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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.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Oregon Business magazine has named the seventh annual 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon. The rankings were revealed Wednesday night during an awards dinner at the Sentinel Hotel in Portland.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
BY GREGG LEWIS | OP-ED
The issue of green-washing remains a significant challenge to those of us who would like to see the building sector in this country do more than make unverifiable claims of sustainability. Transparency about the impacts of a given material is the only way to allow designers to make intelligent choices when selecting building products.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Portland-based startup ImpactFlow recently announced a $5.7 million funding round. CEO and co-founder Tyler Foreman talks about matching businesses with nonprofits, his time at Intel and the changing face of philanthropy.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
BY DAN COOK
The state’s angel investing fund gets hammered in Salem.
Monday, September 28, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE
This year has been so dry we were caught napping when it finally started to sprinkle. Hopefully you didn’t get caught in a downpour while eagerly awaiting — don’t deny it — our curation of Oregon-grown wet weather wear.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
The 2016 presidential election is shaping up to be the year of the outsider, with Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump capturing leads in the polls and the headlines. In Portland, Wheeler vs. Hales is bucking the outlier trend.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
One of the hottest new investment trends has proven quite lucrative for some companies.
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