2016 Anniversaries

There are a lot of great things about Wauna Credit Union’s employees. One of them is that they are all members too. Another, is that they like working here so much they stay a long time. We caught up with some of the people who had anniversaries in 2016 to find out who they are, and what they like to do.

10 Years

Brianna Malcom

What is your position at WCU? I am a communications center representative III. We answer phones, give balances, help with online banking, take loan applications, take payments, do transfers, help you find the closest shared branching to members, process the returned mail, process verifications for businesses regarding our members accounts, and much more. I started out as a teller, then went to vault teller, then head teller, then new account specialist, then I moved in to the communication center which by far has been my favorite position of all since we do a little bit of everything so every day is different and you never know what to expect.

What do you like most about your job at WCU? How Wauna credit union employees are like family. We are a close knit group of individuals who all love our job. I also love being able to help our community with their personal/business financial institution needs.

What is your favorite memory or testimonial of providing great service to a member? We have a few regular members that call in at least once a day if not more. I have a few instances that I love… I don’t really have one that just stands out to me. We help them with Transfers, getting their balances, inquiries regarding transactions on the account, and some of them just like to chat with us. See how everything is going, how our day is, how the weather is, what plans we have this weekend. I have one specific member who loves to talk to me and she will call in and ask to only speak with me.

5 Years

Kailynn Fischer

What is your current position? I am the Operation Specialist for the Credit Union. As the Operation Specialist, I offer support to all of our front line staff when they have questions or need help. I manage our escrow accounts, audit new accounts, process garnishments, subpoenas and levies and assist with projects such as conversions and rolling out new products and services. I also give second approval for the EFT Clerk and back up Card Services.

What do you like most about your job? The thing I enjoy most about my job at Wauna CU is the sense of accomplishment I feel when I go home at the end of the day. I enjoy taking the lead on projects and seeing them through to completion. And I love being able to help our front line staff offer exceptional member service.

What is your favorite memory of working at WCU? One of my favorite memories from the past five years is helping an elderly gentleman who was a long-time member get a loan for a new battery for his scooter. He was unable to get around without the use of a scooter and had become house bound, and being on a fixed income he was unable to pay cash for a new one. The member’s ratios did not fit our lending guidelines, but after hearing our member’s story Norm, our VP of Consumer Lending, made the exception to approve the loan without hesitation. I drove to the member’s apartment to have him sign the paperwork and after getting the loan disbursed I went and picked up the battery and delivered it to his home to be installed. He was back on the road and was so appreciative of what Wauna had done for him.

Michael Woods

What is your current position? My current position is Lending Support Specialist I (LSSI). Some of my primary duties are underwriting loans, working and maintaining relationships with the dealerships,  assisting the mortgage department, funding loan packets, assisting the branches with their loans and occasionally assisting collections.

What do you like most about your job? I most like the learning that I have experience.  I have learned so much and I believe it has developed me into being a more complete employee. The position I am in has a lot of variety and each situation is unique so it keeps things very interesting.

What is your favorite memory of working at WCU? I enjoy helping any member, anytime, anyplace, but I do have a favorite. There was a member who was having a rough time. He was expecting his seventh child and he had just purchased a van from California. The seller misled him about licensing and title work and he needed to get the issue resolved quickly. I was currently working on an Auto Answers deal and was going to be visiting the that day. I called my contact at the DMV and explained the situation and she told me everything I needed to do to help the member. After getting the necessary documents prepared I called the member and told him to meet me at DMV. After a long wait at the DMV he got everything he needed and left. He then called the communication center and asked to speak with the manager. He explained everything I did and asked that the message be passed on to my supervisor. I still see him around town and he always thanks me and shakes my hand.

Sara Kulp

What is your current position? My current position here at Wauna is the training Manager. I just recently made the switch over from the MSM position. I’m looking forward to my new adventures after spending some time in the branches.

