Around the Northwest: Unitus Community Credit Union Provides Memorable Sports Experiences to Families with Children Battling Serious Illness

Unitus Community Credit Union donated funds to Randall Children’s Hospital at the Oregon State University Homecoming game last fall.


A partnership between Oregon’s Unitus Community Credit Union and Oregon State University Athletics is in its third year of providing children battling serious illness and their families with an unforgettable sports experience through the credit union’s Dream Come True program.

Each year, Unitus sends a different child to every OSU home football game and provides a one-of-a-kind experience for the whole family. They are invited to meet the team and coaching staff, and watch the game from luxury club seats. They are also honored at half-time and receive mementos of their experience, including a personalized game jersey and football signed by the team and coaching staff.

On Nov. 3, during the homecoming game, Unitus Chief Operating Officer Jason Werts presented a check for $5,000 to Randall Children’s Hospital. In previous seasons, Unitus has donated $5,000 each to the Children’s Cancer Association and OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. 

“This program aligns perfectly with our philanthropic philosophy,” said Laurie Kresl, Chief Marketing Officer of Unitus. “The emotions you feel seeing these kids smile and giving their families something to celebrate together cannot be put into words.”

STCU Replacing Bonner County Branch

Washington-based STCU has started construction on a “mountain contemporary” style building that will become the new home for its Bonner County Branch in Ponderay, Idaho. The new building is located less than 300 feet from the existing branch at 477123 Highway 95 and is set to open mid-year. At 4,112 square feet, the new branch is nearly double the size of the existing branch and will have two drive-through lanes.

Artist rendering of new STCU branch.

STCU’s new branch, to be built in Ponderay, Idaho, will be complete by mid-year and feature two drive-through lanes for members.

Since the Bonner County Branch opened in 2009, STCU membership has more than doubled to 186,000 members and the share of Idaho members grew from 4 percent to 15 percent. In addition, STCU is expanding in the Tri-Cities region of Washington and purchased property for a new location in Rathdrum, Idaho.

In addition, STCU has filled two new positions with experienced financial industry professionals. As vice president of organizational strategy and product development, Patricia Baughman will oversee product management and market research. She brings more than 20 years of senior leadership experience to the credit union.

Stormy Mauri is STCU’s new director of product management. Mauri will oversee the credit union’s checking and savings account offerings and help create new products to serve consumer and business members. Mauri brings over 39 years of operations and product experience.

Columbia Credit Union Raises Funds for Veterans; Hires New VP Wealth Management

Columbia Credit Union’s recent “Help a Veteran” loan promotion raised $22,600 to benefit three veterans groups: Community Military Appreciation Committee, Home with Heroes, and Returning Veterans Project.

People holding a check for fundraiser for U.S. veterans

Columbia Credit Union presents funds raised through the “Help a Veteran” loan promotion benefitting three veterans groups: Community Military Appreciation Committee, Home with Heroes, and Returning Veterans Project.

For the month-long promotion, the Washington-based credit union contributed $100 for every new or used car, truck, boat, motorcycle, RV, snowmobile, or ATV loan. In total, 226 loans qualified for the contribution. Each organization received a check for $7,533.33.

The credit union also welcomed Russ Gochneaur as Vice President of Wealth Management. Gochneaur will lead the department’s operations and develop non-deposit investment and insurance strategies. Gochneaur began his financial services career in 1990 and has extensive experience leading teams across sales, retirement planning, and protective services.

“I’m looking forward to joining this award-winning team, focusing my positive energy on attaining the program’s goals, helping us settle into new roles, and growing the value we provide our member-investors, our co-workers, and the credit union overall,” says Gochneaur.

Posted in Around the NW, Community Impact.