President and CEO, The Summit Federal Credit Union
Years in current role: 3
What are your expectations for the next 6-12 months?
We have launched a series of new products recently, designed to help members reach their financial goals: a student loan and refinancing program, a secured credit card, and our popular RoundUp Savings account, which helps our members use their purchasing power to save even more. These new initiatives are a direct result of actively listening to our members to discover what products will best fit their needs. Focusing on our younger members, for whom saving for the future generally is a secondary concern, is a priority for us.
What advice would you give somebody just starting out in your industry?
I would advise them to seek internship and shadowing opportunities. There is no replacement for hands-on exposure and experience. Being immersed in a job or observing various departments — even for a short time — is extremely beneficial. In addition to experience, internships are an opportunity to make invaluable connections in your field. At The Summit, it’s not unusual for our summer interns to return for full-time opportunities. We end up learning as much from them as they do from us! Choosing to pursue a career in a mission driven industry, such as the credit union movement, can be very rewarding.
What is one personal goal you have for the next year?
I grew up on Long Island and came to this area to attend SUNY Geneseo. I was recently offered the opportunity to serve my alma mater as a board member for the Geneseo Foundation. Through my new role, I plan to invest more time and offer support to first-generation students.
First-generation college students are celebrated and embraced at SUNY Geneseo. More than a quarter of the students starting at SUNY Geneseo this fall are first-gen. It’s an incredible milestone for both students and families and I want to do my part to make them feel welcomed, celebrated and supported.
What are your favorite things about Rochester?
Philanthropy is ingrained in the spirit of Rochesterians. This goes back generations. It’s the reason that so many non-profits thrive here. That spirit of giving back to the community aligns with the credit union philosophy of ‘People Helping People.’ There are so many generous individuals in our area, ready and willing to give — and not just with monetary donations — with their time and resources as well. We are a very giving city and that is incredibly encouraging and reassuring.