PASSION AND FUN. Those are two important qualities Megan Hendrix sees in her favorite band, the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Hendrix displays those qualities as project manager/ executive assistant for Honor Credit Union in St. Joseph, Mich., and as the chairman of Powered by Honor—the credit union’s community fund.
The leadership at Honor Credit Union allows her to be an entrepreneur. That’s appealing because if you have an idea, “you can run with it if you make your case,” she says. “You’re never told ‘no.’”
Hendrix has helped grow the credit union’s charitable efforts. She took over the credit union’s charity committee and turned it into a true 501(c)3 organization. Contributions to the fund doubled in one year and tripled after two.
This year, Honor is on track to donate more than $50,000 to local charitable organizations, including the Boys & Girls Club. Honor team members contribute to the effort, with all of the contributions staying in each branch’s local community.
Hendrix says seeing what Powered by Honor does in the local communities inspires her. She adds that she’s passionate about those efforts as well as efforts to expand the credit union’s financial and charitable services across the state.
That’s now possible due to a new statewide charter. “One of our mottos is to serve more members,” says Hendrix, who started as a teller at the credit union about eight years ago. Within a few years, she moved up to executive assistant and added project manager responsibilities.
Hendrix says the combination of the two roles provides her with the ability to monitor different elements of projects and keep a tight lid on costs. With all financial institutions operating on tight budgets, she thinks other credit unions could also benefit from dedicating people to project management.
Confidence is a critical attribute for current and future credit union leaders to cultivate. “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and do the hard work,” she advises.
Similarly, Hendrix wants to see Honor Credit Union continue to grow, although not at the expense of member service. “We want to remain small while growing. Being able to show people the credit union difference is important.”
Credit unions are different from other financial institutions, she adds. Communicating that difference can be a challenge, especially when the press often lumps all financial institutions together when negative events occur.
But consistent communications can bring opportunities to the movement, Hendrix says, in the form of new members who will look to you for products and services.