Tell us about your background and how your career in banking came to be?
I grew up in Shrewsbury and graduated from Shrewsbury High School. I then attended The Ohio State University, and thought I wanted to work in the social services field. After a short time in the field (10 weeks, I think?), I quickly realized that was not the career for me. I ended up managing a retail store, and eventually managed a branch of a very large bank. However, I still wanted to help people and the big bank did not give me the freedom to do so. Eventually I found a home at Central One, where I feel like I am able to help people with their financial goals.
What is your favorite aspect of your job?
My favorite part of my day is helping people. I will have members come into the credit union looking for guidance – typically after they have hit some sort of financial bump in the road. I remember one woman who was new to the credit union, and I could tell there was something going on in her personal life that was weighing on her. I set her up with her new accounts, and kept talking with her. Se started to tear up and told me that she was going through a divorce and I was the first person she had told. I wanted to cry with her. Having been through that situation myself, I let her know that although she couldn’t see it now, everything would be ok. We talked for over an hour that day. I can’t describe how touched I felt that she was comfortable enough with me to share something so personal — and after knowing me for such a short time. I still see her now and then, and she is doing very well. I am so happy for her and so proud of what she has accomplished.
What do you love about working for a small business?
I love having the support from Central One to be involved in the community. For instance, I teach financial literacy classes in the schools. We have a program for the 4th graders called “The Money Trail” – it is a program we developed at Central One to teach kids about where their money goes when they deposit it into their savings account – from the teller line to the Federal Reserve Bank. We developed another program called “Road to Financial Independence” that we teach in Shrewsbury and Westborough High Schools (Algonquin – I am available if you are interested :)). The senior math students learn about budgeting, balancing checkbooks, importance of savings, and managing credit. We want the high school graduates to be savvy about their money, and not fall into debts they can’t possibly imagine paying back.
Why do you feel that supporting local businesses is important?
The small businesses are the ones who support the local Little League, or the Garden Club, or the Girl Scouts. The impact is seen immediately in the community. Without local sponsorship, the Little League team might not have uniforms this year. If we don’t support the businesses that support our towns, then eventually there will be no one there to give support.
Being local and small, tell us what you feel is the most important element to customer service?
From my very first job, it was instilled in me that you do whatever it takes to make the customer happy. If a customer wants something, you find a way to say yes. I have taken that advice with me to every job I have had. I always remember that without customers, I don’t have a job, so I better do everything I can to keep my customers happy and keep them coming back.
- My first job was: cashier at Home Quarters
- My favorite movie is: Better Off Dead
- I cannot live without: TV (I admit it – I love TV!)
- Beach or mountains: neither – I like the city.
- A cause I care deeply about is: Hunger – no one should have to worry where their next meal is coming from.