“Wauna Credit Union will be the financial institution that members choose first, use the most, and grow with throughout their lives.” Our vision means a lot to us. It’s how we plan for the future and make sure we are serving our members. It’s with that lens that our 50th birthday today means so much for us.
Fifty years-ago today on March 16, 1967, seven employees of the Crown Zellerbach Paper Company located at the Wauna Mill got together to form a financial corporative for mill employees. Crown Zellerbach eventually became Georgia Pacific, and the financial corporative eventually became Wauna Credit Union, a member-owned, local first financial corporative offering personal banking, business banking, credit cards, home loans, auto loans, personal loans and so much more to residents who live, work, or worship in Columbia County, Clatsop County, Western Washington County (Oregon) and Pacific County (Washington). What started out as seven members became over 23,000 members (and growing), and the first employee Eileen Cheuvront (who eventually became CEO) turned into 100 current employees, all of whom we are proud to call members, and part of the Wauna Credit Union family.
A blog about all our accomplishments isn’t really our style, and would never capture the contributions of our current and past employees, nor the ways our members and the community we serve have helped us become the organization we are.
We’re celebrating today with cupcakes in each of our branches, and would love it if you could stop by and join us. It’s no small feat, but what we’re really excited about is not the last 50 years, but the next 50 (and hopefully beyond). We’re constantly looking for ways to improve our services both in person and making sure we offer the most up-to-date online services to keep meeting member needs for years and years to come.
Wauna has many talented and amazing people who work for us, including Danea Passmore who recently was promoted to the Senior Vice President of Strategic Implementations. The Wonderful World of Wauna caught up with Danea to talk about her time here, and find out more about what she does, and what motivates her.
How long have you been at Wauna? I have been employed at Wauna for 11 ½ wonderful years!
What is your new position at WCU? My current position is SVP, Strategic Implementations. My vision is to lead and build a strategic team that improves our products & services; implements innovative technology, and ensures that members hear about all the ways we can help them achieve their financial opportunities.
What do you like most about your new job? I am looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and figuring out what we can do to help our borrowers in Clatsop, Columbia, Washington and Pacific Counties. While banks worry about products that make money, we get to think about ways to help people. The credit union believes in Integrity Coaching and The Member Advantage (TMA), which help us communicate effectively with members, and really listen to them. For the past two years, I was certified in Integrity Coaching and TMA and provided training to all staff. Through the strategic implementation process, I hope to lead with integrity, collaboration, cooperation, and build team synergy.
What do you think makes WCU special? Wauna Credit Union is special because of our people. We are people that have vision, passion, and purpose. We are proud of the fact that we make a difference every day when we show up with purpose. Another thing that is so special about Wauna is that we truly care about
our employees, community and our members. Each day, we seek to provide opportunities to take members from where they are to where they want to be. We are people helping people!
What is your favorite memory or testimonial of working with a member?
One of my favorite examples of this was during my time as the Operations Manager in the Clatskanie branch. We had a member that was overseas having trouble purchasing train tickets. His train was getting ready to leave without him…….We were literally running up and down the stairs trying to sort out the issue with Visa, keeping the member on the phone until finally the charge was approved. He made the train by minutes. We’ll never quit on a member and will do everything we can to help because we care.
Since I’ve done so much with The Member Advantage, I get to work with our internal members (i.e. employees) too! I recently had somebody that put me to
tears unexpectedly during a TMA homework call. Validate Yourself, Your Credit Union, and Your Products and Services a key section of the process. This person gave a list of positive traits about her teammates on the call. She had only met these people once and so the words she chose were even more special: kind-hearted, true problem-solver, caring, takes charge, responsible for well-being,
charismatic, well organized, researcher, serve our members, understands the needs, validating spirit, understands why we do what we do, making members feel secure, dedication, great insight, building trust, problems are followed up on and fixed, patient, reassuring, listens, and loves the Wauna family really hit me. Putting me to tears is difficult, but sometimes every once in a while, someone touches your heart and you react.
LONG BEACH, WA – Wauna Credit Union (WCU) officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Mortgage Origination Office (MOO) at 910 Pacific Avenue in Long Beach, Washington on January 18, 2017. The office opened on November 15th, 2016 and has one employee, Jeff Parker, who serves as the Real Estate Relationship Officer.
The new office provides local, affordable Real Estate services to the Credit Union’s growing membership in Pacific County. All residents, businesses, and organizations throughout Pacific County are eligible for membership with Wauna Credit Union.
A new ATM machine was installed in December, 2016 at the MOO and is now fully operational. It is a CO-OP network ATM, which offers surcharge-free ATM access nationwide to participating credit union members.
The ATM machine is slated to become an Interactive Teller Machine (ITM) in mid, June of 2017. ITM’s are interactive, with a screen that connects to a Virtual Member Service Specialist person in the WCU Communications Center. The Communication Center Specialists can answer questions and assist members with their transactions.
WCU CEO and President Robert Blumberg talked about the new ITM at the Ribbon Cutting and explained, “This branch office is the branch of the future using a smaller footprint with more technology.” WCU embraces technology, offering online and mobile banking to all its members.
Whenever we talk about Wauna Credit Union and what we do it comes back to the members. Anybody who has an account, loan or credit card at Wauna CU is a member and a shareholder, and gets a say in what we do. Nowhere is that more tangible than with the voting for our board of directors. Today through February 26, 2017 all members age 18 or older who are in good standing are eligible to cast a ballot, either online, by mail or on Facebook.
Unlike for profit banks, where maximizing dividends for stockholders is most important, a credit union’s board sets policies to make sure decisions are in the best interests of you, the member-owners. Wauna Credit Union’s board consists of dedicated volunteers who represent the interests of the member-owners by meeting regularly with credit union management. This year we are electing three people, each of whom will serve a 3-year term.
As an added incentive 10 random voters will win $50 as a thanks from us for helping make sure our board reflects the wants and aspirations of all our members.
To learn more about the elections, as well as our annual meeting where we will announce the new board, visit our annual election page (waunafcu.org/about/annual-elections). Each of the candidates has provided a few words on why they want to serve on the voting page (cuballot.com/waunafcu).
Click on the button to vote and follow the instructions
We hope everybody gets a chance to vote. The more members vote, the more opportunity to have a board that fully represents the membership, and the better Wauna Credit Union is able to meet the needs of our diverse community.
WAUNA CREDIT UNION Readies Building For Affordable Mortgages:
Wauna Credit Union officials are pleased to announce the pending development of a Mortgage Origination Office at its newly acquired property at 910 Pacific Avenue in Long Beach, Washington. Initial construction at the property began July 12th with demolition of an existing structure.
The new Mortgage Origination Office, which is tentatively scheduled to open in late September 2016, will provide local, affordable Real Estate services to the Credit Union’s growing membership in Pacific County. All residents, businesses, and organizations throughout Pacific County are eligible for membership with Wauna Credit Union.
A more formal announcement will soon be made by Wauna Credit Union to its membership and to the public about this new facility to serve Pacific County.