Conversations Over Coffee – Michael Baryla


When it comes to balancing the fine line between work, family, and leisure, Michael Baryla seems to be on the right track. And as the new director of Polam Federal Credit Union, he looks to balance all of those elements with skill.


Mike was brought on at Polam this January, and he looks to bring a new style and direction to the success of our credit union. He’s an experienced businessman and hobbyist who looks to bring his business ownership experience to his work at Polam.


“I’m looking to bring a fresher approach to operations,” Mike said, as a way to bring in new members and clientele. He also cited his experience as a business owner to bring about a new focus on how to cater to other business owners, evaluate what specific business services Polam can offer, and use his experiences to see what needs to be done to attract more entrepreneurs.


After graduating from University of San Diego a degree in international relations, Mike started his own company – a firearms store, a self-proclaimed “hole in the wall,” which later expanded to two locations that included a shooting range. Firearms and shooting were one of his personal hobbies, and now that he’s sold those businesses, they’ve become a hobby once more.


After his family emigrated to the United States from Poland in 1986, they went into the steel manufacturing business, and after working small jobs, his father started his own fabrication business, which grew to a substantial company based out of Livermore. Mike clearly grew into that entrepreneurial spirit, as he’s now an owner of his father’s business.


With his wife of five years and three-year-old son, Mike is certainly enjoying life. He enjoys outdoor time with his son in their big yard and taking day trips; they particularly enjoy the Monterey Bay Aquarium. He’s a bit of a sommelier, enjoying wine around the house, and is also a pilot who owns a Cirrus SR22.


Mike says he’s “still learning” and adding input as he goes, and with his experience and fresh approaches and ideas, he’s a warm and welcome addition to the Polam family.