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

Point West Credit Union’s Bowling Event to Raise Funds for Credit Unions for Kids

Point West Credit Union is going bowling on Saturday, May 3, and everyone’s invited to join in the fun and help raise money for Credit Unions for Kids.

The event, with is scheduled for 1-3 p.m., will take place at the AMF Pro 300 Lanes (3031 S.E. Powell Blvd., Portland 97202). The cost is $15 for a single bowler, $25 for two, or $60 for a family of five. Everyone — Point West members and non-members alike — is welcome and encouraged to participate.

In addition to bowling, the afternoon will include a raffle featuring items donated by members and local businesses. Point West has set a goal of $1,000 for the fundraising event.

Individuals and businesses can still donate prizes for the raffle, make a monetary donation (checks should be made payable to Credit Unions for Kids) or sponsor a lane ($50 includes promotional opportunities. For more information on any of these options — or to reserve a spot on the lanes — contact Randy Majors at 503.546.5000 or

For complete details, go to

Gesa Credit Union Opens New Branches in West Pasco, South Richland

Gesa Credit Union has expanded its Eastern Washington branch network to 13 locations with the opening of two new offices in April.

The new West Pasco branch, located in the booming Road 68 area of West Pasco, replaces a smaller location that the credit union quickly outgrew. It’s located at 7421 Sandifur Parkway.

The rapidly developing Queensgate neighborhood in Richland is home to the second new branch. It’s located at 2951 Duportail Street

“We have been providing outstanding member service throughout Eastern Washington for the last 60 years, and the opening of these branches extends our ability to provide the convenience that our members have come to expect,” says Don Miller, Gesa president and CEO. “When we choose to build a new branch, we give careful consideration to location. We have selected these locations in west Pasco and south Richland based on the feedback we have received directly from our members.”

In addition to traditional credit union member service officers, both branches will feature on-site mortgage and commercial lending officers, LPL-certified financial consultants, touch-screen kiosk technology to access more information about credit union products and services, and a drive-up ATM available twenty-four hours a day.

St. Helens Community Federal Credit Union to Open New Branch on Highway 30

St. Helens Community Federal Credit Union has announced plans to build a 2,500-square-foot branch at the corner of Highway 30 and McBride Street in St. Helens. The credit union’s drive-thru ATM is currently located on the site.

“When members began asking for a more convenient location that could also be open on Saturdays, we listened,” says Brooke Van Vleet, the credit union’s president and CEO. “Opening a well-situated branch on the highway will be a great opportunity to help our members save time and money.”

Administration offices and other support services will remain at the credit union’s current location in St. Helens once the move to the new location is complete. The change will allow the credit union to better manage current space needs and support future growth, Van Vleet says.

All branch locations will remain open during construction. The new branch expected to be completed before the end of the year.

Columbia Credit Union Names Ron Bertolucci, Connie Preece to Leadership Roles

Columbia Credit Union has added two longtime financial-services professionals to its executive team. Ron Bertolucci has been named vice president of business lending, while Connie Preece joins the credit union as vice president/branch manager of the Salmon Creek Branch.

Bertolucci brings more than 30 years of industry experience to Columbia. Most recently, he served as vice president/commercial business banker for a regional bank. Other roles have included senior vice president/retail banking, vice president/small business banking manager, and vice president/Spokane-area market manager for local and area banks.

At Columbia, Bertolucci will develop and maintain large business loan and deposit relationships, develop primary customer and prospect lists and assist in the operations of Columbia’s Business Lending department.

“Ron’s prior experience and commercial banking success make him the ideal candidate to service and grow the larger, more complex business loan relationships at Columbia,” says Bill Fulk, the credit union’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “He is dedicated to making the lending process a positive experience and will be instrumental in mapping our business lending growth into the future.”

Preece brings 23 years of industry experience and an award-winning background in branch sales and service to Columbia. Most recently, she was a branch manager for a Utah credit union. She also has experience in corporate leadership, loan training, and product marketing and development.

At Columbia, Preece will be responsible for ensuring the branch’s overall success, meeting goals for production, sales, service and market growth. She will also have oversight of staff professional development; ensure branch compliance with regulations and policies; and assist in advancing the strategic direction of the credit union.

“Connie has a successful history of in-depth sales and service that make her the ideal leader for our Salmon Creek branch,” says Paul Stednitz, Columbia’s vice president of branch services. “Her expertise will be central to growing our market share in the North Vancouver area.”

Matthew Russell Joins Solarity Credit Union as Chief Financial Officer

Matthew Russell has been named chief financial officer at Solarity Credit Union, where he will oversee finance and accounting, central operations and facilities management.

Russell brings more than eight years of experience in financial institutions to Solarity. Most recently, he served as the chief financial officer for River City Federal Credit Union in San Antonio, Texas.  Prior to joining River City, he was the CFO at Alamo Federal Credit Union in San Antonio and CASE Credit Union in Lansing, Mich. 

Russell holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Western Michigan University and an MBA from Michigan State University. He has served on several boards in Texas and is looking forward getting involved in the Yakima community.

Nick Leute, Christopher Stevens Elected to Leadership Positions at STCU

STCU members have elected Nick Leute to the credit union’s board of directors and Christopher Stevens to its supervisory committee. STCU’s board of directors sets policy and strategic direction for the credit union; the supervisory committee oversees financial practices and reporting to members.

Leute is the performance improvement coordinator at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Spokane. He holds a bachelor’s degree in pre-med and a master’s degree in health policy and administration, both from Washington State University. Leute has served on the WSU Health Policy & Administration Advisory Board. He also has volunteered for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Teen Group, House of Charity, and Junior Achievement-Business.

Stevens, an assistant professor at Gonzaga University’s School of Business Administration, has served on the board of Prodigy Northwest and volunteered for Boy Scouts of America, the Spokane Parks Foundation and the Burkitts Lymphoma Fund for Africa. He holds a bachelor’s degree in management/psychology from Northern Kentucky University. He also has a master’s degree in strategic management/entrepreneurship and a Ph.D. in organizational behavior, both from Case Western Reserve University, where he previously was an instructor of management. Other past positions include director of special projects at EGC Construction Corporation.

In addition, credit union members re-elected two board members: Dolores Humiston, who joined the STCU board in 2009; and Mike Rennaker, a board member since 2011. STCU’s board of directors includes 11 elected credit union members, with another three on the supervisory committee. All are volunteers who serve three-year terms.

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


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