Why CU leaders should be involved in legislative and regulatory advocacy: Our involvement in the political process gives our 102 million memberships a united voice in Washington and throughout our 50 states. Keeping the credit union agenda top of mind with our legislators and regulators on how to promote economic growth for our country is our top priority.
Credit union leaders can get involved by serving on boards in their communities, providing financial and other expertise to assist others with their strategic agendas, raising funds through our political action committees, and working to elect people who support credit unions—and replace lawmakers who have not supported our movement.
How I’m involved politically: I serve on the transition team of Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., where I’ll be in a position to offer assistance with tasks such as advising her on financial service matters as needed and providing her with staffing recommendations.
So far I’ve suggested potential meetings with key decision makers within our community to give Rep. McSally as much exposure to our business community leaders as possible. I help her connect with and understand the many challenges in attracting and retaining businesses, and keeping key talented individuals in Southern Arizona.
Building strong relationships with legislators and regulators allows for open and transparent dialogue about issues impacting our economic policies and strategies.
My leadership philosophy: Hire employees with great positive attitudes and then mentor them and continuously focus on their development. Remind them constantly that they’re one of our credit union’s most important assets and then demonstrate that by providing them with competitive salaries and employee benefits.
I ask for one promise from our employees: Take care of our membership. In doing so, they’ll in turn take care of us—both in good times and in challenging times.
My first job and what it taught me: Building bicycles and tricycles at Capin’s Mercantile Corp. in Nogales, Ariz., when I was five years old. I was only there for one day on Christmas Eve 1959. Mr. Jake Capin, the president of the company, paid me with 10 silver dollars.
What I learned from that first experience was that it’s important to always do your best and deliver more than what’s expected of you.
One thing staff doesn’t know about me: My fourth-grade teacher, Miss Hilldreth, taught me to square dance—and she was in a wheelchair.
The best and worst advice I’ve ever received: The best advice was from my mom: “Never, never, never quit.” It’s my personal motto.
The worst advice was from some of my high-school buddies, who said I wasn’t smart enough to major in accounting at the University of Arizona, and that I should seek another major. Contrary to their advice, I did graduate with an accounting degree from the U of A.
One of my favorite quotes: One favorite is from philosopher Lao Tzu: “At the center of your being you have the answer. You know who you are and you know what you want.”