Washington Federal Financial Literacy Programs

Save at School-This program for students is our biggest outreach currently. We partner alongside Faith Christian School and have worked in the past with Dallas Community School for this program. We visit the schools on a monthly basis to see the kids and collect deposits for their accounts, which we take back to the bank for them. We also have conducted small sessions for groups of kids at these levels to talk about saving and do fun activities about banking. We haven’t currently worked with any of the larger public elementary schools in Dallas, but would love the opportunity to work alongside classrooms and schools.

Seniors Financial Class-Currently we also host a monthly class with the Dallas Senior Center offering financial advice and information about scams to the local seniors. This has been a great opportunity for some of our older clients and Dallas residents to get a more personal look at some of their finances, keep them in the loop with some of the most pressing and popular scams that could be presented to them, and ask lots of questions about trusts; powers of attorneys; setting up accounts; and making sure they are financially set.

Financial Beginnings– We partner with a company called Financial Beginnings that works with local schools across Oregon to bring financial literacy to students of all ages. The Dallas branch are all certified volunteers and hosts through this program. Teachers can reach out and ask for specific classes, times, and curriculums and we fill the need or we can offer the courses to schools. The program covers lots of topics and is very flexible for the classes and what they need for their setting.

MoneySmart- MoneySmart is a program that our bank developed for different age levels. (elementary-adult) We have all the curriculum available in the branches and can customize it to certain groups or settings. I’ve used bits for some of our Save at School learning sessions and we’ve utilized some topics for our seniors, but we have yet to find a group we can actively use this with. This would be a great free financial program for a community class, schools, or groups. We haven’t currently been presented with a need for it, but should we get an interested party in presenting a financial class or group we would definitely be able to conduct something for our community.

FinStrong-This is a program still in the works that our bank is developing. One of our banks goals is not just offering typical banking services to our clients, but also recognizing that budgeting and banking can be tough and wanting to equip our clients with the right tools and expertise to thrive financially. Right now all employees are going through the program for a trial run to get a feel for the program and also make sure that we are equipped to guide our clients with the right resources they need.

Heartland Merchant Services/Payroll/POS Systems- Washington Federal partners with a company called Heartland to offer amazing value and prices with merchant services, payroll, HR services, and POS terminals for all business types. This is something that we are really passionate about trying to spread to our business community as we have been able to save many businesses money, bring more value, and get people out of long locked in contracts with their current providers. We have two local reps that work to have conversations with businesses at no obligation just to see if they could bring any extra value to a business. This would even be a great comparison tool for current businesses or people looking to start in the area. It is something we offer to everyone, not just clients of Washington Federal. I cannot rave enough about these services and how they’ve helped local businesses in Dallas. Businesses could just come into the branch of give us a call to have us personally get them in touch just to talk with someone to help understand their current situation and how they could possibly find better solutions through Heartland.

Notary Services- We offer FREE notary services to clients and non-clients. Jana Peckham is our branch notary and is happy to assist anyone with notarizing and witnessing documents, no appointment necessary.

Mortgage and Business Loans-Washington Federal offers mortgage loans, home equity lines of credit, construction and remodeling loans, refinancing, and lot loans for people. We also offer business lines of credit, commercial real estate loans, and term loans for expansions and improvements. Debbie our branch manager has been working with the company for over thirty years and is well skilled in finding the best loan options for anybody who walks in through the door.

https://www.washingtonfederal.com/locations/oregon/dallas

Reading: A Habit Worth Fostering

There are two distinct types of people when it comes to reading: those who love to read, and those who cannot say when it was that they last read a complete article, let alone a book. With all of the options for consuming the written word, it is a shame that anyone misses out the benefits of reading.

There are many health benefits to curling up with a good book. Reading is one of the best ways to exercise the brain. Brain stimulation in the form of reading decreases stress and increases memory. It has also been proven to help slow and possibly prevent Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia. Reading also helps with focus and concentration, something that many struggle with, within the multitasking demands in today’s society.

With regards to the inherent professional benefits, reading is one of the single best ways to help advance your career. People who read on a consistent basis have larger vocabularies, enhanced writing skills, and tend to be promoted more quickly and more often than their non-reading counterparts. Reading is the most affordable education one can obtain. A library card can open up a world of possibilities to knowledge. There are also many free business books available on Kindle, iBooks, Google Books, and Nook through the Gutenberg Project.

A reading habit does not have to be strictly related to business or literature. Lighter reading, such as graphic novels, and bestsellers are great escapes. Additionally, audio books, magazines, and newspapers are also great at stimulating the mind and provide the same benefits. Set a goal of reading just 15 to 30 minutes per day to place yourself on the part of establishing a great reading habit.

There are so many great business books for those who prefer that genre or who want to inject a bit of professional development into their reading diet. No matter your industry, there are a wide variety of books that are both entertaining and informative.

Regardless of the genre or variant (i.e. hardcover, paperback, e-book, audio book), developing a reading habit will benefit your mind, body, and career.

