53rd Annual Meeting

Erlene Darby Learning Center 49249 Hwy 30, Westport, OR

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020, 6:30pm

Doors open at 6pm/Light refreshments served

The Board of Directors has approved three nominees for three positions on the Board of Directors from applications submitted by members. Their names and biographical information are included below.

William “Bill” Delager, Incumbent, Birkenfeld

I am a lifelong resident of Oregon. I attended Clackamas High School, Oregon State University and I earned a PHO in Economics from Portland State University. I am married to Sheila, a high school classmate. We have two daughters and three granddaughters. I am retired from the Air Force and Air National Guard. Sheila is a retired CPA. We are enjoying retirement, tending our farm and active in volunteer activities. In the past I have served on the Mist-Birkenfeld Rural Fire Protection District Board, the Upper Nehalem Watershed Council Board and the Columbia Soil and Water Conservation District Board. I appreciate having had the  opportunity  to represent you on the  Wauna  Board these past eight years. I look forward to serving again. Thank you.

Erick Holsey, Incumbent, Clatskanie

I am interested in serving on Wauna  Federal  Credit Union  Board  of  Directors as an  opportunity  to  serve my  community  in the spirit of volunteering. I am a longtime resident  of Clatskanie,  a  graduate  of Clatskanie  High  School,  US  Army  veteran and currently employed at Columbia River  Fire & Rescue/Scappoose  Rural  Fire Protection  District. My  educational background is a Bachelor of Science in Fire Service  Administration  with  a  minor  in  chemistry  from  Western  Oregon University and A.A.S degrees in Fire Suppression, Emergency Medical Technology Paramedic, and Oregon Transfer  Degree from Chemeketa Community College. I have been  awarded  approximately  $900,000  dollars in  federal  grants to  include  a new fire engine for our  community. Throughout  my  residence  I  have  had  the  opportunity  to  serve  on  the  Clatskanie School Board as a director and on the budget committee, a member of the  Clatsop  County  Advisory  Board  for  Fire suppression and EMS programs, the Columbia County Fire Investigation Team, and the Lower Columbia Regional Training Association. My local civic memberships include the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion. I believe that  my experience and education with public service provides myself a unique skill set that can  have  a  benefit  to  credit  union members and the community  in  which  I live.  As  a  frequent  customer,  I  have  always  been  greeted  by  friendly  staff, helped with all  types  of  financial  transactions  and  have  been  provided  sound  advice. I  would like to  take this  opportunity to provide some of my time into helping those  employees  continue  to  provide  that  service  while  encouraging  other community members to share my same experience.

Robin Clarke, Rainier

As a long-time member of WFCU, individually and for business, it would be my great pleasure to have the opportunity to not only continue learning about the credit union industry, but to also help the credit union’s continued growth  and  success in our local communities. I have been on the Supervisory Committee for three years and have seen WFCU grow into a strong financial institution. It supports and encourages individuals and businesses in our  area and this is such a  vital benefit to all of us in the region. I have developed a strong background in business and administration over many years and I believe I can add value as a member of the Board by having a broad general understanding of business practices and principles. Confidentiality, and having to make informed and sometimes  difficult decisions, are part of my  job to serve the best interests of our family businesses. This comes naturally to me, along with the energy and commitment to help in any way that will be a benefit to the Board and WFCU. I wish to continue my service beyond my current role as a member of WFCU’s Supervisory Committee and also serve on the Board of Directors.

An election will not be conducted by ballot, and there will be no nominations from the floor at the annual meeting when the number of nominees equals the number of positions to be filled, which is currently the situation. Any member who desires to run for the Board may do so now only by a nomination by petition signed by 270 credit union members in good standing 18 years of age or older.

An application may be requested by calling 1-800-773-3236, Ext 3124. Completed applications may be mailed to ATTN: Governance Committee P.O. Box 67 Clatskanie, OR 97016 or delivered in person to any branch.

Completed applications must be received by end of business on February 6, 2020.

 

It’s For the Kids – Helping DHS Spread Cheer

Michael recently talked about the Power of Giving. It’s our third year giving each employee $50 to give back as they see fit. Some of our employees donated to local charities, others donated to families in need, and others still simply chose to buy groceries for a stranger at the grocery store, or give an extra tip to their favorite server.

Amy Grubb, Member Services Manager of the Scappoose Branch, saw an opportunity. Every year, the Columbia County Department of Human Services organized a giving tree for local children in need. “We always had the donation tags in our branch, and members and employees had always looked forward to helping those in need. This year I realized the tags never came.”

Amy learned that the department was severely understaffed. The caseload usually managed by five people was instead being done by just two people. The team simply hadn’t had the ability to manage the giving program.

There were other groups within DHS that had their own giving trees, but Amy knew there were families that counted on the donations from WCU.

