A List of Veterans Day VIP Treatments

“While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime.” – The Department of Veterans Affairs 

Wauna Credit Union holds dear those red, white, and blue fibers binding the values and principles of the United States.

We hold dear the sacrifices, victories, and triumphs that have been made throughout history so that we might sleep a little sounder at night.

We hold dear the men and women who fight for those fibers, for our freedoms, and for our county.

Please join us in further celebrating this very special day by taking a look at (and participating in!) the following list of celebrations, giveaways, and veteran-exclusive VIP treatment.

Oregon Veterans Day Celebrations:

Statewide list: The Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs posts a list of Veterans Day events across the state on its website.

Ross Hollywood Chapel Veterans Day Parade: 9:30 a.m. Nov. 11, Hollywood District in Portland. Begins at Northeast 40th Avenue and Tillamook Street and turns east onto Northeast Sandy Boulevard concluding at 48th Avenue at the flag pole in front of Ross Hollywood Chapel for a flag raising ceremony.

Fort Vancouver Veterans Day Parade: 11 a.m. Nov. 11, begins at Fort Vancouver National Site at Evergreen Boulevard and East Reserve Street, see website for route. There will be a 10 a.m. ceremony before the parade.

Veterans Day Observance, Beaverton: 11 a.m. Sat. Nov. 11, Bethel Congregational, United Church of Christ, 5150 S.W. Watson Ave. Family friendly community memorial service with choir organized by American Legion Post 124.

Estacada Veterans Day Parade11 a.m. Sat., Nov. 11, begins at Estacada High School, 355 N.E. Sixth Ave., travels down Main Street to Fourth Street then turns right on Broadway Street, ends at the Veterans Memorial with a ceremony. Hosted by Estacada Area Support Our Troops Foundation.

Washington County’s Annual Veterans Day Ceremony, Hillsboro: 11 a.m.-noon, Sat., Nov. 11. Washington County Veterans Memorial, Northeast Veterans Drive and Northeast 34th Avenue, Hillsboro. Hosted by Washington County Disability, Aging and Veteran Services; Memorial Fund for Veterans of Washington County; VFW 2666 and American Legion 104. Features Doug Lund, a West Point graduate with a degree in military history, who will talk about significant historical events as they relate to being a veteran, with a focus on World War I. Local recording artist Alena Sheldon will sing the national anthem.

Veterans Day Observance Ceremony, Wilsonville: 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, Oregon Korean War Memorial in Town Center Park, 29600 S.W. Park Place. Event includes a speaker, performances of the “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Taps,” posting of colors, and cadets’ readings about the significance of Veterans Day. Organized by Korean War Veterans Association, Oregon Trail Chapter.

Free Veterans Day Musical Review, Portland: noon Saturday, Nov. 11, German American Society, 5626 N.E. Alameda St. USO-style musical variety show by Tony Starlight and an eight-piece band performing songs covering several decades of American popular music. Lunch provided for the first 250 guests.

City of Cornelius Veterans Day Celebration1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, Veterans Memorial Park, Baseline Street between 12th and 13th Avenues. Keynote speaker is veteran and Washington County Commissioner Bob Terry. Event includes a 7-gun salute by the VFW veterans group, a welcome by Cornelius Mayor Jeffrey Dalin, singing and bagpiper performance. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard will post the colors. Hosted in conjunction with American Legion and VFW groups throughout Washington County.

Statewide Veterans Day Celebration, Salem: 2 p.m. Sat. Nov. 11, Oregon World War II Memorial, Court and Cottage streets, Salem. Hosted by Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs. Honoring and remembering the achievements and contributions of all of Oregon’s veterans. Featuring remarks by Joshua Groesz, Iraq combat veteran and executive director of The Salvation Army’s Veterans and Family Center, and Marianne McNally, daughter of Don Malarkey, WWII hero and member of famed 101st Airborne’s Easy Company, who died in September at 96. Also a color guard, national anthem, laying of the wreath and the playing of “Taps.”

Troutdale Lions Club Free Spaghetti Dinner for Veterans: 4:30-6 p.m. Nov. 11, Sam Cox Building, Glenn Otto Park, 1106 E. Historic Columbia River Highway, Troutdale. Community members are invited to say thank you to veterans. Please bring three non-perishable food items.

