Vernonia Area Business News

Wauna Credit Union 48th Annual Meeting Report

Members and staff of Wauna Credit Union gathered March 10th at the Warrenton Community Center to celebrate the 48th Annual Meeting of the Credit Union. Robert Blumberg, CEO and President, and George Dunkel, Chair of the Board of Directors, addressed the membership.

Blumberg reported the following statistics as of December 31, 2014: Total Assets grew by 5.9% to $170,833,145, Total Deposits increased by 6.5% to $153,426,320, Total Loans increased 4.2% to $128,857,391, Capital Ratio remained strong at 8.76% of Total Assets, and Total Membership increased by 8.2% to 20,200.

Dunkel announced results of the elections for the Board of Directors: The two incumbents, Christine Johnston (Scappoose) and Jennifer Teeter (Astoria) were reelected to three-year terms, as was newly elected to the Board, Robert Perry (Vernonia). Board officers have been announced: Marti Gwin (Clatskanie) was named Board Chair, Bill DeJager (Birkenfeld) was named 1st Vice Chair, Lester Kahr (Clatskanie) was named 2nd Vice Chair, Jennifer Teeter was named Financial Officer, and Christine Johnston was named Secretary. Other members of the Board include Erlene Darby (Clatskanie), George Dunkel (Scappoose), Amanda Lamb (Astoria) and Robert Perry. Debra Huffman, who chose not to run for reelection, was recognized during the Meeting for her service to the Board of Directors from 2008-2015.

The Wauna Credit Union 2014 Annual Report is available on the Credit Union website or at any branch. For more information please call toll-free 800-773-3236 or visit our Web site at

Oregon Realty Has a New Agent

RealEstate-webCarol Higley recently joined Steve Calhoun and Henk Schenk in their Oregon Realty office at 825 Bridge Street.  Higley has an interesting story to tell about how she ended up in Vernonia.

Higley has been married to husband Leland Higley for fifty-one years.  Leland grew up on an eighty acre farm in Vernonia and graduated from high school here in 1960. After graduation, Leland’s father divorced and moved to North Plains.  There he met and married a widowed grandmother, Zeta.  Later Carol, Zeta’s granddaughter, met her grandmother’s husband’s son, Leland, and they married.  “My grandmother always said I made her feel younger when I married Leland, because now she was no longer my grandmother but now my mother-in-law,” says Carol.

The story gets just a bit more complicated-Carol’s sister Loretta married Leland’s brother Roy Higley, so two brothers married two sisters.  Loretta and Roy had two sets of twins and later Loretta gave birth to a third set of twins by a second husband, and ended up with her photo on the front page of the Oregonian.  To make the story even more interesting, two more of Leland’s brothers, Bill and Hank Higley married another set of sisters (not related to Carol), Jacalyn and Sanda Rogers.

Did you follow all that?  OK, enough about Carol’s relations.  Carol spent many years working in inventory control, including her last job at Intel.  She then opened a successful beauty salon in Hillsboro, with sixteen stylists working there at its peak.  After selling the beauty salon, Carol earned her Real Estate license  and began selling in 1991.

Carol says she has worked for Re/Max, for John L. Scott in Redmond, OR and Windermere in Sandy, OR over the years.

After living in Arizona, Leland decided he wanted to move back to Vernonia to retire, but Carol says she isn’t ready for retirement just yet and took a position with Oregon Realty.  Carol says she often works from her home office.

“I love working with people,” says Carol.  “I love helping them start their lives over, whether they are moving or staying here in Vernonia.”


You can find Carol Higley on Facebook, reach her at 503-816-4792 or

Hot Dogs For Sale at ‘The Dog Park’

Michael and Steve Calhoun had a reservation for the first hot dogs to be sold on opening day of ‘The Dog Park.’

Michael and Steve Calhoun had a reservation for the first hot dogs to be sold on opening day of ‘The Dog Park.’

A new business, ‘The Dog Park,’  officially opened for business on  August 1st during Jamboree.  The business, a hot dog cart run by Eric Urban, will be serving Hebrew National all beef hot dogs and will be located at the corner of Bridge and Washington  next to the Vernonia Senior Center.

The business will be open just through the rest of the summer and on selected weekends through the fall.  Hot Dogs will cost $2.  Toppings will include ketchup, yellow and spicy brown mustard, chopped onions, jalapenos and sweet relish.  All will be served on a steamed bun.  You can add chips and a drink to your dog for just $1 each.

“This is mainly a summer business for me,” says Urban, who teaches Life Skills to K through 8 special education students at Vernonia Schools.  “Once school starts I will try to be out at city events and on as many sunny weekends as I can.”

