The Erlene Darby Learning Center is a Special Place

Erlene

It was an adventurous spirit, as her children like to recall, that inspired Erlene Darby to do many of the things she did throughout her 79 years of life. In 1970, it was that spirit that led Erlene and her kids on an impromptu, 3-month road-trip across the United States.

Erlene clearly loved traveling and experiencing life. But she was also was well-known for her sympathetic ear and kind heart, and she was always ready to support family, friends, and her credit union.

“I had thought of a number of words to describe her and came up with committed, caring, leadership, supportive. She mentored me both professionally and personally. And she did it from the heart. That meant a lot to me.” — Debi Smiley, Chief Marketing Officer at Wauna Credit Union.

Erlene Darby volunteered at Wauna Credit Union for over 30 years. She served in almost every capacity. From Board Chair to Board Treasurer, she did it all. Erlene watched the credit union grow and change — her adventurous spirit, a beacon, guided the credit union through ups and downs.

So, in recognition of this steadfast commitment to Wauna Credit Union, to her adventurous spirit, and to the inspiration and wonder she shared throughout her three decades with us, we are proud to announce the dedication of our Westport Learning Center to Erlene Darby.

“I think dedicating this building – the learning center for all of the future and current employees and volunteers that we’re going to have here at Wauna – to come through and to see her name and her image says a lot about what she stood for,” said George Dunkel, WCU’s Board Chair.

Erlene’s Family at the Dedication Ceremony

As a special way of celebrating Erlene, we hosted a small ceremony dedicating the “Erlene Darby Learning Center.” There, joined by Erlene’s family and friends, we shared laughs and tears.

While the mood was light, the memories and feelings were strong. The affair became a proud moment forever marked in time for not only Wauna Credit Union, but for Erlene’s family.

“What a wonderful honor it was to be included in the dedication ceremony,” said Erlene’s daughter, Melinda Puzey. “My family and I were both impressed and humbled by the dedication, and for Wauna’s regard and appreciation for my mother’s service and commitment. It made me very proud to be her daughter, and I know it would have meant so much to her.”

Erlene’s Plaque

Her plaque, proudly displayed on the front of her learning center, reads:

Dedicated to the loving memory of Erlene Darby with appreciation of her dedication and passion for lifelong learning. She inspired us with 35 years of steadfast volunteer service.

 

The Power of Giving

The Power of GivingA lot has happened over 50 years of Wauna Credit Union being Wauna Credit Union. We’ve seen 11 presidents; digital music; the Automated Teller Machine; the cellphone. We’ve watched the communities in and around our birthplace expand and change. We have seen members move away and come back, grow up and pass on.

To mark this milestone in our history, we’ve celebrated all year. There have been giveaways and cupcakes and cookies. But we’ve recognized that it’s not just about celebrating. One half of a century is more than long enough for us to have recognized how vital our communities really are.

What better way to recognize than to give back?

We’ve decided that a history and love of our communities coupled with our passion for helping others deserves something a bit more. For that reason, Wauna CU has created a very special campaign, which we’ve aptly named, “The Power of Giving X 50.”

This December, each and every staff member of Wauna Credit Union has been allotted $50 to give back as they see fit. At over 100 strong, we are a force – a force for good.

Perhaps you’ll find one of us buying groceries for a person at the supermarket or maybe you’ll see us donating to a local charity. But no matter where or how we give, it won’t always be about random acts of kindness. Because while we are giving back to these communities, we also belong to these communities.

One Wauna CU employee, Michael, has chosen to give to a local woman named Lanie. Lanie discovered in July that she has stage 4 bone cancer:

I choose this person as my good deed because it hit close to home. I choose this person because I am a two-time cancer survivor. My first diagnosis was the more serious of the two, but there was no guarantee that I was going to make it. This girl is facing some of the same challenges that most people will never understand. I know what it is like to have to go to chemo and radiation. Not only is it physically draining, but also mentally draining, which is an aspect people often fail to realize. Sometimes when going through difficult situations people need something to distract them, even if it is only temporary. If we can help take her mind off of this situation for even a moment, then to me it would have been well worth it.  