Veteran’s Dinner, Forest Grove: 12:30 p.m. Sun. Nov. 12, Forest Grove Elks Lodge, 2810 Pacific Ave. A dinner and dance for Veterans of the Forest Grove Community. Vintage Country Band will perform from 2:30pm to 5pm. Free for veterans, donations requested from non-veterans

Freebies, Perks, Discounts:

Denny’s:  Free Build Your Own Grand Slam breakfast from 5 a.m. until noon on Friday, Nov. 10.

IHOP: Free Red, White & Blue Pancakes on Friday, Nov. 10.

Applebees: Free meal from a limited menu on Saturday, Nov. 11.

Buffalo Wild Wings: One free small order of traditional or boneless wings and a side of fries. All day on Saturday, Nov. 11. (Participating locations only)

California Pizza Kitchen: Free entree from a special menu that includes pizza, salads and pasta on Saturday, Nov. 11. (Locations in Clackamas Town Center and Bridgeport).

Chevys Fresh Mex: Free Fresh Mex 3-Item combo from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11. (Locations in Lask Oswego and Hillsboro)

Chuck E. Cheese: One free personal pizza on Saturday, Nov. 11.

Country Pride: Free meal from a select menu with a drink on Saturday, Nov. 11 (Locations in Aurora and Troutdale)

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store: Free Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake dessert on Saturday, Nov. 11. (Location in Tualatin)

Famous Dave’s: Free two meat combo on Saturday, Nov. 11. (Locations in Tualatin and Cascade Station in Portland)

Hooters: Free meal from a select menu on Saturday, Nov. 11. (Location in Portland)

Little Caesars Pizza: Free $5 Hot-N-Ready Lunch Combo from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt: Free six ounce frozen yogurt all day on Saturday, Nov. 11 (Multiple locations around Portland metro area)

Outback Steakhouse: Free Bloomin Onion and a drink on Saturday, Nov. 11. Receive 20 percent off your check from Nov. 12-16.

​​​​​​Red Lobster: Free appetizer or dessert from a select menu on Saturday, Nov. 11

Red Robin: Free dine-in Red’s Tavern Double Burger and Bottomless Steak Fries on Saturday, Nov. 11

Ruby Tuesday: Free appetizer on Saturday, Nov. 11

Shari’s Cafe: Free pancake breakfast on Saturday, Nov. 11

Sizzler: Free lunch and beverage before 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11

Texas Roadhouse: Free special lunch menu including a drink on Saturday, Nov. 11 (Location in Eugene)

Village Inn: Free breakfast special on Saturday, Nov. 11 (Multiple locations in and around Portland)

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Happy 10th Anniversary to our Fearless Leader!

10 Years, 10 Questions with Wauna Credit Union CEO and President, Robert Blumberg…

We are all about taking care of our members and improving their financial well-being. – Robert Blumberg

Robert Blumberg

Hailing from South Africa, he has lived and worked in California, but calls Oregon home. He’s a family man. He’s a numbers man. He loves traveling, being outdoors, good food, and the Credit Union spirit. His financial background boasts top-roles with Southern Pacific Bank, First Bank of Beverly Hills, and Maps Credit Union.

But 2007 was the year when Mr. Robert Blumberg joined the Wauna Credit Union team, taking the helm as our President and CEO. And while it’s true that many “waun-derful” things are occurring under Robert’s guidance, here are just a few noteworthy examples from the past ten years:

  • Two branches were opened in 2010. The first, being an in-store branch at the Astoria Safeway in July, and the second, a new Scappoose Branch in November.
  • Recognizing construction in accordance with energy-efficient building materials & practices, the Scappoose Branch was awarded LEED Certification at the Silver level in August of 2011.
  • Our beautiful, new Warrenton Branch (near Costco) was opened during mid-Spring of 2013.
  • The opening of a new Branch along Hwy 30 took place in St Helens in 2014.
  • In November of 2016, a Mortgage Origination Office was opened in Long Beach, WA.
  • Wauna Credit Union was granted a charter expansion to include Washington County in June of 2016.
  • Also, our first Interactive Teller Machine was implemented in Long Beach, WA in November of 2016.

