Credit union seeks to become more active in the communityWauna Federal Credit Union should become more active in the Clatsop County and Columbia County communities, according to its new president and CEO, Bruce Mallory.

"Over the last couple of years we've not been as visible in the community as we would want," Mallory said. "We fully intend to be so in the future. That's a concentration we're going to have from here on out."

Mallory, who was appointed by the credit union's board earlier this month, has been the acting president since February. He has been with the credit union since 2002, first as the chief operations officer and then as the executive vice president.

He said that he brings a sense of fun to the credit union: "Fun and a seriousness toward making this a good place for people to do their financial business."

Members of a credit union need good service and a financially sound institution with whom they can do their business, Mallory said. And, he thinks that Wauna Federal provides that.

"We've done an awfully good job of operating in an economically depressed area," said Mallory. "You have to know your membership, and I believe we know it pretty well." The credit union tries to be compassionate, but still protects its members' money, he added.

Credit unions give members a chance to do business with "the hometown folks," he said. "Most credit unions are smaller organizations, and give better service by and large. We have higher rates in savings, lower rates in loans." Mallory said. "We can concentrate on our members more than a large, multi-state organization."

One of the decisions the credit union will be making in the next few months is what to do with its property at the Mill Pond Village. Mallory met with a builder Wednesday to talk about options for building a new Astoria branch office on this site, but he said that selling the property is also an option.

He added that even if an office is built on the site, Wauna Federal's headquarters will remain in Clatskanie.

"The thing that we want to make sure is that whatever we do, it increases member value," said Mallory. "Whatever we do has to increase member value; if it doesn't we ought not do it."

The credit union is also planning to open a branch office in St. Helens; Mallory reported that he signed the lease earlier this week.

Mallory said that he enjoys living in a community where everyone knows each other. He grew up in a town in south Indiana with a population of 500, and keeps a picture of his tiny graduating class in his office. He's married and has a grown son, and said he is hoping for grandchildren soon.

Before coming to Wauna Federal, Mallory worked with a senior management team at the SELCO Credit Union in Eugene. Prior to that, he worked for a large regional savings and loan institution. He has worked in finance for 40 years.

Wauna Federal has had a number of promotions recently. Stephanie Sievers is now the branch manager of the Warrenton office. She was hired as a member service representative in 1996, was promoted to a teller supervisor four years later and then to a loan officer in 2002. She transferred from the Astoria branch to the Warrenton branch, where she was a teller supervisor and loan officer before her promotion.

Brandi Page is the new branch manager of the credit union's Vernonia branch. Page began at Wauna Federal in June 1998, and has been a member service representative and a teller supervisor, and is the credit union's IRA expert.

Randy Brackman is now the chief compliance officer at the credit union. He has been a collection supervisor with Wauna Federal for more than 16 years, and has helped develop programs for that department.

Wauna Federal is a $100 million credit union that has almost 13,000 members.

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