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CU Times Profiles United Federal's Noel Sanger
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 6:55 AM

The phrase “trial and error” sums up Noel Sanger's leadership journey well, and he wouldn't have it any other way. Sanger said in an interview with CU Times that stepping out of his comfort zone had made all the difference and that taking chances has opened doors to rewarding opportunities that have helped him grow both professionally and personally.

Just under four years ago, Sanger was recruited by United Federal Credit Union in St. Joseph, Mich., and the then-banker took a chance and moved to Arkansas to serve as market vice president. From the moment he interviewed in Michigan and felt the cultural difference at the $1.8 billion credit union, Sanger said he knew he’d found the perfect fit and became “a true credit union believer.” He has made it a point every day to talk up the credit union culture and its values to a point where his name and United Federal have become one in the local community.

The credit union's mission to serve members in its local communities has resulted in 33 percent membership growth in the Arkansas market alone; and in addition, United Federal made Arkansas Business’ Top 12 Best Places to Work in Arkansas list.

“Being recognized as one of the best places to work, out of all the businesses in Arkansas, says so much about the United culture,” Sanger said.

Sanger is on of the latest Trailblazer 40 Below and has been a 2014 CUES Next Top Credit Union Executive Top 5 finalist, spoken at conferences, and served as one of 13 Young Professional Advisors for the Cornerstone Credit Union League.

Sanger advises young professionals to have the courage to not only volunteer for projects but to also seek mentorship opportunities outside their credit union.

“I’m big on attending league events, serving on boards and using LinkedIn as a way to connect with people in the community, credit union industry or even outside our industry,” he said. “One of the reasons I wanted to be a [Cornerstone Credit Union League] Young Professional Advisor is because I want to get others to come into this industry. I want them to know that with hard work, a willingness to learn and patience, there are careers, promotions and even money to be made while helping to make a difference and improve members’ financial lives.”

Read more about Sanger's business perspective and leadership style.