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

WSECU Uses Plastic Bag Ban as Springboard for Donation

An innovative campaign by WSECU was a win for the environment, a local nonprofit and for the credit union.

Olympia, Washington-based WSECU has launched an innovative, environmentally friendly cause marketing campaign resulting from a retail plastic bag ban in Thurston County. WSECU placed credit union-branded reusable bags in each of its branches and asked members to donate $1 per bag. WSECU then pledged to match the donations and contribute all funds to Garden Raised Bounty (GRuB), an Olympia non-profit organization working on food sustainability issues with a particular emphasis on youth involvement.

“It just hit me that we should capitalize on this ordinance change and in one fell swoop we could help members, market the credit union and support a great local partner,” said Ann Flannigan, WSECU’s vice president of public relations. “We quickly distributed the bags to the branches and they just as quickly flew off the table.”

The result was a $1,506.34 donation to GRuB.

“Our members are community-minded,” Flannigan noted. “They loved getting the bag and didn’t hesitate to pitch in to donate to GRuB. We are already thinking of what the next giveaway-donation promotion will be. It’s a powerful testimony of how by banking together we can do more together.”

Flannigan added that seeing the WSECU name on bags around town at local grocery stores is the “icing on the cake.”

Trailhead, Global Win Big at CUES National Marketing Awards

A national spotlight is shining on Kim Faucher, vice president of marketing at Portland-based Trailhead Credit Union. She was recognized as “Marketer of the Year” in the national Golden Mirror Awards presented by the Credit Union Executives’ Society (CUES).

“This award recognizes an individual who has achieved outstanding results through excellence in strategy development and execution. Candidates are selected from all first place winners, and consideration is given to those with multiple first and/or second place wins,” according to a statement issued by CUES.

Trailhead Credit Union won first place in the Point of Sale/Merchandising, Rebranding/Brand Building and Website categories. In addition, the credit union won second place in the Branch Design/Repositioning and Staff & Culture Initiatives categories.

The Trailhead rebranding campaign also won a national CUNA Diamond Award and a NWCUA Spectrum Marketing Award this year.

Capturing honors as the Brand of the Year was Spokane-based Global. Global also won first place in the Integrated Campaign category and was a runner up Rebranding/Brand Building category.

A large contingent of other Northwest credit unions won first place or runner up Golden Mirror Awards as well. Information can be found online.

Rivermark Proves Benefits of Membership With Powerful Marketing

Rivermark Community Credit Union members are keenly aware of how much money their membership saved them last year, thanks to some powerful and colorful messaging that recently landed in their mailboxes.

“Rivermark’s Member Savings Summary calculates how much money each member saves annually by having their accounts with Rivermark vs. a bank,” said Marketing Leader David Noble. “Our goal was to show members exactly how much they are saving by choosing Rivermark for their financial business. The statement shows members all their loan and deposit accounts with Rivermark and compares them to the same terms and conditions of the top 15 banks in the area. The total savings displayed on each Member Savings Summary represents the sum of all accounts the member has with us. Members with the greatest number of accounts enjoy the most savings.”

Collectively, the members saved nearly $15 million last year due to better rates on loans and savings, and fewer fees. A typical member is keeping $305 in their pocket by having a Rivermark checking account, auto loan and VISA card.

Questions about this story? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225,

Posted in Marketing & Communications.