2020 Executive Excellence Awards: Melba Bartels, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, BECU

Her efforts have brought new sophistication and capabilities to many facets of BECU's 2000+ employees and 1.2 million members

This article appears in print in the January/February 2020 issue. See more about the winners of the 2020 Executive Excellence Awards here. Click here for a free subscription.

To say Melba Bartels has a big job is a whopping understatement.

As executive vice president and chief financial officer at BECU, Bartels oversees all of the credit union’s financial operations, which includes dealing with regulators and auditors. She also leads the effort to identify and execute BECU’s ambitious nonfinance strategic initiatives.

Her efforts have brought new sophistication and capabilities in pricing, hedging/capital markets, budgeting, planning, operations, control functions, reporting and more — all benefiting BECU’s 2,000-plus employees and more than 1.2 million members.

Since joining BECU in 2017 from HomeStreet Bank, Bartels has partnered with the IT department to keep the company financially focused on important projects, addressed potential infrastructure barriers with the potential to hinder growth and has pushed for more sustainable expenditures.

She expanded and reorganized the finance division, doubling the employee count to 80. To keep employees informed during periods of rapid change, Bartels regularly hosts “Coffee with Melba” meetings, giving her team the chance to openly discuss any topic.

During strong economic times, BECU looks for ways to invest in its operation. Amid a weaker economy, the credit union works to solidifiy its finances so it can continue to meet the needs of its members.

One of Bartels’ passions outside the office is serving as finance committee chairperson on the newly formed Seattle Colleges Foundation. Bartels graduated from South Seattle Community College prior to finishing her education at the University of Washington.

Related Content

Dawson’s job is about ensuring customers’ bills get paid promptly and correctly

Honoring leaders from BECU, Rosetta Stone Inc., The Riveter and many more

The co-founder and managing director of the Seattle venture capital firm has an uncanny knack for anticipating tech's next blockbuster hit

The 40-year industry veteran, a strong advocate for diverse leadership, manages a team of more than 400 commercial bankers