Over the last four years of the CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec challenge, we’ve had the opportunity to meet and celebrate many fantastic young leaders. Some have stayed in the credit union system, some have moved on but still proudly carry the credit union experience with them. Let’s meet one of them.
Kirsi Hall, 2010 Winner
At the time of the competition, Kirsi was the Vice President, Organizational Development with Verity Credit Union ($380M) in Seattle, Washington.
Where are you now?
I have my own consulting firm, Kirsi Consultancy in Seattle. I am the Founder and Chief Catalyst. I also completed my MBA and Law degrees and passed the bar this past July.
How did the competition help you in your career?
More than any other training, event, conference, or experience, the competition encouraged me to explore new possibilities by taking on a project I was passionate about. I didn't know it at the time, but that project was the genesis of the work I continue to this day.
What’s your best memory of the competition?
It's hard to pick just one memory. I really enjoyed launching the pilot project at my credit union to promote a new way of training that involved values based coaching. That experience was series of "wow, cool" memories for me because it was new territory.
Another good memory was the night before I gave my finalist speech I was feeling incredibly nervous and insecure. I called my best friend in Seattle. While I was sitting on the floor of the hotel room close to panic, he said some encouraging words to me that I'll never forget. To paraphrase, he said, "You have something to say and there is someone in that room that needs to hear it. They are ready to hear it. You have nothing to fear because you believe in what's possible."
Finally, when I started my speech I said, "I strive to take actions that would make my mom proud." I have never said that out loud before and I don't know why I said it at that time. Probably because I was nervous. Later, a total stranger from the audience stopped me in the hall and said, "Your mom is proud of you." I just thought that was a really kind gesture that reminded me of the beauty of humanity.
Words of wisdom for those thinking of applying?
There are those on the court playing the game and there are those in the stands watching. Choose the court. There is a beautiful learning that occurs only when engaging in the experience.
The CUES Team