October Anniversaries

While many people think of October as a scary month, we at Wauna couldn’t believe more differently. Why’s that you ask? It’s because of all the amazing people celebrating anniversaries this month. You might say it’s scary how good they all are. 

If you want to be one of the people celebrating next year, check out our careers page.  

Waunaversary Celebrants

Sharon Borgardt – 24 years
What is your current position?
I’m the Chief Human Resources Officer at the credit union. I oversee the HR Dept and all functions relating to hiring, employee promotions, benefits administration, employment law compliance and HR strategies to help us attract and retain outstanding employees. Also, I’m a member of the Executive Team, and work to carry out our credit union strategies. Our employees are very valuable assets here at Wauna. I am honored to have a role in ensuring that Wauna is an incredible place to work. I feel it is important to provide career opportunities and to celebrate our employees’ successes.

Sharon and her dog Mica
Those who know Sharon know that she has a soft spot for dogs and cats. Here she is with Great Pyrnees rescue Mica.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
I cannot say that this was something I learned only at Wauna, but it is something I practice with passion. When faced with difficult interactions with others, it is imperative to have a high level of empathy, understanding and kindness toward everyone involved. I strive to practice this at work and in my personal life. And I am proud to say that I see this in the way our employees treat our members, too.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
Is becoming a world traveler a hobby? It sure would be exciting, especially if I had my own private jet! But on a more realistic note, one day when I have more free time I will take up painting again (if I am not too busy traveling!).

Kailynn Fischer – 6 years
What is your current position?

I am a training specialist II, my job is to help employees reach their career goals by training them in everything from delivering top-notch member service to opening accounts, lending and everything in between.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working at Wauna has taught me the importance setting goals. I keep my immediate goals, and even my five and ten year goals written down and review them on a regular basis with my supervisor. Having them written down at my desk keeps them fresh in my mind and sharing them with someone helps to keep me accountable. It is something that is really encouraged here at Wauna and something that has been instrumental in my success.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
A hobby I would love to have is diving! I went scuba diving for the first time earlier this year on a trip to Thailand and now I’m hooked. I’ve always loved being in the water but being able to explore it from that depth is a totally different and surreal experience. I would love to explore so many of the breathtaking dive sites all over the world!

Kailynn scuba
Kailynn’s lifetime love of water recently brought her below the surface

Marti Gwin – 2 years
What is your current position?
I’m the Compliance Manager. I have a great team that consists of our Compliance Specialist and two team members in the Cash Intensive Business Department which services our cannabis business members. My job is to ensure that we stay compliant with regulations and laws governing the services we offer. The primary way we do this is through our policies and procedures and through training. The Compliance Department works closely with all other departments in the credit union to keep them informed of compliance requirements and to help answer compliance questions.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working at Wauna has taught me about how great the credit union movement is. People that work for credit unions love to give back to the communities they are in and genuinely love their members.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
Well I actually just started taking guitar lessons one evening a week after work. My fingers are still very sore! Another thing I’ve been thinking about is horseback riding lessons. I used to do take riding lessons for years but it has been over 25 years since my last riding lesson.

Marti and team
Marti and members of the team recently wore plaid to support the backpack program

Sarah Jones – 1 year
What is your current position?
I’m a Compliance Specialist. I get to serve our internal members and the credit union by providing guidance and making sure we are compliant with current rules and regulations. Our members trust the credit union to keep their money safe and secure, and compliance is an important part of that.

Sarah at the beach
Sarah and her husband Jason enjoy Maui

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
It’s all about teamwork! The Compliance Department is involved is all areas of the credit union, so we have to have good communication among all of the departments, including our own. We have an amazing team of employees who work great together!

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
If I lived on a warm, tropical island I would like to try surfing. But since I live here in the PNW, I would take up kayaking and paddle boarding.

Riley Woodall – 1 year
What is your current position?
I am a Member Consultant in the Vernonia branch! I am here to make sure our members are taken care of to the fullest of my abilities. I have never imagined myself pursuing a career like this but here I am and I am loving every second of it. I so look forward to furthering my career with Wauna!

Riley Beach
Riley just recently discovered her love of travel

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Since working at Wauna I have learned SO much! One of the big things is to believe in yourself, and have the confidence to step out of your comfort zone. I recently did that and traveled to Hawaii. I have never been a big traveler unless we could go by car, so needless to say it was out of my comfort zone! Before I started here I never would have believed I could do something like this , but now that I have, I will continue pushing myself to do and try more!

