Clatsop SBDC, Wauna Credit Union and OSU Extension Bring Free Small Business Education to Clatsop County

Small business owners will continue to have access to no-cost, practical education thanks to a new collaboration between the Clatsop Community College Small Business Development Center, Wauna Credit Union, and Oregon State University Extension.

This collaboration has launched a digital masterclass series, “Summer Small Business Bootcamp,” where new and existing business owners can learn from business experts in seven sessions covering topics critical to business success including strategic planning, financial management, marketing, and human resources. The classes will be offered live via Zoom and then available on-demand so busy business owners can design their own learning path. 

Lindsay Davis of Oregon State University said of the collaboration: “We see great value in combining forces and resources to best support the rebound of Clatsop County’s economy in this time of great need. By working in partnership with Clatsop Community College’s SBDC, it will be a solid one-two punch of University and Community College educational offerings for the community.”

Clatsop Community College SBDC will receive $7500 in total in direct and indirect support to fund the digital series that will be offered free to the public through live streams and on-demand videos, starting July 14th.

Michael Murdoch of Wauna Credit Union said “Building relationships with organizations like the SBDC links directly to our vision and mission as a financial cooperative. Moreover, the SBDC truly fosters our local economies, encouraging profits to stay close to home and providing invaluable support to our neighborhoods and communities.”

In addition to the Boot Camp masterclasses, community members looking to hone their leadership skills can participate in the Clatsop SBDC’s “Books & Brews” Leadership Book Club.  This summer’s reading is Brene Brown’s Dare to Lead and will be facilitated by Astoria-Warrenton Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Director, David Reid.  The first meeting of the book club will be July 15 and pre-registration is required.

Jessica Newhall, Associate Director of the Clatsop SBDC said “Our mission is to help our region’s small business community thrive. Wauna Credit Union and OSU Extension’s support ensures all small business owners can access no-cost, practical education designed to help them overcome challenges and be positioned for success.”

Notable speakers leading the boot camp include Seth Morrisey of Oregon Web Solutions, Alyssa Logan of Fort George, Chelsea Morrisey of Morrisey Digital, and Sarah Lambert of Riverview Bookkeeping.

For more information and to register for the Summer Small Business Boot Camp or Books & Brews Leadership Book Club, visit www.bizcenter.org/Clatsop

Non-Discrimination Declaration 
It is the policy of Clatsop Community College that there will be no discrimination or harassment on the grounds of race, color, sex, gender, marital status, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression or disability in any educational programs, activities, or employment. Questions or complaints should be directed to Naomi Garbutt, Affirmative Action/Gender Equity (Title IX) Officer, Towler Hall, Suite 110, ngarbutt@clatsopcc.edu 503-338- 2450; TDD 503-338-2468. The Director of Disability Services, Mallory Vollner, is located in Towler Hall, Suite 104A, mvollner@clatsopcc.edu 503-338-2474. 

Accommodations 
Persons having questions about or a request for special needs and accommodation should contact JoAnn Zahn, Vice President of Finance and Operations, at Clatsop Community College, 1651 Lexington Avenue, Astoria, Oregon 97103, Library Suite 110,  jzahn@clatsopcc.edu Phone (503) 338-2421 or TDD (503) 338-2468. Please send special needs and accommodations requests here. Contact should be made at least two business days in advance of the event. 

 
Declaración de no-discriminación 
Es la política de Clatsop Community College que no habrá ningún tipo de discriminación o acoso por razón de raza, color, sexo, género, estado civil, religión, origen nacional, edad, orientación sexual, identidad de género o expresióno discapacidad en los programas educativos, actividades o en la contratación. Preguntas o quejas deben ser dirigidas al Naomi Garbutt, Oficial de Acción Afirmativa / Título IX localizado en Towler Hall número 110  ngarbutt@clatsopcc.edu número de teléfono 503-338-2450, TDD (discapacidad auditiva) 503-338-2468. Director de Discapacidad Dervices, Mallory Vollner, se encuentra en Towler Hall, numero 104A, mvollner@clatsopcc.edu número de teléfono 503-338-2474. Para ADA y otras peticiones de servicios llame al 503-338-2474 o para TDD (discapacidad auditiva) 503-338-2468. 

Ayuda a personas discapacitadas 

En cuanto a las personas discapacitadas, se les pide que se comuniquen con JoAnn Zahn, la Vice Presidente de Finanzas y Operaciones en Clatsop Community College, 1651 Lexington Avenue, Astoria, Oregon 97103, Library Suite 110,  jzahn@clatsopcc.edu número teléfonico (503) 338-2421 o a TDD (503) 338-2468. Haga el favor de notificar a la oficina para que se le pueda proporcionar apoyo. La comunicación debe tomar lugar por lo menos dos días de trabajo antes del evento por el cual se requiera tal ayuda. Para más información, vea la página Web de Clatsop Community College bajo Información en Español. 

