AZ Business magazine and BestCompaniesAZ present the Most Admired Companies program each year with the goal of recognizing organizations that excel in these six key areas: Customer opinion; diversity, equity, and inclusion; innovation; leadership excellence; social responsibility; and workplace culture. One of Arizona’s Most Admired Companies for 2021 is Desert Financial Credit Union.

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With hundreds of nominations representing the most innovative, impactful and successful companies in Arizona, being one of Most Admired Companies of 2021 shows that these companies truly represent the best in Arizona business. The Most Admired Companies for 2021 will be honored at an awards dinner Oct. 7, 2021, at Pointe Hilton Resort Tapatio Cliffs in Phoenix. Title sponsors for the Most Admired Companies awards are WaFd Bank and Taylor Morrison. For sponsorship information, email For information about the event honoring the Most Admired Companies, email or click here. will be spotlighting one of Arizona’s Most Admired Companies each day leading up to the awards dinner.

Desert Financial Credit Union

Most Admired Company: 2020-2021

Top Arizona executive: Jeff Meshey, president and CEO

What it does: Arizona’s largest local credit union.

Company profile: Celebrating more than 80 years in years in Arizona, Desert Financial is the state’s largest local credit union with $7 billion in assets, 350,000+ members and 47 branches. Membership eligibility is open across Arizona with contactless solutions via eBranch, making it easy to call, click or come in. As a not-for-profit cooperative, DesertFinancial takes pride in sharing success. In 2020, members received $12 million in dividends via the MemberGiveback Bonus, and Desert Financial gave more than $5 million in COVID-19 relief plus donations, scholarships and Random Acts of Kindness to our members, community and team.

Admirable trait: In 2020, Desert Financial announced its participation in a five-year research project with Filene Institute’s Center of Excellence for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Led by Dr. Quinetta Roberson of Michigan State University, the project aims to improve member experience, facilitate diversity and equal opportunity at all levels, and improve strategic performance. “We anticipate Dr. Roberson’s findings will serve as a roadmap for all credit unions for improving our best practices in diversity, equity and inclusion,” says Jeff Meshey, CEO of Desert Financial.