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I’d like to pick up a rec sport! I loved sports in high school but stopped after graduation. I’m also interested in trying my hand at pottery or sculpting.

Others

  • Robert Blumberg
  • Sara Kulp
  • Samantha Wiser
  • Diana Phipps

 

 

September Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union has been serving members of the towns and cities surrounding the Columbia River for 51 years. We’re continuing to grow (if you want to join us check out our careers page).  Employees celebrating September Anniversaries school us on what it means to serve members and practice TMA.

Sadly, instead of wishing Rich Parker a happy 10-year Waunaversary, we’re saying goodbye. Hear Richard’s retirement announcement, and his thanks to all his clients, here. 

 

Danea Passmore – 13 years
What is your current position?
My current position is Chief Operations Officer.  That means I head WCU’s IT, Operations, Strategic Implementations and Card Services teams.  Fortunately, I am blessed to have my office in Clatskanie, where I grew up and see my family often.  My main focus is to coach and develop teams that embrace the Wauna Way – Integrity Coaching, TMA, LSCI, Core Values, Mission, Vision, and people helping people.  I used to be in the Training Department, so you know that’s something I love doing. I also love to collaborate with all departments in the organization to implement products and services to exceed our members expectations. Wauna is my family.

Danea
Danea’s sunny disposition matches the weather on this day

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
I have learned a great deal at Wauna, but the most important thing I have learned is to be more financially fit.  Prior to working at Wauna, I was one of those people who sometimes experienced when bad things happen to good people.  Our daughter was pushed into a swimming pool, spiral fractured her neck, and drowned.  They were able to resuscitate her; however, my world for a over a year was revolved around hospitals, doctors, and taking care of her.  My finances were a wreck, my payments were late, and frankly, I didn’t care at the time because I knew I had to do something else.

I am blessed that Wauna hired me even though my credit was an “E”. That stands for eeeek to some; but to Wauna, I was more than a number.  Yep, went from A to “E”eeek.  I learned how to get back on track, clean up my credit, and come back to the top.  I use that each day when I talk with members or employees, and want them to know that bad things happen to good people so get the story before you judge.  Thankfully too, Wauna asks the story and takes great care of its members.  I will forever be grateful to Wauna.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I love this question! If I could choose a brand new hobby, I would love to become a pilot and fly.  But since I should probably be more realistic, I would love to be hiking.  The outdoors is so energizing, fun, freeing, and a good brisk walk is exhilarating.  I recently watched a show where there is a large hike from the North Kaibab Trail on the North Rim to Bright Angel Trail at the South Rim.  It is a hike of over 23 miles and just sounds incredible, especially in a majestic place like the Grand Canyon. Actually, forget that. I always shoot for the stars, so pilot it is, or maybe even astronaut.

Audrey McTague – 5 years
What is your current position?
My current position is Training Specialist and I train Member Consultants in consumer loans.  I lead training classes at the Erlene Darby Learning Center in Westport, as well as go to the branches for one-on-one training.  My main goal is to make sure everyone understands our lending philosophy using LSI principles as well as training them how to process loans from start to finish.  Training has always been one of my passions.

Audrey
Audrey knows a thing or two about helping members get loans

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Wauna has taught me The Member Advantage, which emphasizes listening to people to find out what they need, or are looking to accomplish. TMA is something I can use inside and outside of work in my everyday life

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
My hobby this summer was making my own spices by dehydrating them, grinding them and bottling them up.  I did garlic and onions.  I also made tomato powder which I can make tomato paste or sauce with.  Next year, I plan on doing jalapenos, thyme, rosemary and chives.

Laura Lovegren – 3 years
What is your current position?

I am the Financial Center Manager in the Clatskanie Branch. My job is to work with our Members and my team to create relationships to grow with our members throughout their lives.

Laura
Laura loves getting out in the community

This role is new to me in the last year and I have been enjoying building our community relationships and working to educate our youth.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working at WCU has taught me that my limits are self-created.  I have been encouraged to grow and dream during my career here. I have worked in the Branch and in the Back office operations department as well. My goal is to learn more everyday and am grateful that I have the opportunity to learn many different aspects and to work with so many driven and wonderful people. It has not only grown my career but who I am as a Human being.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
It would most likely be to  travel more. I recently traveled to Croatia, and there is much of Europe waiting for me to visit.

