About Us & Belong

Our Story

Originally chartered in 1964, Waterfront Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative. We are a dedicated, unionized partner with a closed field of membership, allowing us to provide the unique and individualized service our members expect and cannot find anywhere else.

Waterfront Credit Union was created by Leon R. Smith after a 10 year undertaking. He started pursuing his vision in 1954 while working for Todd’s Shipyard and persevered despite resistance. Later, he began working for ILWU and finally gained the support he needed to start the Credit Union in 1964. The first Board of Directors were Ray Nelson, Art Mink and Jon Halgren. The original charter was open to members belonging to ILWU 9, 19, 52 and 98 along with the direct employees of the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA). The key to the early success of the Credit Union came from knowing the members, working with them day in and day out, while holding them accountable to their financial obligations.

Over time additional unions were added to the charter as similar financial needs were discovered in other unionized industries in the Puget Sound region. In 2008 the Credit Union was awarded the vacation funds from the Plumber & Pipefitter Local 32 and absorbed Northwest Navigational Credit Union.

As of 2021, the Credit Union has approximately 6,706 members and $93 million in assets.

Our Mission

To have a union staff promote the financial well-being of our union workers and their families, with personal service and understanding of the unique characteristics of our industries.

Membership / Our Unions

For over 50 years, Waterfront has welcomed a number of union organizations into our own (unionized) credit union family. Our union brothers and sisters, along with their families are the foundation on which we were established and are the reason for our successful existence today and into the future.

We pride ourselves on being an exclusive, not-for-profit financial cooperative for the following unions. And if you belong to one of these unions, then you can also belong to Waterfront.

  • ILWU Locals -  #7, 9, 19, 21, 25, 27, 32, 51, 52 and 98 - Puget Sound Council of ILWU Except For Locals # 23, 24 and 47
  • Identified and Unidentified Longshore Casual Workforce in Seattle
  • Pacific Maritime Association Employees - of Seattle, WA
  • United Association of Pipefitters Industry Local 32 - of Seattle, WA
  • Inland Boatman's Union (IBU)
  • MEBA Local 1 of King County Labor Council - of Seattle, WA
  • Automotive Machinists Lodge 289 - of Seattle, WA
  • International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 19
  • Office and Professional Employees Local 8 - of Seattle, WA
  • Pacific Rail Services employees - of Seattle, WA
  • Cement Masons Local 528
  • International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots Pacific Maritime Region in Washington State
  • Sawdust Supply Company
  • Tidewater Barge Lines
  • International Brotherhood of Boilermakers - Iron Ship Builders Local #104
  • Industrial Workers of the World - of Seattle, WA
  • Sailor's Union of the Pacific - of Seattle, WA
  • Laborer's International Union, Local 335 - of Vancouver, WA
  • Global Diving and Salvage, Inc. - of Seattle, WA
  • Oil Chemical and Atomic Workers International - of Portland. OR
  • Columbia Marine Lines and Knappton Corporation - of Portland, OR
  • Tidewater Barge Lines - of Vancouver, WA
  • Carl Mason and Associates - of Vancouver, WA
  • Creative Impressions - of Vancouver, WA
  • Mortgage Lenders of America - of Vancouver, WA
  • Raia & Associates - of Vancouver, WA
  • Barber Wilhelmsen Agencies - of Portland, OR
  • Diversified Marine Inc. - of Portland, OR
  • Columbia River Sand & Gravel - of Vancouver, WA
  • Garonaire, Inc. - of Vancouver, WA
  • Agape Cleaning Service - of Vancouver, WA
  • Marine Service Specialties, Inc. - of Vancouver, WA
  • Oregon Rail Holdings, LLC - of Portland, OR
  • Northwest Navigation Federal Credit Union - as of July 1, 2008 merger date
  • Retirees or Annuitants from the above Union Groups
  • Family Members of Credit Union Members

There's a great motto in the credit union industry: Once A Member, Always A Member. This holds true at Waterfront. So no matter if your relationship with one of the above qualifying unions changes, you move, or you retire—we have the in-person, nationwide and virtual services to continue to serve you and your family for years to come. So if you've been looking for a financial relationship that is committed to your money and your union, you don't have to look any further. Contact us to discuss joining Waterfront today.

