News & Press
You Voted, We Donated! $40,000 to Local Nonprofits
First Federal is donating $40,000 again this year based on votes received by First Federal customers. The popular annual Customer Ballots program concluded recently and checks are being delivered to 88 Yamhill County nonprofits. In the past 20 years, First Federal has given over $800,000 to Yamhill County nonprofits voted by First Federal customers. “We believe in the work of our nonprofits and are happy to donate funds to those organizations where our customers have a heart for the mission,” said Jim Schlotfeldt, CEO/President of First Federal. The organizations receiving the top amount of votes include Homeward Bound Pets, YCAP Food Bank, Newberg Animal Shelter Friends, Pregnancy Counseling & Information Center, the Soup Kitchen @ St. Barnabas, Juliette’s House Child Abuse Prevention Center, Yamhill County Gospel Rescue Mission, Love in the Name of Christ (Love INC.), Henderson House and 4-H Clubs of Yamhill County. Since 1999, First Federal has donated more than $2.8 million to nonprofits in Yamhill County through the community giving programs. Thank you, First Federal customers, for helping determine how this money will be shared!
Dayton Affordable Housing Project
Several First Federal Team Members attended the groundbreaking ceremony for Dayton's newest subdivision, Filbert Point. The 2.5 acre property sits right across from Dayton High School, at the corner of Ferry and Sweeney streets. Nine of the homes are reserved for families with household incomes of 80% or less of the median area income. Along with the USDA, First Federal will be assisting in the financing of mortgages for these homes. "Yamhill County is lacking affordable housing and the rising home prices are preventing buyers from qualifying for conventional financing. As a local lender in the community since 1922, First Federal promotes home ownership and we are pleased to work with a long-time Dayton family on this project. The construction of new homes in smaller towns is a crucial part of the continual growth and vitality for our Yamhill County," said Jim Schlotfeldt, President and CEO. The project is being managed by Fishbone Construction and actual home construction is set to begin in October.
First Federal Welcomes Community Impact Coordinator
Kathie Byers has joined First Federal Savings and Loan as Community Impact Coordinator. Byers comes to First Federal from the local Sheridan nonprofit LINCS, where she was the Executive Director for over ten years. Prior to nonprofit management, Byers served as a Paralegal for attorneys in McMinnville, Newberg, and Sheridan. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Linfield College. In her new position, Byers is responsible for First Federal’s Community Giving Programs and community outreach. “We are thrilled to have Kathie on board, she’ll bring a fresh perspective and approach to our community involvement,” said Jim Schlotfeldt, President and CEO. Kathie and her husband of 30 years have three adult children. When she’s not out in the community, she enjoys cooking, reading, and painting. Getting to know someone and hearing their stories over a good cup of coffee are two of her favorite things. “I am excited about my new position because I get to be an advocate for nonprofits, and a representative of an organization that I have admired for the past 30 years,” says Byers. Please join us in welcoming Kathie to First Federal.
First Federal Welcomes VP Commercial Relationship Manager
Tony Journey has joined First Federal Savings and Loan as Vice President Commercial Relationship Manager. Journey is an experienced banking professional, most recently serving as a Business Banking Specialist at US Bank. In that position, he was responsible for business lending, new accounts, and relationship management across the Willamette Valley. While his focus is on business accounts, he has also held positions as a personal banker and an assistant branch manager for the Dayton/McMinnville area. Prior to starting his career in banking in 2007, Journey spent time in the restaurant and metal fabrication industries. He is currently enrolled in Leadership Mac through the McMinnville Chamber of Commerce to further develop himself as a leader but also to gain a better understanding of how all of the moving parts work together to create this cherished community. He’s also looking for ways in which he as an individual can help for the greater good, while building lasting relationships with local leaders. “It’s one thing to just live in a city, but I want to connect with this city,” says Journey. Journey is a Yamhill County native, growing up in Newberg and now living in McMinnville with his wife Lacey and their children Delaine and Dakota. He is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys camping, gardening, fishing and hiking in the Mount Jefferson wilderness area.
“Tony is a fantastic addition to our lending team,” says Jim Schlotfeldt, CEO. “He has a very strong background in commercial lending and we are delighted to have someone with his experience to help grow our commercial lending team.” Please join us in welcoming Tony to First Federal.
First Federal Welcomes Commercial Relationship Manager
Cindy De Las Heras, First Federal Residential Mortgage Loan Officer, has been promoted to Commercial Relationship Manager. She has over 15 years of banking experience from a variety of roles. In her new position, she is responsible for building trusted relationships with business clients in the Newberg area. She is passionate about Yamhill County and exceeding her commercial client’s needs. De Las Heras and her family are active in the McMinnville and Newberg communities. She is an currently an active member of the Newberg Kiwanis Club
“Cindy has shown true dedication and leadership throughout her time as a dedicated employee,” Jim Schlotfeldt, President and CEO said. “We’re very confident in Cindy’s abilities and are extremely happy to award her with this promotion.” Please join us in congratulating Cindy in her new position.
22nd Annual Blanket & Book Drive
This year, our employees, customers and friends have generously donated to First Federal's Holiday Blanket & Book Drive, allowing us to deliver 582 blankets and 1,975 children's books to YCAP and other local food banks to be distributed this holiday season to Yamhill County families in need. First Federal branches have also been collecting items for local toy drives and Trees of Giving. Thank you to all for helping us help our neighbors this holiday season!
Our 89 employees voted, and we're donating $4,450 to 44 local nonprofits! In addition to First Federal's other charitable giving programs, employees have the opportunity each year to designate a $50 donation to the Yamhill County nonprofit of their choice.