Another, Kailynn, used her power of giving to help a family at a local grocery store:

I purchased a $50.00 Safeway gift card and was carrying it in my wallet for a few days until I got the chance to give it away. While picking up some groceries after work I saw a man and his two small children doing the same. We crossed paths a few times in the store and each time all three of them were smiling, chatting, and just seemed to be enjoying their time even though they were only at the grocery store. I approached him and let him know I work for Wauna and we would like to help him with his grocery bill. He was confused at first thinking there was a catch, but after I explained to him what we were doing and why we are giving back to the members of our community he opened up to me. He let me know that he only gets to see his children every other weekend and with the limited time he has with them he always tries to make it memorable and fun for them, on his tight budget. He was so thankful and let me know that he would be taking his little ones on a movie date with the money that he would have spent on groceries.

And of course what would giving back be if we didn’t help our furry friends. Wauna CU staff member, Amy, chose the Clastop County Animal Assistance Program:

I chose CAA because a year ago today we brought our new family member home, her name is Lucy. Lucy was a hard-luck case, we are home number 5, and when she started to act erratically and aggressive a few days after coming to live with us we were very concerned. Most shelters, would have put Lucy down, instead, the CCA paid for Lucy to spend a week with a dog trainer at Hammond Kennel who also gave us books to read on dog behavior problems and how to correct them and we came in for personal lessons. Today, Lucy is a wonderful “furson”, we are so thankful they didn’t let us give up on Lucy, and helped us help her become the wonderful girl she is today. I can honestly say, I love Lucy!

Giving back generates purpose, and meaning, and positive reinforcement. Our communities have given us so much over the years, and we make a living off of what we get. But as Winston Churchill said, “We make a life by what we give.”

This month, keep an eye out for The Power of Giving, as Wauna CU’s force of do-gooders covers our communities, making people’s days brighter, and returning some of the love that all of you have brought to us.

Watch out for those Grinches this Holiday Season

https://waunafcu.org/blog/equifax-breach-part-2/
Watch out for Grinches

The National Retail Association reports that 164 million Americans will go shopping this Thanksgiving week, including on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and on Small Business Saturday and Sunday. All in all, the average consumer is expected to spend $967 this year.

So, whether you brave the mall, keep it local, or get caught up in the online shopping frenzy this holiday season, it’s important that you keep yourself safe from the bad guys out there.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help!

Spend Wisely

How much are you shelling out to spread that holiday cheer? Wauna Credit Union wants you to find that perfect gift, without spending yourself silly. Here are some simple guidelines:

  • Make a list of people you want to buy gifts for and stick to it.
  • Set a budget limit. As they say, “It’s the thought that counts.”
  • Use the best credit card. As a not-for-profit cooperative, we can offer lower interest rates on credit cards than many profit-driven financial services providers.

Protect your credit cards

As a smart consumer, you can shop with confidence this holiday season. But be weary of fraudsters and scams that are all too prevalent.

  • Keep a list of all your account numbers in a safe place, just in case you need to report it if one is lost or stolen.
  • At the cash register, protect your PIN by blocking the keypad from view of others. We suggest resting your fingers on other keys as you enter your PIN.
  • Do not use public wireless networks for online purchases.
  • Use our online account monitoring service and immediately report any suspicious activity to us.
  • Shop on sites with https:// in the URL, and be sure that an icon with a lock appears to the left. The “s” stands for “secure” and indicates communication with that site is encrypted.
  • Type the merchant’s address directly into your browser; avoid links.
  • Use complicated passwords with at least eight characters. Include numbers, special characters, and upper and lower-case numbers.
  • In addition, keep the antivirus and security software updated on your computers and mobile devices.
  • We also recommend that you don’t store your payment information on shopping sites or shopping apps.
  • Finally, take a look at our guide concerning the Equifax breach as well. You can view it here.

Shop Safely

Don’t let the Grinch steal the whole season either. When you go shopping, park in well-lit areas. Walk to and from the stores with your head up and be watchful. Thugs look for people who are not paying attention. Keep your keys in your hand so you can hit the panic alarm if you need to. Unfortunately, ‘tis the season for pickpockets, too. Probably a good idea to keep wallets in zipped purses and front pockets.

Compare Online Deals

What a wonderful time-saver online shopping is!  We know a lot of sites will claim to have great deals, particularly on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but they may not have the lowest price. If you find something you like, do a little comparison shopping by using sites such as Google Shopping or Pricewatch.com.

