Wauna Credit Union Opens New Branch in Forest Grove

Forest Grove, Ore., December 19,  2019 – Area financial cooperative, Wauna Credit Union (WCU) is opening the doors to its newest branch this month, nestled in the heart of Washington County in Forest Grove, Oregon at the corner of Pacific Avenue and Highway 47.

The $260 million credit union is redefining their retail strategy by building new and remodeling existing branches, which boast the latest technology, open design concept, and more relaxed and inviting service spaces. The branch embraces modern fixtures, hardwood flooring, bright and colorful design, and digitial innovation. 

“Change is important because the way people do business now is significantly different than even a year ago,” said WCU Chief Marketing Officer, Debi Smiley. “We realize that we have to make decisions for the banking of tomorrow, so we are not building for now, we are building for the future,” she said.

Branch exterior
The brand new building captures the spirit of the community

Additionally, WCU continues to work with their partners by implementing a relationship building training program, ensuring front-line staff understands how to interact with members regarding the new strategy. WCU has coined the training program, the “Wauna Way” and will be implementing a relationship building service approach in all 9 branches throughout their footprint.

“Bringing cooperative financial services to a new community, with new oppertunities to change peoples’ lives, is what excites us most,” said WCU Forest Grove Member Services Manager, Nick Hellmich.

Branch interior
The branch boasts the latest technology, open design concept, and more relaxed and inviting service spaces.

“The technology, our Wauna Way, and the awesome staff here will only serve to bring great things to Forest Grove and the surrounding areas,” added Hellmich.

One of the tech features includes a core-integrated, self-service kiosk station, which WCU has named “The Discovery Bar.” The Discovery Bar hosts three, touch screen digital displays, combining self-service, assisted-service, and full-service capabilities all into one solution. The technology further assists frontline by focusing on consultative conversations rather than strictly transactional. The branch also incorporates two Video Teller Units on premise, instead of the conventional teller window drive-up.

WCU will host a grand opening extravaganza on January 30th, 2020. The event will showcase the many features of the new branch, as well as a myriad of activities and treats for the Forest Grove community.

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.

Contribute to the Backpack Program and be Entered to Win Seahawks Tickets

Many children across the country who rely on free school lunch and breakfast programs in order to eat on a daily basis, are left hungry once the weekend starts.  Unfortunately, Southwest Washington is no different. As the school year kicks off the Backpack Program of Pacific County is in need of donations to help meet the upcoming rush of students who need help with basic needs to get their school year started on the right foot.

Kids going back to school

While contributing to such a worthy cause is rewarding on its own, those who give $5 between today and Wednesday, August 23 will be entered to win two tickets to the August 25th Seattle Seahawks preseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Century Link Field in Seattle. For every $5 donated people will receive one entry into the ticket drawing.

Seattle Skyline

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 even call the Wauna Credit Union Communication Center and have a Member Consultant transfer money directly to The Backpack Program.

Wauna Credit Union recognized the need the Backpack Program filled in the community and wanted to help.  The credit union, with branches in Long Beach, Astoria, Warrenton, Clatskanie, Vernonia, St. Helens and Scappoose made the Backpack Program of Pacific County its official charity for the year, and throughout the year fundraises for the organization in many different ways. Employees donate a portion of every paycheck to the Backpack program, have drawings for Trailblazer games, Seahawks and even sell Tillamook pepperoni and beef jerky with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the charity.

“Being hungry makes learning that much harder,” said Natalie Hanson, Backpack Program Co-Founder, “We’re really thankful that Wauna Credit Union continues to be involved. In addition to their support, they are offering to be a collection point for members of the community.”

WCU has been successful so far, raising $7319 of its $12,000 goal for 2017, which has already helped to provide 200 children weekend meals for 12 weeks. Wauna Credit Union is actively soliciting contributions at all branches across Columbia and Clatsop counties in Oregon, and Pacific County in Washington.

“One of Wauna Credit Union’s core values is to be ambassadors in our communities and beyond,” said Jenifer Katon at Wauna Credit Union. “I cannot think of a better way to do that than through the Backpack Program. It serves the most underserved and vulnerable members of our communities. I am so thrilled to be able to give back to our communities through this program.”

More help is always needed in our area. According to Feeding America, the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States, 15.7 percent of Pacific County residents are food insecure, with many of the most vulnerable being children. The Backpack Program of Pacific County serves students at Long Beach Elementary, Ocean Park Elementary, Hilltop School, Ilwaco High School and Ocean Beach Alternative School for a total of over 200 kids per week.

 

Backpack Program Needs Donations for Summer Months

Many children across the country must rely on free school lunch and breakfast programs in order to eat on a daily basis, and unfortunately Southwest Washington is no different. The services that provide help to the students see their funding drastically drop as their services are out of sight, out of mind for the majority people during the summer.

