PRESS: Committed To Coaching – Trainer creates advisers, advocates, leaders, and ambassadors among staff

Danea Press CU Magazine

(See the original article here: http://news.cuna.org/articles/111029-committed-to-coaching?platform=hootsuite)

Some people just know how to create their own destiny.

Danea Passmore, for instance, started her career with Wauna Federal Credit Union, Clatskanie, Ore., as an on-call teller.

Within a year she was promoted to full-time teller and then operations manager. Today, as vice president of training, she runs her own department.

When Passmore took on the role of part-time trainer several years ago, the management team noticed her drive, determination, and dedication.

“She was so committed to the credit union movement and our members and employees that she spent months networking and meeting with other credit union trainers and business partners, looking for the right training model,” says John Moore, chief sales officer for the $175 million asset credit union.

Under Passmore’s direction, each employee has gone through a seven-week training program on sales and service, and leaders have been trained on effective coaching.

Each new employee spends the first two weeks of employment being trained in the credit union’s culture and approach to member service.

“Wauna Federal is an amazing place to work and I love having the opportunity to train employees so they can be successful,” Passmore says. “I am honored to help our employees grow from where they are to where they want to be.”

Passmore believes in training employees to be advisers and advocates, leaders and ambassadors. She is passionate about hiring for the right attitude first, and then providing the necessary training and support.

As a result, members will stay loyal to the credit union because of its employees.

“What we do within our four walls is create a member experience,” says Moore. “But our job doesn’t end there. Our involvement within the communities we serve, where we champion the credit union difference, is equally important.

“Danea is heavily involved in supporting causes and serving as a leader in community programs,” he continues. “She has a life and light about her that drives us all to be better at what we do and who we are.”

PRESS: Purchasing a home in Pacific County: Mortgage Origination Office offers lending avenues

MOOinCRBJCoast River Business Journal Reports On New Mortgage Office On Long Beach Peninsula

Debi Smiley, Wauna CU COO, with Long Beach Fire Chief Matt Bonney at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Debi Smiley, Wauna CU COO, with Long Beach Fire Chief Matt Bonney at the groundbreaking ceremony.

LONG BEACH — Pacific County residents looking to purchase real estate will have a new financing option on the Peninsula in September. Wauna Credit Union, based in Clatskanie, is opening a Mortgage Origination Office at 910 Pacific Avenue in Long Beach. There was a groundbreaking ceremony Aug. 4. Completion is tentatively slated for late September.

“The purpose is to meet the mortgage financing needs of the area,” said Debi Smiley, chief operations officer for Wauna Credit Union, “Mortgage/Real Estate Lending will be the initial services rendered.”

Growing demand for Pacific County property

The new mortgage financing office will serve a growing demand for Pacific County real estate.

“Recently it was brought to our attention by local real estate Agents that there was a growing demand for Real Estate Lending in Pacific County,” Smiley said. A feasibility study was conducted and the results reflected that the number of real estate transactions has significantly increased during the past 5 years and continue to climb annually.

“This reflects a strong demand for Real Estate financing,” Smiley explained, “We believe WCU can assist in meeting this need,” said Smiley adding that WCU has served Pacific County since July of 2012.

A growing enterprise

“It is our goal to provide a service that assists individuals in purchasing the home of their dreams,” she summed. WCU has braches offices in Astoria, Clatskanie, St. Helens, Scappoose, Vernonia, and Warrenton, Oregon with total assets exceeding $200 million.

“Total Membership exceeds 22,000 members including more than 600 in Pacific County, and employs more than 100 local employees,” according to Mike Chapman, WCU vice president of marketing. “WCU officials partnered with local businesses for our construction needs including Rickenbach Construction, Inc. (RCI), of Astoria, Oregon. RCI was selected as the general contractor for the Long Beach project and recently-built branches in Warrenton, St Helens, and the current remodel of the Clatskanie Branch.”

 

PRESS: Wauna CU Mortgage Department Featured in Coast River Business Journal

McKenzie-in-CRBJ

Faces Of Lending

McKenzie Wilson, Loan officer, Wauna Credit Union, Warrenton:

“I’ve been here since 2012. In August of 2015, I started doing the real estate financing.”

Monica Lauber, Assistant vice president of mortgage, Wauna Credit Union:

“I started at Wauna 12 years ago in the Warrenton branch and then moved into the loan department over in Astoria. Then made my way up to Saint Helens. Right now I’m the assistant vice president of the mortgage department. I oversee the staff at all the branches.”

What misconceptions exist about financing for a first home?

“A lot of younger people coming in think that the process — that they can’t do it. That it’s a super hard process to buy a house. I think that’s the misconception — that people think it’s impossible to buy a house sometimes. It’s really not, especially working with the credit union. We’re giving the guidance to get to that point, we’re not just saying ‘no’ and sending you back.”

How has lending evolved?

“I’ve definitely seen a change. I’ve been doing it since 2004, I went through the crisis, people rebuilding their credit. The best thing right now is we’re seeing people starting to regain equity in their homes, which is allowing them to improve their current housing situation.”

What advice would give a first-time borrower?

“Come prepared with a budget. And not more so a “this is a house I want to buy.” Think more toward, is that monthly payment going to fit into your budget. If fixes come about, am I going to be able to afford these fixes? I think that’s the biggest thing, just having all that in mind.”

What’s the typical down payment?