Give Yourself a Gift

Invest in “you” this holiday season because hey, you deserve it. Open a new savings account, take financial education classes, or look for low interest loans to help you achieve your financial dreams this coming year. Come see us or visit us online for all of those dreamy possibilities.

A List of Veterans Day VIP Treatments

“While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime.” – The Department of Veterans Affairs 

Wauna Credit Union holds dear those red, white, and blue fibers binding the values and principles of the United States.

We hold dear the sacrifices, victories, and triumphs that have been made throughout history so that we might sleep a little sounder at night.

We hold dear the men and women who fight for those fibers, for our freedoms, and for our county.

Please join us in further celebrating this very special day by taking a look at (and participating in!) the following list of celebrations, giveaways, and veteran-exclusive VIP treatment.

Oregon Veterans Day Celebrations:

Statewide list: The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs posts a list of Veterans Day events across the state on its website.

Ross Hollywood Chapel Veterans Day Parade: 9:30 a.m. Nov. 11, Hollywood District in Portland. Begins at Northeast 40th Avenue and Tillamook Street and turns east onto Northeast Sandy Boulevard concluding at 48th Avenue at the flag pole in front of Ross Hollywood Chapel for a flag raising ceremony.

Fort Vancouver Veterans Day Parade: 11 a.m. Nov. 11, begins at Fort Vancouver National Site at Evergreen Boulevard and East Reserve Street, see website for route. There will be a 10 a.m. ceremony before the parade.

Veterans Day Observance, Beaverton: 11 a.m. Sat. Nov. 11, Bethel Congregational, United Church of Christ, 5150 S.W. Watson Ave. Family friendly community memorial service with choir organized by American Legion Post 124.

Estacada Veterans Day Parade11 a.m. Sat., Nov. 11, begins at Estacada High School, 355 N.E. Sixth Ave., travels down Main Street to Fourth Street then turns right on Broadway Street, ends at the Veterans Memorial with a ceremony. Hosted by Estacada Area Support Our Troops Foundation.

Washington County’s Annual Veterans Day Ceremony, Hillsboro: 11 a.m.-noon, Sat., Nov. 11. Washington County Veterans Memorial, Northeast Veterans Drive and Northeast 34th Avenue, Hillsboro. Hosted by Washington County Disability, Aging and Veteran Services; Memorial Fund for Veterans of Washington County; VFW 2666 and American Legion 104. Features Doug Lund, a West Point graduate with a degree in military history, who will talk about significant historical events as they relate to being a veteran, with a focus on World War I. Local recording artist Alena Sheldon will sing the national anthem.

Veterans Day Observance Ceremony, Wilsonville: 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, Oregon Korean War Memorial in Town Center Park, 29600 S.W. Park Place. Event includes a speaker, performances of the “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Taps,” posting of colors, and cadets’ readings about the significance of Veterans Day. Organized by Korean War Veterans Association, Oregon Trail Chapter.

Free Veterans Day Musical Review, Portland: noon Saturday, Nov. 11, German American Society, 5626 N.E. Alameda St. USO-style musical variety show by Tony Starlight and an eight-piece band performing songs covering several decades of American popular music. Lunch provided for the first 250 guests.

City of Cornelius Veterans Day Celebration1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, Veterans Memorial Park, Baseline Street between 12th and 13th Avenues. Keynote speaker is veteran and Washington County Commissioner Bob Terry. Event includes a 7-gun salute by the VFW veterans group, a welcome by Cornelius Mayor Jeffrey Dalin, singing and bagpiper performance. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard will post the colors. Hosted in conjunction with American Legion and VFW groups throughout Washington County.

Statewide Veterans Day Celebration, Salem: 2 p.m. Sat. Nov. 11, Oregon World War II Memorial, Court and Cottage streets, Salem. Hosted by Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs. Honoring and remembering the achievements and contributions of all of Oregon’s veterans. Featuring remarks by Joshua Groesz, Iraq combat veteran and executive director of The Salvation Army’s Veterans and Family Center, and Marianne McNally, daughter of Don Malarkey, WWII hero and member of famed 101st Airborne’s Easy Company, who died in September at 96. Also a color guard, national anthem, laying of the wreath and the playing of “Taps.”