“Even though we didn’t know their names, their are families that counted on Wauna Credit Union,” said Amy. “I had to do something.”

Amy reached out to the rest of the credit union with a plea. She asked that those who had not yet earmarked their donation for another cause pool their money to buy gifts for the families.

“It was so great to see the credit union come together. Especially in Columbia County, we saw so many donations. Because we got so much in donations, we were able to buy gifts for kids aged 6-months to 17-years-old.”

Amy and St. Helens MSM Melissa get ready for a big night of wrapping

Amy’s perseverance showed what can happen when credit unions live up to the mantra of people helping people.

The Power of Giving

The Power of GivingWhat better way to recognize the holiday season 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 the third year in a row all credit union employees are participating in our Power of Giving program.

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,  Kailynn, used her power of giving last year 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.

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.

Wauna Credit Union Raises Big Bucks for Food for Kids Program

Communities are brought together by many hands, many hardships, and lots of love. For the Food for Kids Program at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in Astoria, Oregon, it’s no different.

“Last year we put together 2,246 food bags, which puts us just under 13,000 lbs of food provided to our community,” says Pantry volunteer, Janet Wilker.

In just six years, the little pantry located at the Saint Mary’s Star of the Sea Church, has given away over 10,000 food bags. The bags, filled with groceries and provisions, are then given to area individuals and families alike, but more specifically, the children.

“Every now and then we run into a parent who thanks us for being there for their family,” said Lorrie Radu, also a Pantry volunteer. “We like to think of it as delivering a little bag of hope every Friday.”

From left: Kristen DeForrest of WCU, and Lorrie Radu and Janet Wilker of the St. Vincent de Paul Food Panty.

Employees of area financial cooperative, Wauna Credit Union (WCU), choose one charity or non-profit organization within to raise funds toward. This round, they selected the Food for Kids Program. The Credit Union managed to raise over $6,500 for the Pantry. WCU Compliance Specialist, Kristen DeForrest helped coordinate the fundraising efforts.

“Our employees care about giving back to our communities and that’s why we chose the Food for Kids program,” said DeForrest. “I know this food makes a tremendous impact on the students’ ability to learn and grow, and we hope others will join us in supporting this very worthy cause,” she said

St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry is located at 1465 Grand Ave., Astoria, OR 97103 and is open Tuesdays from 1 to 3 pm and Friday through Saturday from 10 am to noon. They may be reached by phone at (503) 325-2007.

WCU Joins Forest Grove High School Career Expo

WCU’s booth at the Forest Grove Career Expo

On Tuesday, March 6th, Hundreds of sophomores, juniors, and seniors filed into Forest Grove High School’s gymnasium, perusing the nearly 50 organizations there during Willamette Education Service District’s “Career Expo at Forest Grove HS”.

“I just got accepted to BYU,” said one senior girl, who was planning on becoming an engineer.

“I’m not sure where I want to go to school, but I know I want a job in finance,” said another.

Fittingly enough, among those present in Forest Grove was Wauna Credit Union (WCU). Credit unions are not only excellent examples of cooperative, people-based institutions, they’re also great places to start a career.

WCU’s Member Relationship Officer, Stephanie Pesio, alongside Communications Specialist, Michael Murdoch were on hand to talk about the benefits of joining and working for a credit union.

“We have so many opportunities for young people at Wauna,” said Pesio. “WCU has an internship program for current high school kids, too. We have full-time employees who have risen in the ranks here long after starting as interns,” she added.

All told, about 100 students stopped by WCU’s booth. There was, of course, a bowl of candy present and a chance to win $50 for filling out a short survey. With questions like “What is the difference between a bank and a credit union?” and “Can you name three credit unions?”, the survey helps WCU gauge young peoples’ understanding of the industry.

“I think a credit union is local and does loans, right?” said one Forest Grove High School junior.

“There’s still a lot of confusion over what exactly a credit union is,” said Murdoch. “But we did a lot of teaching.”

Though their credit union education might need some work, WCU is looking forward to a larger presence in Forest Grove. Later in 2018, construction begins on WCU’s newest branch. WCU’s presence will account for only one of two credit unions in the area.

“We look forward to the future and are excited to be involved in the schools, the city, and in the community,” said Murdoch.

Wauna Credit Union is now serving cannabis-related businesses

We are now offering compliant, transparent banking services to cannabis-related businesses within our field of membership.

So, what does this mean?

It means that we have a responsibility to ensure that our services and practices are in-line with the credit union philosophy of “People Helping People.” We looked at the 25,000 members in multiple communities across a swath of cities and counties that we now serve, and knew that cannabis-related businesses are now established in all. By allowing cannabis-related businesses to have legitimate financial services, we are helping improve the safety and security of our members and the areas in which they live are.