Hannah Coffey – 2 years
What is your current position?
I’m a Member Consultant at the Astoria Branch. Member Consultants deal with the community face-to-face, and assist them with their daily financial needs, as well as provide part-time counseling (ha-ha). Being the face of Wauna is a great opportunity to connect with members and build lasting relationships between them and Wauna.

Hannah
Hannah always travels in style and with a sidekick

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working at Wauna has taught me a lot about patience. It’s easy to go day-to-day thinking you know how everything in the financial industry works and rush through it all, but it’s very humbling to help people who maybe aren’t so familiar with finances, as well as other things that may seem simple to us that work here such as online banking; especially since we just launched our new U-Banking platform back in May!

 

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
If I had to choose a new hobby, I would choose something musical. I played piano when I was little, but it never really stuck. It’s something that I would enjoy picking back up.

Michael Murdoch – 1 year
What is your current position?
I’m the Communications Specialist. My office is in Clatskanie, but my job is to go all over our footprint to talk to members and our staff. I spend most of my time communicating to Wauna staff how-to communicate while communicating communications to members and our communities. It’s a communications thing.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Wauna Credit Union has taught me to take greater ownership with my mistakes, but more importantly, with my accomplishments. As a communications person, I’m often more comfortable in the background, but rewarding good work is a big part of the culture here.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I’ve always wanted to take up sailing. But, I’d need a sail and a boat. And common sense.

Michael Murdoch
Michael hangs out with colleagues, and a duck that supports CUs

Others

  • Ian Wiggins
  • Brittany Warren
  • Lidia Sanchez
  • Ericka Barnett

 

 

July Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union has been serving members of the towns and cities surrounding the Columbia River for 51 years. We’re continuing to grow (if you want to join us check out our careers page).  Employees celebrating July Anniversaries are all firecrackers who exploded onto the scene at WCU.

We also have one more special anniversary in July. CXO John Moore is celebrating 5 years at the credit union. Read all about him, and how Xs and Os don’t just mean kisses and hugs here.

Richard Bighill – 22 years
What is your current position?
RichardMy current position is Lending Support Clerk. My job is to help support the Lending Support Specialists, Lending Support Manager, and VP of Consumer Loans. My duties ensure that the others do not have to complete them while underwriting, processing, and funding loans.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Something that working at WCU for 22 years has taught me is that it is very important to be part of the WCU family, and help support others.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I’m a huge Seahawks fan, so any new hobby would have to involve them. Maybe I’d become a sports photographer.

Sue Whitton – 11 years
What is your current position?
I am the Member Service Manager for the Vernonia Branch. In my position I oversee the front line operations. I believe the MC position is the most important contact for our membership. We start the relationship and help grow the membership through developing trust.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?Sue and her family
Wauna has taught me how important it is to support the community. Wauna has a strong commitment to the community, and I am proud of being able to support Vernonia.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
My hobbies currently are adjusting to empty nesting and It is going very well. Thank you!

Heidi White – 6 years
What is your current position?
I’m a Member Consultant. in the Clatskanie Branch. I assist our members with their every-day banking needs, as well as help them prepare for the future, whether that’s figure out the best way to save for a life milestone, or get a loan to buy a new car.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Growing up in Clatskanie I felt like I knew everybody in the community, but working here has taught me how to figure out a way to build rapport with anybody. No matter if they’re from out of town, just out of school, or getting ready for retirement, people want to know that the person helping them is looking out for their best interest.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
Can I pick two hobbies? I want to travel all over the world and do fun crafty things. Maybe my new hobby would be to have an international craft store.

Kristen DeForrest – 2 years
What is your current position?
I currently work as the Member Service Manager at the Astoria Branch. Previously I managed the branch inside the Astoria Safeway. I am passionate about building dynamic team of member consultants who are passionate about Wauna Credit Union’s mission and vision. It is important to me that we help members at every stage of financial success, but I especially enjoy helping youth with our jump start program.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working here has taught me that no matter how much you prepare you still need to be ready for things to change. That is something I am constantly helping our members with. We are here to help people deal with all of life’s milestones, whether they are planned or not.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I just started a new hobby! I have recently committed to supporting the Mariners Baseball. I’ve watched almost all the games this season, and hope to attend one this year with my family, including my daughter Claire, who is 6-months old-and much more than a hobby.

