Thanks for Putting Community First

Wow! The last few days have been surreal. Winning the Next Top Credit Union Exec title is the most amazing accomplishment of my career. CUES, Currency, and DDJ Meyers cooperate to encourage a high energy, executive transition for all candidates. They also bring in experienced judges who are committed to the movement and welcoming to each contestant. I am thankful to everyone who contributes to this platform.

The CEO/Executive Team Network opened with inductions to the CUES Hall of Fame and awards for CUES Outstanding Chief Executive and CUES Exceptional Leader. Each honoree was recognized for their personal and corporate contributions to the communities in which they live, work, and do business. Witnessing this ceremony affirmed my commitment to promoting corporate stewardship. It also confirmed that the audience was prepared to have an intimate conversation regarding their personal legacies.

The competition process requires an intense level of engagement which prepares you to address executive leadership. The coaching sessions by DeeDee Meyer and Susan Greer are designed to enhance your presentation skills, while encouraging you to consider the executive perspective. Each contestant also learns the value of marketing themselves. Building a strong social media foundation with your co-workers, family, friends, and business networks helps to promote your idea, leadership abilities, and marketing skills. The ability to be innovative and share something I was passionate about was amazing.

I am so excited that putting the community first is attractive to others. The credit union principles require the industry to cooperate and contribute to the community. Institutions have a duty to make reasonable decisions that are mutually beneficial for the business and members. Increasing corporate giving and community engagement deserves as much attention as budgets, staffing, lending, and other business functions. An institution should be mindful of the contributions made to arts, education, and economic development. These donations are opportunities to promote awareness and literacy, support issues that affect the people where you do business, and do more than write a check.

Each contestant brought something amazing to the table. I am proud of them for making this competition a challenge. Each one of them will certainly go on to do great things in the credit union movement.

I am so grateful to work at America’s First Federal Credit Union. The organization has built a reputation for supporting the community. Community First served as an avenue to increase our giving, encourage employee engagement, and have a lot of fun helping people. I am proud to have the approval of Bill Connor, AFFCU President and CEO, who supports community first events, engages with the non-profit leaders, and celebrates our commitment to being good corporate citizens.

Thank you to everyone who has worked on the campaign, made donations, and supported me on this journey to share Community First with the credit union industry.  Planning for the 2016 campaign is in the works. I am excited to continue to share this journey with my peers! “People Helping People” is the most amazing motto!

I am ready for this new journey! Wharton and Cornell, here I come!