uNews 133 - Summer 2017

In This Issue

Helpful Read from HR

Unitus employees get healthy!

Community Corner
Wear your favorite jeans and make a miracle happen!

The Solar Eclipse Goes International 

United as one under the sun

This Month in 1937

July and August, 1937

Risk Advisory Roundup

There’s no such thing as “too prepared”

What’s Happening


Employee Focus

New Employees

Austin Jones, Loan Processor, MLC
Brandon Davis, Member Advocate 1, Mall 205 Branch
Sarah-Lyn Patrick, Member Advocate 1, Tanasbourne Branch
Sarina Cruz, MRO
Tavon Decker, Member Advocate 1, N. Williams Branch
Jackie Mayor, Credit Services Specialist 1, Loan Servicing
Megan Snyder, Loan Operations Manager
Michelle Hollenbeck, MRO
Terri Dowd, Assistant Manager, Salem Branch


Denise Stewart – 5 years
Tasha Price – 5 years


Boyd Carroll
Kristine Rosenstrater
Tom Panetta
Jeff Sears
Debbie Wilkinson
Holly Sayer

Helpful Read from HR

Unitus employees get healthy!

By: Kimberly Howland


It’s been another fun, informative, and motivating August here at Unitus – A month we lovingly refer to as Wellness Month!


No doubt you’ve enjoyed some or all of the weekly email challenges, the yummy Stone Fruit Salad demo (look for the recipe below!), the creative and delicious Healthy Potluck, the financial wellness seminars, and my personal favorite – the massages! It really has been a nourishing month for us all, complete with lots of raffles and prizes to be won.


Have you been enjoying coloring in your coloring sheets? If they helped you ease stress, can you build them into your regular schedule for peace of mind? Check out our winners below!

uNews 132-3 Coloring Contest Winners - 1st Place
1st Place – Tosha Brammer
uNews 132-3 Coloring Contest Winners - 2nd Place
2nd Place – Kimberly Howland
uNews 132-3 Coloring Contest Winners - 3rd Place
3rd Place – Dara Vongsarasine
uNews 132-3 Coloring Contest Winners - 4th Place
4th Place – Skyler Bliss









As we learned with our financial wellness seminars, “being healthy” isn’t just about foods and exercise. Social wellness also plays a part in our overall health. Creating ties within our communities makes us feel like a part of something bigger, boosting our mental and emotional health.

So, in partnership with the Children’s Cancer Association, we have been coordinating a Lego Drive Monday, August 28th – Tuesday, September 5th to give back to children in need within our communities. Individuals and teams are encouraged to donate new, unopened boxes of Legos. Each Lego box will then be gifted to a sick child in order to brighten their day while they are in the hospital getting healed from cancer. (Note: Each box goes to a different child and are not shared by multiple children.) We have had a ton of donations and many are going shopping this weekend for more! Go #TeamUnitus!


  • Stress shows up physically in our bodies. What better way to reduce physical stress than with a massage? We hope everyone in the Plaza and out at the branches enjoyed their massages last week!


  • Health and deliciousness in a cup is a real thing! If you work in the Plaza or are nearby, we hope you grabbed a healthy smoothie in the Community Room on Tuesday, August 29th!


  • We hope you’ve been tracking all of your healthy achievements over the past month on your tracking sheet. In order to be eligible for a grand prize to wrap up Wellness Month, please have those turned into Joan Tierney by Wednesday, September 6th.


We sincerely thank everyone for participating in Wellness Month and wish you the best of luck in continuing your journey towards wellness in the months and years ahead.


Without further ado, here is the Stone Fruit Salad and Sweet Cashew Cream recipe from our friends at Nourish NW:


uNews 132-3 summer issue 2017 Stone Fruit Salad

Stone Fruit Salad:







  1. Keeping the skin attached, cut into bite-sized pieces.


uNews 132-3 Cashew Cream img


Sweet Cashew Cream:

½ cup raw, unsalted cashews

3 Tbsp maple syrup

½ tsp cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla

Pinch of salt



  1. Grind cashews into a fine meal in a food processor. Add maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt and continue to process.
  2. With the processor running, add water a little at a time until you have a thick, creamy consistency.


