Some people seem to embody the region in which they live. At Olympia Federal Savings, Chief Information Officer Mike Bowen is the Pacific Northwest in a nutshell. A proud alum, he adores the University of Washington Huskies, spending time outdoors with family, rooting for the Mariners and Seahawks, immersing himself in tech and enjoying the perfect cup of freshly brewed coffee. In case you were wondering, Bowen says that’s simple: a classic Americano with beans from Olympia Coffee Roasters.
The day starts early with a bagel and coffee while checking emails before breakfast with the kids. “The key is the coffee,” says Bowen, “We make espresso every morning.” This is where those freshly roasted beans come into play for an optimal morning pick-me-up.
Now it’s time to head into the office, usually by bike. Once there, the workday begins with their regular morning Executive Team call. They check in on staffing, discuss strategic planning updates and budget prep for the upcoming fiscal year before diving into the day.
Teamwork continues with the team huddle. “This is an opportunity to connect with the team to share cheers for peers, talk about goals or some days just have some fun,” says Bowen. “Today we played Two Truths and a Lie. Here’s what I shared: 1) One of my favorite foods is sushi. 2) I love to go snorkeling in the ocean. 3) I’ve climbed the four tallest peaks in Washington. The fact of the matter is I love eating seafood, not swimming with it.”
Here comes the technology. Bowen and OlyFed’s tech specialists meet with vendor nCino about the launch of a new online account opening tool. “We’re excited for customers to now be able to open all consumer deposit products in an easy-to-navigate online system,” he explains. “Our Digital Team is always working to make banking convenient and accessible for our customers.
“We know you can’t always get to the bank during business hours, but our online and mobile banking tools make it easy to do your banking anywhere, anytime. We offer that same convenience for businesses as well with integrations with key business tools like QuickBooks and a full suite of financial management tools.”
Lunchtime isn’t for sitting still. Instead, Bowen goes for a walk or run, usually up to the Capitol Campus and around Capitol Lake.
To plan for the future, Bowen now meets with the IT team to discuss server and storage upgrades. These “accommodate our growth and technology infrastructure,” he explains. “We meet regularly to review technology and security upgrades to ensure our employees have the tools to be successful and our customers have the security to ensure their money is safe.”
Still looking ahead, Bowen now meets virtually with core systems provider Fiserv about current projects like the implementation of a new system to increase storage and retrieval efficiency and access to customer documents.
Back to the digital side, the afternoon brings a status report call with Melissa Wood, their Digital Services manager. Today they discussed the new Customer Care Center and digital customer support. “In just two short months the Customer Care Center has handled more than 5,000 incoming customer calls,” Bowen says. “This change has allowed us to provide an even higher level of customer service while allowing our branch teams to be out serving our community.”
OlyFed’s Digital Team handles all customer email inquiries and manages OlyFed’s text messaging, says Bowen. They help schedule appointments, send reminders and gather documents or other important paperwork. “Customers who have engaged in this texting service have been loving this quick and easy way to communicate with an OlyFedder,” he adds.
Time to switch hats for an after-hours board meeting with the Olympia Education Foundation as they plan this summer’s golf tournament. “Funds from the Foundation generally support the Principal’s Emergency Fund and Teaching & Learning Grants. I love working for an organization that is committed to our community and encourages its employees to get involved with causes that they are passionate about.”
Switching hats again, Bowen is now in dad mode. This time of year, his kids play basketball and volleyball and afterward, they all have supper with family and friends. Their go-to spot? Downtown Olympia’s Well 80.
Once home for the evening, Bowen packs the camper for a weekend camping trip – they love spending time by the water – then settles in for some Husky basketball before bed. Mornings come early in the Bowen household, but at least there’s plenty of coffee waiting to help get things going.
If you want a bank that’ll work this tirelessly for you, stop by an OlyFed branch, call 360-754-3400 or schedule an appointment online. Staffers like Bowen are always ready to answer questions, suggest services or discuss the ups and downs of regional coffee varietals.