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.

 

December Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union has had a lot of exciting things happen this year, our 50th year of serving members of the small towns surrounding the Columbia River. We’re continuing to grow (if you want to join us check out our careers page). Today we wrap up the year by hearing from the employees who celebrate their anniversary in December.

Amy Grubb – 5 years
What is your current position?
My current position is Member Service Manager of the Scappoose branch.  My main focus is making sure my branch runs smoothly and supporting and training my MC’s so that our members are receiving the best possible experience and helpingAmy and son them with their financial needs.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
My favorite Wauna memory is when I was a teller in Scappoose and one of my favorite members told me his birthday is Christmas Eve and it wasn’t really celebrated much growing up, I went out and bought him a birthday cake.  He was so surprised and now I buy him a cake every year for his birthday. We also had a couple members who were struggling around Thanksgiving one year and I was able to contact a local church and got them hooked up with a full turkey dinner. I loved seeing the look of relief and joy when they got their boxes full of dinner and all the fixings, they were so happy to be able to provide a nice dinner for their family.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
My husband and my son love to ride quads and go camping! I am also addicted to Fixer Upper and am going to Magnolias in Waco, TX in April 2018.

Ashley Erickson – 2 years
What is your current position?
My current position is Accounting Clerk. I make sure all of our member’s daily financial transactions are posted correctly and balance, and pay all of the credit union’s bills.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
My favorite WCU memory is the Clatskanie Branch’s remodel open house we had last year. It was great getting to meet our members as they had the chance to see all of our changes at the branch. You could tell everyone was excited about our growth and new work spacesAshley and her team.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
When I am not working I enjoy reading and coloring, going to the gym, wine, and playing tennis with my boyfriend.

Rachael Eaton – 1 year
What is your current position?
I’m an Member Consultant at the Warrenton branch. I assist members with their transactions, answer questions and explain things in a straightforward way that’s easy to understand. I also help with loans and credit cards. It’s great to be able to help our members build their credit and meet their financial needs.Rachael and her boyfriend

What is your favorite WCU memory?
Just the fun we have. The way we celebrate holidays, member recognition, contests. This is truly a fun place to come to everyday.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
When I’m not at work I’m either reading my kindle, hanging out with my nieces, or spending time at home with my boyfriend.

Josh Rein – 1 year
What is your current position?
I’m the Digital Marketing Specialist for Wauna. I make sure our members know about all the great promotions we have going on, and all the fun things we are doing in the community. I also break the fourth wall when I do the December Anniversary blog post.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
My favorite memory was this year’s annual meeting. It marked a real kick-off of celebrating our 50th year of serving the community, and it was great to see actual members come and help set the direction of the credit union. It’s really what makes us different than a bank. I also got the opportunity to meet Erlene Darby who shaped Wauna more than any other person.Josh grilling

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I have an 8-year-old and a 4-year-old, so most of my time is spent with them and taking them to their various activities, and in general having fun being a dad.

Others

  • Stephanie Sievers – 21 Years
  • Stephanie Pesio – 10 Years
  • Cassandra Budge – 8 Years
  • Rachel Milligan – 3 Years

 

Employee of the Quarter Fall 2017

Every quarter Wauna Credit Union celebrates one employee who exemplifies our mission to “Provide opportunities for our members to build their financial well-being,” and our vision to be “the financial institution that members choose first, use the most, and grow with throughout their lives.” For this quarter our Employee of the Quarter is Alex Peck. If you’re interested in becoming the next Employee of the Quarter check out our Careers Page

Alex at Seahawks game
Alex takes in a Seahawks Game

What is your title?
I’m an MC 2. I’ve been a Member Consultant in our St. Helens branch since I started out at the credit union four years ago. It’s fun to look back, and see all that has changed over that time. One of the most rewarding things is I’m in the position to mentor the other MCs. Wauna is really great about letting us take on more responsibility, and being self-reliant.

It’s also fun to establish relationships with the members. We have our regulars, and over time you become part of each-other’s lives. You know about their families and what’s important to them.

Alex in a cable car
Alex loves to travel all over the west coast

What brought you here?
I used to work at the Dockside in St. Helens. Sara, who used to be the Member Services Manager here, and now leads our training team, would come in occasionally. I must have made an impression because she encouraged me to apply.

What is your favorite thing about working here?
There’s so much to like about working at Wauna. I love helping people, and really feel like I’m making a difference. One of my favorite things is how my coworkers and members feel like family. A credit union really is different than a bank.  We’re not here to get people in and out, or make as much money as we can, but instead we want to help people.  Wauna Credit Union’s Vision is to be the financial institution that members choose first, use the most, and grow with throughout their lives, and I get to be a big part of that.

