Bellingham credit union changes name, undergoes office remodel


BELLINGHAM - A local credit union has changed its name as it increases its efforts to reach out to the entire Whatcom County community.

Last month GaPac Community Federal Credit Union changed its name to WestEdge Credit Union. The services it offers, including checking, savings and loans, will not change because of the new name, said Linda Sant, vice president of marketing.

The name change was made as a way to better reflect that the credit union is available to anyone in Whatcom County. The credit union was originally established in 1952 to serve employees of Pacific Coast Paper Mill, which would become part of Georgia-Pacific West Corp.

After the closure of the G-P mill in 2002, the charter was expanded to allow all Whatcom County residents to join. In 2005 the credit union changed its name to GaPac Community Federal to reflect that change, but Sant said many people remained under the impression that they still needed to be associated with G-P to join.

As for the new name, Sant said WestEdge is a way of saying the credit union is on the West Coast and that its goal is to give its customers an edge. The trees in the logo are a graphical nod to G-P and the credit union's original roots. She said the renaming of the credit union was a four-month process.

Along with the name change, the credit union's Bellingham office at 2501 James St. is getting a facelift. Sant said much of the renovation work involves the exterior, while some parts of the interior are being remodeled. That project is expected to be completed in the next few weeks, in time for the credit union's community open house 5:30 to 7 p.m. Oct. 10.

According to data from the National Credit Union Association, WestEdge had assets of $52.7 million and 4,094 members as of June 30, 2013.

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Reach Business Editor Dave Gallagher at 360-715-2269 or Read his Business Blog at or follow him on Twitter at @bhamheraldbiz.

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