Category Archives: News

ESP Supports Spokane Chapter of CUs

2016 Chapter Golf TournamentESP will be lending support to the Spokane Chapter of the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) Golf Tournament. This charity fundraiser will help support two great causes of special interest to the credit union movement, Credit Union for Kids and CULAC.

About the Spokane Chapter of the NWCUA

The Spokane Chapter of the NWCUA is celebrating their 12th Annual Golf Tournament on September 9th. The purpose of the Spokane Chapter of the Northwest Credit Union Association is to promote interest and cooperation between credit unions and credit union members within the Chapter area and to promote the credit union philosophy among credit union members and the public.

The Charities

Credit Union for Kids logoCredit Unions for Kids (CU4Kids) is a nonprofit collaboration of credit unions, chapters, leagues/associations and business partners from across the country, engaged in fundraising activities to benefit 170 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Since 2006, CU4Kids has raised $150 million  for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.


CULAC LogoCULAC (Credit Union Legislative Action Council) is the federal PAC of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). It is the largest national trade association in the United States serving America’s credit unions. The not-for-profit trade group is governed by volunteer directors who are elected by their credit union peers from across the nation. CUNA serves America’s nearly 7,000 credit unions, which are owned by more than 100 million consumer members.

The Course

This charity tournament will be held September 9th at The Creek at Qualchan, a premiere Spokane City golf course. As Spokane’s newest golf course it features a creek meandering throughout, five ponds, wooded and hilly areas, and holes with open beauty and well-protected greens. Qualchan’s par 72 and 6,559 yards will give participants a special golf experience.

To Participate

If you like to learn more and possibly participate in this year’s tournament please log on to the Spokane Chapter’s website at Be sure to download the registration form.

Murder Mystery at Conference

Murder Mystery Banner
The 2016 ESP Client Conference will kick off with a murder mystery social at The Davenport Grand Hotel on Monday September 19th, 2016. Murder at the Juice Joint is billed as “a roaring night of murder, mayhem and the mob to remember.”

Set in the Roaring Twenties, the era of prohibition and gin joints, players will don period costumes and portray flappers, gangsters, politicians and the police. The invitations states:

With the passing of prohibition and organized crime on the rise, The Juice Joint, a swanky speakeasy run by Rosie Marie, has been nothing but jumping. To celebrate its success, Rosie is planning a party to remember at the exclusive nightspot… and your are invited! However, one to the names on the guest list is also on another’s hit list!

ESP will be awarding prizes to the best dressed guy and doll so plan on attending as part of your 2016 ESP Client Conference experience. Don’t forget to register for the conference and to reserve your accommodations. We’d love to see you there.

New CSR – Theresa Noonan

Theresa NoonanWe have just added to the ESP team! Theresa Noonan was recently brought on as a CSR (Client Services Representative). As part of her new role as a CSR, Theresa will be a FORZA3™ Product Specialist and an in-field trainer.

Theresa is a long-time resident of Spokane, Washington and brings to ESP considerable banking experience. She worked for Washington Trust Bank where she worked up from her first position as a file clerk through to loan servicing.  Later, she was employed at Sterling Savings Bank as a system administrator for loans.

In her previous professional experience, Theresa worked with four separate core processors primarily in loan processing. In her training on FORZA3™ she noted “it’s complex but not complex to use.” She was impressed by its simplicity of navigation, and ease of use.

Theresa spends her off-hours pursuing her passions of riding motorcycles, camping and gardening.

Spokane Guild’s School Penny Drive

Penny Drive 2016-14The ESP team jumped on board with this year’s Spokane Guild’s School Penny Drive 2016. ESP’s Annette Guise led the effort to collect penny for this worthy cause. She placed a large glass jar in the kitchen and encourage the staff to contribute their pocket change.

