uNews 130 - May 2017

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In This Issue

Helpful Read from HR

Tuition Assistance Benefit helps
Unitus employees reach their goals!

Community Corner

A special presentation
Easter Seals, tulips and community
Mill Plain staff shred it up!

This Month in 1937

May 1937

Cathy’s World

Rally on

What’s Happening


Employee Focus

New Employees

Blaine Bartholomew, AVP of Member Experience
Cheyanne Knauss, Roving Teller based at the Clackamas branch
Elly Halilovic, Teller, Mall 205 branch
Kasey Stombaugh, Member Advocate 1, Plaza branch
Marissa Frost, Marketing Specialist
Tosha Brammer, MSR 2, Contact Center


Mike Allan – 15 years
Jessica Hayden – 10 years
Nathan Adams – 5 years
Patience Bogart – 5 years


Eileen Rumerfield

Helpful Read from HR

Tuition Assistance Benefit Helps Unitus Employees Reach Their Goals!

By: Kimberly Howland


I’m not sure if you’ve heard about this, but we have a really great Tuition Assistance Benefit program here at Unitus. I was interested in hearing more about it from some of our employees who are currently working on their degrees, so I reached out to Joe Dorger, Lorri Andersen, and Heather Lane to find out how the program is helping them along in their personal and professional pursuits. Here’s what I found out:

What are you going to school for and how is this helping your career or personal goals?

uNews 130 - May 2017


Joe: Computer Information Systems through PCC. I wanted to get into IT and I decided that I would take classes to improve my computer skills and learn more about IT. [Editor’s Note: Joe was recently promoted to a Help Desk position in Unitus’ IT Division. Congratulations Joe!]


uNews 130 May 2017


Lorri: A Masters in Information Technology. It is giving me a deeper knowledge of our IT processes and those in the industry.



uNews 130 May 2017

I’m finishing my business degree at PSU, majoring in both Management & Leadership and Human Resources. I spent my first two years at PCC – a strategy I highly recommend! A lot of my classes apply to my role here at Unitus. I’ve read articles that I’ve shared with peers, and learned techniques that I’ve brought back to real life scenarios at work. School keeps me busy, but I truly love being a student!


Why did you decide that now was the time to go (or go back) to school?

Joe: I love the Indirect Lending department, but I was looking for a change and a new challenge. I felt like IT was a good long-term career with a lot of potential.

Lorri: My family encouraged me to go because I had been thinking about it for over a year, and they wanted me to complete my goal.

Heather: Right after high school, I got a job as a teller at WaMu. I worked hard, moved up and out to Unitus, and in 2014, I realized that I was ready to get a college degree. Not because I wanted a new, cool job, but because I wanted to earn a Bachelor’s Degree for me.

What do you like about the Tuition Assistance that Unitus offers?

Joe: I love that it allows me to take college classes at such a low out-of-pocket cost.

Lorri: It’s nice to get reimbursed! Joan Tierney (Human Resources) and the Finance department are great to work with.

Heather: The support keeps me accountable and helps me stay motivated. Showing your grades to someone at work has that effect! I also love that the organization and Leadership team are invested in my development and care enough to help me pay for it.

Would you recommend other employees take advantage of using it?

Joe: Yes! It is just one of the great benefits Unitus offers, and I am very grateful that I was able to take classes without having to take out student loans. It was definitely hard to do homework again after 10 years, but going back to school was one of the best decisions I ever made! Stop thinking about it and do it!!!

Lorri: Absolutely. If you decide to go back to school, you’ll be glad you did.

Heather: YES! This benefit is incredibly generous. If you’re waiting for a good time, you’ll be waiting a while, so take the plunge if you’re thinking about it!

If you are looking to achieve your education goals, consider taking Joe, Lorri, and Heather’s advice and apply for the Tuition Assistance benefit! We cover expenses up to $5,250 per year for Graduate and Undergraduate degrees, as long as you maintain a grade of C or better in your classes. Employees are reimbursed for tuition and books at a rate of 75% for required classes that are related to a current job function, and at a rate of 50% for required courses that are not related to a current job function. We pay based on the Portland State University tuition rates, however you can choose the actual school you’d like to attend. For more information, please check out the Employee Handbook chapter Educational Assistance Program (uNet > Public Pages > Human Resources).

If you want to take advantage of this benefit, talk with your manager and fill out the Pre-Enrollment Approval Form (On the HR Public Page > Reimbursement Forms tab) by August. We do budget planning every August in preparation for the next fiscal year, and we want to make sure you get support to help achieve your educational goals!

Not sure if going back to school is right for you at this time? Take the Skills & Aspirations Survey also on the HR Public Page (Developing YOU tab > Development Resources) to discover how you can continue to grow yourself even outside of Higher Education. Happy Learning!


