WCU Joins Forest Grove High School Career Expo

WCU’s booth at the Forest Grove Career Expo

On Tuesday, March 6th, Hundreds of sophomores, juniors, and seniors filed into Forest Grove High School’s gymnasium, perusing the nearly 50 organizations there during Willamette Education Service District’s “Career Expo at Forest Grove HS”.

“I just got accepted to BYU,” said one senior girl, who was planning on becoming an engineer.

“I’m not sure where I want to go to school, but I know I want a job in finance,” said another.

Fittingly enough, among those present in Forest Grove was Wauna Credit Union (WCU). Credit unions are not only excellent examples of cooperative, people-based institutions, they’re also great places to start a career.

WCU’s Member Relationship Officer, Stephanie Pesio, alongside Communications Specialist, Michael Murdoch were on hand to talk about the benefits of joining and working for a credit union.

“We have so many opportunities for young people at Wauna,” said Pesio. “WCU has an internship program for current high school kids, too. We have full-time employees who have risen in the ranks here long after starting as interns,” she added.

All told, about 100 students stopped by WCU’s booth. There was, of course, a bowl of candy present and a chance to win $50 for filling out a short survey. With questions like “What is the difference between a bank and a credit union?” and “Can you name three credit unions?”, the survey helps WCU gauge young peoples’ understanding of the industry.

“I think a credit union is local and does loans, right?” said one Forest Grove High School junior.

“There’s still a lot of confusion over what exactly a credit union is,” said Murdoch. “But we did a lot of teaching.”

Though their credit union education might need some work, WCU is looking forward to a larger presence in Forest Grove. Later in 2018, construction begins on WCU’s newest branch. WCU’s presence will account for only one of two credit unions in the area.

“We look forward to the future and are excited to be involved in the schools, the city, and in the community,” said Murdoch.

Celebrating a Decade of Excellence – CFO David Merrell Anniversary

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of Wauna Credit Union’s CFO David Merrell. David is part of our leadership quintet, and is a key driver of all our success. While the work of the CFO mostly happens behind the scenes, we couldn’t do what we do without him. It’s David that really figures out how we can best manage our money and products to offer our members the absolute best solutions for their finances.

Our CEO Robert Blumberg said it best:
“David’s knowledge in economics and strategic initiatives is top-notch. He is committed to the financial well-being of Wauna Credit Union and we would not be as financially sound without him as a part of the management team.”

David grew up in a rural community (Moses Lake, WA) on 160 acres, which helps him understand our members wants and needs. While he originally started out with a huge corporation (Shell Oil) before moving on to a big bank, the idea of serving members, instead of shareholders, brought him to WCU.

There are a lot of ways to honor David, but we thought the best way was to re-post a speech he gave to our scholarship recipients last year. David has always valued education. He made sure his own children completed their studies, and always takes an interest in all of WCU’s education-focused activities.

When you look at who you are and what you do and what you’re intending to do is that you’re in position to contribute more. Not just that you hopefully make more money and do it that way, but you should be, you can be leaders. Leaders in just influencing people if that’s all it is.

We spend a lot of time trying to learn how to do well in our organization, how to create better organizations. Now you of course are geared towards that. You have a better ability to learn and you can contribute. I think that one of the best talks I’ve heard, some at the beginning of the school year addressing the student body, was will you lead. And that is so important today in society. Will you lead? Will you lead in the good? And we’re not just talking about in your environment. Will you lead in helping others to be better people and have the opportunity? And that’s one of the things that you get, a better opportunity as you go through and get better educated, a continuing education.

As we talk about ways to be better leaders now, I was listening to those talks on that as we go back and hear it again and they’re referencing books I read in high school. They had an impact. They’ve always impacted me. We’ve got engineering. We’ve got biology, science, kinesiology. Those are all good. The biggest impact in going to college is broadening of your knowledge.