Benefits to Belonging

There are a number of benefits to belonging to Waterfront, so in no particular order we’ve listed them here:

  • We were founded by and continue to exclusively serve members of certain unions.
  • Our members receive service from our own unionized staff. That’s right, Waterfront employees are also a part of a union.
  • Our Board of Directors and Supervisory Committee are all members of one of our qualifying unions and Waterfront members as well.
  • Because of just these three very important points above, we can confidently say we understand the life of our members—everything from what their work schedules and stresses are like, to their needs, circumstances and the importance trust and loyalty play in their lives.
  • We look at every member’s individual situation and base decisions on what’s best for the member and the Credit Union. In other words, you’re not a number at Waterfront—you’re a person.
  • No matter if your relationship with one of our qualifying unions changes, you move, or you retire—we have the in-person, nationwide and virtual services to continue to serve you and your family for years to come.
  • And last, but certainly not least we offer a wide range of financial products and services (auto loans, home loans, VISA credit cards, checking accounts, various savings and investment accounts, and a number of online banking options)—all with very competitive, if not better than rates and low to no fees.

To start your Waterfront membership, all you need is a $5 minimum deposit into an initial membership share savings account. So contact us to discuss your membership and we’ll be happy to get you started today.

Annual Reports

As a not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative, the members of Waterfront Credit Union "own" the credit union. That is to say we can only function by those who conduct their actual banking with Waterfront because we use deposit funds to lend to others, and loan income to support deposits. It's a "scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" situation, and those who oversee the operations are volunteer, non-compensated, fellow unionized and credit union members as well.

Each year we hold an Annual Meeting where we invite members and those interested in joining Waterfront to come and listen to a formal presentation on the previous year's overall credit union performance. Below you'll find the most current and previous Annual Reports to review and see the growth we've had thanks to our loyal, cooperative-participating members.

Officials & Staff

  • Justin Hirsch, Board Chair
  • Richard Gurtiza, Vice Chair
  • Kurt Romischer, Secretary/Treasurer
  • Tyler Linsten, Director
  • William T. Lassiter, Director
  • Katharine Sweeney, Director
  • Zachary Ramels, Director
  • William T. Lassiter, Committee Chair
  • Chris Romischer
  • Richard Gurtiza
  • Zachary Ramels, Chair
  • Elizabeth Stegriy-Burke
  • Kathryn Robbins
  • Lanita Williams

Supervisory Committee mailing address:
6419 Fauntleroy Way SW
Seattle, WA 98136

Supervisory Committee email address:

  • Michelle C - President/CEO
  • Elizabeth B - VP Branch Operations
  • Tanesha A - Branch Manager
  • Brenda R
  • Monic T
  • Jordon B-G
  • Isam F
  • Elizabeth B - VP Branch Operations
  • Tanesha A - Branch Manager
  • Carla J
  • Kimberly S
  • Brenda B - Vice President of Lending
  • Roxanne L
  • Joann M
  • Brenda R
  • Crissy E - Vice President of Finance
  • Valori F
  • Judy B

We currently have an opening for a Consumer Loan Officer.

View the job description HERE.
Interested in applying? Email your resume & cover letter to bbollert@waterfrontfcu.com.

We currently have an opening for a Member Service Representative I.

View the job description HERE.
Interested in applying? Email your resume & cover letter to skunishige@waterfrontfcu.com.

If you have an outgoing personality, great communication skills, and a knack for problem solving, we would love to have you join our team! Passion and people skills are what we are looking for. Our membership base is closed and employment requires membership in Local 8 OPEIU. (Our members and staff are union-based).

Employment at Waterfront Credit Union offers a supportive working environment, as well as:

  • Paid vacation and 12 days of sick leave per year
  • Medical, Dental, and Eye Care coverage for staff and dependents
  • 6% 401K & Profit-Sharing Plan with additional 4% match
  • Long-Term Disability and Life Insurance
  • Compensation DOE