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

Kailyn 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/