What do you like most about your job? For the MSM I loved the fact that each day was different and crazy busy. I loved the challenges of the day, helping the members grow and work alongside an amazing team.

What is your favorite memory of working at WCU? My favorite memory of great service happened to be with a long member. He came in and was inquiring about some charges on his account. The charges were from Paypal and he wasn’t familiar with them. I pulled him aside and helped him call Paypal. At the time he was in his late 80’s and hard of hearing so he was very appreciative that I was willing to call for him. I was able to get a representative on the phone for him and it seemed that someone had been using his accounts for some time to pull a check out of his Paypal account, which was coming from his checking account. We were able to dispute the charges and receive most of his funds back. He was so appreciative and such a kind and wonderful gentlemen. He passed away this last February and it completely broke my heart. I was glad to have the opportunity to get know him and give him the trust and respect that he deserved.

Others

  • Jeff Parker – 10 Years
  • Teresa Wemmer – 10 Years
  • Mark Silva – 5 years

 

 

Holiday Recipes from our staff! E-book of recipes!

1christmas swirl cookies 007[1]Download: Holiday Recipes from our Staff

It’s the season of baking and cooking for family and friends, of parties and potlucks! A few years back, we gathered favorite recipes from our staff, and we share the link here.

If you are looking for a new recipe to try, take a spin through the PDF above. There’s everything from hot dips to traditional cookies in these pages. Some are from scratch and some have easy shortcuts, try a new one out this year.

You might find a new family tradition!

Happy Holidays from Everyone at Wauna Credit Union!

EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER: Megan Gillespie, Operations Guru

EOQ-Megan-circleWe have an amazing team here at Wauna Credit Union, there is no doubt about that! Our staff is dedicated to truly helping our membership and doing good work, but there are certain staff members that take that hard work and care to the extreme, and these people often become our Employee of the Quarter!

For the 4th quarter of 2016, our standout employee is Megan Gillespie!

Megan is a longtime Clatskanie resident, and has worked in a variety of positions and locations here at Wauna CU. In a tight race of great people, Megan was voted Employee of the Quarter by fellow staff members, which ought to demonstrate just how amazing she is! Megan is known throughout the organization as someone that can be counted on to assist is any instance, she has been referred to as ‘Inspector Gadget’ for her ability to make things work, and she is extremely pleasant and kind.

The Wonderful World Of Wauna caught up with this quarter’s winner to find out more about this exceptional human:

Hurray for Megan! Congratulations!

 Name: Megan Gillespie

Title: (currently) Lending Admin Assistant

How long have you worked at WCU? 9 yrs and 2 months

What do you do at Wauna CU? I assist with the back office side of lending including titles, paid off loans, claims, etc. in addition to assisting the Operations Department.

What does Operations do for the CU? Operations does all the behind-the-scenes work in conjunction with Accounting and Compliance that helps the credit union function smoothly for the membership. This includes the processing of credits and debits, assisting the front-line staff with questions and member service so they can in turn provide excellent member service to our membership.

Where are you from, what did you do before you came to work here? I’ve been in Clatskanie since 1988 and worked in food service at Hump’s before joining the Wauna family.

What is the best thing about working here? The people, hands down. What’s more awesome than a group of people who love helping others that also just happens to be right in your backyard?

What is something you do at work as far as duties that might surprise people? Processing holiday skip-a-pays.

Favorite color, why? Green, I just have always liked it.

Favorite food? Cheese.

Zodiac sign? Taurus.

What do you do when you aren’t at work? I like to travel.

What is your favorite Wauna CU product or service?  Why?

Last good movie you saw? Deepwater Horizon

Last good book you read? A Christmas Carol

Favorite musical? Why? Kinky Boots, great story/message and Cyndi Lauper wrote all the music!

 

Smart Money: Best Moves for 20-Something Investors

Investing early makes saving for retirement much easier!

