There’s a story Chrystal Parnell likes to tell about Allegacy Federal Credit Union.
When Parnell and her husband, Michael, were settling into their life together, they opened a joint checking account at the credit union. Parnell, who worked in advertising at the time, was blown away by experience.
“It was so different from what I had experienced at a big bank,” she says. “It was truly relationship-driven. I remember standing in the atrium of the credit union and telling Michael, ‘I’m going to work here one day.’”
Two years later, that job opportunity arose when Parnell ran into Allegacy President/CEO Cathy Pace at a community event. The $1.3 billion asset credit union in Winston-Salem, N.C., had an opening that it adapted to match Parnell’s talents. Today, she serves as vice president of marketing.
Parnell says she’s a product of her upbringing. Her parents owned a gas station offering full service at the pump—one of the last in the area to do so—as well as towing and recovery services. Parnell’s dad, Dean, was a mechanic and stood ready with the tow truck at all hours. Her mom, Lu, handled the bookkeeping.
“That’s where my passion comes from,” she says. “It wasn’t just the hard work; it was our innate ability to help others—to be a part of the community.”
Parnell’s enthusiasm and ability to inspire others served her well as a cheerleader. “I didn’t have the tomboy gene,” she says. “Rallying the team and supporting others is where I source my energy.”
Lately, Parnell has been channeling that energy to spearhead Allegacy’s long-range initiative to become a brand-led organization, earning a CUNA Diamond Award for her efforts. Her passion for building strong brand experiences prompted the credit union to realign its performance evaluation process.
Parnell performed a segmentation analysis to focus Allegacy’s resources on developing products and services that provide income to better serve the less fortunate. And she helped develop the innovative AllHealth Wellness Account, through which members earn higher dividends if they exercise more.
“We’re committed to always doing the right thing for the well-being of our members,” she says.