Serve the Sweet Cashew Cream on top of your fruit, or use it as a dip. Apples in addition to, or in place of, stone fruits would also pair really well. Enjoy!




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Community Corner

Wear your favorite jeans and make a miracle happen!

By: Aimee Berg


uNews 132-3 summer issue 2017 Miracle Jeans DayWednesday, September 13 is Miracle Jeans Day, which means we will invite staff to wear their favorite jeans in exchange for a $5 donation to help raise funds for local children who need special medical help. Last year, thanks to you, we raised $200 to benefit Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, our local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. We’re hoping to top that number this year!


We will also engage members and raise even more money for the kids by selling paper icons in all our branches September 1-13. When they contribute $1, we’ll post their name on a Miracle Jeans Day balloon icon in our branch!


Every dollar makes a difference, and when we all come together – employees and members alike – those dollars add up quickly! We hope you join us!


Be sure to check your email on how YOU can participate!


For The Kids,




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The Solar Eclipse Goes International

United as one under the sun

By: Jacob Schnee


During the total solar eclipse Monday, August 21, Unitus closed business between 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. to allow members and employees to experience the rare event. As a bonus, our Salem branch gave viewers the opportunity to experience a 100% complete eclipse in the path of totality!


With his sharp eye for global community building, Steve saw a chance to share this momentous experience with our credit union counterparts from other countries. Working with the World Council of Credit Unions, of which he is Vice Chair, he brought in a delegation of credit union professionals from across the Americas to participate. The group included Managers, Directors, IT and Human Resources staff hailing from Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Peru. They were thrilled to exchange ideas about community building, governance, technology and lending.


View the press release.


View pictures from across Unitus below:

Unitus Press Release - Eclipse Viewing 0817


uNews 132-133 Eclipse Photo Finance Team













uNews 132-3 Eclipse Photo - Plaza Courtyard


uNews 132-3 Eclipse Photo - Plaza Branch
















uNews 132-3 Eclipse Photo - Tanasbourne Branch


uNews 132-3 Eclipse Photo - Mortgage


















uNews 132-3 Eclipse Photo - WOCCU Group
















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This Month in 1937

By: Tamara Cohen


July 24th marked 80 years to the day since Unitus was founded in 1937. What else happened in the summer of 1937?


July 1

The MacGregor Arctic Expedition begins.

July 3

The Marine Parkway Bridge (now the Marine Parkway–Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge) opens in Brooklyn, New York.

July 5

Hormel Foods Corporation begins selling Spam.

Joe DiMaggio hits his first home run.

July 6

Vladimir Ashkenazy, famous pianist and conductor, is born in Gorsky, USSR.

July 11

George Gershwin, celebrated American composer and pianist, passes on. Thanks to widespread use in television and movies (including Disney’s Fantasia), you may recognize Rhapsody in Blue

July 14

Mikhail Gromov and two other Soviet airmen complete a 6,306 mile flight from Moscow to San Jacinto, California in a Tupolev ANT-25, a new distance record.

July 24

Seven employees of Pacific Telephone & Telegraph come together to form Oregon Telephone Employees Credit Union!

July 25

Roger Lapébie of France won the Tour de France.

August 6

The National Cancer Institute is established in the United States. Part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the NCI coordinates research and information distribution about the diagnosis, causes, treatment, and prevention of cancer.

August 8

The Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River begins producing power.

Dustin Hoffman is born in Los Angeles, California.

August 18

The first FM radio construction permit is issued (W1X0J, WGTR) in Boston, Massachusetts.

August 23

The new Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio opens its doors. In lieu of legendary live-action pictures like Gone with the Wind and Wizard of Oz, the cartoon studio developed animated works including Tom and Jerry.

uNews 132-3 Leo image
Remember Leo the Lion?



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Risk Advisory Roundup

There’s no such thing as “too prepared”
By: Ellen Tillotson


Staying well is all about planning.  The plan we overlook most frequently is our Emergency Plan. If last winter’s ice storms and the drumbeat of warnings about earthquakes have taught us anything, it’s that the best defense truly is a good offense.  How are earthquakes and ice storms relevant to Wellness Month? True wellness doesn’t stop at the end of August and it is most needed when you least expect it.


