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

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

April Anniversaries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Others

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

CONGRATULATIONS! Wauna CU Staff Receive Awards At Annual Winter Celebration!

Every year in December Wauna Credit Union employees get together to celebrate accomplishments and enjoy some social time, we call it our “Winter Celebration”. This year, several employees and departments were recognized with awards for their outstanding efforts to meet and surpass established criterion that assist Wauna Credit Union in achieving operational objectives, production goals, strategic goals and high performance standards.

At our annual Winter Celebration held on December 10, 2016 at the Clatskanie Cultural Center, Wauna Credit Union CEO Robert Blumberg handed out 10 awards to the following employees:

Top Underwriter: Serena Schlosser

Branch Producer: Samantha Wiser

Top Referrer: Rachel Milligan

Exceeded Production Goal: Norm Dufton

Exceeded Production Goal: Tonya Dick

Top Branch: Virtual Branch: Brianna Malcolm

Top Branch: Virtual Branch: Carli Lyon

Top Branch: Virtual Branch: Rachel Milligan

Top Branch: Virtual Branch: Ashleigh Sibley

Top Overall Producer: McKenzie Wilson

 

Congratulations to these well deserving employees!