Credit Unions Building Stronger Communities


Harborstone Named Corporate Partner of the Year by the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business Consulting and Business Development Center

To celebrate its 22nd anniversary, The Consulting and Business Development Center of the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business recognized business, civic, and student leaders who have made an impact on growing businesses and jobs in underserved communities across Washington State, and on accelerating students’ careers. Harborstone Credit Union was honored as Corporate Partner of the Year for its work with the university and the business community.

For the past three years, Harborstone Credit Union has partnered with the University of Washington on a program that provides summer internships to UW undergraduates. Those undergraduates work with women-, minority-, and veteran-owned businesses and Harborstone loan officers to craft loan applications that allow these businesses to access much-needed capital.

This unique program provides critical career development for students and vital funds for underserved local businesses. To date, almost $1 million in loans has been granted.

“As a member-owned cooperative, we feel it is our responsibility to help build our communities. We’ve had years of experience assisting businesses in their financial success. It made sense to lend our expertise to businesses that might normally be overlooked by big financial institutions,” says Phil Jones, CEO of Harborstone Credit Union.

“Harborstone is demonstrating to students and local businesses how much credit unions care about our communities and how much they are willing to help communities prosper,” says Ivan Barron, UW Lecturer and Assistant Director of the Consulting and Business Development Center.

Students are learning valuable business skills and businesses are thriving due to Harborstone’s uncommon approach to helping the communities it serves.

Following is a video that illustrates Harborstone’s microloan program.

Pictured from left: Jake Carse, President, Home with Heroes; Larry Smith, Chairman, Community Military Appreciation Committee; Steve Kenny, President and CEO, Columbia Credit Union; Mike Maxwell, Board Member, Returning Veterans Project; Paul Lipscomb, Executive Director, Returning Veterans Project; and Michael McCarrel, Director of Operations, Returning Veterans Project.

Columbia Credit Union donates $25,200 to local veterans organizations

Columbia Credit Union recently presented three local veterans organizations with checks for $8,400. The donations, totaling $25,200, were a result of the credit union’s fall vehicle loan promotion honoring local veterans.

During the promotion, the credit union committed to donating $100 for each new and used vehicle, boat, RV and motorcycle loan made online or in branches between Oct. 16 and Nov. 11, 2017. A total of 252 loans qualified for the promotion. The $25,200 total was divided among three local, non-profit organizations that serve veterans: Community Military Appreciation Committee (CMAC), Home with Heroes, and the Returning Veterans Project.

“We’re proud to support local organizations that provide important services and support to veterans,” said Columbia Credit Union President and CEO Steve Kenny. “We’re committed to making life better in the communities where our members live and work. These donations are just one way we can honor our veterans and thank them for their service to our country.”

This is the third year Columbia CU has held a vehicle loan promotion in honor of local veterans. Through these promotions, the credit union has donated a total of $48,900 to veterans organizations: $9,800 in 2015, $13,900 in 2016, and $25,200 in 2017.

Past donations have benefited CMAC and Home with Heroes. This year, the Returning Veterans Project, which provides free and confidential mental health and central nervous system healthcare services for post-9/11 war zone veterans and their families in Oregon and Southwest Washington, was added to the list of organizations included in the promotion.

“The Returning Veterans Project is proud to serve post-9/11 war zone veterans and their families in Clark County through our network of community providers,” said Returning Veterans Project Board President Mike Maxwell. “Our partnership with Columbia Credit Union will allow us to continue our expansion project in Southwest Washington.”

CMAC connects Southwest Washington veterans advocacy organizations and promotes community events that honor veterans and their families. “Columbia Credit Union has been a presenting sponsor of our community’s Veterans Day Observance for six years,” said CMAC Chairman Larry Smith. “CMAC values their commitment to our veterans, active, Guard, and reservists to include their military families. They are always there; and we thank them!”

Home with Heroes is committed to bringing veterans and active duty military together and into the outdoors, to honor and thank them for their service. “Columbia Credit Union has been one of our sponsors since Home with Heroes started in 2011,” said Home with Heroes President Jake Carse. “Their sponsorship and employee involvement has helped us reach our goals each year. We’re thankful for their partnership and commitment to our community.”

First Tech Donates $24,500 to SMART Through Its “Season of Giving” Initiative

During their fifth annual “Season of Giving,” First Tech Federal Credit Union members and employees directed more than $200,000 and 3,000 volunteer hours toward organizations building stronger communities through education, research, and innovation. SMART (Start Making a Reader Today) was one of the charities benefiting from the generosity, receiving a $24,500 donation.

This donation reflects one of First Tech’s philanthropic focus areas: support for education (STEM, early childhood literacy and financial education).

The donation to SMART will directly benefit children from underserved communities throughout Oregon. SMART works to get books into the hands of children at pivotal points in their academic development, inspiring a love of reading and providing the vital one on one support and resources they need to meet literacy and learning benchmarks. First Tech’s donation will fund libraries for over 400 children, building brighter futures one imaginative mind at a time.

The donation to SMART is a continuation of the credit union’s ongoing philanthropic work within local communities, supporting organizations focused on lasting change.

“We are delighted to support the children participating in SMART’s reading programs, empowering them to learn and dream through the magic of reading,” said First Tech President and CEO Greg Mitchell. “Their mission aligns with our credit union values of people helping people, mobilizing thousands of volunteers across Oregon to support kids in our community and developing a strong foundation for children to learn and thrive.”

In 2017, First Tech provided more than $3 million in charitable giving and 27,000 employee volunteer hours to the community; directing dollars and time to nonprofit partners who provide programs and services to children and families in need.

Posted in Around the NW.