Networking strengthens careers and communities.

When I’m not traveling or holed up in my home office, happily free from face-to-face human interaction for the majority of the day and working away in my favorite sweats, I make an effort to get out to networking events around Portland. The problem: Usually when I try to explain to someone at a non-industry-specific event what I do, I’m met with a blank stare (oh, the woes of a niche industry trade publication editor working remotely).

So in January of this year, I took a big leap. With help from another Oregon-based credit union industry veteran (and CU Times contributor), Matt Purvis, I launched a monthly event, “Happy Hour for PDX Credit Union People,” specifically for those who work in or with the credit union industry. We just held our third event, and I’m stoked to say it’s been well worth the effort so far. The turnout has been excellent, it’s drawn people at all career levels and from a variety of credit unions and service providers, and one attendee and I are even working to plan a similar event in Seattle. It’s also allowed me to witness first-hand the sense of collaboration, as opposed to competition, among Pacific Northwest credit unions, and discover a passion for community event organizing that I never knew I had.

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has worked in the credit union space for over a decade. She joined CU Times as managing editor in 2015 and was promoted to executive editor in 2019. Before that, she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union) in Los Angeles from 2013-2015, and as a CU Times freelancer from 2011-2013. She has been a professional writer and editor for more than 17 years, specializing in news and lifestyle journalism as well as marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space.

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