The Year in Review
Welcome! The Board, Supervisory Committee and O Bee Staff extend our appreciation to you for joining us today. O Bee continues to prosper and we thank you for putting your trust in us to handle your financial needs. Like all credit unions, O Bee is a not-for-profit organization and depends on earnings for growth. This past year we hit record earnings of $1.5 million, while our assets grew to $214 million. Most interesting, perhaps, is our membership growth of 9.4% from a base of over 20,000. Why is that? Well, to put it simply, you, our members, did this. You did this by word of mouth, neighbor to neighbor and family to friends. Here are a few more facts:
First, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) estimates that O Bee saved its members over $2,438,103 in direct saving over competing banks in our area over the last twelve months ending December 2015. Those of you who used O Bee as your primary financial institution saved the most.
Second, according to CUNA, financing a $30,000 car loan through O Bee for 60 months saved its member $144 in interest each year as compared to competing banks in the area, or a savings of $720 over the life of a five-year car loan.
Finally, our credit cards are very competitive. The “Oly Gold” card has lower interest rates than competing banks and offers things like a 25-day grace period. An added benefit of using our cards is the comments you get when you hand your card to a merchant, like: “Wow!”and “Where can I get one of these?” You can just say, “O Bee Credit Union of course.”
One of O Bee’s many strengths is our community service. O Bee does not just say we are part of the community, we show it. Every staff member receives 16 hours of fully-paid service time to go out to the community and lend a hand, with many volunteering far more. This past year, our staff donated time to 42 service organizations with over 2,100 hours of hands-on help. Staff have assisted well known non-profits, such as the United Way; and less well known such as George Adams Fish Hatchery, helping spawning salmon for a growing population. In addition, the Board manages donations to youth-at-risk organizations, such as the Pizza Klatch and the Olympia, Yelm and Tenino Food Banks. Some of our staff members have gone way past the 16 hours of paid volunteer time and need our recognition. Lee Wojnar, your Vice President of Marketing, has donated over 500 hours working with the United Way and the Asset Building Coalition. James Collins, your President and CEO, has donated over 1,000 hours of his time to the Pierce and Thurston County Search and Rescue with many finds, some with good outcomes and some not. O Bee doesn’t just do business in each of our branch locations; we try to be a part of fabric of the community in which we serve.
But what we are most proud of perhaps is O Bee Credit Union’s deep connection to the Olympia Brewing Company. To that end, I salute Paul Knight, long time Brewmaster and honorary historian of the Olympia Brewing Company who shared the original slogan of the company. It read: “It’s the bees that make the honey, that’s a fact and very clear. But another fact we’ll tell you, ‘It’s the Water’ that makes the beer.” The slogan “It’s The Water,” was launched in 1902. Here’s to a great year.