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FEDERAL WAY, Wash. and MESA, Ariz. – It’s fitting that a governmental affairs guru, an author and teacher would all come from the Augustine clan. Fitting because dinner conversation almost always centered on credit union issues and travel to board meetings and league conferences with children in tow was the norm. Former Oregon League President Tom Augustine, 65, admittedly would not have been surprised if either of his two daughters had not joined the credit union movement. Quite frankly as children, Tom said they probably were inundated with industry talk so much that the inclination would be to go in the other direction. That clearly has not been the case. Stacy Augustine is senior vice president of policy and public affairs at the Washington Credit Union League and Michelle Holmen, a kindergarten teacher who, upon graduating from college, worked in marketing at First Technology Credit Union in Oregon. “Both my father and mother are my biggest role models,” Stacy said. “I think you have to reach a certain age to realize that you mostly agree with your parents (on certain issues). Even now, I call him to get his take and 99 percent he’s right on about what to do philosophically.” Stacy studied pre-law and theology at Pacific Lutheran University and earned her law degree at Notre Dame with the long-term goal of becoming a Supreme Court Justice. She passed the bar in Oregon with the intention of practicing judiciary law but shortly after graduating from law school she applied for the staff counsel position at Oregon Telco Community Credit Union. A year and a half later, she was appointed to the credit union’s board. In 1994, she was hired for a compliance position at the Washington Credit Union League. There, she worked her way up to director of the league’s governmental affairs department – a role she admits initially left her stunned and gratified. Stacy helped to literally build the department from scratch, hiring two part-time lobbyists to make the league’s presence felt. She has worked with CUNA’s State Issue Sub-Committee of the Governmental Affairs Committee and is chair of the Legislative Advisory Panel, a group of league attorneys that meets each year to review and recommend pressing legislation around the nation. In 1999, the league won the American Society of Association Executives award for having the best state governmental affairs department. Tom’s other daughter, Michelle worked for a credit union while attending college. She later worked in the marketing department at First Technology Credit Union. During her three-year stint there, Michelle traveled to a number of employer sponsor sites to promote the credit union. One fateful day at a Fujitsu site, a “handsome” man walked from the cafeteria to Michelle’s promo table and struck up a conversation about loans. He left, came back and Michelle noticed he was sitting off to the side reading a newspaper as she started to pack up her materials and head back to the office. J.T. approached her once more and asked for her phone number. The couple has been married for nine years and is parents to two toddler daughters. Michelle has since earned a teaching certificate. A kindergarten teacher, she’s on sabbatical raising her daughters. “Growing up, I remember my parents doing fundraisers and me thinking `this is fun,’ not really realizing how much hard work they put into them,” Michelle recalled. “Being around credit union people was amazing because everywhere we went, I saw how committed they were.” There is some deviance from the credit union fray with Tom’s wife, Lisa. The former Arlene Rhineganz grew up on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska, the daughter of the town’s postmaster and child to a father who traveled as a gold miner. Anecdotes of life on the peninsula complete with nearly 100 photographs were complied and recorded in The Dragline Kid, an autobiography written by Lisa. Twelve years in the making, Lisa was encouraged by her mom to document her memories and on her 50th birthday she followed through. Before she knew it, she had a full manuscript, had taken it to Kinko’s for binding and gave copies to her children and friends who had heard about it through word of mouth. It was when her mom passed away at the age of 91 in 2001 that Lisa with encouragement from Tom, decided to seek out a publisher for a larger audience. The book was published in June to rave reviews and a whirlwind reading tour. “Even as a child, my mother kept at me to write about my childhood,” Lisa said. “It was mostly for my children and grandchildren but when others read it, they would say, `you need to make this a book.’ A dragline was a large piece of machinery used by gold miners to scoop the gravel up and dump it into a slues box where the gold hopefully would be separated from the gravel. The tool has special meaning because Lisa’s father almost lost his life in an accident with a dragline. It was during his recuperation that Lisa was conceived and when her parents brought her home from the hospital, her father’s miner colleagues exclaimed, “Oh no! She’s the dragline kid!” Lisa is currently working on the second installment to The Dragline Kid. Editor’s note: The Dragline Kid can be ordered directly from Lisa by calling (916) 408-1485 or emailing ltauggie@worldnet.att.net. -

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