And how could we forget the numbers? Let’s take a look at a then and now:

  • In 2007, our membership was at 14,083. We are now at 24,728 — a 75.58% growth.
  • When Robert started, our assets were at $104.6 million. Today, we are at $234.6 million — a 124.28% growth!
  • Ten years ago we had 5 financial centers and 58 employees at Wauna Credit Union. Today, we have 8 financial centers and employ 105!

Of course, these lists barely scratch the surface; however, they are valid indicatorsof the innovation and growth that Robert has brought to Wauna Credit Union. And while we are certainly looking forward to another awesome ten years, let’s pause for a minute, and take a closer look at Robert’s life:

1. Growing up, who was the most influential person in your life?
My father.

2. Speaking of influence, how about musically? What was your favorite album as a teenager?
Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon.

3. We all start somewhere. What was your very first job?
RM Pharmaceuticals – They made Vicks and Oil of Olay products.

4. And what year did you first enter the financial industry?
I got my start in 1982.

5. 1982 is a world away from where you are today. Where exactly did you get your start?
I started working for a company called Century Thrift and Loan. When I started working there in the accounting department I did not even have a title.

6. Speaking of history, if you could meet anyone, who would it be?
The person I would love to meet is Alan Greenspan.

7. What would you like to talk about?
Having a conversation as to what he thinks went wrong during the last great recession in 2009. He believes in the free market and the free market will be self-policing.

8. What is your greatest hope for the Credit Union industry?
Continuing to grow in market share. We are all about taking care of our members and improving their financial well-being. It is important that the insurance agency remains independent from the banks. It would be a big mistake to merge the NCUA and FDIC.

9. We talk a lot about “People Helping People” in Credit Union philosophy, but we also aim to please. What would you say is your definition of “happiness”?
You should ideally be taking an action every day to bring you one step closer to achieving of your goals. Meeting my personal and professional goals gives me deep satisfaction.

10. Many awesome things have taken place under your leadership, but what accomplishment at Wauna Credit Union are you most proud of?
Building an amazing team that has taken Wauna to new heights. Emphasizing each team member’s contribution and demonstrating how all of their jobs operate together to move the entire team closer to its goal is very important to me.

Without a doubt, Robert believes in our members. He believes in our staff. He believes in the movement.

Reaching future goals is an exciting prospect, and we thank you, Robert, for bringing us this far! From all of us at Wauna Credit Union, it’s an honor and a privilege to have such a waun-derful CEO.

Credit Unions Worldwide Celebrate International Credit Union Day (ICU Day)

“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.” ― Booker T. Washington

Today, Wauna Credit Union joins some 68,000 credit unions ― spanning 109 countries, serving 235 million members ― to celebrate ICU Day. Whether these members are rich or poor, from villages or cities, credit unions are on duty 24/7, across cultures and languages, helping others realize their dreams.

We call this “The Credit Union Difference”.

When did this start? Well, in 1948 (the year when the first tape recorder was sold and fare on the NYC subway cost 10 cents) the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) established a national “Credit Union Day”. Fast forward 69 years to today’s aptly-named “Dreams Thrive Here” celebration.

“Dreams Thrive Here” spotlights how Credit Unions are transforming goals into realities. It is this community commitment and positive economic and social change that separates us from banks. Because we are different…very different…both in philosophy and structure.

And in the spirit of ICU Day, let’s recognize all credit unions for the roles they play. Think of the people who would have been unable to afford homes, businesses, or education without credit unions. Together, we are helping people overcome challenges.

Wauna Credit Union opened its doors in 1967 with a mission to help others. Our mission hasn’t changed: we are providing opportunities for our members to build their financial well-being. With your support, Wauna Credit Union has grown to over 24,000 members.

So it is your recognition of the contributions that credit unions make that is beyond awesome it’s superhero status. We thank YOU for joining us in celebrating ICU Day.

One smile per member, one member at a time, Wauna Credit Union will continue working around the clock to build a stronger world.

We look forward to serving you and your family for many, many dreams to come.

ICU Day

The Equifax Breach: Your Comprehensive Guide.