Lisa Clark – 1 year
What is your current position?
I’m the St. Helens/Scappoose Area Manager. My job is to supervise the deposit and lending operations for those assigned branches. I’m to coach and lead the Member Service Managers in those branches and to ensure that my branches are providing the highest quality member service. I also get to do business development, commercial lending and some public relations in Columbia County. All in all, I’m to ensure that my assigned branches are reaching their goals and are profitable.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
WCU has taught me so much, but one of the great things is that being yourself is really important. We’re taught to have real conversations with our members, and really listen to them to make sure we are helping in every way we can. Sometimes I go to other places and it’s like a robot is helping me. By being myself, I’m not only having fun, but providing great member service.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
One new hobby would be to learn to play a music instrument. My whole family is musical and I’m the only one who can’t play an instrument. My kids say that the only thing I can play is the radio!

Meisha Boettcher – 1 year
What is your current position?
Member Consultant II. Which means I act as a teller doing transactions sometimes; I act as a loan officer other times. I can be a therapist or an auditor depending on the day. Every day has a new challenge and a new lesson. I really enjoy that aspect of my work.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Meisha FishingThat everyone has a story and each one is important. Whether it’s a loan or a simple transaction, our interaction with that member is part of their day and part of their life. I’ve found it to be very enjoyable to be involved with people like that and get to know them over time.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I’ve always been in awe of aerial silks, I attempted a little in high school but I never went anywhere with it, I wish I would have. If I had the time and setup to do that, you bet I’d be in amazing shape and I’d be having a good time doing it.

 

Others

  • Carli Lyon
  • Jan Durie
  • Amber Alexander
  • McKenzie Lewis
  • John Kurns

June Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union has been serving members of the towns and cities surrounding the Columbia River for 51 years. We’re continuing to grow (if you want to join us check out our careers page). Those who are into astrology say that people born in June are friendly, conscientious, full of great ideas, and always trying to do their best. We’re not sure if that is supposed to hold true for the people who celebrate Anniversaries in June as well, but we think so.

Jeannie Byrum – 2 years
What is your current position?
I’m an MC in the Clatskanie Branch. I grew up here, so it’s really rewarding to help my friends and neighbors, whether it’s something small like cashing a check, or something big like helping them get started buying a car, house, or starting a business. Jeannie being fancy and her fiance

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
WCU has taught me so much, but one of the great things is that being yourself is really important. We’re taught to have real conversations with our members, and really listen to them to make sure we are helping in every way we can. Sometimes I go to other places and it’s like a robot is helping me. By being myself, I’m not only having fun, but providing great member service.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
Well right now I’m planning a wedding, so maybe being a wedding planner like J. Lo! Really though, I love doing things like floating down the Deschutes, hiking and camping. I’d make a great explorer.

Hugo Potts – 1 year
What is your current position?
I am a Lending Support Specialist, I assist our internal members with any questions they may have about vehicle, Personal, or Lifestyle loans. I also, help our mortgage department.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
At Wauna we participate in a program called The Member Advantage. It’s our approach to service that ensures we are listening to our members to learn what financial products will help them realize their financial dreams. These guidelines to listening well are tactics I use not only at work, but in my personal life too.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I would travel more and see the world! The first place I would visit is Japan.

Autumn Crawford – 1 year
What is your current position?
I am the intern for the operations team, I make sure that the mail gets done and help people in operations with whatever they need. I have been able to meet with all of the different areas(IT, accounting, HR, Lending, MC’s) in the company over the past year and I have learned so much about what each area of the bank does.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
This is my first job and I also did my senior project here, so what haven’t I learned. I think the biggest thing that I learned is teamwork. Everybody works together to get things done, nobody is ever too busy to answer a question you have or help someone else out.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
This isn’t really a “new hobby” because I took lessons as a kid but if I had the time I would love to start playing piano again. To me music is really relaxing and I feel that out of the many instruments that I used to play piano is my favorite.

Others

  • Monica Lauber – 14 Years
  • Jacob Humphries – 4 Years
  • kerbie Belknap – 2 Years
  • Caleb Yankus– 1 Year

May Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union has been serving members of the towns and cities surrounding the Columbia River for 51 years. We’re continuing to grow (if you want to join us check out our careers page). May I introduce you to the employees who celebrated anniversaries in May?

