Young professionals in the credit union movement are typically go-getters, industry advocates, and aspiring or rising leaders who have earned (or would like to earn) the notice and respect of their higher-ups. Young professionals who are members of the Cornerstone YP Program are spotlighted throughout the year to help you get to know these up-and-comers.
Tracy Chesser is the AVP of lending for Gulf Credit Union in Groves, Texas. She began her career in the credit union industry as a teller before moving into commercial lending.
Her passion for her community shines through when asked to share her favorite thing about working in a credit union: “Helping people reach their goals and getting to watch them grow their businesses. I feel a great sense of pride when I see members
of my community flourishing.”
Chesser cherishes her community credit union since it connects her with her mentor, Todd Gaudin, CEO of Gulf Credit Union. “This mentorship has provided me with priceless knowledge that I’ll continue to hold in my career,” she said.
Part of her social responsibility to her community manifests through Helping Hands, a volunteer program Chesser started in 2016. “We utilized employee volunteers to participate in large community events and directly with various non-profit organizations,”
The program has made an impact locally by working with special needs children, participating in canned food drives for senior citizens, hosting school supply drives, and disbursing essential items to the community after hurricanes.
In her spare time, Chesser enjoys listening to audiobooks and has been taking advantage of the Libby app to access books from her local library. Her interests range from personal development novels to easy beach reads.
If she could give her 14-year-old self some advice, she’d say to take some time to stop and enjoy the little things when possible. “Don’t forget to have some fun every day,” she said. “Adults get so caught up with life, careers, and responsibilities, you’ve got to remember to have a little fun and laugh every day.”
Brittney Swain is a controller for Cherokee Strip Credit Union in Ponca City, Okla. She has been active in the credit union industry for seven years and takes pride in the “people helping people” philosophy, noting that she’s happy that
members can trust her to be “involved in one of the most vulnerable aspects of their lives.”
Her professional development has been focused on leadership and time management. “Building leaders within my department has helped build the culture of our team and expanded our ability to communicate and work efficiently,” she said. “The
goal is always to set up our team for success.”
Swain’s future professional development goals involve attending more in-person networking and education events.
She has been a YP since 2018 and is also a member of the CUNA Finance Council and CUNA Compliance and Risk Council. Participating in these activities has taught her the power of peers.
“Having a network of like-minded individuals who share the same goals is a powerful resource I’m grateful to have,” said Swain.
When considering superpowers, Swain’s preferred ability is time travel. She explains that the ability to go back in time to relive special moments with loved ones would be special to her.
Something that might surprise most people about Swain is that she loves to plan. “I love to plan things. Events, vacations, weddings – I’m always looking forward to it.”
Two accomplishments that she’s particularly proud of are her role at the credit union and being a mother.
Sadie Temple is a lead accounting specialist for Mobiloil Credit Union in Beaumont, Texas. Working in the credit union industry for nearly 10 years has shown her that she loves being able to make a difference and help people solve problems.
Her journey is supported by two mentors, who are also her bosses. “My two bosses are incredible mentors to me,” she said. “They encourage me to grow within my role and give me leadership advice. I’m lucky to have them as examples
and people I can lean on.”
At 18, Temple began working as a teller before growing into her current role. She explains that the member-forward experience benefited her professional development, providing her the insight to excel as an accounting specialist
She looks forward to continuing her professional development by taking advantage of in-person initiatives such as Day at the Capitol and Hike the Hill. Most recently, she attended her first YP conference.
“I learned so much and can’t wait for the next event to expand my knowledge and meet other YPs,” said Temple.
Temple acknowledges all the successful women in her life when asked to identify a role model. “It’s inspiring and admirable to see them achieve and crush their goals,” she said.
She’s currently reading “Little Weirds” by Jenny Slate and binge-watching “Below Deck Sailing Yacht,” though she clarifies that she’ll binge “really anything on Bravo.”
The mission of the Credit Union Young Professionals is to attract, engage, and empower young talent in the Cornerstone region while making a positive impact in your communities. If that sounds like your jam, sign up today.
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