Spokane Guild’s School & Neuromuscular Center (SGS&NMS) began serving children with developmental disabilities in the Spokane County in 1960. Currently, the SGS&NMS serves 200 children annually without regard to race, gender, religion or ability to pay. Penny Drive 2016-11

For children suspected of developmental delays, SGS&NMS provides comprehensive assessment and therapy plan. Children with cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, spina bifida, hearing or vision impairments, speech delays, muscular dystrophy, autism, traumatic brain injury (shaken babies) and other forms of developmental delays and rare syndromes, are all served.

Annette took the large glass jar back after the drive and pledged ESP to refill it for the next drive.

Two Christies are Better than One

Christie Ingersoll; Christy Harmon

(l to r) Christie Ingersoll; Christy Harmon

ESP decided to add a small amount of confusion to existing clients by hiring a second employee named “Christie”.

Christie Ingersoll was hired recently as a Receptionist/Office Assistant. Part of her new duties include generally being the first point of contact for clients calling ESP – a vital role at ESP and essential for providing superior customer service.

Christie has been a Spokane area resident for over twenty years. She came to us from the medical field where she was working in administration.

Soon after her hire, Christie began noticing that clients calling in were giving her a lot of information about their issues – lots and lots of information. More than enough information for her to forward their call. At ESP our Manager of Client Services is named “Christy” and clients supposed they were talking with her.

Christy Harmon has been with ESP for eight and one-half years. Clients have worked closely with her for many years and come to expect her to be the one and only Christy at ESP.

Moving forward, Christy Harmon asks you not to refer to her as “the old Christy” but rather “the existing Christy”. On the other hand, Christie Ingersoll is perfectly fine with you calling her “the new Christie”. ESP will get your call to the right person just give us a little patience because ultimately two Christies are better than one.

ESP Participates in Local Food Drive

2016 Food Drive

(L to R) Matt Lefler and Annette Guise

ESP collected over 100 lb of food for Second Harvest as part of the Chapter Annual BSA & Robbery Training held March 24th, 2016 in Spokane, Washington. This training was provided by the Spokane Chapter of the Northwest Credit Union Association.

This annual training provides a refresher to managers and staff of the responsibilities and requirements of BSA. Participants also meet their annual robbery training commitment by attending this training.

Second Harvest is the leader in the hunger-relief network of Inland Northwest since 1971. It distributes over 2 million pounds of free food each month to help people in need in 26 counties in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. Partnerships with more than 250 neighborhood food banks and meal centers make it possible to feed 55,000 people each week.

Service Bureau: The Right Choice?

In-House vs. Service BureauAn important question every credit union must address is where shall I host my data? There are two distinct models of hosting credit union data and software: in-house and service bureau. Both have their pluses and minuses but for this post we’ll concentrate on the benefits of a service bureau model.

After superior customer service the most vital element of a successful credit union is a powerful and easy to use core. All transactions, either in-person or online, occur with an interaction with a core processing solution. Anytime a credit union employee or member interacts with their account they are, in fact, accessing the core. Having a core that can handle the heavy demands of simultaneous in-branch, online and mobile transactions will keep members happy by avoiding delays in service.

Core processing is a key feature of a credit union that will get very little notice from your members –  and that’s the way it should be. If your core is running properly your members could care less about which architecture you choose to run your system on. When “the computers are down” is the point where your customers will really start to share their concerns about your choice of how you run your core.

The In-House Solution

Many credit unions choose to use the option to run their core software from their own premises. This is the “in-house” solution. Generally they are larger with memberships over 10,000 members and may have multiple branches. In-house credit unions must accept all the responsibility for data security and IT management. It’s a very big responsibility.

The upside for a credit union running a self-hosted system is that is may be able to save money if they can maintain a large enough margin of the cost of the core software over the cost of running their own IT department. And here’s a shocker, IT staffers don’t come cheaply and they like to take days off occasionally. Both of these factors will affect your ability to maintain a significant margin.

Service Bureau

At ESP, we provide core processing solutions to most of our clients through our service bureau. It is a great fit for most credit unions where the staff needs to spend the majority of its time on member service instead of managing IT.