When it comes to investing early in life, you likely have two things on your side: time and flexibility. Although a 2015 survey found that most millennials don’t think they’ll have enough money saved for retirement, investing is one way to help build wealth for the future. Here are some of the best investments you can make in your 20s.

Real estate

If you have enough money set aside for a down payment, consider buying a home with rentable space, so you can live in one section and rent out the rest. Any rent you receive can help cover the mortgage and other expenses; the tax benefits of homeownership are substantial, and the home’s value will likely rise over time.

However, owning property comes with added costs, such as insurance, taxes and maintenance, while related income can drop if rental space goes unoccupied. There’s also the risk that property values might decline or rise only slowly, and if you wind up with an unruly tenant, evictions can be time-consuming and expensive. Unlike selling stocks or investment funds, you might find it harder to sell a home, should that become necessary. Property ownership generally should be regarded as a long-term investment.

401(k) plans

If your employer offers a 401(k) plan, it’s a good idea to participate and see whether a Roth option is available. If it is, you can designate some or all of your contributions for a Roth 401(k), which means you forgo an immediate tax benefit, but withdrawals, including any investment gains, are generally tax-free. Younger investors are often in a better position to invest in riskier vehicles such as stocks as part of their retirement accounts, because they have more time to recoup any losses they may suffer.

Index funds, or funds that track the index of a specific financial market, are typically an easy-to-manage way for investing in the stock market. From 2005 to 2015, for example, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of U.S. stocks grew an average of roughly 8% per year. While past performance doesn’t indicate future returns, $5,000 invested in an S&P 500 index fund that gains 8% annually, with $60 a month added to the investment, would produce a nest egg of about $200,000 in 35 years.

Of course, there are other alternatives such as investing in individual stocks or commodity funds. As you get closer to retirement, it’s smarter to take a less-risky approach by shifting money to more conservative investments such as government bonds. (Some brokers offer mutual funds that will do the rebalancing for you, investing heavily in stocks when you’re younger and moving the money more toward bonds as you approach retirement age.)

Roth IRA

If you don’t have a Roth 401(k) option, then a Roth IRA can be another way to accumulate tax-free wealth. These come with a contribution limit of $5,500 annually, along with other income-based restrictions. These funds can be invested similarly to a 401(k).

Keep in mind that investing retirement funds can expose you to the risk of losses. If you prefer the lowest possible risk, certificates of deposit offered by banks and similar savings certificates available from credit unions are generally insured for up to $250,000 but deliver relatively low returns.

As you decide how to invest your money, remember that starting now can make a big difference in determining the amount of money you’ll end up with later on, as any retirement calculator will indicate. Assess what investments make sense for you based on the money you have and the risk you’re willing to take to give your financial future a good boost.

© Copyright 2016 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Thanks to our friends at NerdWallet for this informative post.

EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER: Jacob Humphries, IT Systems Admin

jacob-circleJacob  Humphries is our reigning Employee of the Quarter (EOQ), and it’s no surprise given his expertise in all matters technological.

The Wonderful World Of Wauna caught up with our busy tech guru to get some questions answered. It shouldn’t really be a surprise that most of his answers were very short – except the one about video games – A techie to the core!

If you happen to see Jacob in a branch, be sure to say hi!

Name: Jacob W Humphries

Title: Systems Administrator II

How long have you worked at WCU? Little over 2 Years

What do you do at Wauna CU? If it uses electricity, I make sure it keeps doing so…

Where are you from, what did you do before you came to work here? I’m from Astoria, Ive been doing IT since the 90s

What is the best thing about working here? Each of the employees, We have an awesome Wauna family

Favorite color, why? Green, I enjoy nature!

Favorite food? Ice Cream, It’s a food, right?

Zodiac sign? Taurus

What do you do when you aren’t at work? I have 2 energetic kids so there is little time left for hobbies, but when I do have time, I build and race multirotor drones.

What is your favorite Wauna CU product or service? Why? Mobile banking, I use it more than any other service.

