News & Notes: Here’s What’s Happening Around the Northwest

Amy Nelson Named President/CEO of Point West Credit Union; Nick Hodson to Join Rivermark Community Credit Union as Finance Leader

Amy Nelson has been named president and CEO of Point West Credit Union.

Nelson, who previously served as the credit union’s chief operating officer and co-CEO, assumes the new role with the departure of Nick Hodson, Point West’s chief financial officer and her fellow co-CEO, who will leave April 30 to become the new Finance Leader at Rivermark Community Credit Union.

“We will greatly miss Nick, an integral member of our Point West family, but this is not goodbye. We wish him every success at Rivermark, and our credit union community will continue to benefit from his leadership,” Nelson says.

Nelson will lead a credit union that continues to experience positive transformation and restoration since 2010, when it implemented a net worth restoration plan to shore up its finances after the worst financial recession since the Great Depression. Since completing that plan in 2013, Point West has received its Low Income Designation from the NCUA and, as of April 2014, successfully transitioned to a community charter, serving Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington and Yamhill County.

“Amy has a proven track record at Point West as a fantastic leader with the skills and experience necessary to lead Point West confidently into the future,” says John Savory, chairman of the credit union’s board. “The board truly believes the best is yet to come for Point West and its members. We wish Nick good luck in his new position and thank him for his critical contributions to sustaining and strengthening the credit union.”

iQ Credit Union President/CEO Roger Michaelis Says He’ll Retire in October

iQ Credit Union President/CEO Roger Michaelis, who announced late last year that he would retire in 2014, has made it official: He will leave the credit union in October, after 29 years of service.

The credit union’s board of directors has already begun a national search for Michaelis’ replacement. The new CEO is expected to be named during the fourth quarter of 2014.
“For the past 29 years, our credit union has benefited and prospered from Roger’s leadership,” says James Sork, the chairman of iQ’s board of directors. “His tenure with iQ exceeds that of any current board member, and his contributions to the business and nonprofit communities are significant.”

Michaelis joined Clark County School Employees Credit Union as president/CEO in 1985. At the time, the credit union had $38 million in assets, 9,500 members and 36 employees. Michaelis spearheaded a name change in 2004 and a consolidation in 2005 with City Employees Federal Credit Union of Clark County, and he is now overseeing plans to merge later this year with neighboring Lacamas Community Credit Union.
Today, iQ’s field of membership has grown beyond Clark County to include the entire state of Washington. When the merger with Lacamas is complete, the combined financial institution will boast more than $725 million in assets, a staff of 250 employees and approximately 70,000 members, with 15 locations and five high school branches.
“The years working at iQ Credit Union have been the most rewarding and fulfilling of my career,” Michaelis says. “I am forever thankful to the board of directors, my executive team, our employees in the credit union and members for their support.”

Michaelis serves as a member of numerous regional and national committees, councils, task forces and boards. During his tenure, iQ’s community involvement and philanthropic support has focused on strengthening education and health for children in the community, especially on behalf of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

“Roger Michaelis has been a critical part of Credit Unions for Kids since it began in 1986,” says Dr. H. Stacy Nicholson, Credit Unions for Kids professor and chair of the department of pediatrics at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. “His leadership, enthusiasm and advocacy for Doernbecher has helped raise more than $10 million for our patients. We appreciate what the partnership with Roger and his team at iQ Credit Union has accomplished for children’s health care in our area.”

Michaelis was honored during iQ’s annual meeting March 11 in Vancouver. His retirement will no doubt also be a big topic of conversation at iQ’s Credit Unions for Kids Wine Auction, which has always been special to Michaelis. This year’s event is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday, April 18, at The Governor Hotel in Portland, with proceeds benefitting all six of the region’s Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Gesa Credit Union Raises $13,811 for JA of the Greater Tri-Cities

Gesa Credit Union staff and members have raised $13,811 for Junior Achievement of the Greater Tri-Cities as part of the credit union’s continuing commitment to financial education.

“I am truly humbled by the generosity of our members and our staff,” says Gesa President/CEO Don Miller. “We are proud to take part in helping to shape the future leaders of our community.”

