TAPCO Credit Union Employee has Award-Winning Movie Skills

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“GPS: The Movie,” recently captured the honor of “Best Local Film” in the highly popular Tacoma Film Festival

By day, a TAPCO Credit Union employee, 35-year-old Eric Colley, is a Website guru for http://www.tapcocu.org.

By night and on weekends, he changes hats: He’s an award-winning movie director, actor and writer.

In fact, almost everywhere his fun, suspense-thriller, “GPS: The Movie,” has played in Western Washington, it’s been a sellout – 12 consecutive screenings and counting. So, Colley’s job is much different as a moviemaker compared to his diligent success in maintaining TAPCO’s secure-conscious http://www.tapcocu.org.

Why is the movie so successful?

It has an entertaining, suspense-filled plot that has never been done before:

A group of college students embark on a GPS, global positioning system, scavenger hunt for money in the wilderness of the Great Northwest. But when they excitedly believe they’ve uncovered the treasure, they find a grave that conceals a small coffin. Upon opening the coffin, they’re shocked to see pictures of a masked woman tied to a chair in an unknown location.

Scrawled on the photos are GPS coordinates leading deeper into the forest and an alarming plea for help: ''Please don’t let me die.''

“GPS: The Movie,” http://www.gpsthemovie.com , is a must-see film. It’s amusing yet scary. The movie’s Website has informative details about the cast and crew. It also has a trailer and a list of upcoming screenings. And if you’ve heard the buzz, you know it’s worthy of being considered for your entertainment calendar.

The movie recently captured the honor of “Best Local Film” in the highly popular Tacoma Film Festival. And, yes, tickets for the movie, which took three years in writing and production, were hard to get at the festival too.

Most movie fans might anticipate that Colley grew up in Hollywood. Not so, he grew up in Tenino, just down the Interstate 5 corridor from Tacoma. He graduated from Centralia College.

He developed an interest in geocaching – the widely popular, high-tech game of treasure hunting using a GPS device. That led to his idea for the movie. In writing the script, he first teamed up with co-writer Hallie Shepherd. They were later joined by Sean Gleaves.

Colley’s moviegoer fans include many of his peers at TAPCO. Management and staff are very proud of his moviemaking prowess in addition to his TAPCO work, but they hope they don’t lose him full-time to Hollywood. The TAPCO Web site, http://www.tapcocu.org , recently took first place in the Spectrum Marketing Awards, a competition among credit unions in the Washington Credit Union League with assets ranging from $150 million to $300 million in assets.

It’s one of numerous awards TAPCO has won not only for communications and marketing, but for community service throughout Tacoma and Pierce County, too.

TAPCO Credit Union started in 1934 through the hard work and efforts of nine City of Tacoma employees. These nine employees realized that traditional banks and savings institutions were formed to make money for their owners. With this underlying purpose, it was sometimes hard for traditional workers to receive the help they needed. The nine founding members created a cooperative institution dedicated to working for people, a not-for-profit financial institution also known as a credit union.

As word of the new credit union spread, membership grew. Employees from Pierce County and more than 200 businesses, associations and communities eventually signed on as approved member groups – providing the benefits of credit union membership to their own employees and members.

Today, over 24,000 people belong to TAPCO. Each member has learned firsthand about the advantages of belonging to a nonprofit financial institution. You can be a member too.

As a cooperative, each TAPCO member is also an owner and has a voice in how the credit union operates. That voice keeps TAPCO focused on the founding members' vision of "People Helping People."

While maintaining a professional staff to run daily operations, TAPCO's governing policy is set by the Board of Directors, a group of hardworking volunteers elected annually by members.

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Brenda Minickiello
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