Troutdale Lions Club Free Spaghetti Dinner for Veterans: 4:30-6 p.m. Nov. 11, Sam Cox Building, Glenn Otto Park, 1106 E. Historic Columbia River Highway, Troutdale. Community members are invited to say thank you to veterans. Please bring three non-perishable food items.

Veteran’s Dinner, Forest Grove: 12:30 p.m. Sun. Nov. 12, Forest Grove Elks Lodge, 2810 Pacific Ave. A dinner and dance for Veterans of the Forest Grove Community. Vintage Country Band will perform from 2:30pm to 5pm. Free for veterans, donations requested from non-veterans

Freebies, Perks, Discounts:

Denny’s:  Free Build Your Own Grand Slam breakfast from 5 a.m. until noon on Friday, Nov. 10.

IHOP: Free Red, White & Blue Pancakes on Friday, Nov. 10.

Applebees: Free meal from a limited menu on Saturday, Nov. 11.

Buffalo Wild Wings: One free small order of traditional or boneless wings and a side of fries. All day on Saturday, Nov. 11. (Participating locations only)

California Pizza Kitchen: Free entree from a special menu that includes pizza, salads and pasta on Saturday, Nov. 11. (Locations in Clackamas Town Center and Bridgeport).

Chevys Fresh Mex: Free Fresh Mex 3-Item combo from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11. (Locations in Lask Oswego and Hillsboro)

Chuck E. Cheese: One free personal pizza on Saturday, Nov. 11.

Country Pride: Free meal from a select menu with a drink on Saturday, Nov. 11 (Locations in Aurora and Troutdale)

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store: Free Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake dessert on Saturday, Nov. 11. (Location in Tualatin)

Famous Dave’s: Free two meat combo on Saturday, Nov. 11. (Locations in Tualatin and Cascade Station in Portland)

Hooters: Free meal from a select menu on Saturday, Nov. 11. (Location in Portland)

Little Caesars Pizza: Free $5 Hot-N-Ready Lunch Combo from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt: Free six ounce frozen yogurt all day on Saturday, Nov. 11 (Multiple locations around Portland metro area)

Outback Steakhouse: Free Bloomin Onion and a drink on Saturday, Nov. 11. Receive 20 percent off your check from Nov. 12-16.

​​​​​​Red Lobster: Free appetizer or dessert from a select menu on Saturday, Nov. 11

Red Robin: Free dine-in Red’s Tavern Double Burger and Bottomless Steak Fries on Saturday, Nov. 11

Ruby Tuesday: Free appetizer on Saturday, Nov. 11

Shari’s Cafe: Free pancake breakfast on Saturday, Nov. 11

Sizzler: Free lunch and beverage before 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11

Texas Roadhouse: Free special lunch menu including a drink on Saturday, Nov. 11 (Location in Eugene)

Village Inn: Free breakfast special on Saturday, Nov. 11 (Multiple locations in and around Portland)

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Happy 10th Anniversary to our Fearless Leader!

10 Years, 10 Questions with Wauna Credit Union CEO and President, Robert Blumberg…

We are all about taking care of our members and improving their financial well-being. – Robert Blumberg

Robert Blumberg

Hailing from South Africa, he has lived and worked in California, but calls Oregon home. He’s a family man. He’s a numbers man. He loves traveling, being outdoors, good food, and the Credit Union spirit. His financial background boasts top-roles with Southern Pacific Bank, First Bank of Beverly Hills, and as a matter of fact, Maps Credit Union here in Oregon.

But 2007 was the year when Mr. Robert Blumberg joined the Wauna Credit Union team, taking the helm as our President and CEO. And while it’s true that many “waun-derful” things are occurring under Robert’s guidance, here are just a few noteworthy examples from the past ten years:

  • Two branches were opened in 2010. The first, being an in-store branch at the Astoria Safeway in July, and the second, a new Scappoose Branch in November.
  • Recognizing construction in accordance with energy-efficient building materials & practices, the Scappoose Branch was awarded LEED Certification at the Silver level in August of 2011.
  • Our beautiful, new Warrenton Branch (near Costco) was opened during mid-Spring of 2013.
  • The opening of a new Branch along Hwy 30 took place in St Helens in 2014.
  • In November of 2016, a Mortgage Origination Office was opened in Long Beach, WA.
  • Wauna Credit Union was granted a charter expansion to include Washington County in June of 2016.
  • Also, our first Interactive Teller Machine was implemented in Long Beach, WA in November of 2016.

