Dedicated to the Financial Well-Being of Our Membership
Unitus has gone through a few changes since we started as the Oregon Telephone Employees Credit Union in 1937, but our core principle of “People Helping People” has never changed. At Unitus, our members always come first.
Nearly 80 Years of Experience
In 1937, the employees of Pacific Telephone & Telegraph realized the need for a financial institution whose first priority would be to serve its members, not profit off them. The organization they founded is now Unitus Community Credit Union.
Invested in the Northwest
We serve 90,000 members in the Pacific Northwest and employ more than 225 individuals who share our passion for serving the community.
Empowering our Members
We help to make our members stronger financially by providing financial education, exceptional products and services, and personal service.
Enriching our Community
Building on the ideals of our founders, we operate with the same commitment to improving our local community.
Dedicated to the Financial Well-Being of Our Membership
Unitus has been a part of this community for nearly 80 years, currently serving 15 counties in Oregon and the entire state of Washington. We are committed to exceptional member service and value working together to be dependable and flexible. Unitus is a full-service financial institution that looks beyond “an answer” to find the right solution for you.
We strongly believe in supporting the well-being of our members, fostering financial education, and working one-on-one with you to help you find your unique path to financial wellness and security. Read our Statement of Commitment to Members for more about our dedication to these values.
Our Board of Directors
In addition to our not-for-profit status, our Board of Directors comprises a group of dedicated volunteers who are elected by their fellow members. Our Board oversees the strategic direction of the credit union.
Susan Iggulden, Chair
Volunteer Since: 2009
Unitus Member Since: 1984
Chair of the Unitus Board of Directors. Elected to the Board in 2009 and a Unitus member since 1984.
She started her career at Pacific Northwest Bell, where she worked while attending Portland State University. She graduated with a degree in Speech Communication, and then moved into the world of commercial real estate. Sue currently works for Cushman & Wakefield, where she leads the Real Estate Management Services team for Oregon and SW Washington. She is a volunteer with Medical Teams International and has worked with teams in both Romania and Moldova.
In her spare time, Sue enjoys “horsing around” with friends in the Morgan Horse world. Sue lives in Gresham.
Frank Chinn, Vice Chair
Volunteer Since: 2010
Unitus Member Since: 1995
Appointed to the Board of Directors in 2016, Frank has been a member of Unitus since 1995. He is the current Vice Chair and also serves on the Finance Committee and Nominating Committee. Chinn has also been a Board Member of the Portland Rose Festival Foundation since 1999 and is currently its President.
A lifelong music enthusiast who taught K-12 music to students in Oregon and Washington for 34 years, Chinn received his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Western Washington University and his Masters of Music Education from Lewis and Clark College.
He lives in Tigard with his wife Becky and two daughters, Emily, 20, and Alison, 16.
Will Rader, Secretary
Volunteer Since: 2003
Unitus Member Since: 1964
Elected to the Board in 2016, Will has been a long-time Unitus member and volunteer. He currently serves on the Governance Committee and chairs the Nominating Committee. Will served as an Alternate Director from 2003 through 2006 and was an Interim Director in 2011.
He graduated from the University of Oregon when they played football at Hayward Field and moved on to a 28-year career with US West. He has been engaged as a residential real estate broker since 1992 and managed the Windermere Stellar Heights office for nine years. He now maintains an office with Windermere at NW 20th and Johnson. Mr. Rader has volunteered as a past president of the Oregon Ostomy Association, Emeritus Board Member of the Salvation Army, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in Multnomah County, and has been a SMART reader volunteer.
He resides in Portland with his wife of 54 years, Anne, and has four children and nine grandchildren in the area, all Unitus members.
Gordon Akeson, Director
Volunteer Since: 1981
Unitus Member Since: 1957
Re-elected to the Board in March 2015 after being an active Board member from 1981-2008. Gordon served as Board Chair for four years during that time. He currently serves on the Governance and the Nominating Committees.
Gordon retired from Pacific Northwest Bell with 38 years of service. He served in a number of positions during his employment, retiring as District Manager of Special Services, Oregon.
Gordon has been involved with a number of non-profit organizations including Community Relations Teams, and Alzheimer’s Association/Respite Care. Gordon received the Volunteer of the Year Award in 2004 from the Credit Union Association of Oregon (now NWCUA) in honor of his years of service and dedication to the credit union industry.
