As a member-owned credit union, YOU are what we're all about.
It Started in a Shoebox
From modest beginnings in 1953, Gesa Credit Union has grown from a part-time office operating out of a shoebox to the fifth largest credit union in Washington state, serving over 150,000 members around the world. Gesa Credit Union has a rich history of providing financial services to Eastern Washington and our spirit still reflects the early-day Credit Union motto, "people helping people."
Since 1996, when Gesa became a community-chartered credit union and opened its field of membership to everyone in Washington, the credit union experienced explosive growth. Consumers have discovered the value of banking with a not-for-profit cooperative. Gesa now has sixteen Member Service Centers (MSCs) and one Loan Center in six counties but will always maintain a strong commitment to its roots. People in our communities have made Gesa what it is today, and we don't take that loyalty for granted. Our members continually remind us, "It's not where you bank. It's where you belong."
A Timeline of Key Milestones
1953 - 1980
Members of General Electric Supervisor's Association (G.E.S.A.) formed GESA Federal Credit Union in 1953 to serve the 2,600 exempt employees of G.E. The first account receipts were held in a shoebox.
With 3,000 members and assets of more than $2 million, Gesa moved into its first member-owned building at 710 The Parkway in Richland.
1981 - 1999
Membership reached 21,000 with $57 million in assets.
Membership was opened to select employee groups who could not support a credit union of their own. The 80s also saw the addition of telephone access to accounts through Call-24, and a Visa Credit Card was added to its loan services.
Gesa added Home Equity Loans to our service portfolio.
1995 to 1999
Gesa launched a variety of services for members including educational seminars; our first web site with on-line newsletters; a Visa Debit Card, Living Trust Accounts; walk-up ATMs; and Online Banking.
Gesa converted from a federal to a state charter credit union. This decision came as a result of legislation which prevented Gesa (and other federal credit unions) from expanding beyond their core membership. After conversion to a state charter, Gesa received a community charter to serve anyone who lived, worked, worshipped or went to school in Benton or Franklin Counties.
2000 - Present
Gesa became the second credit union in the state to sponsor a high school credit union. Richland High School Credit Union opened as a learning co-op with Gesa, operated and run by the Accounting Class of RHS. Gesa merged with Wa-Two Federal Credit Union in Walla Walla and was granted a community charter in Walla Walla County.
Gesa’s second High School Credit Union opened at Hanford High in Richland.
After nearly doubling in size in five years, Gesa reached $500 million in assets.
A merger with Apple Valley Credit Union expanded member services to Wenatchee.
Gesa opened its third Tri-City High School Credit Union at Pasco High.
Gesa merges with Walla Walla Valley Federal Credit Union, expanding member service areas and helping to increase Gesa’s assets to nearly $700 million.
Gesa built a 76,000 sq. ft. LEED-certified headquarters in South Richland. LEED certification means that the building was built and operated with environmentally friendly and sustainable practices. Our fourth Tri-City High School Credit Union opened, at Chiawana High in Pasco.
Gesa reached over $1 billion in assets and 10 branches; started offering automated cash dispensers, free coin counters, member web stations and biometric safe deposit box access.
Gesa welcomed our 100,000th member. To recognize and honor this milestone, Gesa pledged to contribute $100,000 annually to our community partners, Habitat for Humanity and Junior Achievement. Gesa also introduced the Platinum Plus Rewards credit card and 4U Student Checking and Savings accounts.
Gesa sponsored the Carousel of Dreams in Kennewick and the Power House Theatre in Walla Walla – these sponsorships continue today.
Gesa celebrated our Diamond Anniversary - 60 years of service to our members and communities.
Our mantra “Every Member Matters” was introduced. Gesa merged with Yakima’s Central Washington Federal Credit Union, expanded our Member Service Center network, added EMV chip technology to our credit cards, and introduced electronic person-to-person payments online.
Gesa hit $1.5 billion in assets, merged with Northland Credit Union in Spokane, and continued to expand the Member Service Center network. We also partnered with the Kennewick School District to offer branded high school instant issue debit cards for the three Kennewick high schools.
In addition to expanding and enhancing our Member Service Center network, we extended EMV chip technology protection to debit cards. We also partnered with Richland High School, Tri-City Americans, and Tri-City Dust Devils to offer three new branded instant issue debit cards.
The Member Service Center network continued to expand, and we launched a new loan center in Spokane. Self service check deposit options and Card Controls were introduced to provide convenience and protection to our members.
What Does the Future Hold for Gesa?
Gesa continues to add services and products that are convenient, economical and desirable for our growing communities. Increased electronic services, multilingual access, and support for convenient member services is a priority for Gesa now and in the future.
Whatever the future may hold, the goal of the board, management, and staff will be the same: to bring quality, economical financial services to Gesa members, wherever they may live.