July Anniversaries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Others

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

June Anniversaries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Others

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

May Anniversaries

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Others

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

January Anniversaries

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Serena
Serena poses with the award she won last year

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Others

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

December Anniversaries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Others

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

 

Happy 10th Anniversary to our Fearless Leader!

10 Years, 10 Questions with Wauna Credit Union CEO and President, Robert Blumberg…

We are all about taking care of our members and improving their financial well-being. – Robert Blumberg

Robert Blumberg

Hailing from South Africa, he has lived and worked in California, but calls Oregon home. He’s a family man. He’s a numbers man. He loves traveling, being outdoors, good food, and the Credit Union spirit. His financial background boasts top-roles with Southern Pacific Bank, First Bank of Beverly Hills, and as a matter of fact, Maps Credit Union here in Oregon.

But 2007 was the year when Mr. Robert Blumberg joined the Wauna Credit Union team, taking the helm as our President and CEO. And while it’s true that many “waun-derful” things are occurring under Robert’s guidance, here are just a few noteworthy examples from the past ten years:

  • Two branches were opened in 2010. The first, being an in-store branch at the Astoria Safeway in July, and the second, a new Scappoose Branch in November.
  • Recognizing construction in accordance with energy-efficient building materials & practices, the Scappoose Branch was awarded LEED Certification at the Silver level in August of 2011.
  • Our beautiful, new Warrenton Branch (near Costco) was opened during mid-Spring of 2013.
  • The opening of a new Branch along Hwy 30 took place in St Helens in 2014.
  • In November of 2016, a Mortgage Origination Office was opened in Long Beach, WA.
  • Wauna Credit Union was granted a charter expansion to include Washington County in June of 2016.
  • Also, our first Interactive Teller Machine was implemented in Long Beach, WA in November of 2016.

And how could we forget the numbers? Let’s take a look at a then and now:

  • In 2007 our membership was at 14,083. In contrast, we are now at 24,728 — a 75.58% growth!
  • When Robert started, our assets were at $104.6 million. Today, we are at $234.6 million — a 124.28% growth!
  • Ten years ago we had 5 financial centers and 58 employees at Wauna Credit Union. Today, we have 8 financial centers and employ 105!

Of course, these lists barely scratch the surface; however, they are valid indicators of the innovation and growth that Robert has brought to Wauna Credit Union. And while we are certainly looking forward to another awesome ten years, let’s pause for a minute, and take a closer look at Robert’s life:

1. Growing up, who was the most influential person in your life?
My father.

2. Speaking of influence, how about musically? What was your favorite album as a teenager?
Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon.

3. We all start somewhere. What was your very first job?
RM Pharmaceuticals – They made Vicks and Oil of Olay products.

4. And what year did you first enter the financial industry?
I got my start in 1982.

5. 1982 is a world away from where you are today. Where exactly did you get your start?
I started working for a company called Century Thrift and Loan. When I started working there in the accounting department I did not even have a title.

6. Speaking of history, if you could meet anyone particularly, who would it be?
The person I would love to meet is Alan Greenspan.

7. All things considered, what would you like to talk about?
Having a conversation as to what he thinks went wrong during the last great recession in 2009. He believes in the free market and the free market will be self-policing.

8. What is your greatest hope for the Credit Union industry, presently?
Continuing to grow in market share. We are all about taking care of our members and improving their financial well-being. It is important that the insurance agency remains independent from the banks. It would be a big mistake to merge the NCUA and FDIC.

9. indeed. We talk a lot about “People Helping People” in Credit Union philosophy, but we certainly also aim to please. Altogether, what would you say is your definition of “happiness”?
You should ideally be taking an action every day to bring you one step closer to achieving of your goals. Of course, meeting my personal and professional goals gives me deep satisfaction.

10. Many awesome things have taken place under your leadership, but what accomplishment at Wauna Credit Union are you most proud of?
Building an amazing team that has taken Wauna to new heights. In fact, emphasizing each team member’s contribution and demonstrating how all of their jobs operate together to move the entire team closer to its goal are very important to me.

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

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

October Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union is growing fast (if you want to join us check out our careers page). The main reason for that is the great service our amazing employees provide our members. Our October anniversary celebrants are always hard at work to provide the best possible member service.

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

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

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

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

Sharon and her husband Ron with dogs

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

Sara in Hawaii

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

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

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

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

Kailynn in Greece

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marti and the Ops team

Others

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

September Anniversaries

Wauna Credit Union is growing fast (if you want to join us check out our careers page). The main reason for that is the great service our amazing employees provide our members. Our September anniversaries work in a variety of departments at WCU.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Others

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

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