Last good movie you saw? Star Trek Beyond

Last good book you read? ‘It’s Your Ship’ by Captain D Michael Abrashoff

Favorite video game? I was a Halo fan until they killed off Master Chief at the end of the third game. I packed away the Xbox never to touch a game console again. I like Battlefield and Star Wars Battlefront on PC.  My favorite game of all time was Day of Defeat. It was a WW1 FPS game on the PC, Axis vs Allies. There was a third team called spectators which you could join to just view the game as if you were a ghost. We found a way to join the spectator team right after being killed and drop from the sky holding the last gun that was in your hands prior to your death. Since there was no player model for the spectator, Allies would see the Spectator as an Allie and Axis saw the same spectator as being in Axis Clothes, Each team would think we were on their team. When a Spectator would capture a flag or hold a control point, the game would just remove said flag, Thus ending the normal game play completely as nobody could get the flag after it was gone. If they ever killed one of us, we would just drop from the sky once more the moment we got shot. We would get into a server, stop the normal game, then hide in buildings and shoot anyone who got too close. Soon Axis and Allies were cooperating to find us and end the madness, Since we always looked like a friendly soldier and never an enemy, this created distrust amongst the real players and they would shoot each other as the whole game devolved into anarchy. Think Cylons of WW1.

Are all tech people sci-fi geeks? Not all but to succeed in tech one should be capable of imagining where tech might be in the future in order to foresee the innovations one can make.

 

The Clatskanie Sign Returns From Its Makeover!

New Clatskanie Signs Mark another Milestone in the Wauna CU Branch Remodel

Wauna CU’s Clatskanie branch had some Special deliveries recently! The monument sign that sits atop a Sphinx-like brick structure has returned with a new, modern face. A new Wauna logo sign appears atop the front door entrance of the branch, AND a brand new LCD display was affixed to the building, ready to share the time, weather and great information to all passersby!

IMG_2357.JPG IMG952345

The Clatskanie branch has been going through a major renovation since April of this year and is finally nearing completion. Phase 4, which includes the second floor operations and administration areas, will soon be finished to accommodate our growing organization and give staff a more modern facility to work in.

IMG_2328.JPG IMG_2343 IMG_2336

The updated outdoor signage is just another leap in this process. Earlier we launched our new “Financial Center” for members, and out staff was given additional training to allow them to help the member from the beginning to the end of their transaction – whether it’s a simple deposit or a home loan, our Member Consultants are ready, willing and able to assist.

Stay tuned for news on our Grand Re-opening coming this fall!

IMG_1804

Ways to Financially Prepare Before College, Or Smart College Budgeting

college_nerdwallert_blog

No matter your major, you can graduate from college with an honorary degree in personal finance by paying attention to where your money is coming from and where it’s going.

Here’s how to get started:

Set a budget

Start by identifying the income sources you’ll have in college, such as wages from a part-time job, scholarships and financial aid. Then estimate how much you’ll be spending. You can probably ballpark costs such as tuition, room and board, school supplies, laundry and transportation.

You should also allocate some money for discretionary spending, such as food outside your meal plan and entertainment. Consider limiting these expenses with a weekly allowance.

Your budget can show you when you need to cut back on spending and when you can afford a treat. If you need help, try an online tool like Mint.com.

Apply for the right financial aid

There are two main types of student loans: federal and private. It makes sense to borrow as much as you can in federal loans before resorting to private ones, because federal loans generally have lower interest rates and broader repayment options.

Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, to get federal loans and see if you qualify for need-based aid, including grants, work-study and some scholarships.

Do your best to figure out how much you’ll need before you take out loans, whether they’re from the government or a private lender. Either way, you’re on the hook to repay them, so borrow only what you have to.

Manage credit cards responsibly

Credit cards can be tricky, particularly if you’ve never had one. They’re useful tools for building a credit history — but they’re also fraught with danger if you overextend yourself.

