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Member Highlight




    On July 26, Jill A. Faughender, senior vice president and human resources director at First Federal McMinnville, Ore., was honored for her industry advocacy by the Oregon Bankers Association. She received the OBA’s Frank E. Brawner Advocacy Award at its 112th Anniversary Convention in Sunriver, Oregon.


    Established in 2015 in honor of former OBA CEO Frank Brawner — one of the most dedicated advocates of community banking in Oregon’s history — the award recognizes those who go above and beyond to advocate for Oregon’s banking industry.


    Faughender is also a member of the OBA Human Resources Committee and has just completed a two-year term as chair of the OBA Government Relations Committee.  The Northwest Weekly spoke with Faughender about her 32 years in human resources, the impact of legislation on smaller institutions, and some of the advocacy work that makes her most proud.


    Q: Tell me a little bit about your background. What inspired you to venture into the world of banking, and, ultimately, the field of advocacy?  


    Jill Faughender: My mother was a banker, and I was drawn in by the great work hours initially about 36 years ago. I worked for a small community bank which led me into the human resources role, and I have held HR management roles for the past 32 years.


    I became interested in advocacy in the HR field through my national association, the Society for Human Resource Management often referred to as SHRM. This organization keeps members apprised of legislative activities and highly encourages members to communicate frequently with our legislators on HR topics.  Our job is to educate the state and federal legislators on the impact of proposed legislation.  I have been blessed to work for outstanding banks that have always fully supported my advocacy efforts, including my current employer First Federal.


    I was the legislative affairs director for the SHRM Oregon State Council, a body that supports nine local SHRM Chapters in Oregon, for two years and I learned so much during that time that helped me to be more confident in stepping up to talk with house and senate members.  As soon as I moved out of that role I was appointed as chair of the Oregon Bankers Association Government Relations Committee, a committee where I had served as the human resources representative for about seven years.  In this new chair role, I broadened my advocacy efforts to evaluate legislation that not only affected HR but also banks in general and our small business customers.  First Federal has been very supportive of my volunteer advocacy efforts.

    Q: As the number of community banks in the Pacific Northwest decreases, advocating for smaller community institutions is more important than ever. How do you approach this from a human resources perspective? What are some examples of the issues that you address?  


    JF: Providing education on the negative impact of employment legislation on smaller institutions is critical. Regulatory requirements have increased in all areas of banking and have a much higher burden on smaller financial institutions, who have fewer resources than our large bank peers where the burden may not match the risk associated with smaller institutions. 


    Q: Can you tell me a little bit more about some of your advocacy work that makes you most proud?   


    JF: I was a direct resource for the Oregon Bankers Association staff to quickly review proposed legislation, provide areas where we could provide immediate feedback on potential consequences, and lobby to ensure that restrictive legislation does not impact the small business community, including community banks.


    A good example is the predictive scheduling bill. Initially, it was targeted to all employers. Through our contribution to the advocacy efforts we were successful in having the industry codes specifically spelled out in the final bill, removing any misinterpretation by the Bureau of Labor and Industries as to what was included in “retail” and employers with 500 or more employees, thus sparing small business from this onerous law. I was also able to provide information about duplicative legislative concepts in Oregon where a federal law already exists.


    Q: When not involved in advocacy or your work as human resources director at First Federal, what kinds of activities do you enjoy in terms of leisure time? Community outreach or volunteerism?  


    JF: I serve on the board of the Soup Kitchen at St. Barnabas and find this very rewarding. Feeding the hungry is a critical mission in Yamhill County, so contributing my business knowledge to fundraising efforts has been a key activity.


    I also worked with a group of HR professionals to start the Yamhill County HR Association, a chapter of SHRM in mid-2016 and have served as chapter president since its inception. Recently we partnered with the Chamber to bring an HR basics seminar to McMinnville. The chapter participation has given me the opportunity to bring HR education to local businesses and meet HR professionals in our area.

    My husband and I also enjoy spending time with our three grown daughters and two grandchildren, and we love exploring all that Oregon has for us to do.


    After serving as the SHRM Oregon State Council legislative affairs director in 2014 and 2015, Faughender went on to chair the Oregon Bankers Association Government Relations Committee.