O Bee Credit Union has appointed Martha Prestin, the great-granddaughter of the credit union’s founder with decades of experience in the industry, as chief financial officer.
“With a wealth of experience in the finance industry and a proven track record of success, Prestin brings a valuable perspective to the leadership team and adds her name to a proud family history,” O Bee Credit Union stated in a news release.
Prestin has served on O Bee’s board of directors and supervisory committee for more than 20 years, including the last four years as the supervisory committee chair. Prior to joining O Bee, Prestin was the chief financial officer for the Chief Seattle Council Boy Scouts of America for 12 years.
In 1955, Ted McGill, a worker at the Olympia Brewery, “heard about credit unions and thought it would be a good idea for the brewery workers to start one,” according to the news release. McGill went on to establish O Bee Credit Union, now a multi-million-dollar organization.
“He likely never imagined that 68 years later, his great granddaughter would assume the role he once held,” O Bee stated in the news release.
Accounting prowess runs in Prestin’s family, dating back to her great-grandmother Viola “Vi” McGill.
“People don’t talk about my great-grandmother enough,” Prestin said. “My grandfather thought he could do it by himself, but quickly realized he needed her help.”
Vi McGill served as the credit union’s head bookkeeper, a position she held from O Bee’s earliest days until her retirement in 1971.
During the first three years of the credit union’s founding, Ted and Vi McGill ran O Bee from their dining room table on Capitol Boulevard in Tumwater.
Brewery employees would walk the few blocks to Ted and Vi’s small Craftsman-style home to discuss loans and make deposits.
“My mom remembers having to be very quiet when she visited their house as a little girl because they were doing business,” Prestin said.
Prestin said she is thrilled to serve the members of the credit union her family started.
“As a child, O Bee Credit Union meant family,” she recalled. “It was like a second home to me. Everyone seemed to know me there, and I just took that for granted. It was only when I was older that I really understood the important role my grandparents played in growing the credit union. I’m immensely proud to have this connection,” she added.
“O Bee is honored to welcome Martha Prestin to the team. Her enthusiasm and commitment to the credit union's growth and member services align perfectly with their mission to improve the lives of members through financial well-being,” the credit union said in the news release. “With her unique perspective and proud legacy, Prestin is poised to play a pivotal role in steering O Bee Credit Union toward an even greater future.”
O Bee Credit Union is a not-for-profit credit union, owned by its members, with seven branches located in Lacey, Tumwater, Tenino, Yelm, West Olympia, Fern Hill and Point Ruston. Membership is open to all Washington residents.
Visit www.obee.com for more information about O Bee Credit Union.