The ESP service bureau scope of service includes:

  • We maintain your instance of FORZA3
  • We send and receive all transmission files
  • 24/7/365 round-the-clock IT support
  • We answer the phone – no third-party support
  • No on-premises servers for you to maintain, secure, update or upgrade
  • Extended End Of Day (EOD) because of our Pacific Time Zone location
  • Your staff can leave soon after your doors close – no waiting hours for EOD to process
  • We create all End Of Year tax forms and submit them to the IRS

Making the Right Choice

Choosing the correct model of hosting your core processor doesn’t have to be a difficult decision. Just figure out where your strengths lie. Are they are in IT management or in providing great customer service to members? If you need more information in your due diligence please email us at

Changes to ESP Statements

Permit Postage

ESP moves to permitted postage.

ESP has decided to move to a permit imprint on its statement envelopes. Our previous process included the use of a postage meter with red ink that would print the required postage. The new envelopes come pre-printed with First-Class Mail permit imprint in black ink. These envelopes will improve our procedures, save time while printing and enhance our quality control.

What it means to you:

  • No changes in pricing – you keep the same low price you’ve already been receiving
  • No changes in the data you provide to ESP – everything works automatically

More Information

If you’d like to learn more about permit imprint statement envelopes please contact Brandon at

Statement Printing through ESP

Statement Printing

Learn how ESP can save valuable time and money by printing and mailing your monthly statements.

Happy Holidays from ESP

Your Team at ESP, Inc.

Happy Holidays, from the President

Dear Clients,

As 2015 comes to an end, I would like to thank you for your continued trust and support. There is not a day that goes by when we are not trying to make your experience with FORZA3™ or your interaction with Support the best it can be. I had the opportunity to visit 27 of you this year and I enjoyed every minute. Next year will be another great year of travel, I look forward to seeing you. We are guided by our Vision, to reiterate, our vision at ESP is:

“To be the most trusted and admired Core Processor

in the industry”

2015 has proven to be a great year of accomplishments for ESP. We are guided by the “trusted” and “admired” in all we do. My in-person meetings and phone conversations have left me humbled and honored to have such a wonderful team here at ESP. We have solidified all 17 of our contract renewals at an average term of 6.3 years. That means we are consistent in supplying you with the quality service and solutions you have come to expect.

Truly, we do not measure how “trusted” and “admired” we are in the industry strictly by the number of credit unions using FORZA3™. A more accurate yardstick for evaluating our efforts in these two areas is by our renewals. A more common term for credit unions to renew their core processor is about five years. The better we do our job in providing credit union solutions, the more often credit unions renew their contracts and for longer periods of time.  At ESP, our evaluation of our customer service practices is a constant and ever-evolving process.  My conversations with clients and potential clients assures me that we are most definitely exceeding expectations.

We are also immediately reinvesting the dollars from these contract renewals into increased capacity to provide customer service. This includes adding more team members (5 in the past 6 months) and were also investing in software and hardware to keep us at the forefront in development.

I have been working hard to build a team and a client base that wants to work and grow together through commitment, hard work and understanding. I am confident we have reached that pinnacle. We are now going to be able to achieve even more than before.

When looking for potential new clients, I look for credit unions that are committed to this collaborative process. I don’t look to solely fill the bottom line and max out our conversion calendar. We provide service from a personal perspective and we are invested in ensuring that you, your staff and your members are growing and enjoying experience. While partnered with us, our clients have experienced an average of 33% growth in accounts, 98% growth in assets and 83% growth in loan portfolio. We are proud of these numbers and look forward to working with you to make them even better – let’s get to 100% on all of them!

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” — Maya Angelo

September of 2016 will bring us to our 20th year in business. Although it’s a big accomplishment for us, we still have a lot we want to do. We are young and committed to providing a superior product and outstanding customer service. We plan to be a big part of your credit union’s success for 20 more years. I am excited to celebrate this milestone with you in Spokane on September 19-22 at our Client Conference. Start planning now! Stay tuned for more information next year.

It is truly an exciting time at ESP, thanks to you.

Shaun Murray - President ESP, Inc.
Shaun Murray
ESP, Inc.
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