News and Notes: Here’s What’s Happening in Northwest Credit Unions


Gesa Credit Union Donates $46,000 to Local School Districts

Gesa Credit Union presented $46,087 to representatives from the Kennewick, Richland, Pasco, and College Place School Districts and Delta High School. The funds from this donation are part of a partnership agreement between Gesa Credit Union and the school districts, which allows community members to raise funds for the students while also showing their pride for their favorite area high school on their Gesa VISA® debit card. The co-branded debit cards are free to Gesa members with a checking account.

“Supporting the communities where our members live and work is a part of Gesa’s philosophy as a credit union, which includes strong support for financial education and community engagement,” said Don Miller, president and CEO of Gesa Credit Union. “I am very proud of our members who have embraced these cards and have joined us supporting positive school experiences to enrich student learning.”

Advantis Credit Union Awards $50,000 in GROW Grants to Local Nonprofits

Advantis Credit Union has named the seven nonprofit organizations that will receive grants through GROW: The Advantis Community Fund. Since its launch in 2011, Advantis’ grant fund has contributed over $350,000 to local organizations and funded 46 projects.

This year, Advantis invited members and the community at large to vote on 12 local projects, chosen by a selection committee, through the Advantis Facebook page and website. More than 22,000 public votes helped to determine the following seven grants:

  • Chelsea Hicks Foundation will receive a grant to purchase a professional lift for Chelsea’s Closet, a travelling therapeutic active dress-up and play program that visits hospitals to provide monthly dress-up parties for seriously ill children.
  • CODA, Inc. will receive a grant to create a backyard playground at the Stepping Stones treatment center. The playground will give children a safe space for active play as they bond with their mothers who are undergoing treatment.
  • Friends of the Children Portland will receive a grant to construct a dedicated youth-study space at the organization’s NE headquarters building.
  • Portland Homeless Family SolutionsGrant will receive a grant to nearly double the number of families at the organization’s overnight shelters by creating two additional sleeping rooms at the Goose Hollow Shelter. The grant will also help pay to expand the current day shelter, Thirteen Salmon, into a night shelter to host six families.
  • Q Centerwill receive a grant to replace more than 100 florescent lights with energy-saving LEDs, cutting the organization’s electric bill by over half. Savings will then be used to improve other services like increasing Wi-Fi range, upgrading computer lab equipment, increasing ADA accessibility, and providing free space usage to other nonprofits and community groups.
  • Rose Haven will receive a grant to provide supplies for Rose Haven’s new shower facilities for women and children, and will include new shower stalls, reception furniture, a new washer and dryer, towels, toiletries, undergarments and more.

“As a not-for-profit cooperative, we’re proud to partner with our members and the public in choosing grant projects that will most benefit our community,” said John Nichols, Advantis Credit Union’s vice president of marketing. “GROW helps us understand how vitally important neighborhood needs and priorities are to our community giving decisions.”

TwinStar Credit Union Celebrates Grand Opening of New Branch in Aberdeen, WA

TwinStar Credit Union recently celebrated the grand opening of their new 5,000 square foot branch in Aberdeen, Washington.

The new retail banking hub replaces a smaller, aging location, and serves the Aberdeen market with a full range of financial products and services while also supporting high transaction volumes.

“We’re pleased to open this modern branch in Aberdeen.  The inviting design combined with the high degree of functionality will allow us to serve our loyal members in Aberdeen for a long, long time,” said Jeff Kennedy, TwinStar Credit Union President.

The branch features a tech bar that staff can use to educate members in using mobile technology, and laptops that help staff access core systems anywhere in the branch, teller pods to support the local members’ preferences for in-person transactions as well as hotel offices for more private, consultative transactions.

Posted in Around the NW, Community Impact.