What project has been your favorite?
My favorite project isn’t one project, but it’s any time we all get together.  Whether it’s training, or a holiday party, or something else, it’s a lot of fun to get together with my colleagues and get to know them better.

Where did you grow up/Why did you move to St. Helens?
I am from Helena, MT.  I moved to Portland to finish school, and gradually worked my way north. Helena is a smaller town, and I’m a lot happier working and living in a smaller town. There’s still a lot to do, especially if you like the outdoors, and people know each other instead of being strangers.

Help Kids in Need – Win Prizes

Wauna Credit Union believes in giving back. Each year we pick a charity to focus our donations on – although we do support other charities as well throughout the year.

This year we chose to focus on Backpack Programs. Many children rely on free lunches, and don’t have access to food when not at school. These services provide easy to prepare food for school-aged children for the weekend.

  • $6 provides food for one child for one weekend
  • $24 provides food for one child for one month
  • $216 provides food for one child for the entire school year

In the spirit of holiday giving those who donate $5 will be entered to win their choice of either a Coca-Cola gift basket or a local Clatskanie gift basket. Both winners will be drawn on December 18th.

Those who donate $10 can instead choose to be entered to win 4 tickets to the January 7th Trail Blazers game against the San Antonio Spurs. The winner of this basket will be drawn on December 21st.

Members and non-members can contribute in person at any of the credit union’s branches in Astoria, Warrenton, Clatskanie, Vernonia, St. Helens and Scappoose, as well as the Mortgage Origination Office in Long Beach. Members can call the Wauna Credit Union Communication Center at 1-800-773-3236.

coca cola basket- Those who contribute $5 can chose to win this gift basket, donated from Colvins. The drawing will be held on December 18th.
Those who contribute $5 can chose to win this gift basket, donated by Colvins. The drawing will be held on December 18th.

#1 Coca-Cola Basket:
Valued at over $140, this basket was generously donated by Colvin’s Pub and Grill. It includes; 1- party drink tub ($40), 1 ice bucket ($30), I snack tray ($15), 1 straw holder ($10), one lunch box ($40), 1 tin bank ($10), 1 wreath.

For every  $5 donated to the backpack program you will be entered to win.

 

 

 

Men playing basketball Those who contribute $10 can chose to win 4 tickets to the Blazers vs the Spurs. The drawing will be held on December 21st.
Those who contribute $10 can chose to win 4 tickets to the Blazers vs the Spurs. The drawing will be held on December 21st.

#2 Portland Trail Blazers vs the San Antonio Spurs drawing:
This drawing will be held on December 21st. All entries must be received by December 20th. This drawing is for 4- Portland Trail Blazers vs the San Antonio Spurs tickets. The game will be held on Sunday, January 7th at the Moda Center in Portland at 6 pm.

For every $10 you donate to the backpack program you will be entered to win.

Gift basket Those who contribute $5 can chose to win a gift bags, with items donated by several Clatskanie business. The drawing will be held on December 18th.
Those who contribute $5 can chose to win a gift basket, with items donated by several Clatskanie business. The drawing will be held on December 18th.

#3 Local Clatskanie gift basket:
All items in this basket have been donated from local Clatskanie businesses. All money raised for this basket will go to the Clatskanie Back Pack program.

For every $5 donated to the backpack program you will be entered to win this AMAZING gift basket.

Thanks to our local Clatskanie businesses.

Business Donation
Anytime Fitness 30-day membership and 1 free training session
Clatskanie Builder’s Supply $25 Gift Card
Conestoga Pub and Grill $25 Gift Certificate
Cora Bee Naturals Cora Bee Products
Discounts and Deals Labrador retriever clock ($14.50)
Farmhouse Coffee Coffee Mug and $5 Gift Card
Flowers-n-Fluff $20 Gift Card
Fultano’s $25 Gift Card
Gun & Boot & Gear $50 Gift Card
John’s Auto Detailing Full Window tinting ($250 Value)
Katon Kids Custom Bird Houses and Crafts Essential Oil Diffuser Bracelet and Necklace ($45 Value)
Megan Hurula-Hicks Christmas sign ($15 value)
Napa Auto 2 hats
Simply Tan $20 Gift Card
Sweet Boutique Flower Barn $25 Gift Card

November Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union is growing fast (if you want to join us check out our careers page). The main reason for that is the great service our amazing employees provide our members. Employees celebrating anniversaries this month like to get out and about, and explore their world.

