Your OlyFed

OlyFed Celebrates Veterans Day by Honoring Military Families, Active Duty & Thurston County Vets

Communities are a lovely, lively blend of families, businesses and organizations all working together. Throughout Thurston County, that mix is spiced with a long tradition of military service, thanks to our proximity to Joint Base Lewis-McChord and other regional hubs.

This Veterans Day, you don’t have to look far to find a veteran, active duty servicemember or hardworking military family. Join the OlyFed team in saying thank you for their dedication to service. 

Honor Washington State’s Long, Proud Military History this Veterans Day 

Military researchers show our state is home to more than 54,000 active-duty service members, 24,000 spouses, 39,000 children and nearly 14,000 members of the National Guard or Reserves. Many of these have passed through Joint Base Lewis-McChord during its 100+ year history. Construction on what was then known as Camp Lewis began in 1917 and was completed a mere 90 days later. Today JBLM has grown to support more than 40,000 service members, 14,000 full-time civilian employees and 90,000 family members and retired veterans. 

OlyFed opened its doors in 1906 and welcomes military customers – several turned employees – with open arms. OlyFed’s Hawks Prairie and Yelm branches – opened in 2006 and 2015 respectively – were located to support JBLM families easily. 

They offer home loans, which are highly competitive compared to VA loans, and digital tools that can be accessed from anywhere in the world, 24/7. With local staff answering the phones, OlyFed customers know that top-quality advice, support and access are readily available whether in the PNW or deployed around the world. 

Rebecca Bonneville from the Belfair branch

Hiring Vets to Join the OlyFed Team is a Perfect Fit 

Deidre Michie, part of OlyFed’s Human Resources team, says they are always excited when Vets apply. “Veterans bring a variety of great skills to the workforce,” says Michie. “Our military members thrive in a team-oriented environment, cultivate a family atmosphere, and work well with a variety of people and personalities. These are all traits that OlyFed values and fosters in our culture of putting people and their needs first. Like the military, our branch and department teams often gather for early morning huddles, but ours consist of coffee and comradery rather than sprints and push-ups. Nevertheless, our goals are similar in terms of striving for consistent and ongoing improvement to better prepare us for the mission at hand.” 

Several current employees are great examples. Rebecca Bonneville is a senior loan officer at OlyFed’s Belfair branch. From a military family, Bonneville spent eight years in the Marine Corps as a Field Wireman/Radio Operator. She started with OlyFed as a customer service representative and has worked her way up over the years. Their own homebuying experience had been stressful, but she can now walk families through the process in an informed, transparent way that benefits everyone.

OlyFed IT Support Analyst Omar Arcelay recently graduated from Saint Martin’s Washington Vets to Tech Program. 

Jennifer Arnold, OlyFed Chief Operating OfficerChief Operating Officer Jennifer Arnold actually started in banking before her military service. She opted to join the Army as a way to see the world. Training as an Air Traffic Controller, Arnold was assigned to an air base in Germany and worked helping land Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters and C12 airplanes. She found that “all of the life lessons I learned helped me personally and professionally.” Her family was eventually stationed at Ft. Lewis where they fell in love with Thurston County. She returned to banking because she loved getting to know and work with customers, so researched local options before “ultimately deciding that OlyFed was the place I wanted to be.” 

“I feel so fortunate to have stumbled upon OlyFed sixteen years ago,” says Arnold. “Two of our values are ‘Committed to Lifelong Learning,’ and ‘Be Inquisitive and Seek Knowledge.’ Each day, I learn something new and along my journey, my managers supported and encouraged me to chase my dreams. I’ve been able to combine the hard work and discipline that I learned in the army with the values of a company that supports its employees to have the opportunities that I’ve been afforded along the way. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to end up!” 

OlyFed Sponsors and Supports Veterans Organizations in the Community 

Beyond hiring, OlyFed is committed to sponsoring Veterans’ programming. For example, they support the Strophy Foundation’s Mental Health and Veterans Court Program and Pointe du Hoc Foundation, which serves Army Rangers and families of the 2nd Battalion at JBLM. 

“We also know,” says Michie, “that our support of several other local social service organizations like the Food Bank, Behavioral Health Services, Thurston Volunteer Legal Services, South Sound YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs and many others provides critical care and assistance to military personnel, Veterans and their families living in our area. We believe it is vitally important we invest and support a well-rounded and diverse network of services to ensure a community-wide safety net for our Veterans and military families.” 

This Veterans Day, join OlyFed in honoring military servicemembers and their families wherever, whenever and however you can. 

Editorial Copy Credit: Kathryn Millhorn