To get the greatest benefit out of a credit card, use it wisely. That means paying off your balance in full each month to improve your credit score and avoid costly interest charges.

It helps to view your credit card as you do your debit card: You can’t spend what you don’t have. Speaking of debit cards, make sure you don’t authorize your banking institution to charge an overdraft fee if you inadvertently withdraw more money than you have in your account.

If you want a credit or debit card, consider getting one from a nonprofit, member-owned credit union like Wauna Credit Union. These financial institutions generally offer lower interest rates and fees than traditional banks.

Take advantage of your student status

Many major companies offer student discounts. Among them: Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Banana Republic. If you’re hoping to make a purchase and the merchant hasn’t advertised a student discount, there’s no harm in asking.

You can also save money on textbooks by buying used copies from websites such as Abebooks and Chegg.

A degree doesn’t guarantee you a great-paying job. But college graduates still generally out-earn people without degrees, according to a 2014 report by the Pew Research Center.

And this much is certain: Developing smart budgeting and spending habits in college will continue to pay off long after you graduate.

Peter Lewis, NerdWallet

© Copyright 2016 NerdWallet, Inc. All Rights Reserved

*Thanks to our friends at NerdWallet for this informative guest blog!

Congratulations! Richard Bighill Celebrates 20 Years at Wauna CU!

Twenty Years & Still Going Strong! Thank You Richard!

richard- bighill-2016Please join Wauna Credit Union in congratulating Richard Bighill, as he celebrates his 20 year anniversary.  What a milestone!  On July 8 wa-a-a-ay back in 1996 Richard started his career at Wauna.  Wow, has he ever seen a lot of change in the past 20 years!

 

When Richard first joined Wauna he was our Administrative Secretary.  He reported to past CEO Eileen Cheuvront, and also to Debi Smiley, who was the Marketing Manager at that time.  He was very busy helping both bosses and in time he became the backup for the Marketing Department (which consisted of just one person).  He took meeting minutes, helped update procedures and other documents, made board packets, and had a plethora of other behind the scenes duties.  Richard was also in charge of supplies for all branches, and he continues to make sure we have all the office supplies, forms and miscellaneous items that we need to keep things running smoothly here at Wauna.  And he seeks out good deals!

In 2003, Richard became the Administrative Assistant to past CEO Dave Baggett who came to Wauna when Eileen retired.  Dave appointed Richard to be our official Wauna “Minister of Fun” (yep, you read that right!).  Employees looked forward to his jokes, fun facts and activities in our branches, and they were simply meant to add some fun to our day.  A few of us remember bowling with pumpkins, having paper airplane contests, and other fun games.  Don’t let Richard’s quiet demeanor fool you; he has a great sense of humor and comes up with the funniest lines at the most unexpected times.  But back to his work, Richard was also past CEO Bruce Mallory’s Administrative Assistant, so he has directly served 3 CEOs.

And then in 2005 Richard had the extreme good fortune to join the HR Department. He became responsible for payroll and variety of HR administrative duties that include all our insurance and 401k enrollments/changes, our HR system software, compliance assistance, on-boarding new employees, and much more.  He has experienced 3 payroll systems and countless insurance carriers in the past 11 years, not to mention all the new laws we need to comply with.  He continues to take on new responsibilities as our number of employees increases and our systems become more sophisticated.  Yes, many changes indeed!

A few things you might not know about Richard…  He has an identical twin brother (and Richard claims to be the better looking of the two!).  He will celebrate his 24th wedding anniversary this year (wow!).  He has 2 sons, he is a HUGE David Bowie fan, and a big fan of the Seahawks and the Mariners, too.  He loves cars, burgers, and chocolate (he always has a stash of peanut M&Ms).

Richard is very proud to be a member of Team Wauna and the HR Department, and he enjoys serving all our employees.  Please be sure to give him a high five and thank him for all he does here at Wauna.  And a big “Go Seahawks” is always welcome!)

