Financial Health Made Easy
Salal Credit Union is open to all residents of Washington State. We're not-for-profit and member-owned, which means we focus on people--not profit.
We will treat you differently than any other financial institution you've ever experienced. Our simple promise is an accessible and easy banking experience within a supportive member and employee community. We offer practical, personal financial advice to help you achieve your goals and improve your financial health.
Peace of Mind
Salal is a member in good standing with the Better Business Bureau.
We engage in proactive, responsible and conservative lending practices, and all deposits are NCUA-insured to at least $250,000.
- Our History
Salal Credit Union was started in 1948 by a group of nine doctors from Group Health Cooperative, with initial deposits totaling $48 and a single branch on Capitol Hill. Now Salal has five branches in the Puget Sound area and has an "open charter"--anyone who lives, works or worships in Washington State is welcome to join.
In 2010, the credit union, then named "Group Health Credit Union," changed its name to Salal Credit Union to reflect its increasingly diverse membership. Salal is a lovely, glossy, native shrub often used in flower arrangements.
The leadership of Salal felt the salal plant, with its ties to native communities in the Northwest, its healing properties and its hardy nature, was an apt symbol for the credit union. In 2011, to make it easier for new members to join, Salal opened up its membership requirements so that members need only "maintain an open and active deposit or loan account" to remain with Salal.
Salal is open to anyone in Washington State, but the credit union maintains close ties to the local healthcare industry and those who work in the healthcare field. We at Salal are proud of our roots in healthcare and proud to continue serving those who help us be and stay well.
- Executive Team
Russ Rosendal, President and Chief Executive Officer
Russell Rosendal serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Salal Credit Union, one of Washington’s largest credit unions with over $300 million in assets and approximately 30,000 members. Russell first served Salal as its Chief Financial Officer from 2008 until being selected to fill the CEO role in 2012. A proven strategic, high integrity, energetic leader, Russell had the confidence of Salal’s Board of Directors and our staff before taking the lead as CEO. He is a passionate advocate of the credit union and its members, and he has the vision and expertise to help Salal set and maintain a successful, sustainable course as we grow.
Before coming to Salal, Russell was the Vice President of the Finance, Planning and Analysis Group/Home Loans for Washington Mutual. His ability to communicate and coordinate across multiple divisions helped his team earn “Elite Group” ranking and resulted in increased efficiency throughout the corporation. Prior to Washington Mutual, Russell was Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary at Foundation Bank in Bellevue and Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary at Cascade Bank in Everett.
Russell earned a Masters of Business Administration from City University in Seattle and a Bachelors of Arts in Economics from the University of Washington. He lives in Mukilteo with his family and happily serves as Treasurer for the Mukilteo Little League.
Carol Belland, Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer
Carol has been called upon to serve in many critical roles during her long tenure at Salal Credit Union, including Interim CEO. In her official position as EVP/COO, Carol is responsible for overseeing many of the credit union’s largest and most ambitious projects, including upgrades to CU systems and programs, the 2010 rebrand to Salal, and remodels of Administrative offices and branches. Carol manages Salal’s day-to-day operations and participates in the development of strategic, long-term goals and the action plans needed to reach those goals. Carol also currently serves as Vice President of the CUES Puget Sound Council; Vice President of Woodmont Country Club, her local community Board; and is a board member for HealthPoint. She lives in Des Moines with her husband.
Sheryl Kirchmeier, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer
Sheryl has extensive experience in developing successful Marketing programs. Her initiatives are driven by strategic thinking, competitive research and marketplace analysis, and most importantly, member and staff input and feedback. Before coming to Salal, Sheryl served as Senior Vice President, Northern West Coast Division Marketing Manager at Bank of America and Senior Group Product Manager/First Vice President at JP Morgan Chase. Sheryl has a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from Washington State University and lives in Seattle with her husband and children.
T. Skott Pope , Senior Vice President, Retail Financial Services
Skott’s skill at building and leading effective sales teams is based on a deep understanding of members’ needs and wants. He has a proven track record of creating staff training and professional development programs to help staff be the best service providers possible. Skott focuses on education, believing only a knowledgeable employee is equipped to handle the needs of a diverse membership. Before Salal, Skott served as Senior Manager of Member Solutions at BECU and AVP of Corporate Communications for Washington Mutual.
Robert Schweigert, Senior Vice President, Chief Lending Officer
Bob leads our Business Services, Lending, and Member Solutions teams. A graduate of the University of Oregon with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Bob is skilled in managing profitable lending business units and designing and implementing new products and services. Bob came to Salal from Wells Fargo where he was a Vice President – Senior Private Banker. Prior to Wells Fargo, Bob was Vice President of Lending at 1st Security Bank of Washington. An avid golfer and cyclist, Bob can be found enjoying his rare free, sunny days on the links or on the trails.
Geoff Swarts, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
Geoff’s long tenure in the financial services industry means there’s little he hasn’t seen. A Six Sigma Black Belt, Geoff knows the importance of involving experts across all divisions in problem solving and strategic planning. He is committed to maintaining Salal’s focus on our members while drawing on our many resources to keep our Credit Union stable and growing. Geoff comes to Salal after thirty years with Bank of America where he served as SVP/Process Design Consultant – Retail Sales; SVP/Quality & Productivity Executive – West Division, and SVP/Senior Finance Manager – West Division.