-David Merrell Wauna Credit Union CFO June 14, 2017 to Wauna Credit Union scholarship recipients

Thanks for the 10 great years Mr. Merrell. Here’s to 10 more.

 

 

March Statement Insert – WaunaCar, Loan Rebate, Scholarship, Annual Meeting

Statement page 1 - full text belowCALLING ALL STUDENTS!
Scholarship applications are due by April 16th!
Don’t miss out on the chance tosnag some help
for higher education!
Application at waunafcu.org.

51st ANNUAL MEETING
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Business Meeting at 6:30pm
at the newly dedicated Erlene Darby Learning Center
49249 Hwy 30, Westport, Oregon
Doors open at 6 pm / Light refreshments served
Come see our democracy in action!

TurboTax
Wishing You Many Happy Returns
From TurboTax
Members: Get a discount when you use Turbo Tax from waunafcu.org

Need a loan? Apply day or night, even on the weekends
at: 800-773-3236 waunafcu.org

Statement page 2 - full text below

Trade In Your Loan
Get 1%* Cash Back! 60 Days No Payments!
For Auto, Boat & RV loans, or other Unsecured Debt from Elsewhere.
*Special Promotional Terms: Refinance a qualifying loan (Auto, Truck, SUV, Van, RV-motor home, trailer, boat, motorcycle, watercraft; or, Closed-end, Unsecured loan), currently financed elsewhere, and qualify to receive: 1. An immediate Cash Rebate equal to 1% of the approved loan value [Note: the full amount of the promotional cash rebate remitted to member may be forfeit if less than 50% of the total funded loan balance remains in the account 120 days after the loan funding date]; and, 2. 60-Days No Payments (interest will continue to accrue during the 60-day period). Wauna CU will also pay the vehicle title transfer fee up to $100 (member is responsible to pay any additional amount). Minimum loan amount to qualify for special terms: $2,000; Maximum rebate allowed is $500 per loan. These special financing terms end at close of business April 30, 2018. Rates & financing are offered based on applicant’s credit worthiness and term of the loan. Membership with Wauna CU required to qualify for this special offer.

Wauna Car To Love?
Use “WaunaCar” to find your next auto!
Finance with us for cash back & special term!
Learn more at waunafcu.org

NOTICE OF CHANGE
ELECTRONIC FUND TRANSFERS AGREEMENT AND DISCLOSURE
The following information pertaining to debit cards is added to the Electronic Fund Transfers Agreement and Disclosure that was previously provided to you:Card Information Updates and Authorizations. If you have authorized a merchant to bill charges to your card on a recurring basis, it is your responsibility to notify the merchant in the event your card is replaced, your card information (such as card number and expiration date) changes, or the account associated with your card is closed. However, if your card is replaced or card information changes, you authorize us, without obligation on our part, to provide the updated card information to the merchant in order to permit the merchant to bill recurring charges to the card. You authorize us to apply such recurring charges to the card until you notify us that you have revoked authorization for the charges to your card. Your card is automatically enrolled in an information updating service. Through this service, your updated card information (such as card number and expiration date) may be shared with participating merchants to facilitate continued recurring charges. Updates are not guaranteed before your next payment to a merchant is due. You are responsible for making direct payment until recurring charges resume. To revoke your authorization allowing us to provide updated card information to a merchant, please contact us.Theterms of the Electronic Fund TransfersAgreementand Disclosure (Agreement) are revised as described above.Please keep a copy of this Notice with the Agreement. Except as set forth in this Notice, the Agreement is unaffected and shall continue in full force and effect in accordance with its terms. If there is a conflict between this Notice and the Agreement, the terms of this Notice will prevail.

February Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union is kicking off our 51st year of serving members of the towns and cities surrounding the Columbia River. We’re continuing to grow (if you want to join us check out our careers page). Today we show the love to our February anniversary celebrants.

