Long served in leadership positions with the State of Washington for more than 30 years, serving as past chair of the Liquor Control Board, Washington State Lottery, Human Rights Commission and State Board for Vocational Education. In addition, Long has worked as a consultant for several regional and national companies and he and his wife Marsha started the Learning Seed Foundation, which provides scholarships to students of color who have faced significant challenges.
“Merritt is an incredibly thoughtful, caring and intelligent person, who understands the complexities of our business, which is focused on serving the diverse economic, financial and human needs of our customers and community,” Lori Drummond, OlyFed President and CEO said.
He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Morehouse College in Atlanta and a master’s degree in Education from Seattle University and he has served on many community boards such as The Evergreen State College, Community Youth Services, TVW and Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County. This past year, Long published his first book titled “My View from the Back of the Bus” a memoir of growing up as a Black person in Bessemer, Alabama and the journey to leadership and positive change in state government.
“Merritt brings with him great insight into the challenges and opportunities, both past and present, in our region and his expertise and guidance will help us to continue to make meaningful and constructive contributions in the lives of the growing number of neighbors who call the South Sound home.” Josh Deck, EVP/Chief Operating Officer said.
“I have enjoyed being a customer of OlyFed for years and I have always appreciated the shared values I have with the organization and I am honored to be a part of such a wonderful team that’s focused on improving the quality of life here in Thurston and Mason counties,” Long said.
In addition to Long being elected to the bank’s board, Wayne Staley and Kathleen Bauknight were re-elected to 3-year terms.