Members in the News

Chapter Leaders: Save the Date for Webinar, Chapter Leader Workshop

The Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) is offering two upcoming training opportunities for chapter leaders in the Northwest. A webinar/teleconference is scheduled for 2-4 p.m. on May 22, and the Chapter Leader Workshop, led by Holly Duckworth, will take place on Oct. 1—the day before the NWCUA’s Convention and Annual Business Meeting.

“Many of you indicated that you would like the workshop held in conjunction with Convention,” said Kasey Rockwell, director of outreach programming for the NWCUA. “The workshop will be held on the Monday prior to Convention at the Vancouver Hilton, and we are bringing in a fun and energetic speaker for the workshop. We’re very excited about the opportunity for growth this represents for our chapters and their leaders.”

Duckworth is an experienced meeting professional and business leader delivering powerful business strategy insight to organizations across the country. Her company, Leadership Solutions International, drives sustainable leadership, volunteer training and strategic planning for trade association and non-profit groups.

Look for more details for both events as the dates get closer.

Salal Credit Union Announces New President and CEO

Russell Rosendal will be the new president and CEO at Salal Credit Union, it was announced on March 15. The popular former chief financial officer, who joined the staff in September 2008, has been instrumental in the credit union’s continued success and stability during the challenging years of the recession.

In the years since Rosendal joined Salal, the credit union has grown from $254 million to $344 million in total assets and recently exceeded $300M in deposits.

“We’ve been enjoying steady, sustainable growth during a time when many financial institutions were experiencing real difficulties,” said Alan Lederman, chair of Salal’s board of directors. “We’ve been able to focus on tomorrow when others were just hoping to survive today. A lot of that is due to Russ’s knowledge and counsel as CFO.”

Rosendal has more than 25 years’ experience in the financial services industry, having served as EVP/CFO at both Cascade Bank in Everett, Wash., and Foundation Bank in Bellevue, Wash., and as vice president of Finance, Planning and Analysis for Washington Mutual before joining Salal. Rosendal has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Washington and earned an MBA at Seattle’s City University.

“Salal Credit Union has a culture of risk awareness,” Rosendal said. “We do our research and our due diligence, and when we’ve established the best course of action, we move aggressively. Our members know their best interests guide our every move and decision; we see that trust in our branches and in our balance sheet as our loans and deposits continue to break records nearly every month. We will continue to earn that trust by making smart decisions. Salal has a very bright future, and I’m honored to play a role in realizing our potential.”

PSCCU and West Seattle Solar Project Seek Sun-Powered Future

Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union (PSCCU) is partnering with the West Seattle Solar Project, a new and innovative group purchase project aimed at helping West Seattle residents and businesses save time and money in the process of going solar.

The West Seattle Solar Project (WSSP) is the first campaign of The Cascadia Solar Project, whose mission is to jumpstart and dramatically increase the number of PV installations around the Puget Sound, especially in neighborhoods where few installations currently exist.

The project provides a streamlined process for residents and small businesses to register, learn, and purchase solar systems as a group. All systems will use Made-In-Washington modules and inverters, and all participants will receive the same low $/watt price. The only major variables will be system size and whether or not the customer wants financing.

Vashon-based Artisan Electric Inc. will be the project manager for the campaign, and is currently collaborating with members of community groups such as Sustainable West Seattle and CoolMom to get the word out. Additional partners include Silicon Energy, a Marysville-based solar module and inverter manufacturer, and PSCCU, a local credit union that provides solar financing in the Puget Sound region.

Registration for the limited-time campaign began Monday, March 19, and is open to West Seattle residents and businesses in 98116, 98126, 98136 and 98146 zip codes. Free educational workshops will be held throughout the West Seattle area on March 31, April 14, May 2, May 26 and June 24. All participants in the project will receive free solar site assessments. The group intends to install over 200 kilowatts of solar energy in West Seattle by summer of 2012.