He and wife Barbara live in Portland, Oregon. Gordon and Barbara are active members of the Audubon Society.
Somnath Banerjee, Director
Volunteer Since: 2013
Unitus Member Since: 2009
Appointed to the Board in August 2016. Somnath has been a member of Unitus Community Credit Union since 2009. He also serves on the Audit Committee.
Somnath earned his MBA from Washington State University. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Jadavpur University, India. Somnath has over fifteen years of experience managing technology solutions and has been working with Nautilus since 2001, currently as a Sr. Business Systems Manager.
He lives in Vancouver with his wife Krishna, daughter Riya and Simba, their golden retriever.
Our Audit Committee
The Audit Committee assists the Board of Directors by overseeing financial reporting responsibilities, internal controls, audit processes, and compliance with laws, regulations and codes of conduct.
Luke Watson, Chair
Volunteer Since: 2009
Unitus Member Since: 2008
Elected to the Board in 2015, Luke has been a member of Unitus Community Credit Union since 2008. He has also been a member of the Audit Committee since 2009.
Luke holds an MBA from Willamette University and degrees in Accounting and Finance from George Fox University. His experience has included corporate finance, public accounting, and information technology consulting. Luke is currently a Financial Manager for Hampton Affiliates, a forest products company. He’s a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Information Systems Auditor.
He lives in Hillsboro with his wife Kimberly and son Oliver.
Rhonda Cramer, Committee Member
Volunteer Since: 1997
Unitus Member Since: 1968
Audit Committee member since 1997 with a one-year hiatus while she served as a Unitus Board of Director alternate.
Rhonda has been a Unitus Community Credit Union member since 1968. She attended Portland State University and worked for US West (Qwest) for 30 years in the Engineering and Marketing departments. Rhonda has attended numerous educational conferences and workshops representing Unitus and has completed the Volunteer Achievement Program. She is the Treasurer and chairs several committees with her church. Her special interest is in working with the mentally/physically disabled.
Rhonda and her husband Tom live in Estacada.
Tiffini Mueller, Committee Member
Volunteer Since: 2015
Unitus Member Since: 1991
Appointed to the Audit Committee in 2015, Tiffini has been a member of Unitus since 1991. She is the director of marketing and communications at Portland Habilitation Center Northwest, a non-profit that creates opportunities for adults with disabilities to achieve independence through employment and housing. Most recently, she was the director of marketing at hubbub health, a corporate wellness startup inside Cambia Health Solutions’ innovative health care division. Before joining Cambia, she was the director of marketing at DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital, where she helped grow the local non-profit from a mom-and-pop clinic with 10 years of flat revenue to one of the most admired non-profits in Portland. Her career started in the newsroom at KOIN-TV where she was a producer for nearly ten years.
Tiffini is a Portland native and attended the University of Oregon, where she earned a bachelors’ degree in Journalism and Theater Arts. In her spare time, she officiates unusual weddings, enjoys the local food scene and plays third base on her kickball team.
She lives in NE Portland with her husband Joel and the best dog in the world, Abby.
Ben Pappas, Committee Member
Volunteer Since: 2016
Unitus Member Since: 2015
Appointed to the Audit Committee in 2016. Ben has been a member of Unitus since 2015. Ben is the Chief Operating Officer of Bates Group, where he uses his strategic planning and finance background to set direction and financial policy. Prior to joining Bates Group, Ben was Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of D.A. Davidson Companies’ Equity Capital Markets business, where he was responsible for the implementation of strategic growth initiatives and the development of an annual financial budgeting and forecasting process. Ben previously worked as an equity research analyst and strategic planning analyst focused on the technology industry, after beginning his career as a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch.
He is a graduate of the Securities Industry Institute at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
Ben lives in Tualatin with his wife, Emily, and their two kids Sofia and August.
Meet Our Unitus Management Team
Steve joined Unitus as President/CEO in September of 2016. Steve is responsible for guiding strategic leadership for the Credit Union by partnering with the Board of Directors, leadership team, and staff in establishing long-range goals and strategic initiatives that provide superior member value.
