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Two Wichita Falls CU Professionals Make '20 under 40' Class
Thursday, February 6, 2014 7:00 AM

Mark Casares, loan officer with Postel Family CU, and Teea Reed, marketing and business development director at Union Square FCU, were spotlighted in the Times Record News “20 under 40” class for 2013.

Casares was credited for his career accomplishments in the world of finance and banking, as well as his volunteerism. Casares, 32, and his little brother, Anthony Melendez, became the first extended Big Brothers Big Sisters match in the area to have a graduate from high school.

“Casares' nature to accept new challenges as a loan officer at the Postel Family CU and to extend a helping hand in a variety of community ways has not gone unnoticed,” Times Record News reports.

"I'm involved in other fine nonprofit causes, but this (Big Brothers) is the one that drew me close to the community," Casares tells Time Record News readers. "My match with Anthony has been truly rewarding for how we've each grown and what he's accomplished. This is an amazing program where you can actually see positive results from the effort you both put out. For me, it taught me a lot about myself. I've always liked helping people out, but what you learn is that it takes dedication. In the end, the rewards can be outstanding."

Casares became a head teller, loan counselor and loan officer at Postel Family CU in 2005. Because of his natural willingness to accept new challenges, Casares was selected by his peers to represent them as the voice of the Wichita Falls Chapter of Credit Unions on a multistate level. He is considered one of the youngest area chapter credit union league presidents in the association's 83-year history.

Casares is a member of the Wichita County Sheriff's Citizen's Academy Alumni Association. He is past president and treasurer of Zavala Hispanic Cultural Initiative and a flag team member of the Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Month. He is also a 2006 graduate of Leadership Wichita Falls.

Whether it's in the workplace or volunteering, Reed, 25, a Cache, Okla., native said she looks to apply those small-town values and her brand of passion to whatever it is that she devotes her time.

"I'm a visionary. I'm results driven," she tells the Times Record News. "Anything I'm part of, I'm part of it for a reason."

This faith-based 25-year-old marketing and business development director at Union Square FCU said it's important to look at each opportunity and determine whether the organization is a good fit for her, and if she is a good fit for the organization. She said she is a strong believer in being a part of something she enjoys, not just doing it to go through the motions.

That's why she has chosen to get involved in efforts that benefit children and youths in the community. Most recently she was using her lunch hour to work on an initiative to help the Children's Miracle Network at United Regional Health Care System, and she has also volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

"You work the hardest at what you are most passionate about," she tells readers. "I'm very passionate about youths in this community."

Reed said she and her husband, Jordan, also an Oklahoma native, chose Wichita Falls because of the opportunities and the ability to get plugged in socially. They also saw an opportunity to make an impact in the community.

"When you're from Oklahoma and you have that Oklahoma pride, it's hard to, you know, go across that border and call yourself a Texan," she said. "But we are proud to say we are Wichitans, and we thought this was the best place because we could get involved here, that we could grow our careers here, we feel it's a wonderful place to raise a family and we cannot say enough good things about the community."