Evonne Smith’s first job—teller/member service representative with $860 million asset Educational Systems Federal Credit Union in Greenbelt, Md.—might have been the most important for her career.
“It allowed me to build rapport by listening to members’ needs and recommending products or services that best fit their individual situations,” she says.
These skills were helpful when she was later promoted to the human resource (HR) department, where she now manages the credit union’s HR systems, benefits, and some employee relations and recruiting.
“Evonne works hard to ensure that our HR team models best practices,” says Dawn Weglein, vice president of HR for Educational Systems Federal. “She has focused on employee communications and created strong partnerships with our business lines.”
The HR team collaborates strategically with its business partners to accomplish a variety of objectives, including recruitment, training, and coaching and development.
“As a team, we’ve been able to successfully develop our employees, both personally and professionally,” says Smith. “One of our greatest challenges is recruitment and retention. We are constantly trying to find new methods to attract talent and generate interest through social media, postings on job boards, and job fairs.”
A former member of the HR team recently told Weglein it was the best team she had ever worked with, largely because it was so “approachable.”
That’s something Smith models every day with her emphasis on communication and trust.
“Employees and prospective employees openly share their stories with Evonne,” says Weglein. “She handles each situation with confidentiality and tact, building trust and doing all she can to help members of our team.”
Although she admits it might sound cliché, Smith’s greatest reward is helping people—employees, members, and the larger community.
“I am proud to work for a credit union that serves the education community,” she says. “As a parent of two school-aged children, it’s an honor to work for a credit union that has an unwavering commitment to helping the members of the education community achieve their financial goals and dreams.”