Peninsula Credit Union Extends Educational Grant Deadline

Peninsula Credit Union is once again offering the Peninsula Education Grant (PEG), an educational scholarship program aimed at supporting educational initiatives. The program awards money to fund programs, materials and related financial resources for educators to assist in providing learning and growing opportunities for their students.

Thirteen PEGs were given out last year for projects ranging from special needs programs to solar powered cars. In all, $6,000 was made available to local educators.

Grants are available to educators in all primary or secondary classes for both public and accredited private schools within Mason, Kitsap, Jefferson, Clallam and Grays Harbor Counties. Grant amounts are awarded between $300 and $500 for implementation of new programs, continuation of existing programs, materials, equipment or supplies.

Application forms are available online at and in all Peninsula Credit Union branches. For more information, call 800.426.1601. Applications must be received by April 27, 2012.

Maps Credit Union Wins Award for ‘Buy Local’ Program

Maps Credit Union received a Best Practices award for its Buy Local program from the Credit Union National Association Marketing and Business Development Council. CUNA presented the award to the credit union at awards dinner Friday night during its yearly conference.

The awards recognize outstanding new marketing and business development approaches with potential for universal application across the credit union movement. A panel of judges selected winners based on strategy, process, application and results.

The goal of the Maps Credit Union Buy Local program is to increase the credit union’s relationships with local businesses, drive additional traffic to existing businesses and engage the community in the idea of buying local. The success of the program can be seen in the 10-percent increase in participating businesses in 2011, a 95-percent renewal rate for 2012, increased web traffic on the Buy Local page and approximately $2,500 infused into the local business community.

“The credit union staff worked to create the Buy Local program to help our local small businesses thrive in unstable economic conditions,” said VP of Development Jill Nowacki. “For so long, there has been a belief that for fine dining, good shopping, better entertainment, and competitive prices, people must leave town. Unfortunately, that means we often ignore the many options available to us locally.” The award is particularly meaningful, said Nowacki, because Maps’ Buy Local program was selected from a pool of credit unions nationwide. “More than 5,000 credit unions are eligible to enter this competition,” Nowacki continued, “so the fact that our Buy Local program was chosen to receive the award is a testament to the level of support it provides to our local business community and to our members.”

When businesses become part of the Maps Credit Union Buy Local program, they enter into a joint marketing agreement that allows the credit union to publicize special offers on the Maps website, through social media channels and in printed materials, including the quarterly newsletter. Ongoing discounts are available to Maps members and help the credit union show the distinct benefits of credit union membership. In addition, many businesses participate in a Featured Partner period. The credit union features two businesses per month on their home page, and each business offers a freebie to anyone who brings in the coupon they have downloaded from the website—both members and non-members may participate in the featured partner giveaways. At the end of the featured period, the credit union reimburses the business for the giveaways.

CUNA Brokerage Names 2012 Women of Distinction

CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc., honored 24 financial advisers with Women of Distinction awards for their superior performance, value to their investment and insurance programs, exceptional client service, and contribution to the financial services industry and the company.

Created by women, for women, the Women of Distinction awards recognize the top performing female financial advisers within CUNA Brokerage Services’ broker/dealer operation nationally. Michelle Luce of Great Northwest Federal Credit Union in Aberdeen, Wash., and Suzi Williams of Yakima Valley Credit Union, Yakima, Wash., both made the list, giving the Northwest a strong presence.

“Their contributions to the clients they serve, the financial services industry and to the women they mentor are exemplary and worthy of recognition,” said Jim Metz, president of CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc.

Candidates are nominated by industry peers, and selections are then based on the nominee’s annual performance and outlined contribution to their clientele, the credit unions they serve and the financial services industry. Award recipients participate in a national mentoring program to work with other female advisers who are new to the industry or those who wish to grow in their profession.

