If Mical Atz Brenzel were granted a super power, she’d like the ability to predict the future. Although she hasn’t acquired that skill, Brenzel’s professional background and service on the board of Technology Credit Union (Tech CU) have allowed her to glimpse what might be around the corner and to anticipate the necessary actions to deal with it.
The chair of the board of directors at the $2.6 billion asset credit union in San Jose, Calif., Brenzel has helped the credit union navigate three CEO transitions, negotiate two mergers, survive the Great Recession, and thrive in one of the most highly competitive financial market areas in the country.
“It’s been greatly satisfying to watch the credit union grow and be successful,” Brenzel says.
Brenzel began her three decades of dedicated volunteer service when she was working as a corporate treasury manager at Amdahl Corp. With her background in corporate treasury, finance, and banking, she became chair of the credit union’s investment committee. Over the years, she has shared her time and talents in a number of roles.
She assisted the credit union in diversifying its product and service offerings—from primarily vehicle loans to mortgages and home equity, business, and solar loans. The credit union also has become both a purchaser and an originator of loan participations.
“We operate in a keenly competitive market area where the cost of doing business is high,” Brenzel says. “We compete with traditional financial institutions as well as the fintechs.”
She notes meeting those challenges requires intelligent decision-making. Tech CU embraces technology solutions. “We want to be on the forefront, although not on the ‘bleeding edge,’” Brenzel says. “We’re not afraid to employ technology in a sensible way.”
Brenzel says her long-term involvement with the credit union stems from both altruism and selfishness. “Volunteering is a way to give back, but it’s also a way for me to stay up-to-date in the financial sector—economic and regulatory trends, accounting rules, and so on,” she says. “Personally, I’ve found working with my fellow board members very rewarding.”