A Legacy Begins
A lifelong OlyFedder, Wayne began his career with the Association in 1974 as a Lending Officer after starting his career in the forest industry following his graduation from Washington State University. Wayne is quoted as saying “I didn’t even know what a savings and loan was! I reported to work that first day and ended up sitting in Ed Wack’s office, reading a book about savings and loans.” What Wayne did know is that he loved how genuine and friendly the folks were at OlyFed.
In 1976, OlyFed celebrated its 70th anniversary and as the Association’s newest employee, Wayne was called upon to dress up as a clown and hand out balloons and free money deposit slips for a new account valued between $1 and $500. It was the beginning of change for the bank from a more serious atmosphere to a looser, warmer one. That was Wayne’s leadership style, a combination of humor, professionalism and compassion for people. He really set the tone for a healthy and vibrant work and business culture at OlyFed.
In 1978, as the Puget Sound Naval Yard in Bremerton was booming, OlyFed saw an opportunity to grow and opened its third branch in Belfair and Wayne, who grew up on Hood Canal, was the perfect person to manage the branch. In 1980, after just settling into his new home in Grapeview, the bank’s leadership team called upon Wayne again to open the Lacey branch, which was just a 700-square-foot, single-wide trailer with two desks, a drive-up window and a vault. Wayne was so successful in opening and growing the Belfair branch, he was the perfect person to launch the bank’s Lacey location.
Humble, Kind & Smart
Wayne joked that when they opened the Lacey branch, they were giving away dish sets for anyone who opened a checking account and he said “sometimes we wondered if we were working for a bank or a department store!” After commuting an hour and a half each way, for a couple of years, Wayne and his wife Jeannie moved back to Olympia in June of 1981, and he was named Lending Manager.
This was not the best time to take on this position as it was in the midst of the nation’s savings and loan crisis and the prime rate hovered around 20% and no one could afford to get a loan. At this point, Wayne started attending board meetings and providing regular updates. Wayne did such a great job navigating these very difficult economic times, that within a few short years, he was named Senior Vice President. Under Wayne’s leadership, the bank stuck with its business model of hometown savings and lending and just like what happened during the Great Depression, OlyFed never lost a nickel.
That commitment to local was evident in Wayne’s involvement in the community, serving on the Board of Directors with Providence St. Peter Foundation and St. Martin’s University, supporting the start-up of Homes First and taking part as a member of West Olympia Rotary. From United Way to Big Brothers Big Sisters, Wayne was continually supporting fundraising efforts through the bank and its employees. He had a huge heart for taking care of the bank’s customers and the community that allowed OlyFed to thrive.
A Respected Leader
In 2000, Wayne succeeded Ed Wack as President & CEO and after retiring in 2008 he became Board Chair serving in that capacity until 2022, when Lori Drummond assumed the role and Wayne moved to the position of Board Member. During his time as President & CEO, OlyFed opened its multi-story Tumwater branch and expanded its footprint with the addition of the Hawks Prairie branch. The bank also celebrated its 100th Anniversary under Wayne’s tenure as President & CEO.
“Wayne was more than a mentor and a friend, he was family,” Lori Drummond, OlyFed Board Chair said. “Wayne had a heart of gold along with high moral character. His honesty, thoughtfulness and intelligence helped build trust and respect in the community, which not only helped the bank grow in meaningful ways, but it also made a critical difference in the health and well-being of our community.”
A lover of the outdoors, Wayne enjoyed fishing, golfing and of course cheering on his alma mater WSU in football and basketball. Wayne’s contagious smile and positive attitude were always known to bring laughter and joy to those around him.
“Humble and gracious, Wayne always made a point of making time for others, which is why he earned the respect of just about everyone he came in contact with,” said Josh Deck, OlyFed President & CEO. “Wayne had a deep understanding of banking, business and economics, which made him such a valuable resource for not only OlyFed, but also our nonprofit and small business community. Wayne epitomized what it means to be an OlyFedder and lived out our values in every way.”
We thank Wayne for his 49 years of service to OlyFed and his unwavering commitment to always do the right thing! Wayne’s legacy, impact and influence will live on for generations to come.