And how could we forget the numbers? Let’s take a look at a then and now:

  • In 2007 our membership was at 14,083. In contrast, we are now at 24,728 — a 75.58% growth!
  • When Robert started, our assets were at $104.6 million. Today, we are at $234.6 million — a 124.28% growth!
  • Ten years ago we had 5 financial centers and 58 employees at Wauna Credit Union. Today, we have 8 financial centers and employ 105!

Of course, these lists barely scratch the surface; however, they are valid indicators of the innovation and growth that Robert has brought to Wauna Credit Union. And while we are certainly looking forward to another awesome ten years, let’s pause for a minute, and take a closer look at Robert’s life:

1. Growing up, who was the most influential person in your life?
My father.

2. Speaking of influence, how about musically? What was your favorite album as a teenager?
Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon.

3. We all start somewhere. What was your very first job?
RM Pharmaceuticals – They made Vicks and Oil of Olay products.

4. And what year did you first enter the financial industry?
I got my start in 1982.

5. 1982 is a world away from where you are today. Where exactly did you get your start?
I started working for a company called Century Thrift and Loan. When I started working there in the accounting department I did not even have a title.

6. Speaking of history, if you could meet anyone particularly, who would it be?
The person I would love to meet is Alan Greenspan.

7. All things considered, what would you like to talk about?
Having a conversation as to what he thinks went wrong during the last great recession in 2009. He believes in the free market and the free market will be self-policing.

8. What is your greatest hope for the Credit Union industry, presently?
Continuing to grow in market share. We are all about taking care of our members and improving their financial well-being. It is important that the insurance agency remains independent from the banks. It would be a big mistake to merge the NCUA and FDIC.

9. indeed. We talk a lot about “People Helping People” in Credit Union philosophy, but we certainly also aim to please. Altogether, what would you say is your definition of “happiness”?
You should ideally be taking an action every day to bring you one step closer to achieving of your goals. Of course, meeting my personal and professional goals gives me deep satisfaction.

10. Many awesome things have taken place under your leadership, but what accomplishment at Wauna Credit Union are you most proud of?
Building an amazing team that has taken Wauna to new heights. In fact, emphasizing each team member’s contribution and demonstrating how all of their jobs operate together to move the entire team closer to its goal are very important to me.

Without a doubt, Robert believes in our members. He believes in our staff. He believes in the movement.

To sum up, reaching future goals is an exciting prospect. We thank you, Robert, for bringing us this far! From all of us at Wauna Credit Union, it’s an honor and specifically a privilege to have such a waun-derful CEO.

Credit Unions Worldwide Celebrate International Credit Union Day (ICU Day)

“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.” ― Booker T. Washington

Today ― together with some 68,000 credit unions, spanning 109 countries, serving 235 million members ― Wauna Credit Union celebrates ICU Day. Whether a member is rich or poor, from a village or city, credit unions are on duty 24/7, across cultures and languages, helping others realize their dreams.

We call this “The Credit Union Difference”.

When did this start? Well, in 1948 (the year when the first tape recorder was sold and fare on the NYC subway cost 10 cents) the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) established a national “Credit Union Day”. Fast forward 69 years to today’s aptly-named “Dreams Thrive Here” celebration.

“Dreams Thrive Here” spotlights how Credit Unions are transforming goals into realities. It is this community commitment that separates us from banks. Because we are different…very different…both in philosophy and structure.

And in the spirit of ICU Day, let’s recognize all credit unions for the roles they play. Think of the people who would have been unable to afford homes, businesses, or education without credit unions. Together, we are helping people overcome challenges.

Wauna Credit Union opened its doors in 1967 with a mission to help others. Our mission hasn’t changed: we are providing opportunities for our members to build their financial well-being. With your support, Wauna Credit Union has grown to over 24,000 members.

Overall, it is your recognition of the contributions that credit unions make that is beyond awesome it’s superhero status. We thank YOU for joining us in celebrating ICU Day.

One smile per member, one member at a time, Wauna Credit Union will continue working around the clock to build a stronger world.

We look forward to serving you, and we look forward to serving your family, for many dreams to come.

ICU Day