July Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union has been serving members of the towns and cities surrounding the Columbia River for 52 years. We’re continuing to grow (if you want to join us check out our careers page). July is usually the hottest month of the year, and those celebrating anniversaries in July definitely bring the heat. 

John Moore – 9 years
What is your current position?

I am the Chief Experience Officer and part of WCU’s leadership team. My job is to work with all member facing employees from our MCs in the branches to our different lending departments. My focus is making sure our members feel valued and appreciated for choosing to do their banking with us. I also get to work with our Virtual Branch and how we utilize technology to deliver service to our members who need help or services and can’t make it into a traditional branch.

John With his dog
John teaches his puppy to audit files

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working here at WCU and how our values and mission statement all revolve around people helping people has really taught me the value of the relationships we build with our members. It is so exciting to be with them when they purchase a house, have a baby, or buy their first car. It is also so very rewarding to be there for our members through life’s challenges and to support and council them in a time of need. I love working with our employees and helping them in their careers and seeing the pride they take in their job helping our members throughout our footprint.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I would love to have the time and resources to build custom furniture. I enjoy working with my hands and building things. I have so many smaller projects like making duck calls, fishing poles, and carvings but would love to have the equipment and time to build custom pieces for people.

Carli Lyon – 14 years
What is your current position?

I am AVP of Virtual Services. I oversee the Virtual Branch which assists members financial needs virtually, whether it is over the phone, online, chat, email, or our virtual teller machines. The Virtual Branch is crucial if members chooses to do their financial business in nontraditional ways such as going into a branch. With the assistance of online services such as U Banking, the Virtual Branch offer members the ability to get assistance with their financial with ease and convenience without having to step foot into a branch. We are the voice you hear when you call Wauna Credit Union. We are the faces you see when you use our drive through ITM machines. We are those on the other side of the chat or email window. Apply for a loan online, that is us too! And, we are always looking to expand our services and make it even easier. Be on the lookout for the possibilities we have coming to you such as ability to open new accounts online, Video Chat, and more!

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Wauna Credit Union has taught me that hard work, dedication, and loyalty contributes to your success. I started when I was just 20 years old as an Part-time MSR. At that age, I was just starting out on my own and wasn’t sure where my future would lead but I was set out to be successful in whatever it was I choose to do even if I didn’t hold a college degree. That is exactly what I did and continue to do. Hard work, dedication, strong work ethic, loyalty, motivation, and initiative has made my career here possible.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
If I could choose one new hobby to start and money was not an issue, I would start a Pitbull Rescue Center. Not only do I have a passion for helping people, I have a desire to assist animals that are in need!

Heidi White – 7 years
What is your current position?
I’m a Member Consultant in the Clatskanie branch. One of the most important things about my job is member relationships, whether it’s establishing a rapport with a new member, or continuing to build upon a well-established relationship with somebody I’ve known for a long time. My job is constantly evolving to fit the needs of our members. I started out doing basic transactions and now I do everything from running coin to coaching a member on how to best improve their credit score so they can buy a home.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working at WCU has taught me to always take the initiative to learn new things. Earlier in the year I noticed that the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) offered a program to teach frontline staff how to best serve our members. I took the training, passed my tests, and became the first CUNA recognized Member Services Level II employee at the credit union.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
If I could choose a new hobby, I would choose to travel all over the world. I just got back from Hawaii with my family and had such a fun time. Who knows, I might even become a travel writer and get paid for it.

Kristen DeForrest – 3 years
What is your current position?

I recently transferred to the Clatskanie Branch to work as our Compliance Specialist. I am currently learning as much as I can about my position! I spend my time filing daily reports, monitoring dormant accounts and assist in making sure we follow up to date policies and procedures.

You’ll always find Kristen at her desk with an iced coffee in hand

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Moving to a new branch has challenged me to build new relationships and proven that Wauna is one big family. Our core value of Team and Family spirit is alive all across our footprint.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I love my little family and the outdoors so I would absolutely love to travel more. I want to experience the world with my family.

Others

  • Jan Durie – 6 Years
  • Amber Alexander – 4 Years
  • McKenzie Lewis – 2 Years
  • John Kurns – 2 Years
  • Lisa Frances – 1 Year
  • Pie Espinoza – 1 Year
  • Joe Talamantez – 1 Year
  • Katrina Pixley – 1 Year

June 2019 Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union has been serving members of the towns and cities surrounding the Columbia River for 52 years. We’re continuing to grow (if you want to join us check out our careers page). Today we’re celebrating four employees who are celebrating celebrated anniversaries in May?