Brianna Malcolm – 11 years
What is your current position?
I am a Communication Center Representative III in the WCU Communication Center. The Communication Center serves as a virtual branch. We answer all of the phone calls for seven branches and help our members who call with any of their financial needs. Even though we don’t see the people we help, we have our regular members who we recognize by voice. It’s great to help members from all over.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
That happens every year. It’s being able to get together with everyone from all of our branches. Since we only talk to everyone on the phone I love getting together with everyone for training, Christmas parties or anything else we get together for. We are at work more than we are at home so everyone is considered our Wauna Work Family.

Picture of Brianna playing cornhole
Brianna is cornhole champion. Read the story at http://www.oregonlive.com/forest-grove/index.ssf/2014/06/brianna_malcolm_crowned_winner.html

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
My favorite thing to do outside of work is spend time with my family. We have a four-year-old daughter who is absolutely amazing and I love watching her grow and learn! We love to go camping and spending time outdoors.

Michael Woods – 6 Years
What is your current position?
I am a mortgage member consultant. I usually work out of our Mortgage Origination Office in Long Beach, but I am currently filling in working with our Warrenton members.

Michael in a helicopter
Michael gets ready to see Las Vegas from the air

What is your favorite WCU memory?
One of my favorite memories was when I was a member of the Lending Admin team. I helped a member get a loan. I was just doing what I felt was right, but he was so appreciative, and to this day he always thanks me, and shakes my hand, no matter where we are, or who we are with. It’s actually what inspired me to join the Mortgage Team. Just to think I could impact somebody’s life so much really gives my work purpose. You’re forever linked to your members, because you helped them get their home. It’s a great feeling, and one that I get to experience over and over.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
When I am not at work, I like to spend time with my almost three-year-old daughter. It’s amazing to watch her grow up. I also enjoy playing cards, and watching sports. I am a die-hard New York Yankee and Dallas Cowboys fan. (Editor’s note, the views of our employees on the November Anniversary Post do not represent the views of the credit union. We cannot condone rooting for these two teams.)

Alex Peck– 4 Years
What is your current position?
I am an MC in the St. Helens branch.  I really enjoy my job.  I have grown fond of the relationships that I’ve formed with my members. It is great to see a member you’ve developed a friendship with over the years walk in the door.

Alex in a cable car
Alex loves to travel all over the west coast

What is your favorite WCU memory?
I loved the opportunity to volunteer a couple of years ago for the Columbia Humane Society Denim and Diamonds fundraiser.  Wauna was sponsoring the Humane Society that year.   The team I was on got to stage the event in the pavilion at the Columbia County Fairgrounds.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I love to travel and explore the Pacific Northwest.  Whether it be a quick trip out to the coast or a road trip up to Seattle or head south to Northern California.

Mark Crandall – 2 Years
What is your current position?
I’m a mortgage loan specialist. My job is to assist members with all of their home mortgage needs. It can be anything to helping a member purchase their first home, borrowing equity to do home improvements or lowering their payments to improve their cash flow.

Mark standing next to a tree he hit is golf ball into
We’ll call this a trick shot

What is your favorite WCU memory?
My favorite memory is helping a couple purchase their dream home on the Columbia River. They had a challenge with another lender before they came to us for help. We were able to work together and come up with a solution to get them qualified and make their dream a reality.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
If I am not at work, I am with my wife. We enjoy spending time with our family, horseback riding and landscaping.

Jeremy Grover – 2 Years
What is your current position?
I currently am a Training Specialist II at our wonderful Learning Center in Westport.  I assist new hires to learn our mission and vision statements and explain how they impact everything we do. I also help current internal members learn our lending philosophies that help all to build their financial well-being. Continued training helps make our credit union the finest to not only work at, but to do business with.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
My favorite memory doesn’t come from being an employee, but from being a member. I grew up in Clatskanie and my parents had been members for as long as I can remember. When I turned 18, I had big plans to purchase my dream car from my parents (1969 Dodge Charger R/T). To my surprise, I wasn’t laughed at or criticized for my non practical choice in a first car,

Jeremy's Car
The car that started it all

but shown respect and dignity and soon after I was cruising Clatskanie with the car of my dreams!  That experience has stuck with me and has shown me the importance of treating people with respect and never judge a book by its cover and has lead me down a long history of lending with Wauna and encouraged me to apply so I could have that same impact on other members that may be starting out like I did so many years ago.  Two Goals met, I have a great career with Wauna and I still have my dream car.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?