And if you haven’t had a chance to read about Debi Smiley, who has been with the credit union for 30 years. Read that post here

Laura Wells – 6 years
What is your current position?
I’m an Accountant.. Much of my job is to review and balance the activity that our members and employees did the day before.  I also monitor Wauna’s own corporate account daily to ensure we always have sufficient cash on hand.  The credit union recently acquired a couple of ITMs (Interactive Teller Machines) that were installed in our Long Beach and Clatskanie branches.  This new technology is innovative and exciting, but the balancing side of them is quite different from our normal ATMs, so figuring out all their quirks and the best ways to balance their GLs was one of the big projects I spent time working on over the past year.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working at Wauna has taught me a lot about teamwork.  The credit union isn’t just comprised of a bunch of different departments and branches who never talk to each other, and in order for things to run smoothly and efficiently, everybody works together to make that happen!Laura Up high

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
If I had all the time in the world I can think of a lot of things I’d like to get into or pick back up, but with the weather turning beautiful again one thing I would love to get into gardening…without killing everything I touch!

 

Elizabeth Ziegler – 1 year
What is your current position?
I am a Member Consultant in the Scappoose Branch. My job is to assist members in every aspect of their banking like applying for loans, completing every day account transactions, setting up their online banking, and in general making sure everybody is have a great time being a WCU member!Elizabeth helping a member

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working at Wauna has taught me to be diligent and a good communicator. Good communication is so important to how we relate to one another.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
If I could choose one new hobby I would be a professional traveler. I’d love to explore the world. My goal would be to visit a new country every month. I’ve been to over 15 different countries so far.

Others

  • Loren Ames – 9 Years
  • Jennifer Clark – 2 Years
  • Devyn Osborne – 1 Year
  • Ashlee Gilbertson – 1 Year

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

December Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union has had a lot of exciting things happen this year, our 50th year of serving members of the small towns surrounding the Columbia River. We’re continuing to grow (if you want to join us check out our careers page). Today we wrap up the year by hearing from the employees who celebrate their anniversary in December.

Amy Grubb – 5 years
What is your current position?
My current position is Member Service Manager of the Scappoose branch.  My main focus is making sure my branch runs smoothly and supporting and training my MC’s so that our members are receiving the best possible experience and helpingAmy and son them with their financial needs.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
My favorite Wauna memory is when I was a teller in Scappoose and one of my favorite members told me his birthday is Christmas Eve and it wasn’t really celebrated much growing up, I went out and bought him a birthday cake.  He was so surprised and now I buy him a cake every year for his birthday. We also had a couple members who were struggling around Thanksgiving one year and I was able to contact a local church and got them hooked up with a full turkey dinner. I loved seeing the look of relief and joy when they got their boxes full of dinner and all the fixings, they were so happy to be able to provide a nice dinner for their family.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
My husband and my son love to ride quads and go camping! I am also addicted to Fixer Upper and am going to Magnolias in Waco, TX in April 2018.

Ashley Erickson – 2 years
What is your current position?
My current position is Accounting Clerk. I make sure all of our member’s daily financial transactions are posted correctly and balance, and pay all of the credit union’s bills.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
My favorite WCU memory is the Clatskanie Branch’s remodel open house we had last year. It was great getting to meet our members as they had the chance to see all of our changes at the branch. You could tell everyone was excited about our growth and new work spacesAshley and her team.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
When I am not working I enjoy reading and coloring, going to the gym, wine, and playing tennis with my boyfriend.

Rachael Eaton – 1 year
What is your current position?
I’m an Member Consultant at the Warrenton branch. I assist members with their transactions, answer questions and explain things in a straightforward way that’s easy to understand. I also help with loans and credit cards. It’s great to be able to help our members build their credit and meet their financial needs.Rachael and her boyfriend

What is your favorite WCU memory?
Just the fun we have. The way we celebrate holidays, member recognition, contests. This is truly a fun place to come to everyday.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
When I’m not at work I’m either reading my kindle, hanging out with my nieces, or spending time at home with my boyfriend.

Josh Rein – 1 year
What is your current position?
I’m the Digital Marketing Specialist for Wauna. I make sure our members know about all the great promotions we have going on, and all the fun things we are doing in the community. I also break the fourth wall when I do the December Anniversary blog post.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
My favorite memory was this year’s annual meeting. It marked a real kick-off of celebrating our 50th year of serving the community, and it was great to see actual members come and help set the direction of the credit union. It’s really what makes us different than a bank. I also got the opportunity to meet Erlene Darby who shaped Wauna more than any other person.Josh grilling

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I have an 8-year-old and a 4-year-old, so most of my time is spent with them and taking them to their various activities, and in general having fun being a dad.

