James Olson was most recently the President of FirstOntario Credit Union. Known for his innovative and versatile leadership style, his influence was evident in FirstOntario’s workplace culture. FirstOntario experienced remarkable growth and profit, seeing the successful opening of seven new branches and two acquisitions of smaller Credit Unions.
He held multiple senior leadership roles during his tenure with FirstOntario, beginning with Vice President, Human Resources in 2008. His extensive industry knowledge and strong performance led to his appointment of Executive Vice President and Chief Administration Officer in 2012, and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in 2015.
His 27-year career began in the British Columbia credit union system, where he gained exposure to all facets of operations. He was also a part time instructor at the BC Institute of Technology.
James credits his success to a foundation of experience and education in marketing from the BC Institute of Technology. He completed his Certified Chief Executive (CCE) designation through a partnership with the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University and the University of Virginia. James also obtained the Chartered Director (C.Dir.) designation from The Directors College (a collaboration between McMaster University and The Conference Board of Canada) in 2019.
His true passion lies in the areas of human resources, organizational development, employee development, change management and workplace culture. He is certified in change management processes and behavioural assessments.
James brings decades of progressive leadership experience from the financial industry and will focus on developing a workplace culture that is well positioned and prepared for exponential growth and expansion. The opportunity to scale the barter industry, develop a dynamic one of a kind culture and team and build stronger communities through the BarterPay It Forward Foundation is what James is looking forward to the most.