2012 Women of Distinction recipients include:

  • Catherine Barnes, VyStar CU, Orange Park, Fla.;
  • Emmor Boslet, Belco Community CU, Camp Hill, Pa.;
  • Julie Brand, First Light FCU, El Paso, Texas;
  • Jody Brown, Summit CU, Madison, Wis.;
  • Jane Brockway, University of Illinois CU, Champaign, Ill.;
  • Kathy Chesney, Pacific Marine CU, Oceanside, Calif.;
  • Ellen Coppinger, Y-12 FCU, Oakridge, Tenn.;
  • Wendy Cundari, North County CU, San Diego, Calif.;
  • Carol Diest, First Community FCU, Kalamazoo, Mich.;
  • Judy Ebert,  Deere ECU, Moline, Ill.;
  • Mary Finnegan-Ongaro, Members Cooperative CU, Duluth, Minn.;
  • Leigh Glover, Southeast Financial FCU, Brentwood, Tenn.;
  • Kim Hamblin, America First CU, Ogden, Utah;
  • Tiffany Haupert, Beacon CU, Wabash, Ind.;
  • Anna Kamp, Anheuser-Busch Eemployees CU, St. Louis;
  • Jane Kilby, VyStar CU, Orange Park, Fla.;
  • Michelle Luce, Great Northwest FCU, Aberdeen, Wash.;
  • Stephanie Morales, Arizona Central CU, Phoenix, Ariz.;
  • Pamela Schwartz, Alcoa Tenn FCU, Alcoa, Tenn.;
  • Swan Shen, RTN FCU, Waltham, Mass.;
  • Kim Shirk, Heritage CU, Newburgh, Ind.;
  • Cindy Sforza, Schools First FCU, Huntington Beach, Calif.;
  • Suzi Williams, Yakima Valley CU, Yakima, Wash.; and
  • Gale Zumpano; Alabama CU, Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Oregon Community Employees Volunteer on President’s Day

Oregon Community Credit Union branches and corporate offices were closed on Monday, Feb. 20, for President’s Day, but it was not a day off for staff. Oregon Community’s 200-plus employees volunteered at 15 different nonprofit organizations, contributing more than 500 hours of volunteer service in Eugene, Springfield and Salem.

Employees teamed up in groups of between five and 30 at each location, including Greenhill Humane Society, Looking Glass of Lane County, American Red Cross, WomenSpace, Volunteers in Medicine, St. Vincent de Paul, Boys & Girls Club and more. Staff volunteers participated in the following activities:

  • Cleaned and repainted at ShelterCare’s family housing complex;
  • Prepared homemade meals for residents of Oregon Supported Living Program homes;
  • Facilitated children’s activities at the YMCA School’s Out Safari program;
  • Sorted 3,500 lbs. of cell phones and accessories at NextStep Recycling;
  • Assembled 1,500 informational packets for Eugene Hearing and Speech Center;
  • Helped kids with science experiments at the Sizzlin’ Science Festival at A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village; and
  • Stuffed 20,000 plastic eggs with candy in preparation for Willamalane’s community egg hunt.

Mandy Jones, Oregon Community Credit Union CEO, said that giving back is fundamental to the credit union movement.

“One of OCCU’s core values is to make a difference in the communities we serve, and one of the ways that we can make a difference is by giving our time and our energy,” she said. “The remarkably nice thing is that the employees truly love this, and they always get back more than they give.”

Maps Credit Union Creates Foundation for Community Giving, Scholarships

Maps Credit Union is known throughout its service area for serving the community through scholarships, donations and partnerships with local nonprofits. Now, the credit union has created a foundation to centralize these community service activities.

The Maps Community Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization that was founded to bring together all of the credit union’s philanthropic efforts and place an additional focus on asset-building initiatives and financial education opportunities within our community. Its inaugural activity will be soliciting this year’s scholarship applications for college-bound students. The foundation expects to provide at least $10,500 in scholarships to area students for the coming school year. Descriptions of the various programs and their requirements can be found in the downloadable scholarship application at Applications for all programs are due March 31, 2012.

