In October, Washington Federal Bank, which has 31 locations across Arizona (including four in the Northeast Valley), feted its 100th anniversary by investing big in Scottsdale.
“On October 11, we opened the doors to our first-ever Arizona regional headquarters, a 10,000-square-foot space located at 6720 N. Scottsdale Road that now houses our entire statewide leadership team as well as a full-service branch for both retail and commercial customers, with a night drop depository and two ATMs,” said Mike Brown, Arizona regional president and local resident. “In total, we have more than 40 team members who now call this expansive space home.”
In celebration of the opening, Washington Federal also used October 11 – International Day of the Girl – to give back, donating $2,000 to the local Girl Scout-Arizona Cactus-Pine Council’s Million Dollar Day of the Girl Campaign, which was matched by event partners for a total donation from the bank of $8,000.
“Nationally, studies show that as career level in financial services rises, female representation declines drastically,” Brown said. “According to a study by Mercer, in fact, women make up only 37 percent of managers, 26 percent of senior managers and 15 percent of executives in the financial services sector.
But, according to Brown, that is not the case at Washington Federal, where Cathy Cooper leads the charge at the national level as executive vice president and retail banking group manager as well as a member of the company’s executive management committee. Similarly, Kim Robison joined Cooper in executive management at the national level earlier this year, being appointed senior vice president of operations and joining the company’s executive management committee.
Locally, women are equally making their mark. “Currently, women serve as branch managers at more than
70 percent of our branches,” Brown said. “And our entire retail division is led by females.”
In addition to bucking this trend, Washington Federal has bucked others in recent years, coming out of the recession, Brown said. “Washington Federal is one of the nation’s strongest banks and one of the area’s few ‘portfolio’ lenders. All of the loans made by Washington Federal remain on our books. There’s no middleman and no Wall Street bank or insurance firm across the country where the loans are sold,” Brown said. “This business model ensures that Washington Federal takes a long-term approach to community banking, where deposits from the community are reinvested back into the area to help local businesses and residents grow and prosper. The bank succeeds when the community thrives.”
Brown also notes other local successes by the bank since they announced a deeper investment in Arizona in recent years, including more than $500 million in commercial real estate financing since 2014, the acquisition of 13 Bank of America branches statewide in 2014, more than $342 million in mortgages, and Arizona being named the headquarters for Washington Federal’s equipment finance division.