It started with Mrs. Baum. She was my second grade teacher. She was the kindest, most loving person you have ever met. Have you ever had a teacher like that? She would give out “Good Citizen” awards and was the only teacher who would draw and color a little heart around your name. I wanted to get those awards just to collect the hearts. I loved second grade. I always felt safe and inspired. When I grew up I wanted to be a teacher just like Mrs. Baum.
Then there was Jay Pearson. He was my first swim coach. He was so fun and enthusiastic. I was a painfully shy little girl and barely talked to anyone, and Jay always talked to me. He showed me what was possible with swimming and he made me feel like I was part of something bigger than myself.
You have an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s career and even someone’s life."
There’s no way I could leave out Skott Pope. Skott was my first boss in my first real job. I interned at Boeing Employees’ Credit Union. Skott was inspired and inspiring. His passion for the credit union movement was palpable. And contagious. Being around Skott was like eating cake batter off the spoon. We worked hard, but it was always fun. Skott was a constant guide.
And then there was Bill Hayes. Bill is the President and CEO at Verity Credit Union. I worked for him for almost ten years. He believed in me before I believed in myself. I will never forget the day he promoted me to Director. I hadn’t applied for the position and he called me into his office and said he thought I was the best for the job. That belief was the push I needed to begin to fly on my own.
I don’t know who won the Academy Awards when I was in the second grade. I couldn’t tell you much more than the highlights of any given Olympics or presidential race as I was growing up. But I can tell you this: today I teach because of Mrs. Baum. Every morning I swim on Masters team with Jay Pearson. Skott is my best friend. And I am doing the work I’m doing with credit unions because of Bill Hayes. They were my mentors. My leaders. My catalysts.
You have an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s career and even someone’s life. You never know the ripple effect of your kind word, your vote of confidence...or your nomination of someone you believe in for the Next Top Credit Union Executive. I’ve nominated someone I think is magnificent for the competition this year. It took me 60 seconds. Who are you going to nominate?