“Throughout the years, Maps Credit Union has supported many worthy causes, including Credit Unions for Kids, our scholarships to graduating seniors and sponsorships for local organizations,” said Jill Nowacki, vice president of development. “In the past several years, we have identified other community needs that the credit union is well-positioned to meet. Organization of the Maps Community Foundation creates a vehicle to provide these services and be a stronger partner to other organizations also working on asset building and financial education within the community.”

Valley Credit Union celebrates kids in April with a promotion to benefit Family Building Blocks

In honor of National Credit Union Youth Week (April 22-28), Valley Credit Union is celebrating kids the entire month of April by supporting an organization that has dedicated itself to making lives better for children in our community, Family Building Blocks.

Through the month of April, Valley Credit Union will donate $5 for every loan closed, $2 for every account opened and $1 for every “like” received on the Valley Credit Union Facebook page, up to $1,000.

“We’re excited to offer this unique promotion to our members, their families, and of course, to Family Building Blocks,” said Jean Wheat-Palm, president and CEO of Valley Credit Union. “Our friends at Family Building Blocks give so much back to our community, and as one of our strongest community partners, we’re proud to support their efforts.”

Valley Credit Union was recently awarded the “Champions for Children Block” by Family Building Blocks. This honor is presented quarterly to staff, volunteers, donors and community members that have had a wonderful impact on children and families.

Family Building Blocks is a nonprofit organization that works to break the intergenerational cycle of child abuse and neglect by providing services for high-risk families that have children six weeks to five years old. For more information about Family Building Blocks, call 503-566-2132 or visit their website at

CARES Northwest Receives Grant Support from Advantis

Thanks to a grant from Advantis’ GROW Community Fund, CARES will be able to provide educational materials to hundreds of children and families who otherwise might not be able to afford them.

Renowned throughout Oregon, the Pacific Northwest and United States for child abuse treatment and resources, CARES is the only provider of medically based child abuse assessment and intervention services in Oregon’s Multnomah and Washington counties. As a regional service provider, CARES also provides training and consultation throughout Oregon.

CARES is part of four regional health systems: Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel, Kaiser Permanente, Oregon Health Sciences University and Providence Health and Services.

CARES’ programs are designed to help children be safe and healthy.  Staff educates children and families using books, booklets and DVDs. Topics include parenting skills, recognizing abuse, healing from abuse and keeping children safe.

“We were thrilled when we heard about the generous gift from Advantis Credit Union,” said Kevin Dowling, program manager for CARES Northwest. “We know how much families—especially those worried their child has been abused—want good information to help them respond in a way that promotes healing, and protects their child from further abuse. With the support from Advantis, we can now offer these education materials for families at a time when they need it most.”

Advantis Credit Union launched its first-ever GROW Community Fund this year. The GROW Fund awards small and moderate-sized nonprofits with funding for locally identified needs. They look for seed projects that offer the most potential for long-term benefits—like those at CARES Northwest. Thanks to GROW funds, CARES can reach more families who need educational information often critical to their recovery and survival.

Schrader Joins OnPoint Community Credit Union Team

Kelly Schrader has been appointed OnPoint Community Credit Union’s senior vice president, and chief operations and risk officer. Schrader has more than 20 years of credit- and financial-services experience. OnPoint Community Credit Union is the largest credit union in Oregon, and membership is available to those who live or work in Skamania and Clark counties.

Grants Go to Granite Falls Eco-Car Program

BECU awarded a $2,450 grant for expansion of science, technology, engineering and math studies in the eco-car program for fifth-grade students at Monte Cristo Elementary School and for middle school students. The grant was one of two recently awarded to Granite Falls High School manufacturing teacher Michael Werner, who also received a $7,500 Women in Non-Traditional Roles grant from the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Two groups of students, the Shop Girls and UrbanAutos team, have designed and built two cars to participate in the Shell Eco-marathon Americas contest in Houston, Texas, at the end of March.

That funding will help introduce a robotics program at the high school, host a robotics summer camp for girls in grades 8 through 12, and provide funding for field trips.

For more information on the teams, or to donate to the program, go to the team’s website at

STCU Announces Staff Promotions, Hiring for Key Positions

Two longtime Spokane Teachers Credit Union (STCU) employees have been promoted at the region’s largest credit union, while two others have been hired to fill key positions.

