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


Charlotte Nemec

Spokane Federal Credit Union announced it has selected current Executive Vice President, Charlotte Nemec, to become its new President and CEO effective July 1, 2018. Nemec will fill the role currently held by Susan Blain, who announced her retirement in 2017.

Born and raised in a small town in Montana, Nemec moved to Spokane when she was 20 and completed her degree at Eastern Washington University. Soon after, Nemec accepted a position as a Human Resource Specialist to serve the needs of four local credit unions, including Spokane Federal Credit Union. She led Spokane Federal’s HR team for 10 years before being promoted to Vice President of Administration in 2014. Nemec is excited to shift into her new role as CEO.

“Coming from the human resource perspective, I fully embrace and recognize the importance of our staff to the success of this organization. We value our employees and our employees value our members. It’s a beautiful circle of family and friendship,” said Nemec.

Blaine spent 38 years with Spokane Federal and when she became CEO, the credit union held about $95 million in assets that has since grown to more than $154 million.

“It has been an honor to serve as Spokane Federal’s President and CEO. Spokane Federal will continue to serve its members in the true spirit of its ‘Family & Friends For Life’ motto. It’s what we do,” Blain said.

Spokane Federal Credit Union prides itself on being “right-sized”—large enough to offer the latest technology and great products and services, while also providing exceptional, personal service to their member-owners.

“We will continue to live by what makes us different in the credit union marketplace—our ability to be both high-tech and high-touch, provide an easy loan process, and our compassionate people,” said Nemec.

Picture of Inspirus CU groundbreakingInspirus Credit Union Plans a New Branch in Bremerton

Seattle’s Inspirus Credit Union broke ground last week at 5373 Auto Center Way in Bremerton. This is the credit union’s fourth branch in the state, and the first branch in Kitsap County.

“Our members in this area have asked us for years to enhance convenience by bringing them a physical branch location,” said Inspirus Credit Union President Scott Adkins. “We’re excited to announce that by the end of this year, they will have a branch in their backyard.”

The future branch is slated for completion in December 2018, and four employees will operate the credit union, serving more than 2,500 credit union members across Kitsap County. With locations in Seattle, Lynnwood, and Spokane, Inspirus plans to continue adding new branch locations across the state to support future growth.

In addition to the branch expansion in Kitsap County, Inspirus also brings their shared passion for education with plans to give back to the area’s school programs, teachers, students, and lifelong learners.

“We share a passion for education with our membership, which is why we give back five percent of our net earnings each year to support worthy education initiatives across Washington State,” said Adkins. “Joining the Bremerton community and finding new ways to support education in Kitsap County is something we’re really looking forward to being part of.”

Picture of Unitus staffUnitus Opens a New Branch in Westmoreland

Portland-based Unitus Community Credit Union has opened its eleventh branch, the newest being in the Westmoreland neighborhood of Portland. On Wednesday June 13, Unitus leadership, branch staff, members, and guests from the community will celebrate with a ribbon cutting at the grand opening event.

“Westmoreland is a culturally significant neighborhood full of engaged people, unique homes, and businesses run by close-knit teams and families,” said Unitus CEO Steven Stapp. “As people who believe in the value of helping others achieve their dreams, Unitus is a great fit here. We are excited to partner with the Sellwood-Moreland community to help individuals, families, and communities create a brighter future for each other.”

As with all Unitus branches, the staff will consist of Member Advocates—relationship-oriented employees trained to serve members with any financial need they may have. The branch will provide a full range of financial services, including checking, savings and retirement accounts; auto, business, equity and home loans; full-service deposit-taking ATMs, and personal financial assistance.

To raise awareness for the opening, Unitus is partnering with businesses in the Westmoreland community. “Guests at our grand opening will have the opportunity to receive gift cards worth up to $100, all redeemable at local businesses,” said Laurie Kresl, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Unitus. “Beginning in mid-May, we invited the community to visit these businesses, collect a Westmoreland ‘passport,’ and get their passport ‘stamped’ around the neighborhood. The more places you visit, the better your chance to win outstanding prizes. One person will even win $1,000 cash at the grand opening. It’s our way of showing that we are here to help people realize their dreams. It’s our purpose every day.”

Coquille, Oregon-Based First Community Credit Union Awards 2018 Scholarships

 The First Community Founders Scholarship was established to help support students throughout communities the credit union serves to afford the cost of higher education.

This year, First Community it pleased to announce it has awarded the 2018 Founders Scholarships to six high school students and two returning college students. The 2018 scholarship recipients are Cheyanne Bumgartner and Sydney Duncan of Grants Pass, Essie Cardosa of Reedsport, Makenzie Larsen of Myrtle Point, Emilie Sass of Monmouth, Paige Skinner of Pendleton, and returning college students Ari Dwyer and Liam Garrett.

Since the scholarship was established in 1999, First Community Credit Union has awarded $93,000 to students throughout the communities it serves.

Posted in Around the NW.