UPDATE: In light of the Equifax breach and the fraud attempts on our members’ Credit Cards, ACH payments over $500 will have a 6 day hold placed before the funds will be made available to the member. Unfortunately there is not a way to narrow the ACH to just Telephone Payments, so it does apply to all ACH payments (web, recurring, etc). There also is not a way to exclude our routing number, so it will also apply to payments drawn on Wauna Credit Union Accounts.

There’s been a lot of news about the Equifax breach recently. We put together a guide to help our members understand what happened, and what the steps are to protect your information.

Who is Equifax?

Equifax is a consumer reporting agency and one of the three largest credit bureaus in the nation that retain the aggregate credit information of some 800 million American and Canadian citizens, including more than 88 million businesses internationally.

Why would they have my sensitive information?

Credit card companies, banks, credit unions, retailers, auto lenders, and mortgage lenders all report this information and the details of your credit activity to the major credit reporting agencies. Every time you open an account, which extends you credit, that company or entity reports the status of your account/s to these bureaus.

What happened?

In May of 2017, hackers trolling the internet for computer systems containing an exposed security flaw, discovered an Equifax server using outdated Apache software vulnerable to such an attack.

What was stolen and how many were compromised?

Social Security numbers, birth-dates, addresses, names, and in some cases, driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers, and other documents, are among the data stolen in a breach that has affected more than 143 million US-based users.

Have I been breached?

Many of our members are wondering if they are affected, and if so what to do. The FTC has provided some guidance, but we have included some main steps below. If you do find that you were included, don’t worry, but protect yourself and take advantage of the Equifax services for those whose information was made available.

What do I do?

Guarding your personal information is a huge priority for Wauna Credit Union, and by using advanced fraud-monitoring technology and services, our committed staff is persistently watching your accounts for suspicious activity. In the wake of the Equifax breach, thieves may be even more prevalent in their attempts to steal your information. They might try one or many of the following in order to access your accounts:

  • Fraudsters may use spoofed phone numbers to contact the Credit Union (caller IDs may show member’s actual phone number).
  • Suspicious callers are stating they are members, having all the accurate information needed, including name, DOB, DL #s, addresses, transaction history on cards, and traditional info we might ask a person over the phone to ID them.
  • Attempts are being made to place travel notifications so fraudsters can use the cards outside of our members’ normal usage areas.

We understand how overwhelming the thought of identity theft might be, but there are ways to protect yourself against fraud, including steps you can take right now.

1. The best and first place to start is finding out if your data has been exposed. You can do this by entering your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number at Equifax’s website. The site will tell you if you’ve been affected by the data breach*.
*As of 09/29/2017 this service has been listed as “temporarily unavailable”. Continue to check regularly as Equifax catches up to mass inquiries.

2. Whether or not you’ve been compromised, U.S. Equifax consumers are eligible for year of free credit monitoring and other services**. The site has provided a date when you can come back to enroll.
**Equifax has confirmed people who enroll in the credit monitoring program as a result of the breach would not waive their right to class action.

3. Use strong passwords and always be aware of the information you provide when opening an account, conducting a transaction, or anywhere you might be transferring secure information.

4. Review your free credit reports. You are entitled to a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major consumer reporting companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Get started here.

5. Take the time to monitor your accounts for unusual activity! Accounts on your credit reports that you didn’t open, inaccurate information, or credit inquiries from entities you’ve never contacted are all potential red flags that require immediate attention. If you find evidence of fraud, let us, the appropriate financial institution, and/or the credit reporting bureau know immediately.

6. Open a my Social Security account, which will prevent the bad guys from creating an account in your name, even if they’ve made off with your Social Security number.

7. Consider placing a credit freeze. Placing a credit freeze makes it more difficult for a thief to open a new account in your name. FYI, however, a credit freeze will not prevent a thief from making changes to your existing accounts.

8. Set a fraud alert, which requires creditors to verify your identity before issuing a credit card, opening a new account, or increasing a credit limit on an existing account. A fraud alert will not stop a lender from opening credit in your name, but it does require lenders to take additional steps to verify your identity beforehand. Better to be safe than sorry.