Richard, thanks for your dedication, your work & your positive outlook for all these years.  Happy anniversary and congratulations!!

Written by Sharon Borgardt, SPHR, SHRM-SCP 

HELOCS Are Cool, Just Ask Barbara Norman!

Barbara Norman-webWauna Credit Union is offering special terms for HELOCs (Home Equity Line Of Credit) until July 31st! Now is the time to put your home’s equity to work for those fun home improvement projects, or nearly any need one might have. One reason so many people prefer HELOCs to Home Equity Loans is that you use the money you need when you need it. It is rotating and versatile!

Our current promotion offers a 1.99% interest rate for the first 6 months! Plus, since we are a Credit Union, there are NO Loan Origination Fees like many other financial institutions have. And, as an added bonus, we will give the holder of every approved HELOC a DIY project starter kit including a tape measure, torpedo level, & a carpenter’s pencil!

To learn more, we cornered Barbara Norman, an expert from our Wauna CU Mortgage Department, here’s what she had to say about HELOCs.

First, we asked Barbara to name THREE great things about a HELOCs, and she was quick to respond!

  1. Access to emergency funds instantly!
  2. Pay interest only on funds used!
  3. No costs (except appraisal if needed)!

Next, we asked her what a homeowner would need to qualify for a HELOC?

  • Income, equity in the home, & pretty good credit.
  • A month of Paystubs.
  • 2 years W-2s and Federal Tax Returns.
  • Home Owner’s insurance.
  • Current Mortgage Statement on 1st Mortgage, if any, and possible other docs depending on circumstances.

What can homeowners spend the money on? Are there rules or limitations?

Barbara: They can spend it on buying a car, pay off debts, home improvements, cash for vacation, buying additional property, and much more!

What is the benefit of getting a HELOC via Wauna CU?

Barbara: We pay for the title policy, flood certification, recording fees, and tax service, if any.  The member would pay only for appraisal, if it is required.

We thought we’d stump Barbara when we asked this question: What is the ‘Coolest” thing about HELOCs? Because of course, how could a HELOC be cool? But, Barbara didn’t even blink when she responded, why you ask? Because as Barbara has proven HELOCs ARE COOL!

Barbara: I think the coolest thing about a HELOC is having the funds for emergencies; whether your water main breaks, roof leaks, or you have a medical emergency, it takes the worry out of the equation.

Thanks Barbara!

Now, we all know a little more about Home Equity Lines of Credit, and if you would like one, please apply online or stop in any branch to talk to your local Member Service Officer.

Learn More about our HELOC Promotion: https://waunafcu.org/loans/current-loan-promotion.shtml

 

Need A New Car? This is Your Week!

Wauna Credit Union is Offering two amazing ways to save on a new/used car purchase this week.

Spring Fling Coastal Auto Sale:

Event Pgage FB - Spring Fling 2016This weekend (April 28-May 1) is the 3rd Annual SPRING FLING Auto Sale at four coastal auto dealers – Astoria Ford, Lum’s Auto Center, Ocean Crest Motors, & Warrenton KIA.

Wauna Credit Union will have lending officers on site to make your financing happen immediately. Plus, we are offering 90 No Payments & everyone who buys a car through Wauna CU will get a $30 VISA Gift Card! All of the auto dealers will be offering special low prices, and they’ll be serving up free BBQ during the days of the sale, April 28-May 1. Come out and enjoy a hot dog, take some test drives, and find yourself a great new car!

Get Pre-Approved!Direct Loan Promo

No matter where you are in our service area – from Scappoose to Vernonia to Warrenton – All of our branches are offering 90 Days No Payments for anyone who gets pre-approved for an auto loan!

Plus, if you get pre-approved at one of our branches or with online/mobile application, we offer much lower rates on Mechanical Breakdown Protection (MBP) & Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP), and we also have competitive rates on Auto Insurance!