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Commercial Lending Department

O Bee Blog

Overcoming the Odds

Tim Timmer is the V.P. of Business Lending at O Bee Credit Union, a department which didn’t exist here a year ago. Tim, along with his dedicated team, Thierry Steuby and Leah Hontz, have brought a new level of service to O Bee and are already being recognized for their contributions. Tim endured a challenging upbringing which ultimately set him on a path of self-discovery, self-reliance and self-realization. We sat down with Tim to learn more about his journey and how that path led him and his team to O Bee.   

Tim had his share of challenges from early on. “Between the ages of 4 and 12, my family moved from Washington to Illinois, and then to Minnesota,” he said. “My father owned a restaurant but lost it during the farming crisis of 1984,” he added.

Tim and his dad returned to Washington in 1987. Tim’s father abruptly passed away in 1993.  “I had nowhere to live,” he said frankly. “I relied on friends’ parents who took me in and let me crash with them for a few days while I finished my senior year of high school.” Tim found a job working as a furniture delivery person. His manager noticed how attentive Tim was with customers and offered him a position in sales. Eventually a sale to a US Bank manager led to a job with the bank as a personal banker. “That’s where I really found my calling,” he shared. “I enjoyed building relationships with customers and helping small business owners grow their business.” And yet, something was amiss. Tim began to reject the corporate bank structure and started looking for other opportunities. That’s when he was introduced to Olympia-based South Sound Bank. “South Sound Bank just aligned more with my values. I had a great mentor in President and CEO Dan Yerrington. That’s also where I met Leah and Thierry,” he stated. “They are a major reason I’ve been so successful; I couldn’t do it without them,” he added.

Tim, Thierry and Leah became part of the O Bee family after Timberland acquired South Sound Bank in 2018. Since then, they’ve helped several members with their business financing needs. Just recently, they received a Top Partner Award for their work in the Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 program from Evergreen Business Capital (covering Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Idaho). O Bee was the only credit union to make the list. “It’s a great program that helps small business owners access business loans for real estate purchases with specialized rates and terms. Winning the award will help generate awareness for the program so we can help more of our members save money on terms and realize ownership of their business location,” Tim said.
We asked Tim what he’s most looking forward to in 2020, he said “Oh wow, lots of things. More hiking and camping trips with my wife and son, growing the Business Lending department at O Bee and raising awareness for homelessness.” Tim is a co-owner of Fresh Start Housing, a passion project that manages multiple properties that house the homeless. “We connect them to resources and provide a safe living environment with supervision and regulations that they have to live by,” he emphasized. “Our primary mission is to provide clean and sober, low barrier housing to individuals who are out of treatment, incarceration or mental evaluation. These are leading causes of homelessness and we feel we are doing our part to take a dent out.”

It’s been O Bee’s good fortune to have Tim and his team join us. They’ve quickly become part of the O Bee family, sharing their considerable talent, energy and invaluable expertise to expand on excellent member service. If you have business lending needs, contact Tim, Leah and Thierry. They have solutions for you no matter the size of your business.     


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