Others

  • Stephanie Sievers – 21 Years
  • Stephanie Pesio – 10 Years
  • Cassandra Budge – 8 Years
  • Rachel Milligan – 3 Years

 

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 as a matter of fact, Maps Credit Union here in Oregon.

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. In contrast, 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 indicators of 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 particularly, who would it be?
The person I would love to meet is Alan Greenspan.

7. All things considered, 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, presently?
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. indeed. We talk a lot about “People Helping People” in Credit Union philosophy, but we certainly also aim to please. Altogether, 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. Of course, 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. In fact, emphasizing each team member’s contribution and demonstrating how all of their jobs operate together to move the entire team closer to its goal are very important to me.

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

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

October 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 our amazing employees provide our members. Our October anniversary celebrants are always hard at work to provide the best possible member service.

One employee not highlighted below is our CEO Robert Blumberg who celebrated 10 years of leading the charge for WCU on October 1st. Look for a blog from Robert later in the month looking back at the last 10 years, and forward towards the next 10.

Sharon Borgardt – 23 Years
What is your current position?
As the Chief Human Resources Officer I supervise the HR Department; serve on our executive team; oversee hiring, employee benefits, payroll and legal compliance regarding employment; and assist all employees to ensure their needs are heard and addressed. Our employees are what sets Wauna apart. Making sure we hire the right people to serve our members—and making sure those employees have what they need to succeed—is a responsibility I don’t take lightly.  I especially appreciate Wauna’s dedication to providing growth opportunities for our employees.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
I have it every day. The most gratifying part of my job is helping our employees.  This includes ensuring that our employees have great benefits.  One benefit that means a lot to our employees is our Sick Leave Donation program that allows employees to donate Sick Time to an employee in need, who has exhausted their Sick Time due to a serious medical condition.  I love being able to inform an employee in need that their generous and caring co-workers donated enough Sick Time to cover their absence.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I enjoy spending time and traveling with family and friends.  Between us, my husband Ron and I we have great 5 kids and 4 wonderful granddaughters.  We rescue Great Pyrenees dogs; our current fur babies are Bob and Mica, and they are very special to us, too.  I have lived in Astoria for 23 years and it’s been amazing to experience the growth of the area. We love all the arts and really delicious food options in the area, while still being so close to nature!

Sharon and her husband Ron with dogs

Sara Kulp – 6 Years
What is your current position?
I’m currently the training manager, my position is to train our new internal members and provide ongoing training for the credit union. WCU really believes in giving all team members the foundation to build their career, which makes this an incredibly rewarding position. I also support oncoming projects and help implement the training process. Previously I was the branch manager for our St. Helens branch. It was tough to give up the face-to-face interactions with our members, but great to know I’m helping teach people how to give the same friendly service I would.

Sara in Hawaii

What is your favorite WCU memory?
This past year I had the opportunity to put together and host our in-service day. It’s a day where all if the employees get together and kick off the year, talk about successes and what will be happening in the next year. We all had a blast and I will never forget the energy and excitement that we had that day.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I love to travel, read and spend time with family. I have three sons. One graduated and is now proudly serving our country in the Air Force, the other two are still at home and keep us so busy with all their activities.

Kailynn Daum – 6 Years
What is your current position?
I am a Training Specialist. I get to use my experience from being on the front line to teach our internal members (employees) in a variety of areas to help them better serve our members. I love that Wauna is committed to education and opportunity, and that I get to be a big part of that.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
My favorite memory with the credit union is becoming certified and facilitating our most recent TMA seminar for 28 of our newest employees. The Member Advantage is the service philosophy that we have adopted here at Wauna, and just one of the ways that the Credit Union invests in our employees success. I love being a part of our employees growth and development and it was so rewarding to see the Training Team’s hard work pay off.

Kailynn in Greece

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
When I am not at work I love to travel and experience the world with my husband, Alex. When we’re not out exploring, I enjoy practicing yoga, kayaking, spending time with friends and family, and being a dog mom to my three pups.

Samantha Wiser – 5 years
What is your current position?
I’m an MC III in the St. Helens branch. I am proud that I get to assist the members in my community with their financial goals. It is very rewarding for me to see our members achieve their dreams!Sam taking a selfie

What is your favorite WCU memory?
I like to have fun while helping our members and teammates. My fun memories are all about laughing and making coming into the credit union a good time, instead of a chore.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
If I’m not at work I’m outside playing. Whether it’s hiking, camping, or rafting I like being active. My favorite thing to do is Kayak the sloughs on the Columbia and explore Sand Island. I’ve been going there since I was a kid!