Prior to joining Unitus Community Credit Union, Steve served for eight years as the President/CEO of San Francisco Federal Credit Union, five years as Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer of Redwood Credit Union and Senior Vice President/Operations of The Golden 1 Credit Union. In these positions, Steve was responsible for all aspects of credit union operations including strategic planning, financial management, expansion and growth of new services and products, organizational development, brand awareness, business and consumer lending, and operations.
Steve earned a B.S. from Sacramento State University and completed his Certified Public Accountant accreditation while employed at KPMG as a Senior Manager. Steve has been a regular presenter in the credit union industry on strategic planning, growth initiatives, and the impacts of accounting and regulatory changes.
In addition to his duties at Unitus Community Credit Union, Steve is a board member of the World Council of Credit Unions that is the leading international credit union trade association and development arm for credit union systems in developing nations. Steve is also a board member of the Co-Op Shared Branching network that provides shared branching services to credit union members throughout the United States and military institutions in foreign countries. Prior to the merger with the Co-Op network, Steve served on the board of Financial Service Centers Cooperatives (FSCC) for 12 years and as the board chair for two years. Steve also serves on the Asset/Liability Committee of Catalyst Corporate Credit Union as Vice-Chair. Steve has also been actively involved with the Children’s Miracle Network annual golf tournament in Northern California that supported the Children’s Hospital Oakland.
As Chief Operating Officer, Jason works closely with the Credit Services, Planning and Business Development, and Member Services divisions, focused on ensuring an outstanding member experience, quality operational infrastructure, and cross-functional effectiveness. He joined Unitus Community Credit Union in 2006 and previously served as the Vice President of Member Services.
Jason holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Puget Sound and an M.B.A. from Portland State University. Jason currently sits on the Northwest Credit Union Association’s Governmental Affairs Committee, Political Action Sub-Committee, and the State Issues Working Group. He serves on the Good Neighbor Center Board and on the Portland Business Alliance’s Small Business and Central City Committees. Additionally, he is a member of Filene’s i3 program, the Cardwell 306/2 group, and has served on the Financial Service Centers Cooperative’s (FSCC) Operations Committee.
Prior to joining Unitus Community Credit Union, Jason was a Vice President within retail banking at Wells Fargo, both in Oregon and Nevada. He has been in the financial services industry for over twenty years.
VP of Finance / CFO
Greg joined Unitus Community Credit Union in May of 2013 as the Chief Financial Officer. He has spent the last 18 years serving as CFO for financial institutions of varying asset sizes ranging upwards to in excess of $1 billion.
He is a 31-year financial institution veteran having started his career in the branch system as a teller and branch manager before completing his Certified Public Accounting certificate in the State of Oregon. Greg holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of La Verne and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from California State University Chico.
He has been a member of Rotary International and served on many non-profit boards such as the National Steinbeck Center, California International Air Show and Partners for Peace.
Chief Risk Officer
James joined Unitus Community Credit Union in December 2003 with fifteen years of previous experience at various financial institutions ranging in asset size of $700 million to $38 billion. Unitus is the third financial institution in which James established an audit function replacing an outsourced audit relationship. The various roles James has at Unitus include enterprise risk management, internal audit, regulatory compliance, information and physical security, fraud prevention, business continuity planning, and vendor management functions.
James has international and local roles with The Institute of Internal Auditors including Trustee for the Research Foundation, Co-Chair for the Committee of Research and Educational Development, and Board member for the local Portland Chapter. James maintains the Certified Internal Auditor, Certified Information Systems Auditor, and Certified Fraud Examiner designations, and previously held the Certified Bank Auditor, and Certified Risk Professional designations. James obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with honors at the University of Phoenix.
Chief Human Resources Officer
Gayle joined Unitus Community Credit Union as VP of Human Resources in February of 2007. She is responsible for the strategic alignment and operational management of all human resources functions including compensation and benefits, recruitment and staffing, employee relations, education and organizational development. Prior to joining Unitus, Gayle was the VP of Human Resources with Standard Insurance Company and Director of Human Resources with Salem Hospital.
Gayle earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Marylhurst University and a Master of Science in Management and Organizational Leadership from Warner Pacific College. She holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources designation from the Human Resources Certification Institute as well as a Certificate in Personnel Management from Portland State University.
Gayle maintains memberships with the Society for Human Resources Management and the Association for Strategic Planning. She currently serves as Chair of Oregon Business Association’s Health Policy Committee. In 2014 Gayle was appointed by the Governor to serve a multi-year term as a member of the Oregon Patient Safety Commission’s Board of Directors.
