Gesa Credit Union is proud of its 50-year history and the financial services it has brought to the Tri-Cities. Since 1953, Gesa has made over $2 billion in loans and currently serves 80,000 members.
Credit unions began so that groups of people could save together to provide borrowing opportunities for others in the "people helping people" spirit. Members of the credit union provide the funds necessary for others to borrow. Therefore, there are no stockholders. Each member is a part-owner of the credit union.
This is a brief history of the credit union, how it started, and how it dealt with the changing Tri-City economy over the years.
Stories told by Tri-Cities' residents of 1953 reflect that "people helping people" spirit. At that time, it was difficult to find a lender willing to make needed consumer loans. As a result, members of General Electric Supervisor's Association (G.E.S.A.) formed Gesa in 1953 to serve the 2,600 exempt employees of G.E.
First located in what was known as the 703 Building, the credit union grew to a membership of 975 with assets of $230,000 by 1957. At that time Gesa relocated, renting two rooms which opened on the alley in the Uptown Shopping Center in Richland. The office which had kept its first records in a shoe box and other cardboard boxes now had furnishings consisting of one desk, a table, and a file cabinet. The credit union was operated on a part-time basis by elected volunteer officials and one part-time employee.
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