Gesa staff hosted bake sales, sold promotional items, raffled gift baskets and donated money to wear jeans to work on Fridays in support of Junior Achievement. Gesa members contributed by purchasing items sold at the branch, including paper schoolhouses.

Funds were distributed at Junior Achievement’s annual bowling event, where 14 teams represented Gesa. (Those bowling teams took home two prizes for their costumes and a top fundraising prize during one of the bowling shifts.)

Junior Achievement is dedicated to teaching children the importance of personal financial literacy, workplace readiness and entrepreneurial thinking. The Greater Tri-Cities chapter regularly recruits community leaders to help deliver financial education to the more than 10,800 students in the Tri-Cities and Walla Walla areas; in 2013, two dozen Gesa volunteers dedicated their time, energy and creativity to the mission.

In addition to support for Junior Achievement, Gesa offers annual college scholarships, supports student-run credit unions in seven high schools, and provides free financial education classes to the community. For more information about the credit union’s commitment to financial education, visit

American Lake Credit Union Partners with Sallie Mae to Offer Private Education Loans

American Lake Credit Union will partner with Sallie Mae to offer members a private education loan program that helps families save money and pay off their loan faster than other alternatives.

The Smart Option Student Loan program is designed to supplement federal student loans and other financial aid and can help students cover up to 100 percent of education expenses. The program offers competitive interest rates to degree-seeking students, as well as in-school payment options to help those students graduate with less debt. On-time payment rewards and interest-rate discounts for automatic payments also help lower expenses.

Members can choose from variable or fixed rates and three in-school monthly repayment options. Depending on the option selected, the typical freshman could save anywhere from 17 percent to 49 percent in interest charges, the credit union estimates, and pay off the loan three to eight years faster after graduation, compared to a conventional payment-deferred loan with a 15-year term.

To help families make informed borrowing choices, loan applicants receive a series of clear disclosures explaining loan terms and estimating total costs.

“Sallie Mae is delighted to partner with American Lake Credit Union to assist families seeking responsible solutions to make the investment in a college education,” says Jerry Maher, Sallie Mae’s senior vice president. Since its founding nearly 40 years ago, the company has helped more than 31 million people pursue their educational goals.

For more information about the loan program, contact Cathy Fitzer, branch manager and community relations officer for American Lake, at 253.582.3831 or

Columbia Credit Union Hires Doug Davis as Vice President for Lending Sales

Doug DavisDoug Davis has joined Columbia Credit Union as its vice president for lending sales, bringing with him 13 years of industry experience and expertise in retail branch, direct-to-consumer, ecommerce, purchase and bilingual business lines.

Davis will lead the delivery of loan products to members. He will be responsible for loan product/program development and administration, as well as staff management and leadership. He will also assist in advancing the Vancouver credit union’s strategic direction.

“Columbia CU is on track to creating a word?class retail experience for members,” says Liz Stewart, Columbia’s senior vice president and chief lending officer. “Doug’s mortgage experience and success in building and leading sales efforts make him the ideal candidate to bring exceptional member experience and service to the forefront of our lending programs.”

Davis most recently worked for a national bank, where he served as a retail bank branch territory lending manager. He also has worked as a senior lending manager, mortgage officer/sales supervisor, and mortgage consultant. Active in the community, Davis has been a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement and the Asian Real Estate Association of America.

“I believe that the path to financial wellness begins with great member service, whether it’s online or inside a branch,” Davis says. “I look forward to working for an organization that is dedicated to putting members’ needs first.”

Cannizzaro Joins Solarity Credit Union as Vice President of Branch Operations

Solarity Credit Union has hired Matthew Cannizzaro as its new vice president of branch operations. He will oversee management of the credit union’s retail branch network.

Cannizzaro has more than 10 years of experience in financial institutions; most recently, he served as the branch manager for Washington Federal Bank in Omak. Before joining Washington Federal, he was a regional operations manager at SunTrust Bank in Atlanta.

Cannizzaro, a native of the Federal Way area, holds a bachelor’s degree in Religion from Liberty University and a master’s degree in Church Planting from Liberty Theological Seminary. He is an avid outdoorsman, and says he is looking forward to exploring the treasures of the greater Yakima Valley with his young family.

Questions about this story? Contact Gary M. Stein: 503.350.2216,

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