Chief Information Officer
David joined Unitus in November 2016 as the Chief Information Officer. He is responsible for the long-term strategic direction and implementation of technology that supports the Credit Union’s objectives. Prior to Unitus, David spent 11 years working at Xerox in the Information Technology field holding several global positions that span financial, telecommunications, healthcare and retail industries. The various positions within the technology space include Chief Innovation Officer and Vice President of Information Technology.
David has more than 18 years of experience in varying roles in the technology arena that includes working at ING Direct. He has successfully launched multiple data centers, call centers and innovative technology solutions that encompassed a multitude of technology platforms and customers. David holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems and an MBA from Saint Leo University.
VP of Marketing and Brand Development
Laurie joined Unitus in October 2003. As Vice President of Marketing and Brand Development, Laurie is responsible for developing new membership growth, community involvement, and the marketing of Unitus’ products and services to members and potential members. Laurie also leads the strategic planning process for the credit union.
Prior to working at Unitus, Laurie was the VP of Sales and Service at an ING subsidiary, Successful Money Management Seminars. During her 11-year tenure there, she built a creative marketing department, direct response testing program, and managed the largest revenue-producing department in the company.
Laurie obtained a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with a major in Communications from the University of North Dakota. She taught high school speech and English courses as well as Introduction to Public Speaking as an adjunct professor at the University of North Dakota. Laurie is a member of the Direct Marketing Association and the American Marketing Association. She is also on the Education committee for the Oregon Business Association.
VP of Member Services
As Vice President of Member Services, Brian is responsible for ensuring an outstanding member experience throughout the branch network, contact center, online services, operations and deposit products. He joined Unitus Community Credit Union in June of 2013.
Prior to joining Unitus, Brian was a Vice President within retail banking at Umpqua Bank helping oversee the expansion of 15 locations in the Portland and Seattle markets. He also helped oversee the expansion of available loan options to homeowners throughout the State of Oregon with Clean Energy Works Oregon. He has over ten years in the financial services industry.
Brian earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics with a focus on Environmental Economics from the University of Oregon. He serves as Board President of Venture Portland as well as a member of the Portland Development Commission’s Neighborhood Economic Development Committee. He previously helped as a founder of the South Portland Business Association where he served four years as the organization’s first President.
Brian joined Unitus as the Vice President of Lending in September 2013. Brian is responsible for leading the development and execution of lending strategies that meet members needs while supporting Unitus’ overall vision. Duties include oversight credit administration and risk management, pricing, promotion and delivery systems for direct and indirect consumer, business, mortgage and card services.
Brian has been in the financial service industry for 27 years, most recently serving as Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer for Seattle Bank. Prior experience includes Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer for Columbia Bancorp and Vice President Corporate Loan Operations for West Coast Bank. His background includes five years as a Bank Examiner for the FDIC’s Division of Supervision in the San Francisco region.
He holds a B.S. Degree in Finance and Marketing from the University of Oregon, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from the University of Portland and is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma National Honor Society for collegiate schools of business.
Serving on the Board of Directors
As a member of our credit union, you’re also a part owner, and that means you have a voice at Unitus. Serving on our Board of Directors is a fulfilling experience, and one way to express your voice as a Unitus member.
Awards and Recognition
Over the past years, Unitus has received several industry honors and local awards that reflect our long-standing commitment to our members and community. We couldn’t have earned these recognitions without your support, and we want to thank you, our members, for helping make Unitus a valued financial and community partner.
Unitus was honored by the Portland Business Journal with a 2014 Innovation in Philanthropy Award for our partnership with Adopt A Class. This award honors companies that creatively collaborate with nonprofits and other partners to advance their mission. Unitus also placed 14th in the Medium Company category in terms of overall corporate philanthropy, marking the fifth consecutive year we’ve been recognized for community giving.
The Portland Business Journal ranked Unitus among Oregon’s Top Credit Unions (5th), Top Community Mortgage Lenders (18th), and Top Commercial Lenders (19th). The Vancouver Business Journal ranked Unitus 15th for Clark County Mortgage Lenders.
Oregon’s 2013 Most Admired Companies
Unitus was recognized in the Financial Services category as one of Oregon’s most admired companies.