Blue Mountain Credit Union names new head

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COLLEGE PLACE -- A longtime Blue Mountain Credit Union employee who has served in all functional roles at the operation, including as acting manager over the last three months, has been selected as its new president.

Jim Drake will lead the daily operations for the 3,500-member credit union, 520 S. College Ave.

Drake succeeds Clarence Anderson, who left the position last fall.

An extensive search for a successor was led by the credit union's board chair Marlene Oddie. In a prepared statement Wednesday she said experience was a key factor in finding the right candidate for the job.

Drake, a Waitsburg resident, has been with Blue Mountain Credit Union more than eight years. He is a graduate of Eastern Washington University with a degree in business administration. He has a passion for the credit union movement, according to the announcement.

In addition to the appointment, Blue Mountain Credit Union officials announced they will soon have a new mentor. Bob Schumacher, a retired credit union executive with more than 30 years experience in the industry, will move to the area and serve as a mentor.

Blue Mountain Credit Union is a $29 million operation originally chartered in 1959, when then-Walla Walla College faculty wanted an alternative to a traditional bank. They first started in the corner of an office on campus and grew over the years. Membership is now open to Seventh-day Adventists living in Washington state of the Upper Columbia Conference; students, alumni and employees of Walla Walla University; employees of the city of College Place, Andy's Market, Elsom Roofing, Walla Walla General Hospital, Wheatland Village and Quail Run Retirement Community; and immediate family members of current members.

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