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Community Corner

By: Aimee Berg


uNews 130 May 2017

A Special Presentation

On April 14, Unitus along with other credit union friends, presented a check for $100,950 to OHSU Doernbecher– the amount raised for the hospital through the Northwest Credit Union Association’s (NWCUA) annual 2016 auction, including the wagon bid from Unitus. Steven Stapp, Laurie Kresl, and I were there to offer the red wagon filled with toys for the young patients.



uNews 130 - May 2017

Easterseals, tulips, and community

Last month, tulips were in full bloom at Unitus Plaza! Unitus employee volunteers set up shop and gave members and the community an opportunity to promote a 27-year program! Every year Easterseals raises crucial funds by selling tulips grown locally throughout the state of Oregon to provide help, hope and answers to people with disabilities. Unitus is proud to partner with Easterseals in their mission to ensure children and adults with special needs have equal opportunities to live, work, learn and play in their communities.



uNews 130 - May 2017

Mill Plain staff shred it up!

The amazing staff at our Mill Plain branch teamed up with Credit Unions of SW Washington for a free shred event on Saturday, April 22. The rain didn’t stop them from helping community members shred their secure documents, filling almost two trucks! They also collected non-perishable food donations for area food banks. Way to go Team Mill Plain!



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This Month in 1937

By: Tamara Cohen


May 1, 1937

Franklin Delano Roosevelt signs Act of Neutrality, extending previous Neutrality Acts, attempting to keep the US out of European conflicts. Among other provisions, it limited trade and travel with both sides of the conflict. US public opinion was against involvement in another international war in 1937.

May 3, 1937

Margaret Mitchell wins Pulitzer Prize for Gone with the Wind, best selling novel in the US in 1936 and 1937. Also the inspiration for the hugely popular 1939 film.

May 4, 1937

Ron Carter born in Ferndale, MI. The most-recorded jazz double bassist in history. He appeared in 2,221 recording sessions and played with the Miles Davis Quintet. He’s won two Grammy awards and been elected to Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame.

May 6, 1937

The German airship Hindenburg explodes in flames over Lakehurst, NJ, killing 36 people. News crews on the scene to observe the expected landing immortalized the accident in the eyes of the world. The then promising airship industry died overnight.

May 12, 1937

Coronation of King George VI of Great Britain at Westminster Abbey, London

May 12, 1937

George Carlin, comedian known for “7 Dirty Words” routine and frequent appearances on the Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live, born in the Bronx, NY.

Beryl Burton born in Leeds, West Yorkshire. English racing cyclist who dominated UK women’s cycle racing, winning over 90 UK championships and 7 world cycling titles.

May 13, 1937

Roger Zelazny born, science fiction author most famous for the Amber series. He won 6 Hugo and 3 Nebula awards for his writing.

May 15, 1937

Madeleine Albright, U.S. Secretary of State 1997-2001, born in Prague, Czechoslovakia

May 17, 1937

Juan Negrin succeeds Largo Caballero as premier of Spain.

May 18, 1937

Brooks Robinson born, Baltimore Oriole 3rd baseman 1955-1977. Nicknamed “The Human Vacuum Cleaner” or “Mr. Hoover”, he won 16 consecutive Golden Glove awards and is considered one of the greatest defensive third basemen in major league history.

May 23, 1937

John D. Rockefeller, Standard Oil tycoon, passes away at 97 in Ormond Beach, FL.

May 25, 1937

First airmail letter to circle the globe returns to New York.

May 27, 1937

Dedication of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco. It opened to vehicular traffic the following day. The bridge was a huge architectural and engineering accomplishment. At the time it was the longest cable suspension bridge main span in the world.

May 28, 1937

Neville Chamberlain becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain.

May 31, 1937

German battleships bombard Almeira, Spain.


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Cathy’s World

By: Cathy Jones


I’m always surprised to find that no one, except Joan, knows what I’m talking about when I ask if they read the recent “Rally” email. Rally is an interactive, informative United Health Care program for its subscribers – that’s us. During our August health month one of the activities we’re encouraged to participate in is the Rally Health Evaluation. That’s what got me to sign up. I receive Rally newsletters/emails and they are chock full of excellent information! Some of my favorite recipes have come from Rally. Just this morning I received an email and some of the articles in it are: “7 Ways to be Calm, Poised and Productive,” “How to get Coworkers to Stop Interrupting You,” “6 Healthy Lunch Recipes,” “Two-Minute Stress Reducers.” Really good stuff.