Cannabis-related businesses often deal in cash-only transactions and so generally have large amounts of cash on-hand. Such circumstances can lead to an increase in crime or other dangerous activities. That being said, offering legal and compliant banking solutions to these businesses just makes sense to us – we are getting that cash off the streets and into a safe place.

“Serving the CRB industry, we become part of the solution and not part of the problem. The CRBs have difficulty forming banking relationships due to the limited number of credit unions and banks serving this industry. Providing banking services to this industry legitimizes these businesses. It also adds an element of safety and security to all of us that live and/or work in the community, which is in all of our best interests.”
— Robert Blumberg, CEO and President of Wauna Credit Union.

In addition, cannabis-related businesses are now legal businesses in Oregon and Washington. Those who choose to work in this field deserve to be treated fairly, and not required to hide the source of their money.

But it doesn’t mean we are taking this decision lightly. The cannabis industry possesses unique banking challenges. Cannabis is still illegal on a federal level and so Wauna Credit Union must adhere to many strict state and federal laws and policies.

We are covering our bases. We’ve assembled a specialized department to handle all due diligence and account opening for these accounts. An Oregon attorney is working with us to guarantee this program and the businesses with CRB accounts are fully complying with state law. Wauna Credit Union has zero tolerance for any type of deception or illegal activity. Accounts not complying with state and federal regulations will be closed immediately.

A safe community is a sound community, and Wauna Credit Union will continue to do what we can to see that we are contributing to bettering the places where we live and work. This sometimes requires making difficult decisions, sacrifices, and other changes. But if that means making things safer for the people we serve, then we are making the right decision.

Inquiries regarding Wauna Credit Union’s Cannabis Business Solutions account applications and opening procedures can be made at 800-773-3236.

Media inquiries may be directed to our Chief Marketing Officer Debi Smiley at 503-728-6116.

Serving Our Communities: Funds Raised For Clatsop Community Action

During the last quarter of 2016, Wauna Credit Union staff raised more than $2500 for Clatsop Community Action.  Depending on the year, we have changed charities quarterly or annually. Staff nominates and vote on each organization we support. It is part of the Credit Union culture to support our communities through volunteering and donations, and it carries down from the very top to our front line staff. One of the reasons many of us have chosen to work for a financial cooperative is the philosophy of “people helping people” and our desire to make a positive difference in the communities around us and the world.

For part of 2016, Wauna Credit Union raised money for Clatsop Community

Robert Blumberg, Amy Stocky and Debi Smiley presents a check for $2,543.20 to Elaine Bruce and Viviana Matthews of CCA
Wauna CU presents the check to CCA

Action (CCA). Clatsop Community Action is an incredible organization in Clatsop County that helps fund the food bank, they offer energy assistance for people when money is tight, whether it be a seasonal layoff, sudden unemployment, or just not earning enough. They help low income workers get needed items, offer training programs, and even find housing for those without any. They do so much in the community, it is impossible to imagine Clatsop County without them!

It was with great pride and deep gratitude, that we presented Clatsop Community Action’s tireless director Elaine Bruce with a check for $2,543.20, and more than 50 pounds of personal care items for those who need them. It is great knowing all of these funds will be used to help people in Clatsop County.

The tourism economy, which is a major part of Clatsop County’s business, can be Wauna CU CEO Robert Blumberg and CCA Executive Director Elaine Brucea volatile way to live for those who work within it, much like fishing, it is seasonal. Tourism industry work consists of many low paying jobs – food service, retail, and hotel housekeeping, these jobs typically pay minimum wage with few, if any, benefits. It can be hard to make ends meet. Luckily, CCA is here to help people when ends don’t meet, when the off season lasts just too long, or when bad luck has knocked good people off their feet. CCA is also mostly volunteer run.

The money goes towards CCA clients who have no money for critical items such as diapers, toothbrushes, bus passes, replacing lost identifications needed for job searches and other emergency services that are not served due to limits placed on grant funds do not allow.  Many families have children and are living in their cars or a shelter with little or no money to live on.

Our fundraising is done through a variety of methods, some employees allow for an automatic deduction from each paycheck to go to the charity fund year-round. We also do “Jeans Days” on paydays, in which every employee wearing jeans puts $5 into the fund. Another fundraiser is “Spirit Days”, when on non-payday Fridays staff is encouraged to wear various themed attire, in December every Friday had a special theme, including wearing elf or Santa hats, wearing Silver and Gold, or jerseys of a favorite team. When members see staff dressed down in this clothing or in jeans, they can rest assured, our staff is being philanthropic!

Other ways we raise money for our charities are staff raffles, silent auctions, and with the candy we sell at the teller windows. All of the money raised from the candy sales go right to our charity fund. Occasionally, we enter members and staff into raffles for sporting event tickets or weekends at the beach if they donate a certain amount into our charity fund.