Marti Gwin – 1 Year
What is your current position?
I’m the internal auditor at Wauna. My job is to look at processes within the credit union to evaluate if we are effectively managing risk. My goal is to provide feedback that gives insight to managers about their areas of operation in a way that enhances and adds value to what they do. I like to say I’m an extra pair of eyes to help us be the best we can be and do the best that we can do for our members. Prior to being an employee, I was a member of Wauna’s Board of Directors. The Board works with our CEO Robert and the rest of the Leadership Team to set the roadmap for the credit union. It really is a rewarding experience.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
I recently had the opportunity to help at the Wauna booth during one of the 13 Nights on the River concerts in St. Helens. It was fun hanging out with Josh and Stephanie from the Marketing Team while listening to great music and greeting people as they wandered by the booth. The Wauna kazoos where a big hit with everyone and we even gave a few kazoo lessons!

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I love to spend time with other people. Hanging out  with my husband of 31 years is a favorite past time, I also teach a weekly women’s Bible study at my house, regularly visit a few older friends who can’t get out any more, and I try to make arrangements to meet a friend for coffee or a meal every week. People energize me!

Marti and the Ops team

Others

  • Diana Phipps – 4 Years
  • Summer Douglas – 1 Year

September 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 our amazing employees provide our members. Our September anniversaries work in a variety of departments at WCU.

Audrey McTague – 4 years
What is your current position?
I’m currently a Lending Support Specialist II, but I’ve worn a few different hats in my time at the credit union. I’m an underwriter/lending admin for our consumer loans and our mortgages.  Our members are the auto, RV, and toy dealers and branches.  If you have a loan question, call lending admin.  One of the things that makes Wauna great is we look for ways to do loans and not decline them.  We’re experts in the credit union’s offerings. Sometimes members come in asking for one thing, and we’re able to recommend a product that will help them even more.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
My favorite memory is back when I was a Member Service Officer, when an older member came in after her husband died and thought she was going to have to give her car back because it wasn’t in her name and didn’t know what she was going to do.  We were able to help her and she was in tears of joy, beside herself and was so glad she came to talk to us.  She was very sweet and brought us homemade treats at Christmas time.Audrey McTeague

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
When I’m not at work, i’m home doing gardening, reading a book or visiting family.  I love doing all three.

Laura Lovegren – 2 Years
What is your current position?
As of October 1st I am the Financial Center Manager for the Clatskanie Branch. Prior to that I was an ETF Clerk. As the FCM, I make sure that everything is running smoothly, so we can provide our members with the care they have come to expect from WCU. Whether that’s helping a member with a financial issue, coaching the great group of Member Consultants become leaders, or simply listening to members tell me stories about what is important to them. I grew up in Clatskanie, and this branch has always been an important part of the community, as well as are headqLaura with the teamuarters. It’s an honor to work here.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
There are so many great memories over the years, but my favorite memory just happened. It’s starting my role as the Clatskanie Financial Center Manager. I’m excited to set new goals for our branch, and help serve the community.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I enjoy spending time with my family, friends and four dogs, clam digging. Growing up here really led me to enjoying all the community has to offer.

Hannah Coffey – 1 Year
What is your current position?
I’m a Member Consultant at the Astoria Safeway Branch. My job is to help members with their day to day transactions, as well as help them get set up with new accounts, loans, and any other needs they may have. Working at the Safeway Branch is great because I get to see so many members of the community. I always like to remind them to add milk to their grocery list.Hannah

What is your favorite WCU memory?
My favorite memory at WCU so far was LSI training. The two day training began about a month after I started. At the time, all of the information was a little over my head, but it made me excited to work here. Everyone came together and turned a long two days into something fun and exciting. I love working for a company that strives to keep not only it’s members happy, but it’s employees as well.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
When I’m not at work, you can find me outside! I enjoy activities like fishing, hunting, camping, – and most of all – hiking. I’m always looking for new places to explore, especially places that my dog can enjoy too.

Others

  • Danea Passmore – 12 Years
  • Dawn Miller – 4 Years
  • Ian Wiggins – 3 Years
  • Brittany Warren – 2 Years
  • Lidia Sanchez – 1 Year