SPOKANE, Wash. – Steve Dahlstrom, president and chief executive officer of Spokane Teachers Credit Union (STCU), has been named "Best Boss" in a newspaper reader poll. The credit union took second place for "Best Bank." The reader poll was conducted by the Pacific Northwest Inlander, a free weekly paper with a circulation of approximately 44,000, about one-third of the region's population. The newspaper declined to say how many votes were cast in its "Best of 2003″ survey. The "best boss" designation was the latest in a string of awards for Dahlstrom, who has been active in the credit union movement for nearly 25 years. In September, he received the Distinguished Credit Union Professional Award at the Washington Credit Union League's annual convention held here. In addition to his role at the credit union, Dahlstrom is a board member on the Educational Credit Union Council, the Financial Service Center Cooperative and the Eastern Washington University Foundation Executive Board. He also is president of the Credit Union Alliance and Credit Union Support, both of which serve Spokane and the credit union industry. In citing Dahlstrom, the newspaper noted that "credit unions distinguish themselves from other financial institutions by their spirit of cooperation and dedication to serving their members, so perhaps it's not surprising that these very qualities motivated STCU employees to vote CEO Steve Dahlstrom as this year's best boss." "A lot of CEOs say they have an open-door policy, but approaching the boss can be intimidating," said STCU employee Susan Cerutti-Jensen. "What sets Steve apart is that he goes out and seeks people out. He genuinely cares about how people are doing. And he likes to keep tabs on what the members are saying because he has a passion for serving our members." Spokane Teachers Credit Union, the largest credit union in eastern Washington with more than 65,000 members and $580 million in assets, was runner-up in the "best bank" category. Washington Mutual took top honors in that category. Both Washington Mutual and STCU finished one-two in last year's reader survey as well. The "best boss" category was new in 2003. In addition to the reader survey, the credit union has been ranked among the top 5% of all credit unions its size by the Raddon Financial Group. Among those surveyed, it was number one in the United States for member satisfaction. Despite a sluggish economy, STCU reported asset growth of 16 percent in 2002 and another 6 percent as of February. Its loan portfolio increased 21 percent in 2002. "We realize that when we invest in both our community and our members, it benefits us all," Dahlstrom said. "STCU's promise of being our members `financial aide' us being realized every day." -

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