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|Articles - June 2013|
|Tuesday, May 28, 2013|
BY MANDY JONES
My mentor was my dad, who owned a small business in Milwaukie, Oregon. He taught me the importance of businesses being involved in their community and the joy of making a difference in people’s lives. He was not surprised when I chose to work in credit unions. Today I’m CEO of Oregon’s second largest state-chartered credit union, and I love going to work every day, making a difference in the lives of our members, employees and the communities we serve.
Credit unions have been so focused on serving communities and providing excellent financial services to members that we have failed to tell our story — who we are and what makes us different. Here are some key facts I hope you find interesting.
1. We are people helping people.
Many credit unions were started by pioneer member-owners who began the business in the garage of someone’s home and pooled their funds in a shoebox. The focus was always clear: providing access to credit for people who could not seem to get it at the local bank. Fast forward and today you find 71 Oregon credit unions and thousands of stories annually about members who need help — and get it —from their credit union.
Even in this tough economy, credit unions understand that “bad things happen to good members.” In the last three years, credit unions have continued to loan and work diligently to help members who have lost their jobs to keep their autos and stay in their homes. These efforts have helped stabilize families during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
At Oregon Community, we helped more than 500 members in 2012 alone with special workout loans that adjusted rates or payments on auto loans and mortgages.
2. It’s all about the members.
Credit unions are member-owned, not-for-profit financial cooperatives. That means everyone who becomes a member owns a piece of the rock. No shareholders. No paid board of directors focused on profits. Every decision the credit union board and management makes takes members into consideration first. Decisions such as convenience, rates, branches, technology, products and services are all made to support the needs of the membership. Over a million residents in Oregon belong to a locally owned credit union, and that number is growing.
3. Everybody benefits.
Credit unions are a positive influence on all financial services in the communities where they do business. Here in Oregon, credit unions hold a small percent of market share, but even so, we effectively help to control costs and maintain the rate environment for everyone. Research shows that when credit unions are in a market, all loan and deposit rates are positively impacted.
In 2012 Oregon credit unions put more than $110 million back into the pockets of members as a result of lower loan rates, free checking, higher rates on savings and other benefits. That works out to an average of $152 per credit union household. That’s real money our members didn’t spend to get access to vital services like credit and a safe place to keep savings. Given the cost of groceries or gas these days, that’s a great reason to be a credit union member.
4. “Community” is our middle name.
Credit unions have a well-deserved reputation for superior service and being the kinder, gentler financial institutions. But it’s not just our members who benefit. Community service is in our DNA. For example, Oregon Community Credit Union is the single largest corporate scholarship sponsor at the University of Oregon. UO is where our membership started. Our members believe in supporting education, so it only makes sense to give back through scholarships for Oregonians, many of whom are the first of their families ever to go to college. Along with supporting other scholarship programs in 2012, Oregon Community also donated over half a million dollars, and our employees volunteered over 2,000 hours to help our members have the opportunity to live in a vibrant and prospering community by supporting many nonprofits.
The simple truth is 1.3 million Oregonians have figured out that being a member-owner of a credit union is their first choice when it comes to financial services.
Mandy Jones is CEO of Oregon Community Credit Union.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
As the recession recedes and tourism grows, Central Oregon resorts redefine themselves for a new generation.
Thursday, April 30, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Oregonians are scrambling to get their gardens in order for the summer. Here are three tips from landscaping and urban farming expert.
Thursday, April 30, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR
Earlier this week we posted an article from our May issue: It’s a Man's Man’s Man’s World. The story covered the gender divide in tech from the perspective of male workers. Twitter didn’t like it.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Spring rains are the bane of an Oregon cherry farmer’s existence. Even a few sprinkles can crack the fruit so badly it’s not worth picking. Science to the rescue: Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a spray-on film that cuts rain-related cracking in half, potentially saving a season’s crop. The coating, patented as SureSeal, is made from natural chemicals similar to those found in the skins of cherries: cellulose, palm oil-based wax and calcium.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Portland is awash in rideshare options. We ask the head of Flywheel what sets his app apart.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY ANNIE ELLISON
Portland tech veteran Ben Berry is leaving his post as Portland’s chief technology officer for a full-time role producing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) aimed at first responders and the military. Berry’s AirShip Technologies Group is poised to be on the ground floor of an industry that will supply drones to as many as 100,000 police, fire and emergency agencies nationwide. He reveals the plan for takeoff.
Friday, April 17, 2015
PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
The 32nd annual CBC attracted a record number of attendees (11,000) to the Oregon Convention Center.
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Tonkon Torp helps seed sustainability at Gunderson.
Oregon-based Environments helps companies create inspired workspaces. “Simply put, we help companies future-proof their workspaces,” says Chris Corrado, president. Since 1988,Environments has witnessed firsthand the changing landscape of business. Native Portlander and Environments founder Corrado says, “We help our clients navigate the complex realities of the workplace today and plan for their future in a very mindful, strategic way. We think of ourselves as their partners in the process.”
One hundred years ago, the Willamette River might easily have been mistaken for a sewer. Unchecked industrial activity and decades of pollution made it unrecognizable compared to the clean river that now flows north for 187 miles from Eugene through the center of Portland.
Sussman Shank LLP served as lead counsel for both the sale of 9 assisted living, memory care, and independent living campuses in Washington, Oregon, and California to a publicly-traded REIT, and the acquisition of 11 single-tenant net lease properties. This transaction was unique because it included both the sale of licensed senior housing facilities and a complicated 1031 tax deferred exchange transaction.
The Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) will be presenting its third annual Entrepreneurial Summit on Friday, June 5 at Castaway in Portland, Oregon.
On June 13th Mayor Charlie Hales will attend nonprofit organization Dream Change’s inaugural Love Summit and will introduce one of its keynote speakers, Dan Wieden of Wieden+Kennedy advertising agency.