Paige hiking
Paige and JJ enjoy getting out and about

Paige Tischer – 6 years
What is your current position?
I’m a Real Estate Loan Officer out of the Astoria branch. Home buying is a big step for our members. I really take pride in helping our community and finding ways to get our members the financing they need to get their new home.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Wauna has taught me so many lessons. I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is that the harder you work, the more you will be able to do, and the better you’ll be able to do your job. I started off working as a teller and as I’ve increased my knowledge about our products, I’ve been able to increase my responsibilities.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be? 
If I could choose any hobby it would be to learn how to fly a plane, hands down. I’d travel to new places I haven’t been and eat food I haven’t tried. 

 

Amber Seely  – 3 years

What is your current position?
I am an MC at the St. Helens branch.  I get to assist our members with all their daily transactions, and help them find ways to make their financial situation easier and ultimately better, whether that’s through one of our great products, or simply by working with them to help.

Amber celebrates after completing the Superhero Half Marathon
Amber celebrates after completing the Superhero Half Marathon

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working here has taught me how to manage my own money better.  I’ve learned how to build credit in a way that that makes my budget easier to manage. One of the things that separates us from a bank is our commitment to helping our members with their finances. I always recommend our great financial education tools to our members because I know how much they helped me.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be? 
I would love to travel more! I recently went to Disneyland with my daughter and husband. Seeing her eyes light up at all the new things she was seeing, made me remember how much I like seeing new things too!

 

Others

  • Mike McTague – 4 Years
  • Karissa Temple – 4 Years
  • Christina Sickler – 2 Years
  • Kira Zavortink – 2 Years

Credit Unions Love Their Members

You’ll hear us at WCU talk about the Credit Union Advantage quite often. It’s what sets us, and all credit unions, apart from for-profit banks. We’re not based in New York or London trying to drive increased profits from shareholders, instead we’re local people focused on helping out specific regions (in our case), or dedicated to a particular group of people, for example a credit union that serves people that work for a single company, or professional field. More importantly, our profits are returned to our members.

All members are equal owners of Wauna Credit Union, each member maintains a $5 share of ownership in their Share Savings Account. That means everybody is eligible to vote for our volunteer boards, and even to run for a position on the Board of Directors.

Picture of the communications center - not a link
Our Communications Center team shows their love.

While people may think of different credit unions as competitors, that’s really not the case. We work hand-in-hand with credit unions all over the country to ensure we deliver top-end service and technology no matter where our members are. That means that no matter if you are in New York City or Ames, Iowa, WCU members can go into a branch and be treated as a member, or use a CO-OP ATM (the second largest ATM network in the country) free of charge.

The members as owners value is so important, not just to us, but to every person who is potentially a member of a credit union, which really is anybody and everybody. That’s even more evident today. Ten years after the big financial institutions caused the biggest recession in the last 60 years, nothing has changed.

The sad thing is because of the advertising budgets those big banks have, many people really don’t understand how credit unions are different. If you’re reading this and are a member of a credit union, thank you. If you’re not, please look into it. We hope you chose Wauna Credit Union, but as long as you chose a credit union that works for you, we’re happy.

January Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union is kicking off our 51st year of serving members of the towns and cities surrounding the Columbia River. We’re continuing to grow (if you want to join us check out our careers page). Today we kick off the year by hearing from the employees who celebrate their anniversary in January. 

Nathan Philips – 13 years
What is your current position?
I started my career at Wauna Credit Union as a Member Service Representative, I now serve as the Vice President of Technology.  My duties include forecasting the technology needs of the credit union, managing our Information Technology teamNathan, and formulating our Information Security strategies.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
My favorite memories at Wauna Credit Union include seeing members I used to help on the teller line at events, such as our Annual Meeting.  I enjoy hearing about how they are doing and seeing their smiling faces like I used to.

 

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family.  My wife, son, and furbabies enjoy a nice hike in the Astoria area.  I am also a member of a local bowling league in Astoria.

