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

Eight OR, WA Credit Unions Ranked Among Nation’s Most Financially Healthy

WECU ranked number seven on a list of the 200 most financially healthy credit unions in America by, and seven other credit unions in Oregon and Washington made the list.

  • WECU (#7)
  • Columbia Credit Union (#18)
  • Cascade Community Credit Union (#99)
  • OSU Federal (#127)
  • Numerica Credit Union (#179)
  • United Health Services Credit Union (#189)
  • Consolidated Community Credit Union (#190)
  • Fibre Federal (#199)

The list was calculated using the Texas Ratio — which compares a FI’s at-risk loans to the funds on hand to cover those loans — and also deposit growth and capitalization.

BECU Awards $100,000 to Local Nonprofits

BECU announced Wednesday the 17 non-profits who will split $100,000 as winners of its People Helping People Awards. For the second year running, the credit union asked its members to nominate their favorite local nonprofits, and then awarded the winners between $5,000 and $15,000.

Sixteen nonprofits received $5,000 Community Benefit Awards, including Vine Maple Place, which also received the $5,000 People’s Choice Award, which was chosen by popular vote on Facebook. Outreach and Resource Services (OARS) for Women Veterans received the largest award, the $15,000 Member Volunteer of the Year award.

Julia Sheriden, founder of OARS, was discharged from the Marines over three decades ago, and found herself dealing with injuries and PTSD, without the government support she felt she’d been promised.

She lost her job and ended up homeless for a few months. “It was humiliating,” she said. Finally, a fellow veteran who worked at the unemployment office gave her some helpful advice. Sheriden told the woman that when she got back on her feet she would come back and take her out to lunch. “If you get back on your feet, just help someone else,” the woman said.

Sheriden did just that. After getting her own life together and learning how to get the necessary services from the Veterans Administration, she began helping other veterans do the same, especially women.

She founded OARS to continue that work, providing online resources and annual events to help veterans navigate both the challenges of coming home and the bureaucracies of government support.

“We don’t really have a lot of money, but we help a lot of people,” Sheriden said. She had thought OARS was up for one of the $5,000 prizes. “If OARS gets $5,000, that’s really big. But we got $15,000!”

Sheriden said that the money will be invested in a revamped website full of resources for veterans, and in programs that will help them grow their membership.

“It’s a very prestigious thing,” she said. “It says to veterans, hey, what you did counts.”

BECU received over 500 nominations from their members. “We were overwhelmed with the response we received from our membership,” said Sara Moorehead, BECU vice president of co-op affairs. “It solidifies for us that our members are truly living out the credit union philosophy of People Helping People.”

USAgencies Launches Social Media Campaign to Support Credit Unions for Kids

USAgencies Credit Union rolled out a new social media campaign today, promising to donate $1 to Credit Unions for Kids for every Facebook like they get in the month of September, up to $250. The effort is funded by their Platinum VISA card, and will specifically support Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

USAgencies enlisted the expertise of Portland-based social marketing firm CafeGive Social to create the campaign.

“The Community Giving team here at USAgencies is excited to launch this initiative,” said Molly Walter, the credit union’s director of marketing communications. “Partnering with CafeGive was a great way to engage others and show our passion for Credit Unions for Kids.”

Verity Marketing Chief Sings National Anthem for Mariners Game

Melina Young, director of marketing at Verity Credit Union, was tapped to sing the national anthem at a recent Mariners game. She said it was something she had wanted to do her entire life.

“Many kids pretended to be professional athletes or astronauts,” said Young. “I used to pretend I was singing the national anthem at large arena sporting events. So, this is definitely something I consider being checked off of my bucket list.”


Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790,

Posted in Marketing & Communications.