One measure of a person is how she responds to dramatic change.
The employees at $236 million asset Alliance Credit Union who watched Sam Prouty go through such a change will tell you she aced it.
Prouty joined Alliance almost two years ago after it merged with her credit union, 1st City.
“I was hopeful Alliance would offer me a job, but was prepared to look elsewhere,” she says.
Alliance did ask Prouty to come aboard because people noticed her potential.
“Even from the initial review of 1st City’s finances, we could tell Sam would grow to be something special with Alliance,” says Jill Schaller, compensation and benefits manager for the credit union in Fenton, Mo.
Grow she did. In just four months, Prouty went from member service representative to branch manager—a big leap in a short time.
Alliance also saw Prouty’s knack for developing great personal relationships, a skill that made her Alliance’s teller trainer.
New hires come straight to her branch for a two-week walk-through of their responsibilities.
“I put myself in the position of a first-time teller,” Prouty explains. “So my approach to them is simple: Have patience and know it’s OK to make mistakes. Don’t be so hard on yourself—everything is fixable.”
Prouty also demonstrated a dogged loyalty to 1st City’s 1,400 unanchored members.
“When 1st City closed, I let those members know I had an open-door policy about taking calls and questions from them,” she says. “Thanks to Alliance, I could tell them I wasn’t going anywhere and that their money was safe. I fielded hundreds of calls.”
Schaller sees Sam’s passion: “The credit union movement should know that while education and experience are important, passion is more important than any bachelor’s degree or years in the banking industry. Sam personifies that.”