Kendra Christensen will never forget the day when her father shared that he had cancer.
Sitting in her parents’ dining room, she says that the conversation was a blur, but what she did know is that she had to do what she does best: Dig in and help.
Through the American Cancer Society she’s acted as a supporter, advocate, and fundraiser.
Similarly, Christensen is renowned for her passion and take-action approach as the vice president of lending at $101 million asset COPOCO Community Credit Union in Bay City, Mich. In addition to her lending-related responsibilities, you can find her working on the teller line, shoveling snow, or attending a ribbon cutting.
If it needs to be done, Christensen is there—all in the interest of helping others.
“What I love most about the credit union industry is that we are really people helping people,” she says.
Christensen enjoys celebrating happy moments with members. “I get to open accounts for kids bringing in their piggy banks. I get to set up the first direct deposit for a new job. I get to help finance new cars, engagement rings, and dream homes,” she says.
But she’s also there in rough times, too. “I see the tears when members are just laid-off or diagnosed with an illness. I get to help answer the questions and lay out the plan,” Christensen says.
When she’s not at the credit union, Christensen works as an ambassador for the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce; organizes community festivals; or participates in programs such as the Saginaw Township Citizens Police Academy, which teaches residents and business partners the role of the police department.
She holds two CUNA certifications: the Credit Union Certified Financial Counselor certification, which Christensen says gives her the knowledge to “help members realize their financial goals and dreams;” and the Credit Union Compliance Expert certification, which provides a deeper understanding of credit union compliance.
“I’m passionate about my career because I get to make a difference, every day, in someone’s life,” she says.