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

August 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. We consider Wauna Credit Union a family, and caught up with a few family members having their anniversary this month.

Gina Dines – 10 Years
What is your current position?
I am the Financial Center Manager for the Clatskanie Branch. 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. Gina and members of our board of directors golfThis is our oldest branch, and I’m honored to have an important role in something that is a big part of our community.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
There are so many great memories over the years. We have such a fun environment at the Clatskanie Financial Center, so many of my memories involve helping members while still having a good time. One of the more recent memories is being part of the leadership team as we remodeled and redesigned the Clatskanie Financial Center. The grand re-opening was amazing. We put in so many hours to make sure our members had a branch they could be proud of, and one that represents modern financial management, while at the same time staying true to our roots as a local institution.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I have three daughters, who I love and adore and am very proud of. I have two granddaughters who light up my life. I also recently got engaged, and am looking forward to adding even more to my family.  I love being a grandma! I’m also very active in the Clatskanie Community. I am President of the Clatskanie Chamber, and am on the Heritage Days Board, and help plan and run the events that highlight what makes this such a great place to live.

Megan Gillespie – 10 Years
What is your current position?
I am the Operations Lending Specialist and part of our Operations Department. I handle the behind-the-scenes details of loans such as title work, maintenance. I get to work with the rest of our stellar Operations and Lending teams, make sure the loans our members get work correctly aMegannd go as smoothly as possible. We want our members to be able to kick back, relax, and enjoy their loan experience in total confidence that Wauna Credit Union is there for them 110%.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
Every time we are able to solve an issue that makes a member’s life easier becomes my favorite Wauna memory. One that stands out is a member who works abroad and was in Australia at the time of our EMV card conversion to, which made all of our debit and credit cards more secure. The member was getting ready to leave Australia and head to Europe but the old cards they had were no longer going to be valid.  To complicate matters the card from their other financial institution was not working either. Together with the rest of the amazing Operations Department, we got a debit card and a credit card rushed to the member in Australia just days before they left for their next location. We also got the member a limit increase to help make up for the non-working card from their other institution. It was a lot of moving parts and took a lot of teamwork but ultimately we managed to pull it off so the member had no interruption in service and ended up being able to continue travelling for work with no stress (at least regarding their cards).

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I enjoy spending time with family. Reading, travel, cooking, and photography are also activities I enjoy when I’m not with my Wauna family.

Mike Chapman – 7 Years
What is your current position?
I’m the Predictive Data Analyst. It’s a new role we created to analyze, interpret, and provide reports & recommendations in order to help keep Wauna CU strategically positioned on the leading edge of the future needs of our current and potential membership. Especially as we grow it’s important for us to make sure we are offering people the best products to help them realize their financial (and personal) goals.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
I have fond memories of being part of the teams associated with building and opening our new facilities, which all provide greater convenience, security, and pride for the membership. These facilities include the new branches in Scappoose, St Helens, Astoria Safeway, Warrenton, Clatskanie, and the Mortgage Origination Office in Long Beach. Mike poses against a Wauna banner at the annual meeting

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I am an avid grandparent to a young granddaughter and grandson, and I enjoy shopping with my wife for bargain antiques and collectibles.

Jennifer Kenney– 5 Years
What is your current position?
I’m the Operations Support Manager.  I supervise our back office staff.  Our department handles the mail, funds transfers like wires and direct deposits, title items like DMV docs and paid off loans, IRAs, Escrow accounts and many other processes that help the front line employees help our members. Jenn at the beach with her daughters

What is your favorite WCU memory?
I have many memories about helping our members overcome difficult financial situations in ways that would help make a tough situation better.  I have had so many fun times with my co-workers, celebrating birthdays and anniversaries as well as various accomplishments by my teammates.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I like to spend time with friends and family.  I love to travel and spend time outdoors.  My daughter is an athlete, so I enjoy watching her play sports. Basketball is her favorite right now.

Others

  • Amy Stocky – 4 years
  • Anna Bennett – 2 Years
  • Ana Dering – 2 Years
  • Bonnie Moss – 1 Year
  • Amanda Wolf – 1 Year

July 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. We consider Wauna Credit Union a family, and caught up with a few family members having their anniversary this month.

Richard Bighill– 21 Years
What is your current position?

