DONNA GDOWSKI (above left) and NADINE HOHNKE have different roles at Public Service Credit Union, but they almost always find themselves working together as a team.
Gdowski, the marketing/events coordinator, and Hohnke, a marketing analyst, say their partnership produces unique results that inspire co-workers and members at the $150 million asset credit union in Romulus, Mich.
“We respect each other’s opinions and aren’t afraid to try new ideas,” Gdowski says. “We have so much fun together brainstorming and coming up with fresh new ways to get people excited and motivated to do what they do best.”
That includes walking around the credit union in a two-person camel costume on a Wednesday to celebrate “Hump Day,” at the halfway mark of a six-month project. “It’s fun to brainstorm with Donna and see where our crazy ideas take us,” says Hohnke.
The two complement each other as they work to spread the credit union message. They devise an idea, get staff on board, and spread that enthusiasm to members and the community. One such idea was the “Spread the Love” campaign. The goal was to perform random acts of kindness around the community and inspire others to do the same by filming the reactions.
First Hohnke and Gdowski distributed breakfast in the credit union drive-through and refilled a member’s windshield wiper fluid. “The response was wonderful, spurring us to keep going,” Hohnke says.
They brought breakfast to school employees and road workers on a cold day and had an employee pay for a random woman’s groceries. “She couldn’t believe the gesture and was motivated to pay it forward,” recalls Gdowski.
They stopped a woman, who only had $4, and filled her gas tank, which allowed her to get to work. “The amount of love reciprocated and the gratitude everyone showed really made this a special campaign for us,” Hohnke says.
Hohnke likes taking a promotion and doing something unconventional with it. She and Gdowski created the “geek program,” for instance. “We dressed the entire staff up like geeks and had them show us their best dance moves,” she recounts. “Then we made a video of it to loosen everyone up.”
What Gdowski and Hohnke most appreciate about their jobs is the support from credit union leadership to think outside the box. “Because we have this encouragement, we aren’t afraid to come up with unique ideas and make them enjoyable for the staff to implement,” says Gdowski.