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

Verity Wins Top Workplace Honors

From left to Right: Verity’s Stephanie Sievers, Justin Martin, John Zmolek, Angela Lowe and Sasha Kemble.

How do you keep more than 120 employees happy and serve your members? CEO John Zmolek and the team at Seattle-based Verity Credit Union found the secret sauce. Only now the secret’s out.

Seattle Business magazine has named the 26,918-member credit union “number one” in the nonprofit category on its “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. Verity is in good company. Mega-employers Redfin and Zillow are on the list along with Bellevue-based Smartsheet.

The companies were selected based on “extensive surveys completed by nearly 10,000 employees” according to the magazine.

Haley Andrews, the assistant manager for Verity’s Beacon Hill branch, is typical of the credit union’s evangelistic employees.

“Having moved back to the great Northwest after 5 years in Washington, D.C. and volunteering in Latin America,” she said, “I researched the top non-profits to work for in Seattle, and found Verity on the 2013 list. After reading more into the company’s mission and vision, I eagerly applied and accepted a position on the Beacon Hill team. I’ve been fortunate to work in several other non-profits who do amazing work around the world, but I’ve never felt so at home as I do at Verity. The staff and member satisfaction alike serve as a testament to the positive, caring, and supportive environment every day. I love Verity!”

Point West Announces Pedal Power Photo Contest

Say that five times fast! Portland-based Point West Credit Union is promoting the city’s bike culture with a photo contest this summer. Cycle enthusiasts are being invited to post selfies in the community, or photos with one of the Point West Portland Pedal Power bikes on the credit union’s Facebook page. For every “Like” and photo received, Point West will contribute $1.00 to the Community Cycling Center, up to $1,000. The funds will support the Community Cycling Center’s “Create a Commuter” program, which provides low-income adults with commuter bikes, lights, locks, helmets and safety training. The program reduces transportation barriers that may be preventing some of the adults from working.

Gesa Credit Union Pledges to Match Community Donations to Women’s, Teen’s Shelters

Richland, Washington-based Gesa Credit Union pledged matching funds of up to $15,000 to keep two local crisis centers open. The community was very generous, contributing more than $38,000 by July 14. With the credit union’s matching gift, over $53,000 has now been raised.

The campaign is for the continued operation of the Safe Harbor Crisis Center and My Friend’s Place Teen Shelter in Kennewick.

“The news that our community could lose these two programs is upsetting,” said Don Miller, Gesa’s President and CEO. “Credit unions exist to help people and here at Gesa we are committed to doing what we can do to help. We invite our credit union members and the community to join us in supporting this organization.”

Donations received will be collected by the credit union and distributed to Safe Harbor Crisis Center. All collected donations will be used to meet the immediate operational needs of the organization as it works to restore its gap in state funding.

Community members who wish to contribute can call or visit any Gesa Credit Union branch before July 18, 2014 to have their donation matched by the credit union. Donations must be made through Gesa in order to be matched by the credit union.

Industrial’s Feed the Need 5K Donates Over 11,000 Pounds of Food

Industrial Credit Union hosted the first annual Feed the Need 5K Run/Walk at Hovander Park in Ferndale on June 21st. The event brought in over 11,000 pounds of food to be donated to Whatcom County Food Banks, which are utilized by 1 out of 6 households in Whatcom County. Thirty-five percent of the recipients are children.

Industrial Credit Union’s Feed the Need Community Food Drive began in 1994 and has grown to incorporate a weeklong food drive in October, the Food Truck Round Up in September, and this year’s addition of the Feed the Need 5K. In honor of the 20th anniversary of Feed the Need, organizers hope to raise over 300,000 pounds of food over the course of the 3 events. Industrial Credit Union is committed to ending hunger in the communities it serves, and feels strongly that the additional events will help raise more donations than any previous year.

Questions about this story? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225,

Posted in Article Post.