First Federal Welcomes VP Loan Operations Manager
Barbara Colson has joined First Federal Savings and Loan Association as Vice President Loan Operations Manager. Colson is a highly experienced banking professional, most recently serving as Vice President and Manager of Loan Operations of Premier Community Bank located in Hillsboro. She also has experience from OnPoint Community Credit Union and US Bank in Hillsboro. Over her career, Colson has held several positions of increasing responsibility and developed broad expertise in lending procedures, compliance, and talent management. She was previously a member of the Hillsboro Lions Club, and also taught financial education in Hillsboro elementary schools through the local Financial Beginnings program. She is looking forward to participating in volunteer activities in the McMinnville area. When she isn’t working, she can be found gardening, camping, and creating crafts and floral designs. Please join us in welcoming her to First Federal.
First Federal Honored with 10th Portland Business Journal Corporate Philanthropy Award
First Federal was awarded a 2018 Corporate Philanthropy Award from the Portland Business Journal at an awards banquet at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Portland on October 17th. The award recognizes First Federal's charitable giving programs and the commitment it represents to the community. This is the 10th consecutive year First Federal has earned this honor.
The Portland Business Journal Corporate Philanthropy Awards celebrates the most generous companies in Oregon and southwest Washington. This year, 40 companies were honored in four categories: Small, Medium, Large, and Enterprise. Businesses in each category were ranked according to their financial contributions.
First Federal moved from the small company category up to the medium company category this year and ranked seventh overall for charitable contributions last year of $202,892.
“We are proud to support our many Yamhill County nonprofit organizations through cash donations and volunteer efforts. This year our 88 employees volunteered 3,300 hours of volunteer time. Their continued commitment to sustaining our local communities is what continues to drive First Federal’s charitable giving programs. It is a great honor to be recognized as leaders for corporate giving in the state of Oregon," said Jim Schlotfeldt, President and CEO.
Since 1999, First Federal has donated more than $2.6 million to nonprofits in Yamhill County. Donations are made through the Customer Ballot, Community Rewards, Scholarship and Internship Programs, as well as through numerous local organizations and event sponsorship.
Community Shred Days Held
Security is a priority at First Federal and helping community members protect their identities is just one of the ways First Federal is helping to create a safer community for everyone in Yamhill County. In 2018 First Federal hosted Shred Days in April and October in Sheridan, Newberg and McMinnville, bringing commercial shredding service to the bank parking lots to provide quick, confidential and secure shredding. The event was free, but customers were encouraged to bring food for local food pantries. During those three events, over 721 vehicles came through the parking lots and the Iron Mountain trucks shredded more than 41,200 pounds of paper! Folks donated over 1,167 pounds of food and $272 in cash to be donated to local food banks. The next Community Shred Day will be held on April 13, 2019 in Newberg.
First Federal Welcomes New Board Member
Tonna Farrar, JD has been selected to join the Board of Directors at First Federal. Farrar has more than two decades of legal experience, and practices in the areas of insurance bad faith, consumer litigation, equine law, disability insurance, transactional and corporate matters. For more than a decade, Farrar served as lead counsel in national banking and insurance class action litigation. She is licensed in four states and last fall opened an office in Newberg, to better serve local clients in her own community. She is the Managing Partner of TKF Law LLC in Oregon, representing business owners and individuals in the Valley. In order to serve her clients in other areas, she is also a Partner with Evangeline Fisher Grossman Law in California, and serves Of Counsel to Comitz | Beethe PLLC in Arizona. She brings experience as both a banking litigation attorney and a representative of local businesses. Please join us in welcoming her to First Federal.
First Federal Awards Scholarships
First Federal awarded eight $1,500 scholarships to outstanding seniors in Yamhill County, and we are pleased to recognize them for their academic achievements and involvement in their schools and communities - Conner Mull (Amity High School), Araceli Ceras Estrada (Dayton High School), Burgundy Edwards (McMinnville High School), Carina Baca (Newberg High School), Rebekah Smith (Sheridan High School), Madison Konavalov (Willamina High School), Nicole Armstrong (Yamhill Carlton High School), and Anna Millage (C.S. Lewis Academy, and recipient in “at large” category for private and home schooled students in Yamhill County).
First Federal Community Rewards Program Donates $20,000 to Non-Profits Based on Customers' Volunteer Efforts
Now in its 10th year, First Federal reopened its Community Rewards program on May 1. The program pays $2 for each hour our customers volunteer with a local non-profit, up to a maximum of $500 per organization. In three months, First Federal customers had volunteered over 10,000 hours. Sixty-six (66) non-profit organizations working in Yamhill County received funds as part of this program. A big thanks to 410 customers who volunteered their time to do good works and earn money for their favorite non-profits!
First Federal Internship Program at Linfield College Helps Nonprofits
First Federal and Linfield College have partnered for the 8th year to provide Community Internships to five Linfield students during spring term 2018. The students take on short-term project-based paid internships with charitable organizations in Yamhill County. This year the students are working on projects for Juliette’s House Child Abuse Intervention Center, Hope on the Hill, SNACK: Student Nutrition & Activity Clinic for Kids, Lutheran Community Services, and Yamhill County Gospel Rescue Mission. The internship program is a wonderful community partnership, having great impact on both the lives of the students and the organizations for which they intern.
Teach Children to Save
Teach Children to Save (TCTS), sponsored by the American Bankers Association Foundation, is celebrated annually during Financial Literacy Month in April. Bankers from across the country demonstrate their commitment to community by teaching young people the value of saving. First Federal staff visited 12 Yamhill County elementary schools to teach over 700 students about the importance of saving.