Thank you CCA for all that you do in our community, and for all the people you work so hard to help!

Board of Directors Voting Open

Whenever we talk about Wauna Credit Union and what we do it comes back to the members. Anybody who has an account, loan or credit card at Wauna CU is a member and a shareholder, and gets a say in what we do. Nowhere is that more tangible than with the voting for our board of directors. Today through February 26, 2017 all members age 18 or older who are in good standing are eligible to cast a ballot, either online, by mail or on Facebook.

Unlike for profit banks, where maximizing dividends for stockholders is most important, a credit union’s board sets policies to make sure decisions are in the best interests of you, the member-owners. Wauna Credit Union’s board consists of dedicated volunteers who represent the interests of the member-owners by meeting regularly with credit union management. This year we are electing three people, each of whom will serve a 3-year term.

As an added incentive 10 random voters will win $50 as a thanks from us for helping make sure our board reflects the wants and aspirations of all our members.

To learn more about the elections, as well as our annual meeting where we will announce the new board, visit our annual election page (waunafcu.org/about/annual-elections). Each of the candidates has provided a few words on why they want to serve on the voting page (cuballot.com/waunafcu).

There are three ways to vote.

To vote by electronic ballot:

  • Go to the Wauna CU website (waunafcu.org)
  • Click the link for the 2017 Board of Directors Elections
  • Select the Vote Now button and follow the instructions now

To vote by mail:

  • Call 877-597-9507
  • Select the option to vote by paper ballot
  • All ballots must be received by February 26

To vote on Facebook:

We hope everybody gets a chance to vote. The more members vote, the more opportunity to have a board that fully represents the membership, and the better Wauna Credit Union is able to meet the needs of our diverse community.

Wauna Credit Union Proudly Supports Local Backpack Program

Backpack-Check2016
Wauna Credit Union officials, church members, and volunteers hold the giant check for the Backpack Program

Recently, Wauna Credit Union celebrated a successful staff fundraiser with the presentation of a giant check. The check for $6486.42 was presented to the Clatskanie Baptist Church for the Backpack Program they organized at several local schools. While every organization Wauna Credit Union staff votes to fund-raise for does amazing work, the Backpack Program was especially close to many of our hearts.

The Backpack Program helps fight childhood hunger in America by supplying children in need with a backpack of prepared, or easy to prepare food, to sustain them over the weekend. Many children in America must rely on free school lunch and breakfast programs in order to eat on a daily basis, so this can make for a long and painful weekend if they live in a home without enough food. It is terribly sad to think about and abhorrent in a nation such as America.

Wauna Credit Union’s Jenifer Katon nominated the cause. She found out about the program and the great work they were doing, and was disheartened to learn there was a waiting list for kids. The waiting list meant that all the children in need would line up on Fridays and organizers would hand out as many bags as they could, this left many children walking away empty handed!

Jenifer decided the Backpack Program needed to benefit from our fundraising immediately, so instead of the money accruing in an account, she gave it out as it came in. Almost immediately, all children were off the waiting list so no one had to go home empty handed. Then, the program was able to expand to another school and another.

In total, the program was able to serve 5 local schools, and give out thousands of meals to children through the last school year, and even into the upcoming one! It was a huge boost for all of us on the Wauna Credit Union staff to hear how the program was growing and serving more and more children in Clatskanie and St Helens each month.

Of course our staff benefitted too through the many raffles that offered cash, sports tickets, and even a beach weekend getaway with the beach house donated for the cause by the amazing folks at Paulson Printing. There was an auction, payroll deductions, “Jeans Days”, and plenty of in branch candy sales, which helped everyone’s sweet tooth, members and staff alike.

Oftentimes members will buy a chocolate bar or a lollipop as a quick snack or in support of “the cause”, but without understanding what that cause even is or where that money is really going. Everyone who gave into the craving for a chocolate pretzel or other treat should be proud of themselves that the pretzel they munched on helped a hungry child to eat on the weekend. Thanks to all who support our staff fundraisers, they do so much more than you realize.

If you want to volunteer or donate money to the Backpack Program, please contact The Clatskanie Baptist Church.

Congratulations to our 2016 scholarship recipients!

josie robertsAt Wauna Credit Union, we pride ourselves on serving our communities the very best that we can. One of the ways we do this is by annually offering scholarships to local student members in an effort to help them afford their higher education goals. We welcome previous winners to apply annually also.

 

IMG_3960The scholarships are awarded based on a variety of criteria including need, academics, community activity, plus essays we ask them to write.

Learn more about our scholarship program on our website: https://waunafcu.org/annual-scholarship.shtml

Below are the 2016 recipients, we are so proud of them and look forward to seeing them progress in their lives and careers!

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