been recognized as a Most Admired Leader by the Phoenix Business Journal and has received awards for excellence in philanthropy and banking.

One of Meshey’s proudest achievements is the development of the InvestEd program, which provides eligible employees with opportunities for continuing education through Arizona State University’s online platform. This program offers tuition coverage for bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, empowering team members to advance their careers and personal growth.

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Jeff is  a Cardinals, Diamondbacks and Sun Devil superfan.  


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