Jeremy with his family
Jeremy loves to spend time with family

Anything that involves spending time with my family.  My Dad taught me the importance of taking time to just hang out and enjoy every experience that your wife and children get to enjoy together.   I have never heard anyone say “I wish I didn’t spend all that time with my family”

Others

  • Teressa Wemmer –  11 Years

Thanks from WCU

This Thanksgiving as we gather around a table, to join with our friends and family the holiday season really starts to kick into gear. While Wauna Credit Union is closed today so that our member-employees can spend time with their families, we also wanted to extend a thanks to our members.

Thanks in neon

This season isn’t just about the food at the table, or the football on TV. It’s a time to reflect on our lives and what we are truly thankful for. This is just as important for a business as it is for individuals, so we wanted to take some time to write down what it is that we are all thankful for here at WCU.

  • First and foremost, thanks to our members. Without our members, we would not exist. We thank each and every one of you, from those who have been a member for all 50 years, to those who just joined yesterday.
  • Thanks to the communities we serve. One of the things that makes us special is we live within our communities. We get to see the daily impact the credit union has, but we also get to know our members and future members as friends.
  • Thanks to the future. You may have heard we announced we’re opening up a branch in Forest Grove, but we also see tons of future in our current communities as well. We know the only way the credit union will grow is by continuing to provide the best products and services.

We hope your holiday is filled with laughter and love this year! We welcome you to come visit us tomorrow as you get ready for your holiday shopping, and remember Triple Rewards Points start today through the 27th.

We’re also celebrating Shop Local with Columbia County Keep It Local, so come on by and support local businesses.

 

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.

The Holiday Season is All About Rewards

I know it’s a bit early to start thinking about decking the halls, and planning holiday dinners, but as the calendar turns to November, well at least as the date on your smartphone says November, and the weather begins to cool, it’s time to admit that the holiday season is upon us. At Wauna Credit Union, we want to be the first to give you a gift. That’s why in November and December, all purchases on your Wauna Credit Union Visa Reward Credit Card will earn Double Rewards Points. In fact to make it even sweeter, when you make purchases November 23-27 and on December 24 will earn Triple Rewards Points!*

Now what you do with those rewards points is up to you. If you go to https://www.scorecardrewards.com you can get an idea of what is available (short answer is almost everything!). At WCU we recommend you spend them on yourself as a January treat to yourself for all your hard work. There are even deep see fishing excursions, a St. Maarten getaway for two, and family Disneyland vacations.

A few suggestions;

The Family Matriarch Reward PackHand Spa
Make a cup in your 4-Cup Espresso & Cappuccino machine, set up your SlumberScents Aroma Diffuser, then sit in your Shiatsu Pro Plus Kneading Massage Cushion with Heat, play some music from your SoundLink Revolve Bluetooth speaker and read a book on your Fire HD8. If you’re interested you can even relax with the Conair Massaging Hand Spa.

 

The Outdoor Pack

Trail Camera

Get some steaks, burgers and franks from Omaha Steaks, throw them in your Yeti Roadie 20 and head to your favorite campsite. Find a good spot for your Bushnell Trophy Cam HD Aggressor 24MP No-Glow Trail Camera. Make sure you don’t wait until it’s dark when you set up your Coleman two-burner propane stove and  8-person tent, or you’ll have to use your 350-Lumen LED IllumiLast aluminum flashlight.

The Gamer Pack
Gamers are a different group. Whether you’re playing Call of Duty, Madden 17, or something else. Make sure you’re sitting in you gaming chair in front of your Sony 75-Inch Black Ultra HD 4K HDR LED Smart HDTV. That is unless you get the PlayStation VR Bundle. You’ll have to stand for that.
TV

The Not For Us
There’s an almost limited amount of items available. Please get whatever you want. We however will probably not get the cordless ear vacuum.

*VISA Rewards Credit Cardholders will earn Double Rewards Points for purchases during Nov. & Dec. 2017. They earn Triple Rewards Points for purchases conducted Nov. 23-27 & Dec. 24, 2017. Rewards Points are not transferable. Membership with Wauna Credit Union is required. This special offer ends Dec. 31, 2017.

 

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.

October Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union is growing fast (if you want to join us check out our careers page). The main reason for that is the great service our amazing employees provide our members. Our October anniversary celebrants are always hard at work to provide the best possible member service.

One employee not highlighted below is our CEO Robert Blumberg who celebrated 10 years of leading the charge for WCU on October 1st. Look for a blog from Robert later in the month looking back at the last 10 years, and forward towards the next 10.