2020 Scholarship Winners

Wauna Credit Union Awards Area Students Over $12k in Scholarships

It was definitely a year unlike any other. Graduations did not have the pomp and circumstances that the Class of 2020 was probably expecting, but in many ways that made the awarding of scholarships to deserving students even more rewarding.

WCU’s 2020 scholarship recipients were selected based on a variety of factors, including GPA, community involvement, and their need for financial assistance.

“This was not an easy decision as we had a huge amount of wonderful applicants this year,” said WCU CEO Robert Blumberg. “We take that to heart, because we believe not just in our communities and our schools, but in our future. And who better to make that future brighter than our children,” said Blumberg.

Fifteen students from eight area high schools are recipients of this year’s WCU Scholarships, which range from $500 to $1,500 each. This years recipients include:

  • ELI Takalo – Astoria
  • Kegan Rascoe – Astoria
  • Gabriel Katon – Clatskanie
  • James Helmen – Clatskanie
  • Gina Limon – Clatskanie
  • Jonathan Moravec – Clatskanie
  • Catherine Ruado – Forest Grove
  • Nada Jones – Rainier
  • Josiah Jones – Rainier
  • Kelsey Ela – Scappoose
  • Allisandra Kuni – Scappoose
  • Kaytlenn Worlitz – St. Helens
  • Sofia Wolf – Vernonia
  • Jessica Butcher – Vernonia
  • Katrina Diego – Warrenton

Alert: Unemployment Fraud

The NW Credit Union Association has alerted us to a significant increase in unemployment fraud hitting or footprint. Please be aware if you, your friends, or family are asked for your account information and then see a deposit from a state unemployment division. Scammers are using this new method to conduct fake check scams https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-spot-avoid-and-report-fake-check-scams

Washington state law enforcement has recently reported investigating a widespread fraud campaign in which victims’ identities are being used to file false unemployment claims. While similar reports have not be issued for Idaho and Oregon, other states across the country are reporting the latest in fraud trends. Victims, who have not filed unemployment claims, have received notification from their employer’s Human Resources department, or the State Employment Securities Department, indicating an unemployment claim has been filed on their behalf.

The Seattle Police Department’s cyber-crime investigators have recommended the following steps for anyone who knows, or believes, they are a victim of unemployment fraud. Credit unions may wish to share this information with their members who may be potential victims of this fraud.

Steps to Protect Your Financial Identity & Credit History

  • Step One – Contact Human Resources
    • Contact your organization’s HR staff to coordinate and report the incident to your employer.
  • Step Two – Contact Your State’s ESD
    • Call the State Employment Security Department (ESD) (Idaho: 877-540-8638 or Fraud@labor.idaho.gov; Oregon: 877-668-3204; Washington: 800-246-9763 to report the fraud or contact the ESD via an online form: https://fortress.wa.gov/esd/webform/ContactUS/)
    • You will need the following information for identity verification:
      • Last 4 of your SSN
      • Date of birth, address
      • Current phone number
      • Information on how you learned a claim was filed on your behalf
  • Step Three – Police Report
    • File an online or non-emergency report with the agency whose jurisdiction you live in.
    • Start keeping a file folder or journal with the information from this incident, including any case numbers. Some government services and accommodations are available to victims of identity theft that are not available to the general public, such as getting certain public records sealed.
  • Step Four – The Three Major Credit Bureaus
    • Obtain your free credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion at www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228
    • Report to the credit bureaus that the fraudulent claim was made using your identity and provide them with the case number from your police report. You can have a fraud alert put on your identity or freeze your credit. Doing either is free by law.
      • A fraud alert is free and will make it harder for someone to open new accounts in your name. To place a fraud alert, contact one of the three credit bureaus. That company must tell the other two.
      • Experian: 1-888-397-3742
      • TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
      • Equifax: 1-888-766-0008
    • Check your credit activity at least once a year. As a victim of identity-theft you have the right to check it monthly if you choose.
    • Credit Freeze – If you do not have upcoming large purchases, such as a home, you may want to freeze your credit for more protection. It is free and you can do it yourself. More information about freezing your credit can be found here.
  • Step Five – FTC & IRS
    • File a short report with the FTC and give them the case number for your local police report. The FTC offers more information here.
    • Consider setting up an IRS account. If you create an account with your social security number, it will prevent criminals from creating an account using your identity.
    • Another option is to lock your social security number, which can be done here. (The next wave of this cyber-attack may be IRS tax fraud.)
    • All of this reporting seems redundant, but we want to make sure you are recognized as a victim by the local, state, and federal government. Also, the more people who report it, the more support law enforcement agents will receive to pursue the perpetrators.
  • Step Six – Keep Your Notes
    • Hang on to any notes, copies of emails, etc regarding the issue. This is the paper trail that you can reference if you face any identity issues or locate inaccuracies on your credit history sometime in the future.