The first article about being calm says to stop overthinking everything – it creates Analysis Paralysis. Now tell me that isn’t true! How many times have you been log-jammed because you overthought and over analyzed something? Yeah, me too. And how about this for a quick stress reducer: Stretch your legs and wiggle your toes. Then curl them downward, clench your feet as tightly as it’s comfortable and hold for a few seconds. Now take a deep breath, exhale, and release, creating a sense of space. “As soon as we pay more attention to the body than the mind, stress instantly falls away.” Love it.

And check out these lunch ideas to make ahead on the weekend:

uNews 130 - May 2017

I tell you, Rally is definitely worth signing up for. (And no, Joan didn’t have anything to do with me writing this!)


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What’s Happening?




uNews 130 - May 2017

Aaron Clark, N. Williams Branch Manager 

Aaron’s new bundle of joy was delivered on April 10 – fast and furious, he says. They checked into the hospital at 9:52 pm and baby Tallulah made her appearance at 10:30 pm! Tallulah joins her big sister, Ivy, and together they give Aaron Super-Dad bragging rights! Congrats Aaron and Miranda!



uNews 130 May 2017


Betsy Jones, Lead MA, Peterkort Branch
Baby Brian Michael Thomas made his debut on April 13, weighing in at a healthy 7 lbs and 19.75” with a head of beautiful blond hair! He was a few weeks early but, no worries – Brian is a healthy, happy baby! Congrats Betsy – he’s a real doll!






uNews 130 - May 2017

Brandon Barclay, Mall 205 Assistant Manager
How about spending 10 days island hopping? That’s what Brandon did last month, starting in Whidbey Island, WA and then off to Florida, and the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas! His adventures were many, including needing to have his passport FedEx’d to him at the last minute. Conch was featured daily (frittered, fried, grilled, and raw), as was exploration, boating and maybe a cocktail or two. Thanks for sharing your trip with us, Brandon!



uNews 130 - May 2017

Char Sears, Unitus Plaza Branch Manager and Jeff Sears, Senior Network Engineer, IT
Char and Jeff spent a glorious week in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii last month. So sad. They missed all our rain. While out on a hike, Char and Jeff ran into another couple from Portland who turned out to be Unitus members! They saw Char in her Unitus shirt and gave her a big hug! While there, Char and Jeff ran the Hapalua Half Marathon!



uNews 130 - May 2017

Kat Cooney, Corporate Project Manager, IT
Kat was married last September, but she and Mr. Kat delayed their honeymoon so they could enjoy Spring in beautiful, romantic Italy – and to let Kat, an endurance athlete, run the Rome Marathon! As she said, “Who doesn’t want to run a marathon on their honeymoon?” Her most memorable moments? Too many to list! She loved the wines, the antiquities and museums, the Colosseum, riding a Vespa through the streets of Rome, Venice, gondolas, the Cinque Terre region, and the food – oh my! Did we mention the wine? It sounds like an amazing honeymoon, Kat! (Thanks for coming back.)



uNews 130 - May 2017

Kimberly Howland, Senior Training & Development Specialist
Kimberly is the Sending Coordinator for American students going abroad with AFS-USA. (AFS facilitates international student exchange programs.) At the end of March, she was asked to go to Washington D.C. with two other Oregon volunteers and meet up with volunteer representatives from all 50 states, as well as international AFS employees and former students of their sponsored programs, to ask our Senators and Representatives for support and funding for scholarships for the coming year. In the photos, you’ll see Kimberly with volunteers from Tillamook and Roseburg, as well as a staff member of AFS-Philippines (whose team is currently hosting a student from Oregon).



uNews 130 - May 2017

Laurie Kresl, VP of Marketing & Brand Development
Laurie visited the Grand Canyon last month on her way to a family wedding in Phoenix. We’re surprised she made it after seeing the photos of the hike she went on. What on earth were you thinking?! (At least your nails look great!)



uNews 130 - May 2017

Patience Bogart, MSR 3, Contact Center and Jodie Bracamontes, Credit Services
Patience and Jodie along with their hubbies, and Patience’s Mom spent 9 fun-filled days in California, visiting Disneyland (the happiest place on earth!) and Universal Studios. Wheeee!





uNews 130 - May 2017

Deryl Cameron, Facilities Manager
Deryl’s 17 year old granddaughter’s cheer team, the “Great White Sharks” from Bellevue, WA competed in the 2017 Junior Worlds Cheerleading Championship last month! The competition was held at the Disneyland Resort in Orlando. Some of the competition was telecast on ESPN2! The event is sponsored by the U.S. All Star Federation for Cheer and Dance. Jordyn Cameron is third from the right in this photo. They didn’t win, but they sure had a lot of fun!


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Cure your Monday malaise with sweet seasonal strawberries!

Mark your calendars for next month!




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