INTERVIEW: Our Internal Auditor Randy Brackman Retires after 28 Years!

RandybrackmanThis week, Wauna Credit Union will experience a major change. It’s not a new branch, or the latest technology, on Friday, March 25th our Internal Auditor Randy Brackman will “punch out” for the very last time!

After 28 years (yes, TWENTY EIGHT years!) at Wauna Credit Union, Randy will hand the reigns over to new Internal Auditor Rachel Kamaunu, and head out into the sunset for a life of leisure spent with family, and traveling – including perhaps a trip to England!

The Wonderful World Of Wauna caught up with both Randy and Rachel to find out more about both of them, the passing of the torch, and what exactly an Internal Auditor does. Today, we are talking to Randy, and on Monday, we’ll post our interview with Rachel.

So, what exactly does an internal auditor do?

Randy: The Internal Auditor is unique in that he or she has two different direct supervisors to report to; Robert Blumberg, CEO/President of the Credit Union and the Supervisory Committee Chair, which oversees the members of the Supervisory Committee.  The role of the Internal Auditor is to be the “eyes and ears” of both supervisors to ensure the internal controls of the Credit Union are up-to-date and being followed by the staff.  This is accomplished by conducting a series of audit exams annually to test the internal controls in place.  Finally the Internal Auditor acts as the liaison for the Credit Union during the NCUA annual examination and the Outside Auditing Firms annual audit.

What was Wauna Credit Union like back in 1988? 

Randy: There were four branches in operation (Clatskanie, Astoria, Warrenton and Westport).  I was hired to develop a Collection Department and work on lowering a delinquency ratio of over 4 percent. Technology was more a blimp in the future.  The Collection Department (me) received the first desktop computer and printer.  The rest of the branches had large terminals at each station, connected to each other by cable.  If a terminal went down the rest of the line also stopped working.  Pulling reports were cumbersome and took hours to complete.  Month-end reports generally meant the IT Department would spend the entire weekend in the Clatskanie branch, and resting on cots, while waiting on the reports to be completed.

You’ve seen some big changes then?

Randy: If I had to list all that Wauna Credit Union done and accomplished over the past 28 years it would take several pages. The Credit Union has done a phenomenal job of working on the growth of the membership base.  In doing so, the asset size has blossomed to nearly $200 million in assets, and there appears to be no decline in sight. Technology became extremely valuable as a tool to keep the Credit Union on pace with or ahead of the other credit unions in our field of membership. 

How have you changed over the years??

Randy: I’m sure I have gone through changes over the past 28 years.  When I started, delegation was not in my vocabulary. I have learned to delegate projects more frequently and not lose sleep over each decision.  I find that I listen more before making a decision at work.  My work ethic has never changed.  I give a 110 percent to the Credit Union and have the utmost respect for the management supervisors I have reported to during the years.

How does it feel to hand the reins of this position over after so many years?

Randy: I am at peace with my decision to retire.  I have always been a firm believer if I did the work assigned to me to the best of my ability, with the good of the Credit Union fully in the forefront, then I am happy and I have gained the respect of management.  It was always my desire to go out on my terms and that is why I requested my retirement date to be the same month and day that I was hired. . . March 28.

What are you planning to do with your new found freedom? World travels? Gentleman of leisure? 

Randy: I’m sure there will be a “honey-do” list created for me before I know it. I will be retained by the Credit Union to do consulting work on an as needed basis.  Much of my time will be spent with the family.  Traveling will probably include trips to Southern Oregon; Washington DC, and possibly England.

Good Luck Randy! We are all going to miss you around here!

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.

April 2016 Statement Insert: Election Winners, EMV Cards, & Clatskanie Remodel

April Statement 2016.jpg

Election Results for Board of Directors

A Record Number of Ballots were cast during Wauna CU 2016 Board of Directors Elections! Thank you!

The 49th Annual Meeting of the Wauna Credit Union membership occurred Saturday, March 5th, in Westport, Oregon.

Election results for the Board of Directors were announced; congratulations to: Debbie Huffman and George Dunkel (incumbants), and Neil Christensen, each elected to a 3-year term; and, Bill DeJager (incumbant) was elected to a 1-year term to complete a vacancy on the Board.
Wauna Credit Union officials thank the 658 members who voted by electronic ballot during this year’s election period.

Please visit the Wauna CU website or Facebook page to view the 49th Annual Report, plus additional details about the Annual Meeting, elections, and other related activities.

Clatskanie Branch Remodel Scheduled (April-July)

The Clatskanie Branch remodel project starts in early April. For complete details about the remodel, including a preview of the new lobby and drive-up area, please visit our website or Facebook page.

A few important details about the remodel include:

• Branch/Drive-up closed Friday, April 8.
• Branch reopens Monday, April 11, in a temporary
area of the building.
• Drive-up service will be unavailable
during the remodel period (April – July).
• The drive-up ATM & Night Drop will continue to
be in service throughout the remodel period.

Chip Technology Coming Soon to Wauna CU Debit, Credit Cards!