- Board of
Alan Lederman, Board Chair, is the Chief Financial Officer at Community Health Plan of Washington. Prior to working at Community Health Plan, Alan spent almost 20 years at Group Health Cooperative, in a variety of roles in the finance division. Alan has been a member of the Salal Board for the last three years and a member of the Salal Asset/Liability Management Committee (ALCO) for the last 5 years, and has been a member of Salal for over 10 years. Alan is a graduate of the University of Washington with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting.
Dr. David Sherer, Board Vice Chair, retired Director of Clinical Laboratories at GHC, is a graduate of New York University and SUNY at Buffalo School of Medicine. He has worked at the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute in the viral oncology unit; as a Fellow at the Uganda Cancer Institute; he interned at the University of California San Diego and completed his medical residency at the NYU-Bellevue Medical Center, where he was chief resident in Clinical Pathology. He also studied at the NYU Graduate School of Business Administration—all before beginning his long tenure at Group Health Cooperative. Dr. Sherer is a long-serving member of the Salal Credit Union Board and has served in many capacities on both the Board and Committees.
Laura McMillan, Board Secretary, is currently the Vice President for Strategic Planning and Deployment of Group Health Cooperative. Laura has a Bachelor's degree in Healthcare Management from Whitworth University and an MBA from the University of Washington. She has been a member of Salal since 1990 and lives with her family in Shoreline.
Sharon Dooley is a registered nurse who worked at Group Health Cooperative for 37 years before her retirement in 2003. She has been the chair or a member of the Salal Supervisory Committee for over 35 years. Sharon is a University of Washington graduate with a BS in Nursing. She served 4 years in the Army Nurse Corps prior to her employment at Group Health Cooperative.
Helen Harte is the Director of Quality at Community Health Plan of Washington. Prior to this she was the Director of Risk Management and Patient Safety at the Puget Sound VA System. She is a registered nurse with a Master’s Degree in Public Health from UCLA and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Washington. Helen is the Organization Science Program Affiliate for the New England Complex Systems Institute in Cambridge. Her work responsibilities primarily include whole systems assessment and performance improvement. She is a member of Salal and is impressed with the services provided by the Credit Union.
Dick Woo is currently Finance and Administrative Services Manager and CFO for King County’s Community Services Division. He previously served as Director of Finance and Administrative Services for the Housing Authority of the City of Seattle. Dick has over thirty years of financial management experience in the public and private sectors, including positions with the U.S. Government Accountability Office, Washington Mutual Bank, and the City of Seattle. Dick Woo is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Government Financial Manager, with a degree in accounting from the University of Washington. He currently serves on the Salal Board and Supervisory Committee and is the past chair of the Credit Union’s Asset/Liability Management Committee (ALCO). Dick has been a member of Salal for more than 30 years.
Dennis Hightower is currently senior corporate legal counsel to Group Health Cooperative, with a primarily transactional and regulatory practice, emphasizing finance, business and real estate transactions, state and federal regulatory matters, and health sciences research issues. Dennis has an economics degree from the University of Washington and a law degree from the University of California – Hastings College of the Law. Dennis has served on the Salal Board of Directors since being elected in 2007.
Jamie Lee is the most recent addition to the Salal Board. She has served on the Supervisory Committee and is currently chair of the Asset/Liability Management Committee (ALCO). Jamie has worked at Group Health Cooperative since 2003, first as a Senior Accountant and since 2006, as Statutory & Tax Reporting Manager. Before signing on with the Cooperative, she was a Senior Field Auditor at the Washington State Department of Revenue. Jamie earned a BA with a Concentration in Accounting from the University of Washington and became a CPA in 1995.
News You Can Use
Download the latest print issues of our member newsletter News You Can Use. (Downloads are in PDF format and require Adobe Reader, available here.)
- Fall 2012
- Summer 2012
- Winter 2012
- Fall 2011
- Summer 2011
- Winter 2011
- Fall 2010
- Summer 2010
- Winter 2010
- Fall 2009
- Summer 2009
- Winter 2009
Download past editions of our Annual Report. (Downloads are in PDF format and require Adobe Reader, available here.)
- What is a
What is a Credit Union?
A credit union is a not-for-profit, cooperative financial institution, owned and controlled by the members who use its services. As consumer-owned businesses, credit unions operate solely to provide low-cost, vital financial services and resources to their members.
Who is Eligible?
Virtually anyone in the U.S. can join a credit union based on where they live, work, or worship. Salal Credit Union allows anyone who lives, works or worships in Washington State to join and currently serves nearly 30,000 members.
Credit Unions vs. Banks
Banks are for-profit institutions that are owned by outside stockholders and controlled by paid boards, which are responsible for boosting profits through higher fees and loan rates.
Credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions formed by members with a common bond who pool their assets to provide loans and other financial services to each other. Because credit unions exist to serve their members, they distribute profits as dividends to their members (not shareholders) and offer lower loan rates, higher savings rates and fewer service fees than banks. Credit unions are governed by volunteer Boards of Directors elected from the credit union membership base.
Like bank deposits, credit union deposits are insured for up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration. Not one penny of insured savings has ever been lost by a member of a federally insured credit union.
The Credit Union Difference
Because credit unions like Salal Credit Union have members, not shareholders, they can keep fees and interest rates on loans lower and returns on savings products higher. Most credit unions offer free checking accounts, and fees for other account activities tend to be much lower than banks. The Credit Union National Association estimates that the nation's 90 million credit union members save approximately $8 billion a year thanks to better interest rates and reduced fees.