Michael Swanson: Growing other businesses, helping community

Michael Swanson Michael Swanson

More stories about Emerging Leaders 2017

This is one of a series of stories profiling finalists for the Emerging Leaders award, which is presented annually by The Herald Business Journal. The winner will be announced April 6.

Each day, Michael Swanson jots down a list of the 10 most important things he hopes to accomplish.

“It sounds pretty elementary but staying focused on what’s truly important and not allowing myself to be lured off course by distractions is what allows me to be able to accomplish what is most essential,” Swanson wrote in his nomination form.

That’s served Swanson well in his role as vice president at Coastal Community Bank as well as his efforts at helping the community.

At Coastal, Swanson developed a program called Coastal Express where most business loans are $250,000 or less. The loans require less documentation, making them faster to lend.

In the first three years of the program, Coastal has processed more than 500 loan requests asking for $49 million. These loans help businesses grow, providing jobs and opportunities in the community, Swanson said.

“Small business owners have a lot to juggle and little time to do it, so we needed to respond with a faster, streamlined approach for customers to access capital,” Swanson wrote.

Swanson is also a kindergarten basketball coach, serves on the Port of Everett’s marina ad hoc committee and sits on Everett’s parks board.

Other affiliations have included the Small Business Connections Board member for Economic Alliance Snohomish County, the city’s charter review committee and United Way of Snohomish County.

Swanson grew up in the county and hopes this community will be a place where his kids and eventually their kids can call home.

“I want to leave Snohomish County an even better place than I found it,” Swanson wrote. “I want this to be a safe community where opportunities are boundless.”

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