Serena Schlosser  – 3 years
What is your current position?
I was just promoted to Lending Administration Manager upstairs in the Astoria Branch. I support the Consumer and Mortgage Lending teams, making sure every i is dotted and every t is crossed so the credit union stays financially sound.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
I have a lot of great memories, and some of the best ones come from when we all get together. One of my proudest moments was at the holiday party last year when the Top Underwriter and Mos

Serena
Serena poses with the award she won last year

t Helpful awards. It’s always nice to be recognized for your hard work.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
When I am not at work I enjoy gardening, cooking, and camping with my family. I also serve on a volunteer board for the Lower Columbia Preservation Society. I dig old buildings, and really like working with people to keep them around.

 

Pam Weller – 13 years
What is your current position?
I’m the Regional Manager for WCU.   In my position I oversee the deposit and lending growth of the branches, and work closely with the Area and Member Service Managers to implement credit union strategies.

Pam and team at the Vernonia Jamboree
Pam and team at the Vernonia Jamboree

What is your favorite WCU memory?
There are many great memories of my time with WCU, however I would say the best ones have come from working with the Vernonia Branch on floats and projects during Jamboree weekend.  It’s a great time to have fun and be creative as we spend time with each other as well as the community.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
In my spare time I enjoy quilting, knitting, horseback riding and camping.

Others

  • Jenifer Katon – 4 Years
  • Randy Buholts – 8 Years
  • Zara Ahlers – 4 Years

Let us be your Wedding Financial Planner & have a Wauna Wedding!

As soon as the proposal happens, the wedding planning begins (sometimes before). However, if you are like many people, you are paying for your own wedding, or honeymoon, or any of the giant expenses often involved in saying “I do.” At the Shore Style Wedding Faire there will all sorts of vendors helping you with your upcoming nuptials, including Wauna Credit Union.

For many, the idea of parents paying for their children’s wedding is a fairy tale, and even being able to save for a wedding for years and years, is difficult, it can start that union with unneeded stress or prolonged waiting. So, how does one cover the costs of rings, the honeymoon, and the wedding? Even a small, intimate wedding of just your closest friends and family is going to cost more than most can readily afford. What’s a couple to do?

ShoreStyle Wedding Faire February 3 10 am to 3:30 pm
The Shore Style Wedding Faire is this Saturday

One simple way to deal with these expenses is with a personal loan. A personal loan is often the least expensive way to pay. It’s way cheaper than using a credit card, and the qualifying process is quicker than trying to do a home equity loan. Borrowing for your wedding is a simple way to make your dreams come true without the stress. We can set your loan payment to fit your budget, and we can make the payments automatic to keep it simple.

A wedding loan could actually help you build credit as a couple,  which will serve you well when purchasing a home, or a new car in the future, and Wauna Credit Union will be there to assist with that as well. In fact, we offer a variety of options to take the worry out of paying for your wedding so you can focus on planning it, and your new life together. For example, apply for a personal loan to cover the big wedding costs, and a Wauna Credit Union VISA credit card to pay for incidentals or to use on your honeymoon – it’s far more secure than cash or debit cards when traveling. If you opt for a Rewards card, you might even cover airfare with the points you earn!

Why struggle? Let us be you Wedding Financial Planner, and take the stress off of paying for the big event, so you can enjoy your special day and focus on the most important thing – each other.

How do the new tax laws affect mortgages?

You may have heard about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that was signed into law at the end of December. This major legislation affects many things. If you want to learn more about how it affects you, please reach out to a certified tax professional.

Wauna Credit Union CXO John Moore
John knows that changes in the tax law can change how people deal with their finances.

The Wonderful World of Wauna decided to dig a little deeper. So, we sat down with our CXO John Moore, who has 23-years of experience in finance, which includes overseeing Wauna Credit Union’s mortgage and lending teams, to talk about how the new laws impact mortgages.

Please note, this blog should not replace advice from a certified tax advisor.