Jeannie Mustola – 3 years
What is your current position?
I’m a Member Consultant III in the Clatskanie branch. I help members with all different types of transactions, from applying for a truck loan to setting up a reoccurring transfer to their deposit accounts. I also recently became a Level III Underwriter. That means I get to look for ways to say yes to approving consumer, vehicle, and other personal loans.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Over the last 3 years I have learned so much about how to help people through service tailored to each individual. My relationships with members have grown stronger than ever as a result of being myself while focusing on what is important to them.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I just bought a new house, so my new hobby is doing DIY projects to fix it up and make it my own. You can find so many helpful tutorials on YouTube.

Hugo Potts – 2 years
What is your current position?
I’m a Lending Support Specialist. I look at all the consumer loan applications, as well as all the vehicle loans that come in from the area dealerships, and ensure they are sound financially. At Wauna, we look for ways to say yes to every single loan, but we do need to make sure we stay a financially fit organization. I also audit the consumer and mortgage file to make sure we have all the documentation we need. My job is important because I help facilitate the loan process in all aspects of the credit union, and help our members realize their financial dreams.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working at Wauna has taught me so much about life in general. I feel more confident in all aspects of financial lending, and have gained so much knowledge that will serve me for years to come.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
If I had to pick a new hobby it would have to be hiking. There is so much beautiful scenery in Oregon and Washington, and it’s great to see as much of it as possible.

Katelynn and Hugo

Alejandra Bermudez – 2 years
What is your current position?
I am an MC at the Astoria Safeway branch. I am one of the first person you see once you enter the branch, I help members with their financial needs and concerns.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working at WCU has taught me that when we say “we are family” we truly are and mean it. I have also been taught that there are always learning and promotion opportunities.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
A new hobby I would choose would be to learn to play the piano. I have wanted to learn to play the piano sense I was young and it would be a good bonding moment with my siblings if they are interested as well.

 

 

Autumn Crawford
What is your current position?
I work as an Operations Intern out of Clatskanie three days a week, and the other two days I am an IT intern in Westport.  What both of my jobs have in common is I make sure things run smoothly behind the scenes so that our members have the best experience with our company as possible.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Something that working at Wauna Credit Union has taught me is building credit doesn’t have to be difficult if you stay on top of things. Building credit is a very important thing and it doesn’t have to be scary to young people.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
If I could choose one new hobby it would be paddle boarding, I hope I get to more this summer. I found it really fun to go out with my family on a warm day last summer to enjoy the sun and water.

 

May Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union has been serving members of the towns and cities surrounding the Columbia River for 52 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?

Debi Smiley – 31 years
As Chief Marketing Officer, I oversee and direct the marketing efforts and facility design of WCU. My responsibilities include planning, developing, implementing and monitoring the overall business marketing strategy. Some of the duties include market research, pricing, product marketing, marketing communications, advertising and public relations. I also participate as a member of the Leadership Team.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
I have enjoyed the opportunity to innovate and provide services and products to the members of the communities we serve and be the financial partner choice that can help them achieve their dreams. The lesson that I take away from my 31 years of service is that making a difference in people lives is very important toDebi on ATV me. WCU has provided me with the channel to help people and make a positive difference. This has come in many forms such as counseling, volunteerism, providing tools to friends and co-employees that helps them achieve their goals. All of these are so rewarding and fulfilling.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
My new hobby would be sports related in some fashion. One thought would to be to coach a team or lead an exercise class. It would involve fun, motivation, physical challenge and lead to improved health.

Laura Wells – 7 years
My position is Accountant. A lot of what I do is make sure yesterday’s activity from our members and employees balances and makes sense today. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make sure the credit union is financially sound, and all the transactions happened as they should. I balance our ATMs and ITMs, debit and credit card activity, as well as all of the checks that get deposited in the branches. Our members may not really think about us in Accounting-land, but I love being able to help them behind the scenes.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working at Wauna has taught me about teamwork and communication. We all have a common goal and everybody is important to successfully keeping the credit union running and our members happy, but we have to work together to achieve those goals! Laura in front of waterfallIf you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I think it would be fun to pick up travel writing. If I had all the time and money in the world, my new hobby would be to just travel around the world meeting people, eating food, and writing about my experiences. I’m headed to London in June, which will be country #23 for me.

Jennifer Clark – 3 years
What is your current position?
I’m a real estate loan officer based out of the St. Helens branch. My job is to assist members with financing their “forever home” or tapping into the equity in their current home to meet their financial goals.Jen at her desk

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
That taking initiative is essential. There is always room for improvement; work that could be completed more efficiently.  I look at the processes that I use throughout my day and enjoy coming up with ways to improve them. The fact that my Wauna family has given me great support, well, it’s meant a lot.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
If I had to choose just one new hobby it would have to be geocaching. It’s a grown-up scavenger hunt!