This leads to a huge problem for the students who use these services as a safety net. Without the funding in place come September, the programs are unable to provide the food and resources needed. Nationwide backpack programs emerged to help by supplying children in need with a backpack of prepared, or easy to prepare food, to sustain them over the weekend. The Backpack Program of Pacific County serves students at Long Beach Elementary, Ocean Park Elementary, Hilltop School, Ilwaco High School and Ocean Beach Alternative School for a total of over 200 kids per week.

Wauna Credit Union recognized the need the Backpack Program filled in the community and wanted to help. The credit union, with branches in Long Beach, Astoria, Warrenton, Clatskanie, Vernonia, St. Helens and Scappoose made the Backpack Program of Pacific County its official charity for the year and throughout the year fundraises for the organization in many different ways. Employees donate a portion of every paycheck to the Backpack program, raffle off tickets to Trailblazer games and even sell Sees Chocolate with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the charity.

“People associate backpack programs with schools, and forget about us once the mercury starts rising,” said Natalie Hanson, Backpack Program Co-Founder, “We’re really thankful that Wauna Credit Union continues to be involved. In addition to offering their support, they are offering to be a collection point for members of the community.”

Boy riding bike away

WCU has been successful so far, raising $6305 of its $12,000 goal for 2017, which has already helped to provide200 children weekend meals for 12 weeks. The summer is often a hard time to raise money for school children, as people often see the Backpack Program as a school-based endeavor. Wauna Credit Union is still actively soliciting contributions at all branches across Columbia and Clatsop counties in Oregon, and Pacific County in Washington.  in Astoria, Warrenton, Clatskanie, Vernonia, St. Helens and Scappoose, as well as the Mortgage Origination Office in Long Beach. Members can even call in to donate and have a Member Consultant transfer money directly to The Backpack Program.

“One of Wauna Credit Union’s core values is to be ambassadors in our communities and beyond,” said Jenifer Katon at Wauna Credit Union. “I cannot think of a better way to do that than through the Backpack Program. It serves the most underserved and vulnerable members of our communities. I am so thrilled to be able to give back to our communities through this program.”

More help is always needed in our area. According to Feeding America, the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States, 15.7 percent of Pacific County residents are food insecure, with many of the most vulnerable children.

Wauna Credit Union Preparing To Better Serve Washington’s Pacific County

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WAUNA CREDIT UNION Readies Building For Affordable Mortgages:

moo2 moo3 moo5Wauna Credit Union officials are pleased to announce the pending development of a Mortgage Origination Office at its newly acquired property at 910 Pacific Avenue in Long Beach, Washington. Initial construction at the property began July 12th with demolition of an existing structure.

The new Mortgage Origination Office, which is tentatively scheduled to open in late September 2016, will provide local, affordable Real Estate services to the Credit Union’s growing membership in Pacific County. All residents, businesses, and organizations throughout Pacific County are eligible for membership with Wauna Credit Union.

A more formal announcement will soon be made by Wauna Credit Union to its membership and to the public about this new facility to serve Pacific County.

 

For more information contact:

  • Wauna Credit Union
  • Amy Stocky, Marketing Coordinator
  • 503-338-1843
  • amy.stocky@waunafcu.org

PRESS RELEASE: Wauna CU Makes Top 100 Nonprofits

Pictured, L to R: Sara Kulp, Sharon Borgardt, Marc Silva, Robert Blumberg, John Moore, Gina Dines, Pam Weller, Debi Smiley, Danea Passmore, David Merrell.
Pictured, L to R: Sara Kulp, Sharon Borgardt, Marc Silva, Robert Blumberg, John Moore, Gina Dines, Pam Weller, Debi Smiley, Danea Passmore, David Merrell.

Wauna Credit Union has been recognized by Oregon Business Magazine as one of the 100 Best Nonprofits To Work For in Oregon. This is the Oregon Business Magazine’s 7th Annual Top 100 List, which analyzed employee survey data compiled earlier this year from over 5,000 employees throughout Oregon.

“We are thrilled by this wonderful recognition,” reports Sharon Borgardt, Chief Human Resources Officer for Wauna CU, “especially since the ranking is based on a survey comparing our employees’ level of pride and satisfaction to those of other similar employers.” Wauna Credit Union compared especially favorable to its peers in the categories of Management & Communication, Benefits and Compensation, Sustainable Practices, and Career Development & Learning.

“Much of the success of our organization is based on the amazing service our staff provides to over 20,000 local, member-owners,” says Robert Blumberg, CEO. “As an employer, we truly value our employees as the most important assets of our organization. We strive to provide a work environment that is positive, rewarding, healthy, and fun! The enthusiasm of our employees is conveyed each day through helpful and courteous service to our member-owners.”

Wauna CU has earned recognition as a Top 100 Best Green Workplace in Oregon for several years due to its commitment to sustainable practices.