Ilka Bene, right, with Gina Sandulo, of Deloitte Canada. A former employee of First West Credit Union, Sandulo was responsible for initiating Bene’s nomination for HR Professional of the year.

Long-time Vancouver Island resident Ilka Bene has received top honours from the Chartered Professionals in Human Resources of B.C. and Yukon.

At the association’s annual conference on May 3, Bene, a Mill Bay resident and First West Credit Union leader, took home the Award of Excellence – HR Professional of the Year.

This prestigious industry designation is granted annually to an HR practitioner who demonstrates leadership, achieves business results and improves their organization’s bottom line.

“It means a great deal to be recognized by my peers as a strong contributor in the HR profession,” says Bene, assistant vice president of human resources at First West. “I’ve dedicated more than 30 years to HR—the last 15 with Island Savings, now a division of First West Credit Union.”

Bene was nominated for her contributions in bridging the culture of Island Savings—a credit union dating back to 1951—into the bigger picture of First West.

“The contributions of HR professionals are integral to the success of any organization,” Bene explains. “This is especially true during times of dramatic change. First West’s unique model posed the interesting challenge of bringing together our cultures.”


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