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us.
My pleasure. It’s great to talk to somebody who’s beard is almost as magnificent as mine.

Can you give an overview of how the new laws change things?
In general the law lowers the limits related to mortgage deductions. In short if you own expensive real estate you may not get the deductions you used to. The main changes:

  • The maximum mortgage debt homeowners can deduct was decreased from $1 million to $750,000. Although those with existing loans are grandfathered in
  • The law eliminates tax deductibility for interest paid on home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs)
  • The deduction for property taxes is now limited to $10,000

How does this change things for mortgages?
The thing it really does is make first mortgages much more appealing. Since the interest in first mortgages is still deductible, and because the rates on first mortgages are almost always lower than equity loans and lines, we expect to see more of our members looking at refinancing.

What about members who want to do home improvement, or previously used home equity loans and HELOCs to finance other things, like education and paying down high-interest debt?
First mortgages can be great for that as well. Since Oregon and SW Washington have seen a dramatic rise in home values, most of our members have a lot of equity in their homes. Those who have a big expense can take care of it with a cash out first mortgage for any home improvement or debt consolidation.

Does this make second mortgages less appealing?
Not necessarily, even though non-housing interest is no longer deductible on equity loans, they still are very useful. First of all, the rates on equity loans tend to be lower than non-secured loans, which means you are still stretching your money further. In addition, just having an equity line handy in case of emergencies can provide tremendous peace of mind.

Any final things you’d like us to know?
Han shot first.

Thanks John for taking the time to speak with us. If you have any questions about mortgages WCU has experts in every branch who are happy to help you with your existing mortgage, or get you on the road to home ownership, and phone consultants available 24/7 at 800-773-3236. 

January Statement Insert – 60 Days No Payments 1% Cashback, IRA, TurboTax

Looking for a Loan to Love?
60 Days No Payments!
1% Cash Rebate!*
& your title transfer is our treat!
That’s why we’re offering to take your less-than-loveable-loan from elsewhere & delight you with a Wauna Credit Union loan!
At Wauna Credit Union, we want to spark that special feeling
in your heart when you think of us. Apply online or by phone,
waunafcu.org l 800-773-3236
24 hours a day, 7 days a week
*Special Promotional Terms: Refinance a qualifying loan (Auto, Truck, SUV, Van, RV-motor home, trailer, boat, motorcycle, watercraft; or, Closed-end, Unsecured loan), currently financed elsewhere, to Wauna Credit Union, and qualify to receive: 1. An immediate Cash Rebate equal to 1% of the approved loan value [Note: the full amount of the promotional cash rebate remitted to member may be forfeit if less than 50% of the total funded loan balance remains in the account 120 days after the loan funding date]; 2. 60-Days No Payments (interest will continue to accrue during the 60-day period); and, 3. Wauna CU will also pay the vehicle title transfer fee up to $100 (member is responsible to pay any additional amount). Minimum loan amount to qualify for special terms: $2,000; Maximum rebate allowed is $500 per qualifying loan. These special, promotional financing terms end at close of business April 30, 2018. Rates & financing are offered based on applicant’s credit worthiness and term of the loan. Membership with Wauna CU required to qualify for this special offer.

It’s Time!
Competitve rates and easy, automatic deposits are just a few of the benefits.
Talk to one of our experts & find out how easy retirement planning can be!
To Start An IRA We can help you start an IRA that won’t hurt your wallet,
but will make fora great future!


Scholarship Applications are available now at waunafcu.org. Deadline to apply is April 16, 2018. We encourage high school seniors and college students to apply, prior recipients are welcome to reapply. #WaunaCares

Use TurboTax to file and be entered to win $25K! Plus, get a member discount when you use Turbo Tax through the link at waunafcu.org!