Wauna CU officials are excited to announce the delivery of chip technology with enhanced security for our Debit and Credit cards. When used at a chip-enabled terminal (such as at a point of sale or an ATM), chip cards provide a new layer of protection against unauthorized use and even card counterfeiting.

The Credit Union will begin issuing new chip Debit Cards this spring; and, members with a Wauna CU Credit Card will be issued a new chip card this summer. Please visit our website for more exciting details about our new chip technology for Debit and Credit Cards!

Financial Advisors Corner: WHAT IS YOUR RISK TOLERANCE?

Risk tolerance for many people has more to do with emotions than actual facts when it comes to their money. And it is true that there are many types of risk one may encounter, but all risk has one thing in common: the uncertainty of loss. The fact is that there is risk in everything. Risk can be minimized but it cannot be eliminated.

A good example of a place where risk has gradually taken people by surprise is through the safety and security of our regular savings and certificates of deposits. These rates have been at historical lows for the past five years with no clear indication that rates will rise anytime soon.

This is known as “Interest Rate Risk”. The reality for many people is that rates are so low that you are no longer able to keep up with daily expenses of living with your interest earnings and you are gradually depleting savings.

Knowing that there is risk in even the safest of investments, is your inner objective voice of reason beginning to ask whether it might be worthwhile to re-evaluate your tolerance for risk? Maybe it’s time for you to consider some of the income investments other retirees are using today to create retirement income.

Contact me, Rich Parker, to schedule an appointment at a Wauna CU branch near you to discuss your tolerance for risk. We may have an acceptable solution for you.

Rich Parker 2013Richard Parker,
LPL Financial Advisor
Wauna Investment Services
Cell: 1.877.728.4110
Office: 1.800.773.3236
Email: Richard.Parker@lpl.com
LPL Branch Office:
100 Columbia Ave
Astoria OR 97103

  • There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
  • Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance Products offered through LPL Financial or it licensed affiliates. LPL Financial is not affiliated with Wauna Credit Union.
  • Not NCUA Insured
  • No Credit UnionGuarantee
  • May Lose Value

ANNUAL MEETING: Saturday, March 5th

Join us on March 5th at the Westport Community Church in Westport Oregon (across the street from our Wauna CU Learning Center), for our Annual Meeting!

Doors open at 2 pm, the meeting begins at 3 pm.

The Annual Meeting is open to Wauna CU members only, but no tickets are required. The meeting is free.

Fultano’s Pizza will be hosting our refreshments.

Come out and meet our Board Of Directors, find out the election results, and get to know more about the Credit Union Difference and our People Helping People philosophy.

 

Here are a few photos from the 2015 Annual Meeting in Warrenton.

AM2015-1
Our Board hears the results from the Supervisory Committee chair.
AM2015-2
Three of our Board members enjoy a laugh at the 2015 Annual Meeting.
AM2015-3
HR-VP Sharon and our COO Debi, get photo bombed by Branch Manger Jeff.
AM2015-4
Branch Manager Jeff, with our Internal Auditor Randy, at the 2015 Annual Meeting.

March 2016 Statement Insert: VISA Balance Transfer, Turbo Tax, Loan-Refi Special, & Call for Scholarship Applications

Statement 3-16 1-page

Move your high rate debt to a Wauna CU VISA Credit Card & Save Big!

  • Balance Transfer Special!
  • 1.99% APR for 12 Months!

*Special Financing Terms:  APR: Annual Percentage Rate. Members who move debt balances from elsewhere to a Wauna CU VISA credit card account may qualify for a special 1.99% APR for 12 months. After the 12-month period expires, the regular terms in the VISA credit card Membership & Account Agreement will apply. This special balance transfer service includes a one-time Balance Transfer Fee equal to 3% of the amount of the balance to be transferred or the minimum $20 balance transfer fee, whichever is the highest amount. This special balance transfer promotion ends at close of business April 30, 2016. 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. **VISA Rewards accounts earn Rewards points for balance transfers (1 Reward Point per $1 of qualifying balance transfer during the special promotion).

TurboTax: Wauna CU Members get a discount on TurboTax!

This year, file your taxes the smarter way & get your biggest possible refund, guaranteed. TurboTax searches over 350 deductions & credits, so you won’t miss a thing.

Visit waunafcu.org to save on TurboTax today!

Break Free! From High Rates & Unfun Loans!

  • Cash Rebate!
  • 60 Days No Payments!

Refinance nearly any loan: Auto – RV/Toy – Installment Loans
Offer ends April 30, 2016

Apply Today!

Applications for our Annual Scholarships are being accepted until April 15, 2016.
Download the application from our website or at any branch of WaunaCU.

Friday, Feb. 26: Wauna CU holds “Sgt. Goodding Day” fundraiser for fallen police officer

IMG_2111Wauna Credit Union staff is holding a fundraiser this week to raise money for the family of Sgt. Goodding, the Seaside police officer tragically killed in the line of duty.

