It has been a while since our last newsletter, and we have made some changes at DFI. On Oct. 18 we opened the Tumwater Office once again to the public. While we have been serving the public online and via the phone, we are very happy to have our doors open for folks who choose to visit our headquarters.
We implemented the Governor’s vaccine mandate and have a fully vaccinated workforce in the office. Currently we require masks in the office as is recommended by local and state health departments. Due to our ability to successfully work remotely, we consolidated our offices into one office in Tumwater, and closed our Seattle Office in November of this year. Our bank examiners will be assigned home offices and will also have touch down spaces in Tumwater when needed. Our Division of Banks will also have some space in the Tumwater Office as they have always had. We are also working on providing them with occasional meeting space in Seattle.
This year a long time member of our Executive Team, Joe Vincent, retired. While we lost a key member of our Executive Team and a true banking expert, we are happy to announce the hiring of a new attorney to fill his position, Ali Higgs. We were very lucky to hire Ali because she is also a true banking expert! Ali is not new to DFI as she served the agency as a banking examiner before becoming an attorney, and then as an attorney worked as a DFI program manager in our Division of Banks. After that she worked as a compliance consultant in the financial services industry.
Since she has returned, she hit the ground running working on our Center for Fintech Information. We have put her in charge of our internal Fintech workgroup. Along with our internal Fintech team, she has updated our website, and coordinates DFI responses to industry from the Center. If you are curious about the DFI Center for Fintech Information and want more information, take a look at our article in this newsletter. You can also listen to a hearing where the DFI Center for Fintech Information staff made a presentation to the Senate Committee on Business, Financial Services, & Trade, available here at about the 39 minute mark.
We are also excited about the hiring of our new Director of Diversity Equity and Inclusion at DFI, Erin Lopez Nielson. We want to work with you together as we make Washington a more diverse, equitable and inclusive marketplace to do business. We know there is a lot of work to do in this area, and we encourage you to reach out to Erin, or to me to discuss any ideas you have as we begin this important work in 2022.
I wish all of you a Happy Holiday Season, and Best Wishes for the year ahead,