“We can do as little as little as three percent. Typically it’s about three to five percent. With more first-time homebuyers we don’t see a lot in the way of down payment money because there are programs that offer 100 percent financing. But we encourage it, the more they put down the better their rate is going to be.”

On best preparation, what do you take into account?

“We want to make sure that they’re credit worthy. We want to make sure that they’re aware of monthly costs and closing costs.”

What’s the sales frequency compared to last year?

“Our borrowers definitely have to be more on their game. They have to have a pre-approval in hand. Since homes are selling so quickly, those borrowers that have worked hard to prepare themselves with us are the ones making the offer, and it’s accepted because they know they have all their ducks in a row.”

Typical time a house is on the market?

“They’re definitely selling faster. Being prepared is huge.”

How does it compare to 10 years ago?

“Rates are extremely low right now.”

“Oh gosh, we were around 6-7 percent.”

Is there a typical mortgage rate?

“It varies depending on the program they’re doing. You have government program in the low 3-percent range, then you’ve got your conventionals that are higher 3’s — still great compared to what it’s been in years’ past.”

What’s the sales frequency compared to last year?

“Our borrowers definitely have to be more on their game. They have to have a pre-approval in hand. Since homes are selling so quickly, those borrowers that have worked hard to prepare themselves with us are the ones making the offer, and it’s accepted because they know they have all their ducks in a row.”

 

 

PRESS: Wauna Credit Union Honored For New Website Design

From the Daily Astorian, May 20, 2016

press capture - spectrum awards

Wauna Credit Union was recently recognized by the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) for its website update, and received an honorable mention trophy for excellence in marketing and communications during an awards ceremony and dinner April 7 held at Hotel Monaco in Portland.

The full website rebuild, which took the financial cooperative much of 2015 to create, was called bold, fresh, and modern by the judges. It features easy navigation and a responsive design, and is much more streamlined than the one it replaced.

The development team consisted of COO Debi Smiley, Stephanie Sievers, Carli Lyon, Cameron Willets, Jacob Humphries, and was led by Wauna CU Marketing Coordinator Amy Stocky, with oversight from Marketing Vice President Mike Chapman. The group worked with the Portland web developer Avtec Media.

The award was presented by NWCUA CEO Troy Stang at the gala event that honored more than 30 Northwest credit unions for their outstanding marketing achievements in 2015.

“The positive member feedback that Wauna Credit Union has received about the website since its launch has been a prize in itself for the growing credit union,” Amy Stocky said, “and now they have a trophy to prove it.”

See the article on the Daily Astorian’s website here: http://www.dailyastorian.com/community/20160520/wauna-credit-union-honored-for-new-website-design 

PRESS: Wauna CU Donates Reflectors To Improve Pedestrian Safety

Reflector article

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the link: http://pamplinmedia.com/scs/83-news/297435-174322-reflectors-donation-helps-promote-pedestrian-safety

The Department of Human Services Self Sufficiency office in St. Helens intends to offer its clients safety reflector key chains to make them more visible as pedestrians.

The offer is being made possible following a donation from two community members Wednesday, March 9.

Victoria Worral, a Columbia City resident, and Cameron Willett, branch manager of the St. Helens Wauna Federal Credit Union, presented a donation of $1,200 worth of safety reflectors to Stephanie Wetherbee, an employee with the state Department of Human Services, on Wednesday.

Using donated funds from the credit union, Worral, who jokingly calls herself the “Reflector Lady,” was able to provide 480 safety reflectors to St. Helens Self Sufficiency to distribute to those who need them.

Worral has been promoting pedestrian visibility through the use of safety reflector keychains throughout the St. Helens area for nearly two years.

The donation will help promote safety and visibility for Columbia County residents by removing any economic barriers that might be exist, Wetherbee explained.

“A lot of the people that will be receiving these would not be able to purchase them on their own otherwise, for one reason or another,” Wetherbee said. “It’s amazing and it’s awesome that they’ll be able to get these.”

Worral met Willett at a Columbia County Rotary Club meeting in 2014 when she was promoting a safety awareness campaign through the use of reflector key chains. Willett said his two children regularly walk home from school, and Worral’s message stuck with with him. The two struck up a deal more than a year ago for the credit union to purchase reflectors that could be donated to the St. Helens community.

“Her message really resonated with me. Both my kids walk home from school everyday,” Willett said. “A lot of the streets in our neighborhood aren’t really well lit. My wife and I had the conversation about how it’s kind of a dangerous walk home and we plan for the best route for them to take, so when I heard what [Worral] was doing with reflectors, it just made sense for me.”

Worral spent most of last year working with Glimmis, a Swedish company, as a reflector distributor. During that time, she began to work with elementary schools, local businesses and, eventually, the St. Helens Youth Council, making connections in the community to sell and donate reflectors. One of those connections was also with employees at the Self Sufficiency office in St. Helens.

Wetherbee said the office plans to give reflectors to any client who comes in and may need one, including young families and adults who walk in areas that may not be well lit.

“It’ll still go to the same population of folks, children and families, people that will be in need and will be grateful to get these reflectors because they are traveling on foot and on bicycles, really all times of day and even at night,” Wetherbee said.

Wednesday’s donation also marked a small turning point for the work Worral has been doing. When Worral began her safety awareness campaign, she started by promoting reflectors for school-age children, enticing them with cool designs. Providing reflectors to an agency that serves a wide variety of clients of all ages will promote safety among adults as well, Worral said.