4 Steps To Finding A Business Idea

This is probably the most daunting area for people. In fact, the most common reason why people haven’t started a business on the side is because they “just don’t have a good business idea.” This is just a mental barrier though — one that you can easily get past if you look at one area: your strengths. Here are four questions you can ask yourself to find a solid business idea:

What skills do you have? Now, what do you know and know well? These are the skills and knowledge that you have acquired. Think of it another way: We pay for expert knowledge all the time (e.g., language classes, college courses, instrument lessons). Guess what? You can be that teacher too.

What do your friends say you’re great at? I love this question. Not only can it be a nice little ego boost — but it can also be incredibly revealing. Message your family and friends on Facebook or ask them IRL: What am I great at? The answers they give you can be turned into side business ideas.

What do you do on a Saturday morning? What do you do on a Saturday morning before everyone else is awake? This can be incredibly revealing to what you’re passionate about and what you like to spend your time on.

What do you already pay for? You don’t even have to play to your strengths and talents. Instead, you can look to things you already pay for. After all, we pay people to do a lot of different things. There’s no reason you can’t turn one of those things into your own online business.

Tribes by Seth Godin

In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible.

Since it was first published almost a decade ago, Seth Godin’s visionary book has helped tens of thousands of leaders turn a scattering of followers into a loyal tribe. If you need to rally fellow employees, customers, investors, believers, hobbyists, or readers around an idea, this book will demystify the process.

It is human nature to seek out tribes, be they religious, ethnic, economic, political, or even musical (think of the Deadheads).  Now the Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time. Social media gives anyone who wants to make a difference the tools to do so.

With his signature wit and storytelling flair, Godin presents the three steps to building a tribe: the desire to change things, the ability to connect a tribe, and the willingness to lead.

If you think leadership is for other people, think again—leaders come in surprising packages. Consider Joel Spolsky and his international tribe of scary-smart software engineers. Or Gary Vaynerhuck, a wine expert with a devoted following of enthusiasts. Chris Sharma led a tribe of rock climbers up impossible cliff faces, while Mich Mathews, a VP at Microsoft, ran her internal tribe of marketers from her cube in Seattle.

Tribes will make you think—really think—about the opportunities to mobilize an audience that are already at your fingertips. It’s not easy, but it’s easier than you think.

Don’t Be Uninformed

“What?! Donald Trump is President?”

That is not something you should say at a networking event. Before the event, catch up on what is happening in the world, nationally, locally, and in your industry. You should read up on global events and understand how they may affect your industry.

“Consider it your homework for building a more engaging personality and as a critical element in establishing your relevancy,” writes Heather Dugan on Salary.com.

Preparing for events, conferences, and meetings doesn’t just mean coming with a stack of freshly printed business cards. If you know certain people who are attending or speaking at an event who you know you’ll be interested in meeting, then you should do research on them ahead of time. When you do your homework, you can skip the small talk and get right into the meaningful conversation you are looking for in the first place.

“Time is the most valuable resource people can offer you, so respect it,” says Burke. “Do your homework on the person’s title, their background, their email address, their preferred mode of contact, and their career history. That way, your conversation via email, phone, or in-person can focus on the advice you need to help with, the subject matter you’d like to learn more about, or the organization you want to learn more about.”

In addition to coming prepared with questions for other people, prepare to answer the questions they’ll ask you. Practice your own pitch, as well as answering questions about your career goals.

Innovate Dallas – Partnering Schools and Community for Growth

The best way to ensure our kids are the leaders of tomorrow is to allow them to be leaders today!

Innovate Dallas is about bringing our schools, community, and businesses together to instill the skills and mindsets of innovation that are needed to drive economic growth in our region.

Innovate Dallas has received a matching grant from Oregon Community Foundation to assist in connecting Dallas students to real community centered problems to both enhance deeper learning and to develop leadership capacity.

To prepare the next generation of leaders able to solve our most pressing problems, the Construct Foundation builds and facilitates design challenges known as Breaker Challenges that introduce young people to a prototype-driven method for innovation.  For an example of a Breaker Challenge see this link The Future of Food.

In every challenge, we teach the tools of design and entrepreneurship and task young people with building solutions to a real problem.

THE PROBLEM
Residents at the Dallas Retirement Village are divided into 3 groups based on the level of care that they require, Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Health Services. As residents move through the levels of care they become increasingly isolated from their preferred lifestyle, activities, and circle of friends.

In this Wellness and Aging design challenge we ask a team of students to identify, design, and test new and novel ways to increase joy and connectedness for the residents of the Dallas Retirement Village Community.

Our kids are assets in our community and this Breaker Challenge is our first of many examples to prove this. Our business community’s support in this activity points toward believing in the future of Dallas as a vibrant community that values innovation for growth in schools, business and sense of community as a whole.

Please help us reach our goal of $6,000 to develop this innovative model of learning.