9. If you discover your identity has been compromised, you should file an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at identitytheft.gov or by phone at 1-877-438-4338.

10. Due to the increased amount of information available, some people are theorizing that we will see an increase in tax return fraud, so if possible do your taxes as early as possible this year.

Our staff is well-trained in sniffing out potential thieves, but we also need you to be vigilant in watching any accounts you may have outside of the Credit Union. Further, don’t click on suspicious links, don’t open attachments, and don’t respond to emails, text messages, or phone calls that are soliciting your information — no matter who the caller or sender is claiming to be.

In the meantime, rest assured that Wauna Credit Union is working around the clock to safeguard your finances, and we are here to answer any questions or concerns you might have.

For a list of FAQs regarding the breach, please visit https://goo.gl/tGWzP2, and as always, we are here if you have questions or concerns you wish to discuss.

June Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union is growing fast (if you want to join us check out our careers page). The main reason for that is the great service we provide our members. The reason for that great service is our amazing employees. We caught up with a couple who are having their anniversary this month.

Monica Lauber  13 Years
What is your current position?
I am the VP of Mortgage. I oversee the Mortgage Department, and the great employees who help our members make their home ownership and home improvement dreams come true. I’ve been here a while, and it’s amazing to see Wauna Credit Union grow to offer more-and-more products and services, while staying true to the values of the communities we serve.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
The best thing about this job is my favorite memory changes all the time. Right now it’s helping a member who’s been with the credit union since he was in high school buy his first home.  We opened his first checking account, helped him buy a car, and even do business banking with his company.  It’s the great thing aboutPicture of Monica and her son being part of a credit union. We get to establish personal and lifelong relationships with our members.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
My free time revolves around hanging with my family. I love to get out-and-about with my husband Derek and two sons (16 and 8) Magnus and Brokk… It ’s great to see my sons develop their own interests, but also see how they were influenced by us. We are a big jiu-jitsu family so a lot of our time is spent on the mat. I also have 3 adorable American bully’s that love to play.

Jeannie Byrum  1 Year
What is your current position?
I am a Member Consultant II in the Clatskanie branch. My job is to help members with transactions, open accounts, process loans start to finish, educate on building credit, and help any member with any question they may have. (BTW this is actually a really good description). We have a hip-to-hip service philosophy, which means my number one priority is to get to know our members and really listen to their needs. It’s awesome to have the power to be the one who helps.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
It’s not a specific memory, but any time I get to laugh while doing my job. Sometimes it’s when a member cracks a joke and sometimes it’s just when something unexpected happens during the day.  We’re all about getting doing our best, but having fun while we do it.Jeannie and Andrew

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I like to adventure with my boyfriend Andrew. Our favorite thing to do around town is go hiking up in the hills or hit the river. When we get out of town we like to stay outdoors and climb Smith Rock, or explore the trails around Mt. Hood.  I can be a homebody too. Sometimes there’s nothing better than hanging out at reading a good book, or spending time with friends and family.

Kerbie Belknap  1 Year
What is your current position?
I am an MC in Astoria. I assist members with transactions, process loans, and answer any questions members might have. I love being one of the faces of the credit union and getting a chance to talk to our members every day.Kerbie

What is your favorite WCU memory?
My favorite memory has to be the last in service day. We get to chat about how the credit union is growing our products and services to help our members even more. It was so fun to learn more about what we’re doing and see all the people I went to training with, and visit with employees that I don’t get to see often. Our CXO John Moore is quite the DJ, and makes sure that there is plenty of great music and impromptu dance-offs.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I love to cook, drink wine, watch Netflix, go on vacation and spend time with my two girls and husband.

Others

  • Jacob Humphries – 3 years

March Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union is growing fast (if you want to join us check out our careers page). The main reason for that is the great service we provide our members. The reason for that great service is our amazing employees. In March, we have several long-time employees celebrating their anniversary.

Norm Dufton – 7 years
What is your current position?
VP of Consumer Lending. That means I oversee the underwriting, indirect lending and consumer loans teams. It’s been great. I have a great team working for me.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
My favorite WCU was meeting Rex Johnson who founded Lending Solution. Wauna Credit Union has partnered with LSI for years to make sure we’re meeting the needs of our members.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I believe in keeping active outside of work. I’ve owned two Karate schools, and I really like fishing. My biggest catch, is a 55-inch Sturgeon I caught on the Columbia. He was delicious.