Community Builder 11 mo. Certificate Account
1.35% APY* Enjoy a higher rate of return
while saving for the future & helping your community thrive!
$500 min. *details at waunafcu.org

ADDENDUM TO
ELECTRONIC FUND TRANSFERS AGREEMENT
AND DISCLOSURE
The following information pertaining to debit cards is added to the Electronic Fund Transfers Agreement and Disclosure:
Card Information Updates and Authorizations. If you have authorized a merchant to bill charges to your card on a recurring basis, it is your responsibility to notify the merchant in the event your card is replaced, your card information (such as card number and expiration date) changes, or the account associated with your card is closed. However, if your card is replaced or card information changes, you authorize us, without obligation on our part, to provide the updated card information to the merchant in order to permit the merchant to bill recurring charges to the card. You authorize us to apply such recurring charges to the card until you notify us that you have revoked authorization for the charges to your card.
Your card is automatically enrolled in an information updating service. Through this service, your updated card information (such as card number and expiration date) may be shared with participating merchants to facilitate continued recurring charges. Updates are not guaranteed before your next payment to a merchant is due. You are responsible for making direct payment until recurring charges resume. To revoke your authorization allowing us to provide updated card information to a merchant, please contact us.
This Addendum revises the terms of the Electronic Fund Transfers Agreement and Disclosure (Agreement). Please keep a copy of this Addendum with the Agreement. Except as set forth in this Addendum, the Agreement is unaffected and shall continue in full force and effect in accordance with its terms. If there is a conflict between this Addendum and the Agreement, the terms of this Addendum will prevail.

Loving Your Dream: Four Friends are Chop Chopping All Over Oregon!

Long-time friends Kinnell & Jon Steward and Dennis & Debbie Gorton always look forward to their annual camping trip with several other families, and the meal everyone looks forward to on that trip is Chicken Sundae night!  “We do it potluck style and everyone would bring some of the toppings.  As new families would join the group they would ask “what is this crazy dinner…I have never heard of a Chicken Sundae…we would just smile and say wait until you try it!” Steward said.

Kinnell and Jon stand in front of the truck

In the spring of 2015 the Gortons had an opportunity to sell Chicken Sundaes at a fundraiser for a friend who was battling brain cancer. They were an immediate hit!  That June during the camping trip, they decided to bring the Chicken Sundaes to the people.  The couples cobbled together their own money to buy equipment and supplies, and two months later Chop Chicken Sundaes made its debut at the 2015 Vernonia Friendship Jamboree.  Their first real event was a hit!

“We decided to see where this crazy idea would take us so we started selling at Farmers Markets and Events,” Kinnell said.  “We were a pop up restaurant, so we would pull up, unload our equipment, build a restaurant, prep our food, sell the food, clean up and pack it all back into our trailer. It was a ton of work. We knew that if we were going to keep following this dream we would need to find an easier way to do it, and that meant building a food truck.”

Customers warm their hands in front of the truckThe couples researched and realized they would never be able to afford it on their own. The Stewards are long-time members with Wauna Credit Union, and presented their business plan to the Vernonia Branch. Right away Pam Weller, and the rest of the team at Wauna shared their vision, and went to work seeing how they could help the foursome realize their goals.

“The team at Wauna was super,” said Kinnell.  “Pam and Sue worked with us to get the business plan together, and gathered enough evidence to make the loan.”  Almost immediately Wauna’s faith in the business paid off and the friends were realizing their dreams of taking Chicken Sundaes all over the state of Oregon & beyond.

Chop Chop Chicken Sundaes has built a fanbase all over Oregon. “Even though it’s hard work at times, we’re having so much fun. We love talking to people, and introducing them to Chicken Sundaes,” said Jon. “We are so grateful to Wauna for seeing our vision and believing in us, we wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for Pam and the team at Wauna.”Customers gather at the Chop Chop truck

If you want to find out when Chop Chop Chicken Sundaes will be in your area, visit their website at www.choppdx.com, like their Facebook page or follow them on Instagram, and if you are interested in finding out more about what WCU can do for you, visit waunafcu.org.