I am the Lending Support Clerk in the Lending Admin Dept.  My job is to support the rest of the department, who fund and underwrite loans.  I send Welcome Packets to all our new members to let them know everything their ownership of Wauna Credit Union gets them. I prep loan accounts and open share accounts as needed.  I also do Property Inspection Reports (including taking property photos) and appraisals for the Mortgage Dept.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
My favorite WCU memory was when my manager Sharon, who recently became our Security Officer, surprised me with my 20th anniversary present at celebration we had in July of last year for hitting $200 million in assets.  She gave me an official Seahawks jersey, with #13 Bighill!  My favorite number is 13.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I love working with my hands, whether it’s detailing cars or doing yard work I like to spend my free time making things look good. I also spend as much time as possible with my wife of almost 25 years Shelly.

Carli Lyon– 12 Years
What is your current position?
My title is AVP of Virtual Services. I supervise and manage the Communication Center and Virtual Center of Wauna Credit Union.  Both these departments assist our members by providing exceptional service virtually via phones, email, chat, and soon through video!Carli and the Virtual Team

What is your favorite WCU memory?
After being here 12 years, there are so many memories to choose from it is hard to narrow it down to just one or 2. But what I can tell you is that I truly love investing time in my employees. Coaching them to greater heights and encouraging them to break the law of limited performance. I pride myself in Carli, her husband and kids on the riverbeing part of their growth and upward movement. There are a group of employees that I have either hired or coached that have went on to very successful in their careers here at Wauna. I like to think I played a small role in that.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
My hobbies outside of work consist of anything outdoors such as hunting and fishing and being with my family.

Heidi White– 5 Years
What is your current position?
I’m a Member Consultant in the Clatskanie branch – which means I listen to members needs and wants to help them find a solution, whatever it may be. I’ve always been somebody that focuses on helping people, so this is a great opportunity for me to really get involved with our members, and see their successes.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
The Clatskanie Branch went through a huge remodel last year. I got to assist with that from beginning to end. One of the great things about working here is they expect you to be involved no matter what your title is.  It was great to see the branch change to a modern financial center, built to meet our members’ needs.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
Anything where I can spend time with my two girls (ages 5 and 6 months) and my husband Zach. We’re homebodies so mostly we do little projects around our house. Right now we’re fixing up the backyard to take advantage of the great summer weather.

Kristen DeForrest– 1 Year
What is your current position?
I am the Astoria Safeway Member Service Manager. In this position I am responsible for building relationships with members, assisting them with their financial needs, and also helping my team members learn and grow in their position. We have a great team here, and it’s so rewarding to watch people grow.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
I have many great memories over the last year, but I will share about a young girl names Maddy.  Maddy is about 8-years-old and always stops by for stickers and coloring pages. She has wanted a stuffed eagle for several years and in October 2016 (International Credit Union Day) we were able to give her one of her own. I have never seen her smile so big. She wrote us the cutest thank you card and then even invited us to her birthday. She loves to come see us and we look forward to seeing her. I believe she will be a member for life because of the WOW service.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I enjoy spending time at home with my husband, Cory. We enjoy having friends over, a good BBQ, and stay up to date on all our favorite TV Shows. We are Survivor fans J I also sell LuLaRoe clothing as a side business.

Others

  • Sue Whitton – 10 Years
  • Jan Durie – 7 years
  • John Moore – 4 Years
  • Shayla Frahm – 1 Year

June Anniversaries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Others

  • Jacob Humphries – 3 years

May Anniversaries

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

Laura Wells 5 Years
What is your current position?
My position is Accountant, and I’m part of our “Accounterations” team, Accounting and Operations Support.  Much of my job is to make sure that what happened yesterday balances and makes sense today.  I also balance and monitor the credit union’s corporate account on a daily basis to make sure we always have sufficient cash balances and that everything that should have posted did (and vice versa).  Another one of my tasks is maintaining fixed asset and Laura Wellspersonal property records for the credit union.  We’ve been working on a lot of projects lately, like the Clatskanie remodel and the addition of our Mortgage Origination Office in Long Beach, so there has been (and will continue to be) quite a bit to do for this, which is exciting!

