As part of our monthly segment where we spotlight different experts here at BECU, we sat down with five individuals that work together to make up our Affinity Team.
What does the Affinity team do?
In short, the Affinity team works hard to expand BECU member benefits, and to promote financial well-being for our members, by fostering partnerships and sponsorships within the community.
Karin Crane, Brand Activation Manager
Two years at BECU
Karin works closely with our neighborhood financial centers to engage and help bring awareness to our brand in the local communities that we serve.
What is your favorite thing about your role at BECU?
I get wonderful opportunities to talk with many different people and work together to ensure our brand and reputation is known and recognized for all the great things we do within the communities we serve, as employees and good stewards. Also, getting out to see the local events happening in the community is fun because I get to see how all of our hard work behind the scenes plays out on site at the events and activities we support.
Molly Andrews, Sponsorship Manager
11 years at BECU
Molly manages the overall sponsorship portfolio, including local community events, professional sporting events, and tradeshows. She is passionate about BECU being a part of our local communities.
What is the most surprising thing you have learned while working at BECU?
I'm always blown away at how important the community is to our employees and to who we are as an organization. Last year alone we supported over 240 community activities!
Todd Pietzsch, Sr. Business Development Manager, Affinity Partnerships
19+ years at BECU
If you like saving money, Todd is your guy. He works on forming local sponsorships and partnerships to offer members exclusive discounts, like discounted tickets to the Seattle Mariners, Wild Waves Theme Park, or the Everett AquaSox to name a few. Just recently, BECU also partnered with Passport Unlimited to give members discounts to over 3,000 local and national merchants.
Fun fact: Todd also gives financial tips on KOMO and Star 101.5 radio. He even has a monthly segment on KISW radio where he takes questions from callers. Check out his latest segment or listen to his podcast, “The BECU Financial Advisor.”
What has been the most rewarding aspect of your work here at BECU?
The most rewarding aspect for me is seeing the change we are making in the lives of our members. As our focus is on our members and not the bottom line, we can do things that would not be possible if the focus was on profit. Like our free Shred and eCycle event, our growing array of discounts, and my ability to give radio listeners genuinely unbiased advice to their financial challenges and questions.
Lee Harris, Director of Affinity Partnership
16 years at BECU
Kristin Llewelyn, Affinity Partnership Manager
5 years at BECU
Lee and Kristin work closely to execute the overall approach for affinity partnerships, sponsorships, and member discounts. They collaborate on strategic plans for partnerships; anything from planning a Financial Wellness Seminar with our partners, to a college Game Day sponsorship with the University of Washington (UW) or Washington State University (WSU). They are continually looking for ways to enhance relationships with our current partners, and identify new potential partnerships within the community.
What are you most looking forward to in the future of affinity partnerships?
Lee: Over the past three years, the Affinity program has grown from one partner (Boeing) to eight partners. I'm looking forward to continuing to identify great Affinity partners for BECU and to manage the growth for this program. I'm also looking forward to working with our Preferred Partners team, to help expand this program. As well as, continue to align BECU's sponsorship relationships strategically, and to grow the member discount program.
Kristin: We have worked hard over the last year to define the strategy for our Affinity and Preferred partners which resulted in the creation of a Workplace Banking Program to offer Financial Wellness benefits to our partners, associations, and employers. I am excited to launch the program and start incorporating our purpose of improving the financial well-being of our members and their communities through our strategic partners. I am also, looking forward to expanding our Field of Membership opportunities.