Meet Lynn Terwoerds, New Board Member of First Fed


Port Townsend resident Lynn Terwoerds has embraced community in the PNW, serving on non-profit boards where she can make a positive impact locally. Currently she is President of the Board of Directors for the Northwest Maritime Center. In January, she was appointed to the board of First Fed, a local community bank celebrating their 100th anniversary in 2023.

Multicultural Beginnings

From her earliest years, Terwoerds has been shaped by her multicultural background. After being adopted from South Korea, she learned to speak both English and German fluently at a very young age.

Both her parents were world travelers; her mother was German, and her American father was of Dutch and German descent. While her family raised her Ohio, she traveled frequently to Germany to stay connected with her mother’s family.

Terwoerds’ international experience gave her adaptability and the will to overcome challenges. In college she continued to embrace her German side, with a dual major in the classics and German language.

Lynn Terwoerds, Board Member at First Fed.
Lynn Terwoerds, Board Member at First Fed.

The Allure of Technology

Working in technology was never part of Terwoerds’ original plan. She was getting her PhD in classical philology, with a focus on ancient Greek and Latin. It was during these early days of text-based internet, that her department received a grant to upgrade their computers from the Apple IIe to the Macintosh SE. Terwoerds was immediately fascinated by the networking ability of the new computers.

“It was like magic to me,” she recalled. “I knew nothing about computer networking, but neither did anyone else in the department. So I dove in and began to learn.”

After quickly becoming her department’s resident technology expert, it wasn’t long before Terwoerds was ordering parts from computer magazines and helping others build and network their computers. She began to charge people for her services, and before she knew it, she was running a successful side business as a technology consultant while she finished school.

What began as a passion project shortly blossomed into a career in information technology and cybersecurity at companies like IBM, Microsoft, and Barclays. Her experiences included running global security incident responses as well as developing long-term security strategy for critical infrastructure, which required top secret clearance.

During this time, Terwoerds often found she was either the only women, or one of a small few, to be found in these technology departments. This sparked her interest in The Executive Women's Forum, which focuses on supporting and advancing women in the fields of information security, risk management, and privacy.

“When I joined the advisory board of the Executive Women's Forum in 2013, that was the inflection point in my career where I realized I wanted to look beyond my personal path to serve my community,” she explained. “Board service is an important part of giving back."

Terwoerds (right) presenting an award at the Executive Women’s Forum conference.
Terwoerds (right) presenting an award at the Executive Women’s Forum conference.

Her other board service was for the National Women’s Sailing Foundation, a nonprofit organization that offers women education, scholarships, and increased access to the sport of sailing.


Sailing into Washington

Terwoerds first moved to Washington while working for Microsoft. She recalled visiting Port Townsend during the Washington summers and falling in love with small town community on the peninsula. Even though her work would move her to London next, the town remained high in her mind as a place to return to. Coupled with her wife’s love of sailing, Port Townsend was an idea location for them to settle down when they moved back to Washington.

As they bought land and settled in, Terwoerds personal sailing adventures were just beginning, starting with her wife’s boat that was built in Port Townsend. She tackled sailing with the same determination as she did with technology, and soon the couple were taking on adventures like sailing all the way from Hawaii to Washington on the 42-ft boat.

Terwoerds (right) out crabbing with her wife.
Terwoerds (right) out crabbing with her wife.

In 2015 Terwoerds was invited to join the board for the Northwest Maritime Center, where she chairs their audit and risk committee. “I live here, and I care about what happens on the peninsula and the Puget Sound area,” she added.

A Fit with First Fed

With her technical background in the financial industry, Terwoerds was a natural fit for the board of directors of First Fed.

"Lynn is a trusted leader and strategist with extensive experience in cybersecurity for Fortune Global 500 companies,” said Matt Deines, First Fed President and CEO. “She is adept at optimizing the connections between people, process, and technology.”

Part of what drew Terwoerds to First Fed was its commitment to their communities. For 100 years, First Fed has been a part of the cultural landscape on the Olympic Peninsula. Not only from the financial solutions they provide families and local businesses, but also from the sponsorships and volunteer hours their team members to local non-profits.

Another aspect that attracted Terwoerds was First Fed’s commitment to investing in newer technologies for the benefit of their customers. This is especially important with the growing number of accounts opened online. First Fed provides secure, user-friendly banking while always looking towards future enhancements through new partnerships.

“First Fed is committed to delivering excellence to their customers, communities, and growing number of business partners,” said Terwoerds. “I am excited to contribute my technology leadership experience to their journey.”

First Fed is a member FDIC and equal housing lender. Learn about our Port Townsend branch at