On Friday, Feb. 26, Wauna CU staff will be wearing memorial bracelets for Sgt. Goodding, and we will be giving them out to anyone who donates to our fundraiser.

This is such a tragedy for our communities, we felt compelled to do something! This is an unofficial fundraiser, it’s just us doing what we can to help. Donations can also be made at: http://www.oregonfallenbadge.com/news/seaside-police-line-of-duty-death.html

100% of all donations we collect will go directly to the Goodding family. If you would like to participate in our staff’s fundraiser, stop in any of our seven branches. We will give out bracelets while supplies last, and special memorial cards supplied to us by the Seaside Police Department.

Our hearts grieve for the Goodding Family, and for his brothers and sisters on the police force.

Thank you!FullSizeRender

Meet our CEO Robert Blumberg

People always say Credit Unions are different than banks, but how and why is not so easily understood. One of the goals of this blog is to improve understanding about that difference, and part of doing that is getting to know the people who make up our credit union.

Robert BlumbergJust like a bank, we have a CEO, and while our CEO has a nice office and a company car, his office doubles as a conference room, and the car was purchased used. There’s no private jets or big stock options here, just a hard working person doing their best to guide staff and keep the Credit Union growing.

To find out more, The Wonderful World Of Wauna recently caught up with our own CEO, Robert Blumberg, to find out what drives him.

Though a majority of our staff at Wauna CU are lifelong Oregonians, some have come from farther away, and Robert may have come the farthest! He grew up in South Africa and came to the USA in 1980 after finishing college in Johannesburg.

“I have always been interested in numbers, and at school I excelled at Math, so in college I studied accounting.”

Robert immigrated to the United States to begin his career in the accounting department of a small bank in Los Angeles. He worked his way up to Controller, and then Chief Financial Officer (CFO) before moving on to larger banks, including time as the VP of Compliance at the First Bank of Beverly Hills.

Then, in 2000 Robert saw the “Credit Union light” and jumped ship, moving to MaPS Credit Union in Oregon as their Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Robert explains, “The motto of the credit union movement is people helping people. That speaks volumes to me – that we are not serving shareholders whose interests are to maximize their return on their investment.”

Robert came to Wauna Credit Union as CEO over eight years ago, during that tumultuous time when housing bubble had burst, and things in the financial world were in upheaval, but he held fast to the ideals of the Credit Union movement, and the reins of the Wauna Credit Union and managed to contine to grow Wauna Credit Union! We know have more than $197 million in assets and 22,000 members.

As a father of four, Robert tries to instill good money habits in his children. “I try to teach my children to be responsible with their money.” He adds, “My parents never built on their net worth and unfortunately spent all the money they earned.”

As far as his favorite Credit Union service, Robert says, perhaps not surprisingly, “Wauna’s debit card can be used all over the world and at the ATMs all over the world giving the best exchange rate. I can also access my checking account using the largest branch and ATM network at over 5,000 shared branches and 30,000 ATMs located in all 50 states. No bank in our nation can offer such a large network of branches and ATMs while at the same time offering our members a personal touch.”

In Service Training Day 2016

Super SluethsOn Feb. 15th, while banks and government offices were enjoying a three day weekend, the entire staff of Wauna Credit Union met at the newly renovated Clatskanie Cultural Center in downtown Clatskanie for what Credit Unions call an “In-Service Day” or “All-Team Day”.

It is a day to recognize various employees for achievements, introduce new staff members to the entire team, do team building exercises, and learn from guest speakers. It’s an extra-special day for Wauna Credit Union, as our branches are spread over more than 100 miles, so we don’t get to see many of our team members on a regular basis.

Game2This year, we learned about four types of personalities: Talkers, Doers, Supporters, and Controllers, and how each plays an important role in keeping our organization growing, and that each has a different way of thinking and reacting, and how to work with people of differing personality styles in a productive way.

Team TalkersWe had a guest speaker, our CEO Robert gave a great talk as well. There were activities, team building games, a nice lunch, and even ice cream sandwiches!

In the end, working together, spending time as a full group, seeing people we often only talk to on the phone or via email, and renewing our commitment to the Credit Union Difference and our “People Helping People” philosophy was way batter than sleeping in on a Monday!

Training VP
Our Training-VP Danea.
Super Slueths
Team Super Sleuth, St Helens and Scappoose.
Team Day Start
A word from our CEO Robert, and the backs of our cool t-shirts.
Game2
Team building game.
Game1
Team building games, and again our cool shirts.
Team Controllers
The Controllers of Wauna CU!
Team Supporters
The Supporters of Wauna CU!
Team Talkers
The Talkers of Wauna CU.
Team Doers
The Doers of Wauna CU.

Refinance Special – Move your loan to us and save!

snowboard rebate version 3Wauna Credit Union has expanded its annual Auto Loan rebate program to include all RVs, boats and toys, as well as installment loans with a balance over $5000!

This is a great opportunity to get a cash rebate, enjoy 60 days without payments, and it may even lower your interest rate or monthly payment.

Learn More: https://waunafcu.org/loans/current-loan-promotion.shtml