Others

  • Janice Hanes – 13 years
  • Bob Horness – 9 years
  • David Merrell – 9 years

February Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union is growing fast (if you want to join us check out our careers page). The main reason for that is the great service we provide our members. The reason for that great service is our amazing employees. We caught up with a few who are having their anniversary this month.

Paige Tischer
What is your current position? I am a Real Estate Loan Officer in the Astoria Branch. My job is to help our members with their real estate needs such as, buying their first home, refinancing, home equity line of credit to fund updates to their home!

Paige feeds her pet fish Nickel

What is your favorite WCU memory? I’ve been at Wauna for 5 years now, so I have so many great memories. One of my favorites was recently when a member told me “you have no idea how happy you just made son helping him purchase his first home.”

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work? I love cooking! I make a delish chicken pasta with home-made pesto sauce.

Christina Sickler
What is your current position? I am a member consultant 2 in the Scappoose Branch. My job is to assist members in opening and closing accounts, taking consumer loan applications, counseling members on how to build and maintain or build a good credit score. I also get to help out on the teller line still when we’re extra busy to make sure no member has to wait.

This last year Christina visited Disneyland for the first time

What is your favorite WCU memory? One year for Halloween the whole Scappoose branch decided to all dress up as Wizard of Oz characters. Amy Grubb, Amanda Leader, and myself dressed up as the Lollipop guild and Shayla Frahm was Glinda the good witch! The expressions on members’ faces when they came in was great!

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work? My family is super important to me. I love to spend as much time as possible with them. My grandma and I like to have regular shopping and lunch dates.

Kira Zavortink
What is your current position? I am a MC I in the Warrenton branch, I get to assist members with their finances on a daily basis, as well as resolve any issues they might have. As a Member Consultant I also am continuing to expand my knowledge, to better assist our members and identify opportunities for their financial growth.

Kira makes sure she has the nicest looking desk in the office

What is your favorite WCU memory? Recently I was able to take a $10,000.00 personal loan application and complete the entire process (with a little help), including getting the loan approved and funded for our member.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work? I enjoy spending time with my husband and our two dogs, Max, a 7-year-old German Shepherd/Husky mix and Cricket, a 6-month-old Corgi puppy.

Others

  • Karissa Temple – 3 years
  • Mike McTague – 3 years
  • Amber Seely – 1 year

What is Auto Answers?

Wauna Credit Union owns several small businesses that offer additional useful services to our members. These kinds of businesses are called CUSOs, or Credit Union Service Organizations. You can learn more about CUSOs here.

One of our CUSOs is Auto Answers, which assists people in finding quality used cars. The service goes so far as to finds the car, take care of all the paperwork and deliver it to the member’s door! It’s most vital service is the expertise of Auto Answers chief car buyer, our VP of Consumer Lending and a full-fledged Black Belt, Norm Dufton.

The Wonderful World of Wauna caught up with Norm to learn more about Auto Answers, and find out how it serves Wauna CU members and the public.

Would you explain what Auto Answers is? Auto Answers is a Credit Union Service Organization. It’s a dealership, and its wholly owned by Wauna Credit Union. We are just a bit different than a traditional used car dealership. We normally carry 1 to 3 cars, normally newer lower mile cars. We also broker, or negotiate on your behalf for a $495 fee (no fee on Auto Answers owned cars).  I have a network of dealers I work with to get a good price on some new and used cars.

This 2010 Chevy Tahoe is currently available

What makes you such an expert on pre-owned cars? How do you find quality used cars? What do you look for? I have been an auto dealer and credit union advocate for more than 10 years. I frequently go to auctions both in person and online. This keeps me current on market conditions.

When a dealer goes to auction there are 3 categories of cars – Green light: Cars that can be bought subject to a wholesale frame and major mechanical inspection. Red light: Bought as is. And once in a while, Yellow light: With a frame-only inspection.

I buy green light cars with very few exceptions. Then, I know if they have had a major accident, and that the motor and transmission are solid. The car may still have maintenance due or dings or paint touch up, but nothing major.

