VANCOUVER, Wash.-For the fourth consecutive year, Columbia Credit Union has been voted the "Best Financial Institution" in Clark, County Wash. by readers of The Columbia newspaper.

Colleen Boccia, SVP of marketing, said the credit union's home market is experiencing both economic positives and negatives. It still suffers from double-digit unemployment, with many people being retrained for industries beyond just timber and lumber, but Vancouver, Wash., is also a bedroom community for Portland, Ore., and with no state sales tax in Washington, there is somewhat of a "boom" of people moving from Oregon to Washington.

"We understand families have a lot of needs, and we have been a stable shoulder to lean on during the recession and afterward," she said. "We are very involved in community outreach, including a program we call 'Making Life Better.' This is part of being proactive. When our credit union is out there being engaged in the community, it brings opportunities our way. People make referrals to people they actually know and have worked side by side with. Being out there drives commercial lending opportunities to us."

Boccia said CCU's success is from "people hustling really hard," adding, "the wealth of data our marketing team has that helps us pinpoint opportunities."

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