If you have questions please reach out to Jamie Richardson at LaCreole Middle School

email – jamie.richardson@dsd2.org

phone – 503-623-6662

Coping with Poor Business Etiquette

Bad behavior can become an epidemic if left unchecked. It is often difficult for management to monitor office etiquette if everyone is on their best behavior when the boss walks by. This creates frustration among teammates when working with offenders.

There are a few simple strategies to help restore peace and professionalism to the workplace.

Be the example. In the infamous, and potentially misquoted, words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. Everyone is a role model, especially management. In fact, managers can sometimes be “patient X” of the poor etiquette epidemic. Be friendly, helpful, and encouraging to colleagues.

Know the policies. Before intervening on bad behavior, check the employee handbook or with a human resource representative to ensure that you fully understand all the policies and procedures that are in place pertaining to this bad behavior.

Have a heart to heart. Calmly talk with the offender. Many times they are unaware that their actions are in poor taste or are negatively affecting others. Most people wish to perform well and to be seen in a positive light by their management. Having a conversation may be all that is needed in many cases.

Remember, you do not need to like everyone you work with and they do not need to like you, but you do need to be able to approach them appropriately, and be heard. Everyone in the office, personnel structure aside, should be able to peacefully coexist. Poor business etiquette impacts everyone’s productivity and morale. As a leader, it is important to lead by example when it comes to proper manners at work. You set the tone and tempo of all dealings within the office, whether work related or personnel related. Dealing with offenders can be intimidating, but doing so appropriately and consistently sets the standard for what is and is not acceptable, and it will ultimately help everyone in the end.

What is Public Policy & How Does the Chamber Fit In?

Public policy is best described as the broad area of government laws, regulations, court decisions, and local ordinances.

Today, government affects all aspects of our lives. Everyone has a stake in the public policies enacted by federal, state, and local governments. The fundamental activity of the Chamber of Commerce is to develop and implement policy on major issues affecting business.

Ensuring that laws and legislation remain conducive to the communities’ healthy and vibrant business climate is a top priority for the Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber provides a structure for business leaders to communicate effectively with government. That is why the Chamber is your direct connection to local, state, and federal governmental officials and policy-makers. Through Public Policy programs, events, and committees, Chamber members have an opportunity to stay up to date on top business, civic, and social priorities.

The Public Policy Committee is charged by the Chamber Board of Directors to develop, articulate and reinforce the Chamber’s position as the voice of business in the Dallas area with local, state, and federal political and policy leaders. Through an integrated approach of developing public policy positions then proactively advocating for those positions with all levels of elected leadership, the Chamber is able to leverage the influence of its large and diverse membership to ensure that the voice of business is heard.

If you have any questions or concerns about public policy or legislatives that affect business’ you are encouraged to stop by your local Chamber.

What is Public Policy and How Does the Chamber Fit In?

Public policy is best described as the broad area of government laws, regulations, court decisions, and local ordinances.

Today, government affects all aspects of our lives. Everyone has a stake in the public policies enacted by federal, state, and local governments. The fundamental activity of the Chamber of Commerce is to develop and implement policy on major issues affecting business.

Ensuring that laws and legislation remain conducive to the communities’ healthy and vibrant business climate is a top priority for the Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber provides a structure for business leaders to communicate effectively with government. That is why the Chamber is your direct connection to local, state, and federal governmental officials and policy-makers. Through Public Policy programs, events, and committees, Chamber members have an opportunity to stay up to date on top business, civic, and social priorities.

The Public Policy Committee is charged by the Chamber Board of Directors to develop, articulate and reinforce the Chamber’s position as the voice of business in the Dallas area with local, state, and federal political and policy leaders. Through an integrated approach of developing public policy positions then proactively advocating for those positions with all levels of elected leadership, the Chamber is able to leverage the influence of its large and diverse membership to ensure that the voice of business is heard.

If you have any questions or concerns about public policy or legislatives that affect business’ you are encouraged to stop by your local Chamber.

Don’t Dress Down

Networking outside the office is your best chance to meet new people beyond your corporate circle who can help promote your career. It’s also a no-man’s land when it comes to the dress code.

Networking is not an interview, and once outside the office, the strict rules of the dress code no longer apply. You’re left on your own to overdress and look like you don’t belong or under dress and look like you’ll never belong.

If you’re not sure what everyone will be wearing, ask around to ensure that you won’t be the only one sans suit. When in doubt, business casual is your best bet. But the clothes call could run the gamut from a suit to jeans. Networking outside the office, with more focus on culture and entertainment, is also the perfect opportunity to be more fashion forward and express yourself. This is not a free pass to don your sequined ‘80s jumpsuit, but wear your favorite colors; accessorize; and, most of all, smile.

Remember, dress for success every day, no matter what’s on the agenda – you never who you will run into on your lunch break. Our appearance contributes to how people perceive us. Take control of your appearance. Make sure people perceive you the way you want to be perceived.