What is your favorite WCU memory?
It’s not one particular memory, but I like when all the employees get together; whether it’s for our annual in-service day or for the annual Christmas party, or during various trainings that are held throughout the year. I like seeing and building relationships with all my coworkers in person that I’m always talking to on the phone or emailing, and in a different context than the everyday grind. I really feel the team and family spirit of the organization when we’re all together.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
I love to travel, both around the US and abroad.  I’ve been to 22 countries. Each place is amazing in its own unique way. I love talking with our CEO Robert about his home country South Africa. Cape Town is one of the most traditionally beautiful cities I’ve ever been to. I have a trip planned to Korea next month.  I taught English there for a year after college and it will be my first time back since moving home seven years ago! Day to day though I’m a bit of a homebody and content with the simple things.  I love coffee dates with friends and spending time with family playing board games, and I don’t mind just hanging out at home watching Netflix with my dog Surrey after a long day at work.

Debi Smiley  29 Years
What is your current position?
I am the Chief Marketing Officer.  My primary job is to oversee the marketing functions/activities of the credit union.  I have the privilege of overseeing a 4 person department dedicated to finding ways to communicate what we offer to the consumer in a creative and effective manner.  In addition, I have the supervisors of the Communication Center, IT Department, and Facility/Maintenance Department report to me.  Having a diversity of teams to work with provides me with the variety and multiplicity that I enjoy.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
One of my favorite memories is when I was able to work with member to assist them in avoiding losses with a very sophisticated scam being presenter to her.  She was confused and I was able to assist her in understanding the situation and the seriousness of what was happening to her.  Through these efforts, she was able to avoid losing thousands of dollars.  It was very rewarding to be a small Debi Smileypart in assisting this member.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
The thing I enjoy the most is FAMILY!  I truly cherish and look forward to spending time with them.  This includes attending many grandchildren events, BBQs, family reunions, day visits, and the holidays.  I am truly blessed and enjoy being with them as often as I can.  The other love I have is traveling with my husband.  We take adventures as often as we can and enjoy visiting new sights whether it just going down the road locally or across the country.

Others

  • Loren Ames – 8 years
  • Tonya Dick – 8 years
  • Cory DeForrest – 2 years
  • Amanda Leader – 2 years
  • Jennifer Clark – 1 year

April Anniversaries

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

McKenzie Wilson 5 Years
What is your current position?
I am a Real Estate Loan Officer in the Warrenton Branch. I assist members with purchases, refinances and second mortgages, and work with local realtors to help their clients get financing. I love being part of the home-buying process, and I love being part of Wauna Credit Union. I was an intern here right after high school and coming back after working at another financial institution for a McKenzie Wilsoncouple of years was such a great decision. Whether somebody is getting their first house, their fifth, or taking advantage of our great HELOC special to add the master bedroom they’ve always wanted, I get to be part of our members realizing their dreams.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
I don’t have one specific favorite memory but I love helping members build their financial well-being as well as helping people purchase their new homes is always such a great feeling. They always say if you love what you do you never work a day in your life, and I really feel like that’s true. In addition to working with our members, I’ve had so much fun with all my coworkers (who are also members). We all like to have fun while helping people out. No matter if I’m talking to people in the Warrenton branch or the other members of the mortgage team who are spread out across Columbia, Clatsop and Western Washington Counties in Oregon, and our new office in Pacific County Washington I’m sure to laugh a bunch during the day.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
When I’m not at work I love spending time with my husband Vince and our three dogs, Nitro, Torq and Kona. I love anything outdoors…. camping, hunting, fishing and riding our quads and side by side. We recently purchased our first home so anything that has to do with making it ours is a huge passion of mine. I grew up in Knappa, so I knew I would always live here, but actually buying a house makes me feel even more like part of the community.

Ashleigh Sibley 1 Year
What is your current position?
I am a Communication Center Consultant. My job is to assist members with a variety of matters and filter out as much as possible from going through the branch directly. My duties are as basic as balance inquires and as complex as Ashleigh Sibley sits at her desktechnology troubleshooting.

What is your favorite WCU memory?
I have particularly enjoyed embracing the team and family spirit of Wauna over the last year. When I reach out to any branch I am greeted consistently with effective communication, integrity, and respect from employees. Those characteristics inspire me to return the positive feedback to our members.

What is something you like to do when you’re not at work?
Outside of Wauna I enjoy spending time with my husband, our two children, seeking adventure and making memories.

Others

  • Jeff Parker – 11 years
  • Heather Dixson – 4 years
  • Marci Szlavich – 1 year
  • Jon Rimer – 1 year