What would you need if you couldn’t get home? The answer will be different for everyone. In the event of an incident or disaster, keep yourself safe and healthy by stowing a small emergency kit in your workspace, especially if you perform an Essential Service, such as payroll or ACH. What that kit contains will vary, but let’s walk through a few suggestions.


We work in the financial services sector which means business professional 4 days a week and business casual Friday. Anyone try walking on those icy sidewalks in your dress shoes? Your emergency desk kit should include a set of comfortable clothes and walking or tennis shoes. Think of it as an excuse to wear sweats and sneakers at work.


So we’ve got clothes. What else do we need? Basic hygiene. Toothbrush, toothpaste, baby wipes, etc. The obvious stuff. Something lots of people miss, if you’re on any medication, is to keep at least three days of meds in your kit.


Now we’re dressed, medicated and we smell OK, not great, but OK. What else do we need?  We’re going to get hungry. We may or may not be able to count on Katie’s or the Avanti snack bar. Throw a few high-calorie protein bars in your kit. In case of water line disruption, you’ll want to add a decent size bottle or two of water.


So we’re stuck at the office, but we’re OK, because we’ve got the basics. What about home? If you can’t get home, do you have a household emergency plan? If you do, it will be no surprise that it looks a lot like your office emergency kit, only bigger. If you are wanting to follow the Red Cross recommendations, the list is long, so let’s go over the basics:


  • Food – Two weeks of non-perishable food (don’t forget the manual can opener!) for every person in your household. And pick food you like. No one wants to eat 24 cans of kidney beans.
  • Water – A gallon per day for each household member for two weeks.
  • Flashlight(s) – One per person, with extra batteries
  • Radio – The wireless, wind-up kind.
  • First Aid Kit
  • Meds – Red Cross recommends seven days’ worth of any maintenance meds.
  • Pets – Don’t forget about the dog! You’ll need two weeks of food for Fluffy and a gallon of water per day.
  • Shelter in Place – Keep a roll of duct tape, some plastic sheeting and a multi-purpose tool in your home kit. If there is a shelter-in-place order, they might come in handy. And really, when has duct tape ever not come in handy?
  • Cash – $200 in small bills. Branches could be closed and ATMs with reserve power won’t last very long. No one wants to pay $100 for a gallon of water because the guy hustling him won’t make change.


Communication will provide peace of mind. In the event of an emergency, phone lines may be unavailable to local traffic. The Red Cross recommends designating a close friend or family member outside the geographic area to facilitate communication as calls out to an unaffected area are more likely to get through. Make a plan with your household that if something happens, everyone calls Aunt Lulu in Cleveland to check in and get family updates.


You’ve got your workplace kit and your home kit. What is Unitus doing to help keep the team safe? Unitus has a disaster recovery plan that we routinely test.  (And you thought all we did was fire drills!) There are large yellow bins with emergency, shelter-in-place supplies placed strategically around the Plaza building. Also, each member of the Leadership team has a Red Cross issued backpack filled with more emergency supplies in their respective offices.  Each branch has its own emergency preparedness kit.  If you don’t know where yours is located, check in with your manager.


The credit union does all it can to help our members and staff experience as little disruption as possible if something happens. The best way you can help the credit union succeed is to invest in a little self-care.  Have a plan for yourself and have a plan for your household. If we are advocates for our own wellness and safety, we’ll be more prepared to deal with whatever Mother Nature sends our way. And if we have to work in our Give-Ups for a day or two, at least we’ll be comfy, fed and hydrated.  Even if we do look like Bill Belichick. (Sorry, Patriots fans.)