Devyn Osborne – 2 years
I started as an MC in our Astoria branch. I really enjoyed all of the knowledge I obtained. It was great to get experience all the way from handling large amounts of cash to processing loans and more. I also had the opportunity to work in the Safeway Branch as well as the Warrenton Branch a handful of times, which was great training for my current role as a Virtual Consultant. I have always really enjoyed working with members and it’s a great feeling that I can be the smile on the other side of the phone. It was definitely a process learning how to give the members the same experience without being directly in front of them.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
I have obviously learned a lot about finances and lending as well as how the Devyninternal side of Wauna works. Since I’ve been at the Virtual Branch, I’ve learned a lot more about what happens behind the scenes to make sure everything runs smoothly. I have also had much more opportunity to help our members get loans, for cars, recreation vehicles, or even to help go on the trip they’ve always dreamed. The other thing working at the credit union has taught me is to never let one person’s bad day cause you to have a bad day. Sometimes I can cheer somebody up by keeping a positive attitude, but even if I can’t, I want to be sure that the next person I talk to is getting me at my absolute best.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I love my little family and the outdoors so I would absolutely love to travel more. I want to experience the world with my family.

Others

  • Loren Ames – 10 Years

April Anniversaries

No foolin’ Wauna Credit Union has some great employees celebrating anniversaries in April.

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

Waunaversary Celebrants

Hannah Woodbury – 1 year

What is your current position?
I am an MC at the Saint Helens branch. I am on the front line and able to assist members with any basic transactions, helping them get loans, or even answering some financial questions and helping learn all the features in our new online and app banking platform U-Banking. Now that I’ve been at the credit union for a year, I’m also getting the opportunity to work with my colleagues to update the way we do some things to help our members.

Hannah and her dog
Hannah named her dog Rebeus after her love of Sailor Moon

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Learning to teach other people how to build their financial well-being, teaches you a lot about your own finances too! I spend a lot of time using the tools the credit union provides everybody – if you haven’t checked out Money Management within U-Banking give it a shot, and understanding the little things that cause your credit to go up and down has made me a resource for many of my friends and family that may have questions on finances.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
If I could pick any hobby it would be archery, cause girls that shoot arrows are cool… I would also choose to travel all over the world with my friends and family, and maybe a few solo trips as an adventure.

Hannah also sat down to record an episode of WaunaTalk. Give it a listen.

Others

  • McKenzie Wilson
  • Heather Dixson

  • Marci Szlavich
  • Ashleigh Sibley
  • Charles Dennis

February Anniversaries

Today is a day for love. Wauna Credit Union loves all of our employees and members, and today we’re showing our love to all our employees celebrating anniversaries in February.

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

Waunaversary Celebrants

Paige Tischer – 7 years

What is your current position?
I am Real Estate Loan Officer based out of our Astoria branch on the coast. I have worked at the credit union for seven years on Valentine’s Day, starting as a Member Consultant. I grew up in Clatsop county, my favorite part of my job is having the opportunity to help our members build their financial well-being. I love helping our community with buying their new homes.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?

Paige with Flowers
Paige loves being a Valentine Anniversary

Working at Wauna Credit Union has taught me to come to work with passion and purpose every day. Our members can tell that we really care about them and helping them reach their financial milestones.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I’ve been riding horses my entire life. If I could, I’d build a small barn and spend my time riding all the trails around Astoria.

Karissa Temple – 5 years

What is your current position?
I am a Lending Support Specialist. I have many hats to wear with this position and love that it’s never the same. I fund indirect loans from the dealerships, help MC’s with questions they may have, audit consumer and mortgage loans. I also get to travel around and take pictures of houses for property inspections.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
The one that stands out the most is how credit unions are different from banks. How we think about our members needs and how to help them for their future. I have found many members that I have taken under my wing and shared the knowledge that I have gained to help them obtain their financial goals.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I would pick sky diving for my new hobby.

Kira Zavortink – 3 years

What is your current position?
My current position is Lending Support Specialist. I am tasked with underwriting consumer loans, funding indirect auto loans, auditing mortgages and consumer loans, and completing property inspections and ordering appraisals for mortgages. I am also available to answer any loan questions that Member Consultants might have. I transferred from a front line position in the Warrenton branch this last year. I do miss directly assisting members, but I get to put my skills to work helping members behind the scenes in my new position.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Probably the biggest thing that I have learned working at Wauna is what credit is and how to build it. When I started I had zero credit and zero knowledge on the importance of having a decent credit score. Because Wauna is so dedicated to helping our members with credit score enhancement I have learned so much about what makes up a credit score and how to improve it.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
If time wasn’t an issue I would most likely read or go hiking more often.

Amber Seely – 3 years

Amber’s anniversary coincided with her being awarded Employee of the Quarter. Read all about Amber here.