Protecting Your Data and Identity
You are done dealing with the fallout from this unemployment fraud incident, but may choose to further protect yourself from cyber-crime. Below are some steps and resources that the cyber-crime detectives recommend for anyone wanting additional protections for themselves and their families.

  • Control Your Own Information

What to do if you need help

The health and safety impact of the COVID-19 outbreak can not be understated, but neither can the economic impact. Last week Oregon and Washington reported record new unemployment claims, and our footprint has been affected. If you run into trouble paying bills or loans, or paying on time, there may be a number of options to help, especially if you reach out to us, as well as your other creditors. Even though our branch lobbies have temporary restricted lobbies, you can still talk to us face-to-face through our video teller units and WaunaCU Now. More information about how to reach us can be found on our COVID-19 resource page.

Reach out!

This is the most important step at all. We’re always here to help, and right now companies are doing everything they can to lessen the impact of the financial hardships many people are facing. Being behind on your payments can have a lasting impact on your credit but making your lender aware of your situation may not only provide peace of mind, it can also help you create a plan.

WCU, Credit card companies, and other lenders may be able to offer you a number of options to help you. This could include waiving certain fees like Overdraft, ATM, and late fees, as well as allowing you to delay, adjust, or skip some payments.

When contacting your lenders, be prepared to explain:

  • Your situation
  • How much you can afford to pay
  • When you’re likely to be able to restart regular payments
  • In the case of mortgages, be prepared to discuss your income, expenses and assets


Also, if you have student loans,
you may qualify for a delayed or reduced payment program. Just remember, even though you don’t need to make payments now, interest will continue to accrue, and you will have to make up these amounts eventually. Contact your student loan servicer to find out more about your options.

Help is on the way

The federal government just passed its emergency stimulus package that provides a wealth of resources for almost every American. The $1,200 payment to each tax payer (or at least those who make under $75,000), and $500 credit for each dependent child are getting the headlines, but there are many more benefits to individuals and small businesses.

The Oregon Health Authority and benefitscheckup.org are amazing resources, that not only are a repository of COVID-19 stimulus items, but provide links to regular government programs as well.

Stay Safe Against Financial Fraud

An unfortunate reality of the world is that even though most of us are pulling together and helping each-other in this time of need, there are a few bad actors out there who see the current pandemic as an opportunity to make money.

Scammers have always followed the news. Now more than ever is the time to safeguard your information.

  • Be extra vigilant when clicking on links, or going to websites, about the Cononavirus.
  • Wauna Credit Union will only contact you via email from an address that ends with @waunafcu.org
  • If you get a call, text or email from us and you aren’t sure, simply call back a number you know is the credit union
    • That will usually be our 800-773-3236 number, but we currently have enabled direct branch calling as well
    • All information can be found at https://waunafcu.org/covid-19.shtml
    • Fraudsters can trick you into thinking the number is from our 800 number, so never give out any identifying information about your account including transaction details with anything more than a yes or no answer
  • We will never ask you over the phone for your PIN, CV2 codes or Expiration Dates.

53rd Annual Meeting -Update 3/13

Due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are making changes to our annual meeting procedures.

  • In order to prevent unnecessary cross-contamination we will not be serving food/beverages or distributing prizes
  • We will also place a suitable distance between all seats
  • The Annual Meeting will be live streamed on Facebook to ensure members do not need to risk their health.

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 Assists Funding of Affordable Housing Project

The “18th Street Development”, an affordable housing project of 16, 400-square-foot units, is hosting its ribbon-cutting ceremony in St. Helens today.

The project initially struggled to get off the ground, with funding issues keeping construction at bay. Funded by a $675,000 loan from Wauna Credit Union (WCU) and grants from Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS), the initiative broke ground in October of 2018.

Senator Betsy Johnson, Director of OHCS Margaret Salazar, and WCU AVP Regional Manager Pam Weller, helped facilitate the funding package. Concept, design, funding, and construction were all completed through local entities.

“We were doing an analysis of the housing crisis in Columbia County and WCU is designed to partner with and help our communities,” said WCU AVP Regional Manager Pam Weller. “We had to find a way to make this happen,” said Weller.

The project is addressing two of Oregon’s 5-year plan regarding affordable housing priorities, first by increasing Oregon’s supply of affordable rental housing and second by addressing homelessness.

“What a great opportunity for St. Helens and Columbia County,” said Senator Betsy Johnson. “The goal is a home for every Oregonian. Human housing is a right and every person here today makes this a reality,” said Johnson.

Twenty-five percent of the unit capacity is reserved for homeless people suffering from mental health issues. Occupancy for 16 individuals and/or families will be available in August.

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.