Urban expressed thanks to The Black Iron Grill & Black Bear Coffee Company for letting him use their kitchen for food prep and clean up, and also to The Sentry Market  where he orders and stores the hot dogs and buys fresh onions and condiments.

Vernonia US Bank Wins Award

USBank-webThe Vernonia Branch of US Bank has received an award for winning the Regional Gridiron Campaign.

Branch manager Josh Johnston says the Gridiron Campaign is the largest yearly sales campaign for US Bank.  The local Vernonia Branch earned 248% of their goal, earning them first place in the Columbia Pacific Region.

Even more impressive than their first place finish regionally, the Vernonia Branch placed second nationally among all US Bank branches in the contest.

“The top spots are usually won by the bigger branches in places like Portland,” said Johnston.  “Our branch really pulled together, let the community know we were competing in this contest and really brought the customers in.”

The branch employees were recognized at a dinner banquet in Beaverton in April.  “We received recognition throughout the country,” said Johnston.  “It’s a pretty big deal.” Read More

The Carpenter’s House Bed and Breakfast

CarpentersHouse-Exterior-Color-webJulie and Mac MacCallum came to Vernonia to be church leaders.  Now they find themselves as innkeepers as well.

The MacCallums moved to Vernonia in October; Mac is the new pastor at Grace Family Fellowship church.  They recently  purchased the Old Mill House Bed and Breakfast as a home for their family of five.  The Old Mill House, formerly owned by Dave and Brooke VanMeter, was one of the few places in Vernonia where visitors could rent a room and stay overnight.

When the MacCallums found a home to purchase in Vernonia, they realized it came with a downstairs apartment, which could be rented out.  Julie decided she would start a small business, re-opening the inn as The Carpenter’s House, with the downstairs Sawtooth Room.

Julie says she has never run a bed and breakfast before but says she did work in the school cafeteria.  “I like to cook and have people stay with us, so it seemed like a natural direction.  My friends and family have always told me ‘You should have a bed and breakfast,’ so when this opportunity was available, we got excited about it.”

Mac added, “She has a gift for hospitality and loves to entertain people.”

CarpentersHouseBedroom-webThe Sawtooth Room is light and bright and has a bedroom with a queen bed, a sitting room with a day bed that can sleep two more, a private bath, private entrance, garage parking for bicycles, and a full kitchen.  It came completely furnished, which is good for Julie, who is still trying to unpack upstairs and get the family settled into their new home, because her first guests were scheduled to arrive the next week.

CarpentersHouseKitchen-webThe MacCallums say they chose the name “The Carpenter’s House” to honor Dave VanMeter, who was a builder by trade and did a lot of restoration work on the bed and breakfast.  The name also signifies the importance of faith in the MacCallum’s lives.  “Jesus was a carpenter,” says Julie, “so the name has a double meaning.”

Julie says she will offer a continental type breakfast for her guests, and will provide a basket of items which guests can prepare for themselves in their fully stocked kitchen.  The room will also feature wifi internet and cable television; the bedroom has an electric fireplace.

The MacCallums say they are happy to be here in Vernonia and are looking forward to entertaining visitors.


The Carpenter’s House Bed and Breakfast is located at 487 Arkansas Avenue.  You can Julie at 541-961-8601 or at

MESO Appoints Columbia County Business Services Consultant

Microenterprise Services of Oregon (MESO) has appointed Casey Wheeler as the Business Services Consultant for Columbia County. He has over 30 years of experience in dealing with financial institutions, not-for-profits, non-profits and small businesses. Nita Shah, Executive Director of MESO, stated that “The organization is excited to have someone with the diverse background that Casey brings to the position.” This is a grant funded position.

MESO’s clients engage in a wide array of economic activities that include frozen baked goods, child care services, video production services, beauty products, art, automotive services, marketing services, and a variety of other goods and services.

MESO’s uniqueness in business development is based on the philosophy of customizing support to the needs of the business. They believe you cannot mass produce businesses. Building a strong foundation will stabilize and grow the businesses to become successful.  They recognize the complex and multi-level problems experienced by entrepreneurs and offer support services in an integrated manner. Read More

New Baking Business Spotted in Vernonia

Trish Smith recently started the Sasquatch Bread Co.,  making gluten and dairy free products.

Trish Smith recently started the Sasquatch Bread Co., making gluten and dairy free products.

A new business has  been “sighted”  around  downtown Vernonia.

Sasquatch Bread Co. products have been seen at several locations.   Unlike their namesake, the Sasqautch Bread Co. is no hoax, legend or mystery.

These healthy new products contain no high fructose corn syrup, wheat, or dairy.  They also have no artificial sweeteners, colors or additives. Some do contain eggs.  They are quickly growing in popularity and are a favorite among  kids as well as adults, and not just those looking for gluten free products.  Everyone seems to like them!

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