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What’s Happening?




uNews 132-3 What's Happening Natalie Wedding

Natalie Cook, Business Development Officer, Plaza

Natalie Cook and her husband Derrick were married on June 30 at Gray Gables in Portland.  Natalie had so much fun dancing and was so grateful to spend the day with her family and friends, that she didn’t even care that she ripped her dress. Natalie and Derrick left the following Monday to honeymoon in Cancun. While in Cancun, they had a fabulous dinner at a place called Lorenzillo’s, where a 15ft crocodile visited them to wish them his best. Congratulations, Natalie!





uNews 132-3 What's Happening Shannon Travel Photos

Shannon Berglund, Compliance Officer

In July, Shannon Berglund went on a trip to California with her husband Greg and her son Ashton. What did they do while they were there? Everything! Shannon, who was born and raised in South Bay, showed her husband and son where she lived in CA and what schools she went to. They enjoyed a BBQ with friends and family, went to Redondo Beach so that Ashton could see the ocean without rocks in it, and visited Le Brea Tar Pits. In Hollywood, Shannon met CeeLo Green and got a picture with him. Of course, no trip to CA is complete without a trip to Disneyland, which is where Greg and Shannon spent their second wedding anniversary—what better place, than the happiest place on Earth? Ashton, being the fearless young man he is, went on every ride he could, and to top it off, he and Greg got to meet Chewbacca! On the way home, they drove to San Francisico, spent some time at Fisherman’s Wharf and ate at Bubba Gump’s Fish House.



uNews 132-3 What's Happening Joshua Travel Photos

Joshua Lieber, Senior Underwriter, Mortgage Lending

My wife, Lindsey, and I recently went on a road trip for a vacation. Our ultimate destinations were Yellowstone National Park, WY, and Grand Teton National Park, WY. The trip encompassed 11 nights from 6/24 – 7/4. Some highlights were: eating a head-sized hamburger in Lewiston, ID, shooting an AR-15 in West Yellowstone, MT, the overwhelming natural beauty and wildlife of Yellowstone and Grand Teton, looking at houses we will never be able to afford in Sun Valley, ID, visiting the Painted Hills in Mitchell, OR, and spending July 4th in Bend, OR (we seemed to be the oldest and most dressed people in town that day). We really enjoyed the entire vacation.



uNews 132-3 What's Happening Kimberly Travel Photos

Kimberly Howland, Senior Training & Development Specialist

Senior Trainer Kimberly Howland had the opportunity to return to Sweden, where she was once an exchange student, after 15 years. She stayed with her host parents again, and spent two wonderful weeks with the whole, huge family. Among their adventures, they visited one of the islands on Dellen Lake in Hälsingland to go swimming and played tourists in Stockholm. Pictured is Kimberly on a boat on on the lake and Kimberly with her twin host brothers Peter and Mikael, and Mikael’s girlfriend, Hanna.



uNews 132-3 What's Happening Andrew Travel Photos

Andrew Kendall, Member Advocate 2 Plain Branch & James Snyder, Training & Development Specialist

James Snyder celebrated his August 1st birthday two weeks early with a surprise trip to Mexico. Andrew Kendall from the Mill Plain branch, who was the mastermind behind the surprise, revealed the plan to James on a Thursday and they left the following Saturday with two other friends. They spent 5 days there and had a blast. I think we can all agree—best birthday surprise ever!





uNews 132-3 What's Happening Jacob Relay Photo


Jacob Schnee, Marketing Communications Specialist

Jacob Schnee of uNews completed his first long-distance run, the Ragnar Relay Race, in mid-July. Jacob and his team started in Blaine, WA, near the Canadian border, running a nonstop relay race of “200-ish miles” (that’s the official terminology) over 2 days and 1 night, and ended in beautiful Whidbey Island. Fifteen miles and 90 minutes of sleep later, he is debating whether he will do it again.



uNews 132-3 What's Happening Jessica Quadzuki

Jessica Young, Risk Specialist

Over Fourth of July weekend Jessica Young ran a half-marathon race series called the Firecracker Quadzuki. The series consisted of 4 races in 4 days. The races, named the Summerlake Loopy, Stars and Stripes, Cook Park, and the Foot Traffic Flat, were located in Tigard, Tualatin, Beaverton, and Sauvie Island. Jessica loves to run and do races, usually half or full marathons, and generally runs at least one race a month. The best part of this race, she says, is that it is a fun competition for all fitness levels and is less of a race and more of a reunion for group of individuals who all share the love of running. Jessica is currently training for her next full marathon, the Rogue Run in September.



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