“I started out here in 2004 through the co-op program at Heritage High School. Heritage worked with Wildfire to create a school branch on campus, and hired students to cover the lunch hour. A few of the students would get to do a co-op.
I was 15 years old and working at a carwash when the job was posted at the school. The credit union was really only hiring good students—and I wasn't necessarily a good student. I was the class clown, and I was working at the car wash to help contribute to my household. My dad raised me and my brother. My mom abused us, took off, and went to jail, leaving my dad to raise us both by himself. He had health issues so he was on disability, but he always found a way to make sure we were fed and had a roof over our heads.
As a consumer loan manager, I oversee the consumer lending functions of the credit union, whether that's working with the underwriting with the loan officers or the processing of the loans with the processing department. I also work with the Chief Lending Officer to help determine rates and assist with loan promotions that we are offering. I assist with coming up with ways to increase our loan volume and get members, and those that are not yet members , to come to Wildfire for their loans.
Before I came to Wildfire, I was at an area bank as an Assistant Branch Manager. I worked there for a little less than five years. At the time, the bank went through several mergers, and that's when I decided to start looking for something else.
“I feel like I am one of the lucky ones when I think about my first job. I worked at McDonalds for six years and as a shift manager for most of that time. I loved it and it taught me a lot. It taught me how to become a manager and how to deal with a wide variety of customers. It was very fast-paced and there was never any downtime. My goal was to have my own franchise—but I was also a single mom then and working first, second and third shifts every week became very difficult to do.
“Here at Wildfire, I’m a member service representative (MSR) in our Bay City office. I assist members with IRAs, new accounts, personal loans, auto loans and things of that nature.
The job takes patience, the ability to listen and try to empathize and understand what members are asking for so we can offer viable solutions that are good for them.
“Before Wildfire, I was a waitress at Buffalo Wild Wings. Before that, I was a basketball player on a full scholarship at Delta College.
I’ve played basketball since I was five years old…but initially, I hated sports. My brother played basketball and football and both of my sisters were really good at basketball, but I wanted to be a singer, actress and a model. But my mama just said, ‘That's not reality. That's not something that's going to get you into college.’ So she made me start playing basketball instead.
“After loan officers take the application, it comes to me and I process the documents. I make sure everything in the application is correct and then I send it to underwriting. They review it, and it comes back to me once they let me know what else we need. I communicate those needs with the member, then we order the appraisal and the title work. Once those are in, I review all of that to make sure that it’s all good to go.
“I started out at a bank back in the late 80s as a teller, and then went into marketing. I actually worked for Linda, our Chief Marketing Officer here at Wildfire for 12 years at the bank, but when they downsized our department, I lost my job.
I had a couple jobs in the financial industry. Then one day, out of the blue, I got a call from Linda.