Holly Capers believes fate brought her to EECU in Fort Worth, Texas.
“I was home from college on spring break,” she recalls. “College hadn’t been a good fit for me. My parents gave me a challenge: If I could find a job by the end of the week, I could withdraw from school.”
And just under the wire, she got a part-time teller position at $2 billion asset EECU. Capers stopped at EECU for directions after she got lost on the way to a job interview. The receptionist, a high school friend, told her about a part-time teller job at the credit union.
Twenty-seven years later, Capers believes losing her way initially helped her find her path in life. Not only has she dedicated her professional life to the movement, she met her husband at the credit union and he still works at EECU as well.
Now a training specialist, Capers continuously looks for ways to keep her educational sessions fresh and interesting. Capitalizing on the popularity of escape rooms, Capers created a mock branch waiting room, incorporating puzzle boxes with clues and customer service scenarios that would allow her trainees to “escape.”
The exercise draws off a training booklet created for the course and requires staff to work together to find solutions, just as they would on the job.
“People were engaged and involved,” Capers says. “It was a two-for-one experience. It not only taught good member service skills, but also promoted communication and team building.”
Capers says she loves to train new employees: “I want to set them up for success and really enjoy seeing the light bulbs over their heads go off.”
Her biggest challenge is finding enough time to take a creative idea, flesh it out, and implement it. But she notes an online learning system might address that hurdle.
As a long-term credit union employee, Capers seeks to ensure that EECU’s core values remain intact. “I’m one of the ‘old-timers’ who strives to keep the credit union spirit alive,” she says.
The credit union began in 1934 when 10 Fort Worth teachers pooled their money and put in $5 each. It operated out of a desk at the Westbrook Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas. While the credit union has grown, Capers says the spirit remains the same. “Now, we’re huge, but it’s still about people helping people and building relationships.”