Cooperatively Speaking: A message from your President/CEO

Summer greetings! Our mission here at Point West is to pursue financial wellness for you, our members and member businesses, while engaging and empowering our local community.  However, a mission statement is just words – it’s the actions we take in pursuit of our mission and underlying values that truly drives achievement. At Point West, our mission is comprised of three pillars which give us the foundation for how we serve and strengthen our cooperative: Financial Wellness, Cooperative Spirit and Community Empowerment.

Financial Wellness means we will provide products, services and educational tools and resources that which provide exceptional value and promote sustained financial health and prosperity for members. Examples include our Fresh Start Checking and Fresh Start VISA Credit Cards, Share Secured Loans, Boost Loans and our complimentary BALANCE financial counseling and resource portal. It means we will make prudent financial decisions for the credit union in order to maximize the stability and longevity of Point West. We continue to focus on improving our net worth while monitoring our expenses and risk to ensure we’re a reliable partner and resource hub, now and in the future.

Cooperative Spirit is a reflection of our roots – we are a member-owned cooperative, which means we’re bound to the same cooperative principles as other cooperatives like food co-ops, electric co-ops and so on. These principles are at the heart of our credit union difference, and cover everything from voluntary and open membership and democratic member control to education, cooperation with other cooperatives and concern for the community. Our partnerships with the Northwest Credit Union Association, the Northwest Credit Union Foundation and the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions allows us to leverage needed tools and resources as a collective, rather than having to go it alone.

Community Empowerment is an inexorably tied to the first two pillars, and extends beyond our walls to our broader community. We are committed to providing products and services to help the engines of our local economy – small businesses.  It means direct engagement with our community by volunteering with like-minded organizations like the Oregon Food Bank, Financial Beginnings, Credit Unions for Kids and the Community Cycling Center; and creating partnerships with community groups who complement and amplify our reach and impact, like Innovative Change$, the Portland Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), Operation HOPE and Portland State University’s Small Business Outreach Program. In addition, Point West is pursuing certification as a Community Development Financial Institution through the US Treasury, opening up additional possibilities for grant dollars and partnerships to help the underserved in our community while creating additional revenue streams to keep the Point West cooperative financially strong.

With a solid mission foundation combined with savvy team members dedicated to sourcing and educating members on credit-building and lifestyle-enhancing products and services, and you, our incredible members and member businesses, the sky is truly the limit for Point West. We look forward to sharing in our future successes and achievements with you all, while staying mindful of the fact that without your membership, none of this would be possible. Thank you for your support, and here’s to a wonderful summer and a fantastic rest of 2014.


Amy Nelson, President/CEO

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