Grassroots Army Messages Credit Union Difference to Washington Legislators

Roger Michaelis, President and CEO of Vancouver-based iQ Credit Union, presents the 2016 Community Impact Award to Sen. Don Benton.

The 2016 Northwest Credit Union Association’s Credit Union Day at the Capitol saw record attendance. Wearing their signature yellow scarves, attendees visited the offices of all elected Representatives and Senators.

The day began with an address by Governor Jay Inslee, who lauded the Northwest Credit Union Movement for “being a vital part of a tremendous wave of economic growth we’ve had in the state of Washington.”

“I am a believer in your organizations. I am a believer in your mission,” Governor Inslee said. “You provide such a pillar of community support in times of crisis,” he noted, and specifically thanked credit unions for raising money to help victims of the Oso mudslide and last summer’s disastrous wildfires. 

“One of the secrets to your success is that people look to you as consumer friendly,” said Inslee who praised credit unions for their safety and soundness, financial education and community impact.

Senator Don Benton, who has represented Washington’s 17th District since 1997—and served in the House for several years prior—received the 2016 Community Impact Award.

“This honor is given to elected officials who have demonstrated their dedication to the people of Washington, through their support of credit unions. It is clear that Sen. Benton has been and continues to be a true credit union champion,” said Troy Stang, President and CEO of the Northwest Credit Union Association.

“You tell me another organization in the community that provides so many services and so many wonderful things outside of the financial services, and you do it all for members—not for profit, not taking any profit from the community,” said Benton. “I don’t know of any other organization that does that. It’s a unique system and I’m so proud to have helped it along.”

The advocates’ told their legislators about the cooperative structure being the cornerstone of the credit union difference, how all revenue in excess of expenses and reserves generates tangible value for members and how that value—at least $178 per credit union household last year—made a positive impact on local communities.

On Thursday, February 11, credit union advocates will gather in Salem for the 2016 Legislative Lunch at the Oregon Capitol.

Questions about this story? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225,

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