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

Kitsap Chapter Aims for CU 4 Kids Hole-in-One

The Kitsap County Chapter of Credit Unions is hosting a charity golf tournament on September 17, and they are inviting credit unions and vendors from around the region to join them in raising money for Credit Unions for Kids.

“With only three credit unions in our chapter, we need our credit union friends to help us fill our field,” said Scott Prior, President and CEO of Connection Credit Union. “We hope you’ll consider joining us and supporting this worthy cause.”

The scramble-format tournament will take place at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Washington, and kick off with a 1:00 p.m. shotgun start. 

Those interested can get more details and register on the Kitsap County Chapter website, or contact Scott Prior at or 360-307-6400 x6416.

Red Canoe Credit Union’s Canoes Overflowed

Red Canoe Credit Union’s Fill the Canoe School Supply Drive hit a nine-year record. This year, the credit union collected and matched 14,333 pounds of school supplies for local area children.

“The response we saw from our community was heartwarming. We saw an outstanding 520-pound increase over last year’s totals,” said Red Canoe President/CEO, David Spaulding.  “We had 70 business, charity, and civic organizations join us this year. It’s a wonderful program and we could never do it without the help of our staff, members and very generous communities.”

Fill the Canoe was founded in 2007, shortly after the credit union changed its name. A large focus of the credit union’s giving-back philosophy surrounds their commitment to children’s literacy – making a school supply drive a natural fit for Red Canoe. Each year, Red Canoe collects needed school supplies for area children and then matchesthose donations pound-for-pound.  

Since its inception, over 75,000 pounds of school supplies have been collected and matched by the credit union. Photos and further details are available at or on the credit union’s Facebook page.  

Consolidated Community Creates 3,000-Square Foot Community Art

Rip City residents who pass the corner of Grand Avenue and NE 6th have noticed a popular message from an unlikely source.   Consolidated Community Credit Union has produced a giant piece of art on the side of its Lloyd District Building paying tribute to the NBA’s most diverse fan base.   

The building rendering – created by Portland artist Tom O’ Toole displays a cross section of the distinctly Portlander-like interests of Trail Blazer fans. Artwork representing the biking community, the city’s love for coffee, the food cart community, and its love for soccer, music, donuts, microbews and roses surrounds the headline “We are Rip City.”   

“We started remodeling the building right after Damian Lillard hit the renowned last second, game winning shot in game six against the Rockets…so, I probably had a little Blazer pride flowing through my veins,” said Larry Ellifritz President and CEO of Consolidated Community Credit Union. Given CCCU’s proximity to the Moda Center and its high traffic location on Grand and the potential to deliver community message, CCCU went for it.  “As a credit union we feel we are much closer to the community than a typical national bank and wanted to express that with a mural that the entire city would identify with.”

“Trailblazer fans are far from stereotypical and we wanted to demonstrate that diversity with something fun and approachable,” said Tom O’Toole.

ACU’s Ken Leonard inducted to DCUC Hall of Honor

America’s Credit Union’s (ACU) President/CEO, Ken Leonard, was recognized by the Defense Credit Union Council (DCUC) at their annual conference in Las Vegas, NV. Established in 2000, the DCUC Hall of Honor recognizes a select few individuals whose exceptional contributions over the years have made a significant and most noteworthy difference in the defense credit union community and the DCUC.

The coveted award highlights the outstanding accomplishments of credit union leaders, volunteers, management, and staff alike, whose untiring efforts and endless support of the credit union movement epitomize the DCUC’s values and philosophy of serving those who serve our country.

Since starting his career at ACU in 1979, Ken has been deeply committed to serving the local military community on Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). Under his direction, the credit union has donated over $1.5 million to support military families. Fourteen years ago, Ken started an annual holiday troop support golf tournament to raise money for military families during the holiday season.

 Ken has also generously given space in ACU’s Main building on JBLM to Rally Point 6, an organization that provides veterans and military families a pathway to targeted resources and bridges the military-civilian gap through shared service in our community. Rally Point 6 now has a place on the installation to council transitioning soldiers in finding employment in the civilian workforce.

In addition to Rally Point 6, Ken has offered space to the USO Northwest. Once approved by the USO board, there will be a USO location on the Fort Lewis side of JBLM to serve soldiers, retirees, and their families. The space will contain computers to access Skype, a lounge area, and a United Through Reading room where service members are recorded reading a book and the recording is sent to their child to watch during deployment.

WSECU Seek Volunteers for Financial Reality Fair

WSECU is facilitating a Financial Reality Fair and we’re looking for volunteers to give us a hand. What is a Financial Reality Fair, you ask? It’s an educational, interactive simulation event for high school students.

Students are given scenarios that place them in the future after completion of a form of secondary education. The simulation gives students an opportunity to experience what life looks like on their own, with financial responsibilities.

Your role as a volunteer will be to assist the students through the simulation at various stations. These valuable events are dependent on participation from our Community Partners like you. With your participation, we are able to offer high schools this valuable experience at no cost.

Here are the details for the upcoming event:

  • Location: King’s High School, 19303 Fremont Ave N., Seattle WA 98133
  • Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2015
  • Time: 7:30am – 12:00pm  (We will be facilitating three Reality Fairs during this time)

What to bring: your business cards, life experience and a smile!

To sign up as a volunteer or if you know someone who is interested, please contact Karen Childs, WSECU Community Relations Coordinator, at or (800) 562-0999 x35704.

Solarity Hires New Mortgage Lending Officer

Solarity Credit Union has hired Karla Viveros as their newest Mortgage Lending Officer (MLO).

In 2015, Viveros was named as one of the top 250 Latino mortgage loan originators in the United States by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP). She comes to Solarity with over eight years of banking experiences and over six years of mortgage lending experience. In her previous position she worked for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage as a Sales Supervisor. Viveros’ work experience provides her with an understanding of how to develop lasting relationships with individuals by meeting their mortgage needs.

In addition to her work experiences, Viveros received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Central Washington University. Her education coupled with her mortgage lending experience provides Viveros with the tools necessary to get prospective home buyers the best mortgage loan possible. 

As the top mortgage lender in Yakima and Kittitas County, Solarity Credit Union continues to demonstrate their commitment to making positive things happen for their members and the community. Karla Viveros’ focus on providing members with superior value and superior service is what makes her a great fit as the newest MLO at Solarity.

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790,

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