John Moreno, Managing Partner at Newcleus CU Advisors

Get to Know John Moreno- Managing Partner at Newcleus CU Advisors

At Newcleus Credit Union Advisors, we believe in providing our clients with full transparency. In an effort to display this value, we’ve decided to give you a little insight into who our team is beyond Newcleus. We’ll start with John Moreno, Managing Partner at Newcleus CU Advisors. 

“If you know me, you know that when it comes to sharing about myself, I’m a lot more reserved. Normally I can’t stop talking about financial concepts, the history of finance, and other educational topics. Speaking about my life and my personal history leaves me feeling vulnerable and so I am hesitant to do so.  

While I have been extremely blessed in a number of ways and have achieved various levels of success, I always feel as if I’m being judged or falling short against unknown measures. This might stem from my background at the Air Force Academy or in athletic endeavors, or just the way I was raised. 

I grew up in a small mining town in Arizona, with my mom, dad, and brother.  My mother was the administrator at our local hospital (management) and my father was a union employee at a local copper mine.  I used to joke, I had labor and management at the dinner table virtually every night!  That being said – they both deeply respected hard work, personal sacrifice, and looking to the long-term.  You see, my father grew up during the depression, so he knew poverty first hand.  I think this fed his inspirational work ethic which hopefully rubbed-off. During my childhood, I was extremely fortunate, never having to worry about food, shelter, education, or finances, and my parents showed me unconditional love– which, believe me, I tested! 

As I navigated through school, I was blessed with outstanding teachers and was also able to pick up concepts relatively quickly. Thankfully, I went through high school before “travel teams” and “club teams” became the norm – as such I was able to play basketball, baseball, and football during my middle and high school years. The combination of decent grades, participating in athletic and other endeavors, and good test scores allowed me to be accepted by the US Air Force Academy (USAFA) for college – this was truly a dream come true!

In my time at the Academy, I met some of the smartest, most patriotic, and service-oriented people I’ve ever met. In my opinion, the curriculum at USAFA is unlike any other. They strive to teach their students to be able to interact intelligently with anyone they come into contact with, from philosophy to engineering. However, the best lesson I learned from my time at the Academy is the ability to pivot- and no, this is not because the Air Force Academy is the only military institution that trains cadets to free-fall skydive solo on their first jump! It actually relates to the end of my time at the institution.

My time there came to a sudden end when I was diagnosed with kidney disease.  Though it didn’t affect my physical performance then and doesn’t have an effect on my life now, it is unfortunately a factor that did not allow me to remain with the Air Force. My dream since my youth was to be a military leader, however that dream slipped away with this diagnosis. And thus, I had to pivot. 

The second lesson from that pivot – make sure plan “A” and “B” are not highly correlated!  My plan “B” was to enlist, still be a member of the military and serve our country (I figured grades would be my downfall, not health!) So with my diagnosis, my plan ”B” was also out the window- I hadn’t developed a sound plan “C”!

I took a one-year gap between the Air Force Academy and attending the University of Arizona in Tucson to work construction in Colorado. After that lesson in the “real world,” it was time to further my education. Off to the UofA, I went!

While at the UofA, I was privileged to be a member of the cheerleading team. I also walked-on the swim and dive team as an intercollegiate diver. In my spare time, I joined the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and experienced a different type of brotherhood than that of my academy experience. 

The University of Arizona brought me to the most amazing part of my life- my wife, Bernadette. She is the rock of our family, and I don’t know where I, or my three boys, would be without her! Bernadette has been with me through the twists and turns of my career and has supported me and our boys in everything we do.  I truly thank heaven for sending her to me every day of my life! 

One of the things Bernadette has reinforced is the need to have a vision for the future and to work doggedly to achieve goals to realize that vision. As such, she has been a true partner in the path we’ve taken to help serve credit unions and their members better. Additionally, she has encouraged my crazy athletic goals resulting in completing two Ironman triathlons and numerous shorter-distance races. The training needed for those endeavors wouldn’t be possible without a supportive partner in the effort!

As I said earlier, my path has taken a few different twists and turns to get me where I am today. My desire to serve and my desire to put client interests above all else led to my career in the credit union industry. Because my previous experiences involved so many different roles and industries, I find it easier to share complex concepts with credit union boards. A credit union board is not usually comprised of financial experts.  They often have members from all walks of life.  Through the serendipity of my winding journey, I often find it easy to relate to and communicate with credit union volunteers. This is one of the most valuable benefits I’ve received from this journey. 

As I look back on this path, a couple of the most important lessons I have learned include: 

  • Always be learning – be a perpetual student!
  • Provide value through service to others.

One question my marketing team asked was “if you could peer ahead, and look back on your life Get to Know John Moreno, Managing Partner at Newcleus CU Advisorsfrom an advanced age, what advice would you give yourself now?” As I reflected on this question, I remembered three funerals: my best friend in high school, my father’s, and that of my mentor at the Air Force Academy. What I saw in those three different, yet similar, episodes was real evidence of the impact a person could have if they lived true to their values, served others, maintained friendships, and worked hard. The impact these three different individuals had on so many lives was astounding, and it showed through their celebration of life. With this in mind, I would tell my younger self to work on creating a positive impact on as many lives as possible through work, service, and companionship.

Thank you for taking the time to read a bit more about my personal life. I hope this insight gives you a bit more of an understanding of who I am beyond my role at Newcleus CU Advisors. Everything I’ve shared contributes to how I strive to serve our clients and lead our organization today. My goal is to serve others in a way that positively impacts their life. I choose to live that creed in both my personal and professional life.”

Work with someone you can trust- contact Newcleus CU Advisors today!