I also buy 1-year-old rental cars. These usually have less than 40k miles, and often have some warranty left. Almost every care I buy is pre-inspected. There are too many cars sold with issues.

Nowadays, many shoppers go to Craigslist and look for the cheapest cars. These are often red light cars that don’t get all the love they need prior to selling, and end up being a bad buy.

What can a person expect if they buy an Auto Answers car? If someone buys one of our cars, it is safe, dependable and a good value. I don’t mind paying a premium for a good car, and I won’t sell a car I wouldn’t put family in.

Norm loves helping members in Clatsop, Columbia, Pacific and Washington Counties buy a car.

Mostly I buy cars $10k and above. The reason is so it will last a long time and have the proper maintenance done. In over 10 years, I have only had 1 car come back with issues and it was a cheap under $5k car with high miles.

How does financing work with auto answers cars? We love to finance cars and sell extra service contracts. You can pay cash, or we even had a car sold that was financed at another financial institution.

What advice can you give someone looking for a quality used car at a reasonable price, no matter where they shop? Shopping for a used car is tough. Don’t look for the best deal, look for the best car. Run a CarFax, it will spot many accidents, but not all. Deal with new car stores, as they normally buy cream of the crop used cars.

If you buy private party have the car inspected by a shop. If you buy at an independent, pay for a new car store to inspect it. I have almost all cars inspected and I do this often. Buy in Oregon, our Attorney General is pro-consumer.

Thanks for the words of wisdom Norm!

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

 

 

YOUTH MONTH: How to Do Allowances Right, According to the Experts

Allowance rulesOne of the best ways to ensure your children grow up financially fit is to give them practice managing money with an allowance.

But what’s the best way to do an allowance? There are many theories on that.

Ron Lieber, personal finance writer for The New York Times, says he and his wife pay their 7-year-old daughter $3 a week, no chores necessary.

Lieber’s daughter puts $1 in a “save” jar and $1 in a “give” jar for a cause of her choosing. The final $1 she can spend as she wants. Lieber’s reasoning is that an allowance is a teaching tool, and making it contingent on chores muddies the issue. What if the children decide they don’t want money? Do they still have to do the chores?

Lewis Mandell, a financial economist and professor emeritus at the State University of New York, Buffalo, however, says unconditional allowances are a “terrible idea,” citing a 2000 study that showed kids who received a regular allowance left high school knowing less about personal finances than kids who received no allowance—though the differences were slight.

One problem may be that, like many Americans, kids aren’t the most diligent about saving. While 61% of parents pay an allowance, only 1% report that their children save any of it, according to a 2012 survey by the American Institute of CPAs.

The survey found that as children age, they receive a higher allowance, but across all ages the average take is $780 a year. That’s enough to buy an iPad or a good start for a college savings plan—if they were saving.

About 90% of the parents who paid their children an allowance required them to do chores to earn it, but only 81% had spoken to their kids about money management. More parents had spoken to their kids about good manners, their grades, and healthy eating habits than how to handle their money.

So how should you handle an allowance with your own children?FB_Poster Polaroid_1200_4

Use it as a teaching tool

Regardless of how your children earn an allowance, use it as a tool to reinforce good money habits from an early age. Talk about finances early and often, and set a good example.

Consider matching their savings

To encourage savings, tell your children for every $1 they set aside for long-term goals, you’ll match it in their Wauna Credit Union Jump Start Club youth savings account. Share the statements with them so they can see their money grow.

FB_Poster Polaroid_1200_1Gradually introduce them to financial products

Deposit their allowance into a Jump Start Club youth savings account, later a share draft/checking account, and help them manage them wisely. And we can help. Bring in your children to participate in Credit Union Youth Month at any of our branches, and we’ll help them pump up their savings.

Research shows that kids who learn to manage money at an early age are better prepared to handle their finances when they leave home. And, ultimately, teaching children good money skills is a sound investment for parents, who often are the ones helping their adult children when they run into real-world problems.

Learn More about Credit Union Youth Month in this previous blog: https://waunafcu.org/blog/its-credit-union-youth-month-coloring-contests-more/