Sharon Borgardt – 23 Years
What is your current position?
As the Chief Human Resources Officer I supervise the HR Department; serve on our executive team; oversee hiring, employee benefits, payroll and legal compliance regarding employment; and assist all employees to ensure their needs are heard and addressed. Our employees are what sets Wauna apart. Making sure we hire the right people to serve our members—and making sure those employees have what they need to succeed—is a responsibility I don’t take lightly.  I especially appreciate Wauna’s dedication to providing growth opportunities for our employees.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
I have it every day. The most gratifying part of my job is helping our employees.  This includes ensuring that our employees have great benefits.  One benefit that means a lot to our employees is our Sick Leave Donation program that allows employees to donate Sick Time to an employee in need, who has exhausted their Sick Time due to a serious medical condition.  I love being able to inform an employee in need that their generous and caring co-workers donated enough Sick Time to cover their absence.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I enjoy spending time and traveling with family and friends.  Between us, my husband Ron and I we have great 5 kids and 4 wonderful granddaughters.  We rescue Great Pyrenees dogs; our current fur babies are Bob and Mica, and they are very special to us, too.  I have lived in Astoria for 23 years and it’s been amazing to experience the growth of the area. We love all the arts and really delicious food options in the area, while still being so close to nature!

Sharon and her husband Ron with dogs

Sara Kulp – 6 Years
What is your current position?
I’m currently the training manager, my position is to train our new internal members and provide ongoing training for the credit union. WCU really believes in giving all team members the foundation to build their career, which makes this an incredibly rewarding position. I also support oncoming projects and help implement the training process. Previously I was the branch manager for our St. Helens branch. It was tough to give up the face-to-face interactions with our members, but great to know I’m helping teach people how to give the same friendly service I would.

Sara in Hawaii

What is your favorite WCU memory?
This past year I had the opportunity to put together and host our in-service day. It’s a day where all if the employees get together and kick off the year, talk about successes and what will be happening in the next year. We all had a blast and I will never forget the energy and excitement that we had that day.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I love to travel, read and spend time with family. I have three sons. One graduated and is now proudly serving our country in the Air Force, the other two are still at home and keep us so busy with all their activities.

Kailynn Daum – 6 Years
What is your current position?
I am a Training Specialist. I get to use my experience from being on the front line to teach our internal members (employees) in a variety of areas to help them better serve our members. I love that Wauna is committed to education and opportunity, and that I get to be a big part of that.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
My favorite memory with the credit union is becoming certified and facilitating our most recent TMA seminar for 28 of our newest employees. The Member Advantage is the service philosophy that we have adopted here at Wauna, and just one of the ways that the Credit Union invests in our employees success. I love being a part of our employees growth and development and it was so rewarding to see the Training Team’s hard work pay off.

Kailynn in Greece

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
When I am not at work I love to travel and experience the world with my husband, Alex. When we’re not out exploring, I enjoy practicing yoga, kayaking, spending time with friends and family, and being a dog mom to my three pups.

Samantha Wiser – 5 years
What is your current position?
I’m an MC III in the St. Helens branch. I am proud that I get to assist the members in my community with their financial goals. It is very rewarding for me to see our members achieve their dreams!Sam taking a selfie

What is your favorite WCU memory?
I like to have fun while helping our members and teammates. My fun memories are all about laughing and making coming into the credit union a good time, instead of a chore.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
If I’m not at work I’m outside playing. Whether it’s hiking, camping, or rafting I like being active. My favorite thing to do is Kayak the sloughs on the Columbia and explore Sand Island. I’ve been going there since I was a kid!

Marti Gwin – 1 Year
What is your current position?
I’m the internal auditor at Wauna. My job is to look at processes within the credit union to evaluate if we are effectively managing risk. My goal is to provide feedback that gives insight to managers about their areas of operation in a way that enhances and adds value to what they do. I like to say I’m an extra pair of eyes to help us be the best we can be and do the best that we can do for our members. Prior to being an employee, I was a member of Wauna’s Board of Directors. The Board works with our CEO Robert and the rest of the Leadership Team to set the roadmap for the credit union. It really is a rewarding experience.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
I recently had the opportunity to help at the Wauna booth during one of the 13 Nights on the River concerts in St. Helens. It was fun hanging out with Josh and Stephanie from the Marketing Team while listening to great music and greeting people as they wandered by the booth. The Wauna kazoos where a big hit with everyone and we even gave a few kazoo lessons!

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I love to spend time with other people. Hanging out  with my husband of 31 years is a favorite past time, I also teach a weekly women’s Bible study at my house, regularly visit a few older friends who can’t get out any more, and I try to make arrangements to meet a friend for coffee or a meal every week. People energize me!

Marti and the Ops team

Others

  • Diana Phipps – 4 Years
  • Summer Douglas – 1 Year