Katelynn Persons – 1 year

Katelynn and Hugo
Katelynn and a friendly stranger take a picture in front of a waterfall (Okay, that’s her fiance Hugo, who also works for WCU)

What is your current position?
I am the Title Clerk in our Operations department. I’m the one who makes sure the titles for all the paid off loans and mortgages are properly transferred over to our members. Those are called Perfected Titles and Reconveyances in case you were wondering. It’s fun to be the one who lets our members know that they’ve paid off their loan. I also do all claims for delinquent loans and vehicle crashes, but hopefully there aren’t too many of those.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Working for Wauna Credit Union has taught me that everyone can fit in. That you do not have to settle for being just a number, and that goes for both being a member of the credit union as well as an employee. For both, I am treated as an individual with individual needs, experiences, and talents. I have learned that it is okay to strive for more, it is okay to say I don’t know, and that everyone has purpose.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
If I could choose a new hobby, I would definitely take up event planning. I love getting to sort out the fine details, decorating, and making people smile.

Rebekah Ausmus – 1 year

What is your current position?
I’m a Loan Servicing Specialist. I wear a lot of different hats around here, but it’s all about making sure all our members loans are taken care of behind the scenes. I take care of all the Escrow accounts, making sure that the taxes and insurance are paid on time and the renewals are up to date. I also track the insurance for all the consumer loans (both vehicle and homes) and make sure they have insurance so our members are protected, I submit all title and registration documents to the State Motor Vehicle departments and try to make sure everything is in order before we send it to them. I’m also part of the Operations Team so I try to my best to help our internal and external members whenever they have questions.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
I’ve learned that working at a credit union is not all about making money. It’s about being there for our members and helping them live a financially successful life. I love when I hear from our members that they feel Wauna truly cares about their financial well-being.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I would travel the United States, visiting every town in each state and learning something unique about each, then I would write a book about it.

Others

  • Mike McTague

January Anniversaries

January is a time for resolutions to better yourself. Wauna Credit Union got better by the hiring of all our employees celebrating anniversaries in January.

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

Waunaversary Celebrants

Jen Katon – 5 years

What is your current position?
I am the Executive Assistant to the CEO. I work directly with the CEO as well the other Chiefs and the Board of Directors., and get to make a difference to local high-schoolers by chairing the Scholarship Committee. When I am not completing administrative tasks I have fun planning Wauna’s events and retreats. I have also been fortunate enough to lead our Corporate sponsored charities fundraisers for local back pack programs for the last four years. I am proud to say that we have raised $59,581 for Charity since I started here in 2014.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Before I came to work for Wauna I didn’t know the Credit Union Philosophy. I absolutely love the credit union philosophy of “people helping people” and am so honored to get to be a part of helping people in our local communities.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I have many hobbies including, crafting, photography, crocheting, reading, sign making, scrapbooking, but I have been considering taking up hiking. Both of my kids do cross country and they make it sound so fun that I would like to do it with them. If time and money wasn’t an obstacle traveling the world would be what I would choose. I love to learn new things about other cultures and places. If I could travel to other countries and get to do charity work while I was there that would be a dream come true for me.

Dave Freeman – 1 year

What is your current position?
I’m a member of our IT team. My official title is IT Support Technician, which basically means I help our staff to provide our members with excellent personal service. That’s anything from making sure all of our financial tools are online to replacing an old computer. While members almost never see me, I’m constantly working in the back office to keep our systems online and working smoothly.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
It’s the commitment to staying true to our Core Values. Many companies will tell you about how “we’re a family” and “we strive to help the community”, but here those aren’t just empty words. That really impresses me. I grew up in the area, but was living in Nevada. I was on a steam train in the middle of the desert, and one of my friends from back home let me know the credit union was hiring, and I applied immediately, and that community involvement was a big reason why.

Dave with camera
Photography has always been one of Dave’s passions.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I’m an enthusiastic amateur photographer and history buff, and I’d like to spend more time doing that. I love the PNW and it’s rich history and amazing scenery. I left Oregon about 15 years ago, but came back home about a year and a half ago and have come to realize exactly how much I missed this part of the country.

Jeff Kratka – 1 year

What is your current position?
I’m an IT Support Technician. I’m based out of Westport, but I go from Astoria to Vernonia to support all Wauna employees with any computer and technical aspects of their daily duties to help with making their job easier and more efficient.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?
Wauna has taught me how working with a family can be enjoyable again. Not just being a number but a person.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?
I just took up SCUBA Diving. It’s something I have always enjoyed. I have been snorkeling many times but not SCUBA.

Others

  • Pam Weller
  • Randy Buholts
  • Serena Schlosser
  • Trevor Shelby
  • Amanda Heikkila

 

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