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 Credit Union is a Better Business Bureau-accredited business with an A+ rating.
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" which means anyone who lives, works or worships in Washington State can become a member.
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.
Salal changed its membership requirements in 2011 so that one only need maintain an open and active deposit or loan account with us to be a member.
The credit union still has close ties to the local healthcare industry is 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.
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
Dick Woo, Board Chair, also serves on the Board of Salal’s CUSO (credit union service organization), Lending Solutions Northwest. He is a former chair of the credit union’s Supervisory and Asset/Liability Management (ALCO) Committees. Dick is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA), and Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM). He has over thirty years of financial management experience in the public and private sectors, including positions with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), Washington Mutual Bank, and the City of Seattle. Dick previously served as Director of Finance and Administrative Services for the Housing Authority of the City of Seattle and most recently retired as CFO for King County’s Community Services Division.
Laura McMillan, Board Secretary, recently completed a 27-year career at Group Health Cooperative in a variety of administrative roles including Vice President for Strategic Planning for three years and Chief of Staff to the CEO for eight years. She is currently taking a sabbatical and plans to return to the world of non-profit health care or social services in the coming year. She has an MBA degree from the University of Washington and lives with her husband and two daughters 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 retired in 2013 as 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 also the Organization Science Program Affiliate for the New England Complex Systems Institute in Cambridge.
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 currently with Expedia.com and is currently chair of the Asset/Liability Management Committee (ALCO). Prior to Expedia, Jamie worked at Group Health Cooperative as a Statutory & Tax Reporting Manager. She’s also worked as 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.
Annette Murphy is a compliance professional with 15 years of experience in the health care industry and extensive expertise in program implementation and auditing. Annette works at Group Health Cooperative in Audit Services. Prior to joining Group Health, she worked as an Audit Manager at Harborview Medical Center (University of Washington) and attended Western Washington University. She also serves on the Salal Asset/Liability Management Committee (ALCO).
Lisa Johnson is an attorney with Schweet Rieke & Linde, PLLC. Lisa is also a Certified Public Accountant, having practiced for several years in the Seattle area before going to law school. Lisa earned a BS in Business Administration-Accounting from the University of Montana and a Juris Doctorate from Seattle University. Before joining the Board, Lisa was a member of the Salal Supervisory Committee.
Joe LePla is a branding and strategic planning consultant who has worked closely with financial institutions and healthcare organizations for over 38 years including the Mayo Clinic, Merriman, Group Health, Philips Healthcare and Health Alliance Plan. LePla, who also serves on the Salal Asset/Liability Management Committee (ALCO), works at GreenRubino as a principal strategist. Prior to joining GreenRubino, he was an owner of brand consultancy Parker LePla for 19 years. He’s coauthored three books on branding, the most recent being Create a Brand That Inspires: How to Sell, Organize and Sustain Internal Branding in 2012. He lives in West Seattle with his wife, Teresa.
Download past editions of our Annual Report. (Downloads are in PDF format and require Adobe Reader, available here.)
The Salal Foundation
The Salal Foundation was established in 2013 to collect and distribute funds to support charitable and educational causes within the community served by Salal Credit Union. The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors and has applied for a 501(c)(3) designation. The Salal Foundation and Salal Credit Union are separate, independent entities, each governed by its own Board of Directors and bylaws.
As Salal President & CEO Russell Rosendal said, "Salal Credit Union and the Salal Foundation have committed to giving at least 5% of net income to important causes. We want the assistance we provide to have local relevance and a genuine, positive impact."
The Salal Foundation is proud to serve and support healthcare professionals and institutions in the important work they do, and our charitable giving reflects our commitment to the local healthcare industry.
The Foundation's charitable activities focus on charitable organizations who:
• provide no-cost or low-cost healthcare to those in need,
• engage in scientific research to eradicate diseases or reduce severity of symptoms, or
• improve the quality of life of those affected by disease.
The Foundation's educational activities focus on supporting:
• individuals who wish to pursue a career in healthcare,
• healthcare workers who need to fulfill continuing education requirements,
• healthcare workers and consumers in managing their finances, and
• organizations supporting financial education.
If you would like to support the Salal Foundation's efforts by making a donation, please mail a check to the address below. For more information, please write to us or email email@example.com.
PO Box 19340
Seattle, Washington 98109
Board of Directors
Russell Rosendal, Director and President
Geoff Swarts, Director and Treasurer
Sheryl Kirchmeier, Director and Vice President/Secretary
Laura McMillan, Director
Lisa Yohalem, Director