News and Notes: Here’s What’s Happening at Northwest Credit Unions


Sunset Science Park FCI and Friends Host Financial Reality Fairs for High School Students

Portland-based Sunset Science Park Federal Credit Union’s Financial Reality Fairs have been a big hit with nearly 300 Washington-County high school students who participated over the past three months. The fairs offer students an in-depth look at how to manage the cost of living.

With staff from USAgencies, IBEW, Point West, and Providence Credit Unions collaborating, the events were a success. Students are given a “Reality Roadmap” with a preset occupation and an ‘industry-specific’ salary, as well as a credit score.

During the fair, students visit a variety of tables to help them learn about various aspects of the cost of living, such as housing and household expenses, transportation, recreation, saving for retirement, and random “Life Happens” scenarios, which might be a windfall inheritance or a $500 insurance deductible payment. During these experiences, participants learn about how their credit score impacts the cost of living, as well as what their life choices cost every month.

“Because of the high schools’ workload and teaching requirements, students today aren’t getting the financial teaching they need,” said Sunset Science Park FCU CEO Rhonda Baggarley. “We feel, as a financial institution, we should step up and provide the high school students in our community with lessons that will impact them for the rest of their lives.”

“We’ve received such positive responses from the schools that we already have five Financial Reality Fairs set up for the next school year,” she said.

Over the past year, the credit union has opened its first student-run/In-school branch at Merlo Station High School, in addition to an in-school branch located at Sato Elementary School.

Alaska USA Financial Planning & Investment Services Earns Awards for Performance

CUNA Brokerage Services has presented Alaska USA Financial Planning & Investment Services several awards for outstanding performance in 2017.

Alaska USA was presented with the Top Dual Program award for the highest dual program growth year over year, amounting to an increase of 563 percent. Additionally, Alaska USA Financial Advisor James Kirk received the Fast Start award for being one of the top producers six months into his role with the Financial Planning and Investment Services team.

“The incredible growth that Financial Planning & Investment Services has seen in the last year speaks to the high demand for these services from our members,” said Julia Niziolek, Executive Director for Alaska USA Insurance and Investment Services. “The awards received by our Financial Planning team demonstrate that not only are we able to meet the demand, but that we do so with outstanding quality and service.

Mid Oregon Launches Redesigned Mobile Banking App

Bend-based Mid Oregon Credit Union announced the rollout of its newly redesigned Mobile Banking App for Apple and Android mobile devices. The updated app now allows users to handle a full range of account transactions, including balance transfers, bill payments, and mobile deposits through their smartphones.

“Our members have been asking for this increased functionality, and we’re thrilled to offer them a more convenient and secure way to manage their accounts whenever and wherever they want,” says Kyle Frick, Mid Oregon Vice President, Marketing.

The redesigned mobile app features the ability to check balances, verify whether checks have cleared, view check images, and transfer funds within accounts. Additionally, the app allows members to set account alerts to send an email when account balances reach a certain level, turn a debit card off with one click if it’s ever lost or stolen, on when a PIN or password has been changed, or when a bill payment has been completed.

Oregon State Credit Union Schedules a Free Shred Day in Corvallis

Oregon State Credit Union has scheduled its 2018 Benton County Free Document Shred Day for Saturday, June 9, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the parking lot of the Benton County Fairgrounds at110 SW 53rd Street in Corvallis. Anyone can bring documents, such as old checks or outdated materials that have personal information.

The event will include support and presence from the Corvallis Police Department with a focus on their community education effort toward combating identity theft. There is also an opportunity for community members to donate canned or other non-perishable food items to Linn Benton Food Share.

Corvallis Police Captain Dan Hendrickson said, “The Corvallis Police Department often witnesses the negative impacts of identity theft on our community members. Eliminating the possibility of personal information falling into the wrong hands is the first, and most critical, step in reducing identity theft. We recognize the value of document shred events and are pleased to participate in the credit union’s free Community Shred Day.”

First Community Credit Union Sponsors Homeless 2 Hopeful Super Hero Run

Coquille, Oregon-based First Community Credit Union crossed the finish line to support the community’s homeless population.

More than 300 participants ran in this event that supports services for at-risk youth as well as to the homeless in Grants Pass, Medford and the surrounding areas. Many runners came dressed in their favorite superhero attire.

The event raised $30,000 for the Hearts with a Mission shelter, which is in a former office of First Community Credit Union.

“We are proud to be a sponsor of HWAM and the annual Homeless 2 Hopeful Superhero Run. The success of this event has benefitted the community and its youth in a significant way,” said David Elmer, President and CEO of First Community Credit Union.

Simplot Employees Credit Union Makes a Big Impact for Local Charity

For the past three years Simplot Employees Credit Union has offered members a December Skip-a-Pay program in which they can donate $25 to Ronald McDonald House Charities and skip their December loan payment. The program has been so successful in raising funds for this important charity an additional Skip-a-Pay opportunity will be offered in June.

This past year, the members of Simplot Employees CU donated a total of $5,700 through the program, as well as through other fundraising activities. The check presentation was held in the Debbie McDonald Auditorium in the new JR Simplot Co. headquarters building in Boise, Idaho. Garrett Lofto, the new CEO of the corporation, and other Simplot employees and company board members were on hand for the presentation.

Since 1988, the Idaho Ronald McDonald House has been keeping families together—giving them a place to rest and refresh, while their loved one is undergoing treatment at a local hospital. The JR Simplot Co., Simplot family, and their many employees have been integral in raising money for, and offering ongoing support to, the Ronald McDonald House in Boise. While the Ronald McDonald House may not be able to make the medicine taste better or erase the pain of a much-needed treatment, they do help lessen the burden for hundreds of families each year.

Posted in Around the NW.