  • Scott Rabe, director of project management and development, has worked in the STCU’s information technology department for 19 years, most recently as software development manager. Last year, he led STCU’s successful conversion to a new core computing system, a project that was three years in the making. Rabe, who lives in Spokane Valley, has a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Washington University and an MBA from Gonzaga University.
  • Lindsey Myhre, director of accounting and finance, has worked for STCU since 2000, most recently as financial reporting and treasury manager. She holds a degree in business administration (finance emphasis) from Western Washington University.

In addition to promoting Rabe and Myhre, STCU is pleased to announce these recent additions:

  • Keith Humphrey has been hired as a business loan officer II. Humphrey has 20 years of experience in banking and lending, with an emphasis on commercial banking and small-business banking. Humphrey, who has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Eastern Washington University, most recently was a commercial banking officer and financial analyst at Sterling Savings Bank.
  • Jeff Mularski is STCU’s new real estate manager for origination and sales. He most recently was vice president and production manager at Washington Trust Bank. A graduate of Central Washington University with a degree in business administration and communications, Mularski has more than 20 years of lending experience.

Oregon Community Announces 2012 Board Officers

Oregon Community Credit Union has announced the following board officers for 2012: Abe Kossol, Chair; Bev Anderson, Vice Chair; Genevieve Parker, Secretary; and Mandy Jones, Treasurer. Lee Beyer, Doug Wilkinson, Tom Larson and Jennifer Lushenko will serve as Directors. Jerry Liudahl is elected as Credit Manager. Members on the Supervisory Committee are Bill Phillips, Rex Ballenger, Jeanine Jackson, Jason Barber and Rick Varnum, with Greg Nelson elected as Chairperson.

The Credit Union reported its 2011 net worth as strong and posted net income of $9,606,777 and total assets of $1,038,930,727. Oregon Community Credit Union, based in Eugene, has 10 branches in Eugene/Springfield and Salem.

Oregonians Credit Union Wins Award for New Website

Oregonians Credit Union was chosen by the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) as the recipient of a 2012 Marketing Award for Best Website. Oregonians and other winners in NAFCU’s 2012 Marketing Awards program were honored in conjunction with NAFCU’s Strategic Growth Conference at the FireSky Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz., March 13-15.

“Our marketing team worked diligently with Avtec Media Group ( in creating a new website with a creative Oregon look, improved functionality and built with forward thinking technology and security in mind” said Oregonians CEO Chuck Garner.

The Annual Awards Competition recognized eight successful promotions in two credit union asset-size categories. Oregonians CU was a winner among credit unions with $150 million or more in assets.

Weber Marketing Group Clients Win Multiple Diamond Awards from CUNA’s Marketing and Business Council

Weber Marketing Group, a strategic branding and marketing agency focused on the financial industries, recently announced that several of its clients were honored with Diamond Awards at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Marketing and Business Development Council’s awards ceremony held March 9 in New Orleans, La. The CUNA Diamond awards recognize clients and agencies that produce innovative and creative marketing campaigns and help further the credit union movement.

Weber Marketing Group clients received a total of 12 of CUNA’s top Diamond Awards, as well as four Category Best Awards.

“I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to all of our clients on their CUNA awards,” said Weber Marketing Group President Mark Weber. “These awards speak to our clients’ unending dedication to their respective brands and members, and the entire credit union industry. I am proud we have been a part of their transformation and look forward to seeing them flourish.”

This year’s winning Weber Marketing Group clients were:

  • First Entertainment Credit Union
  • Georgia United Credit Union
  • Fieldstone Credit Union
  • NIH Federal Credit Union
  • BluCurrent Credit Union
  • OnPoint Community Credit Union
  • Solarity Credit Union


Do you have something to add to next month’s ‘Members in the News’? Contact Matt Halvorson, Anthem Editor:

Posted in Awards, Marketing & Communications.