In a town of 600 people, you quickly learn every person counts.
“I grew up knowing it doesn’t matter how much you have, what kind of car you drive, or what kind of clothes you wear,” says Lisett Comai-Legrand, a Vermont native who’s now director of marketing and product management at $180 million asset First Alliance Credit Union in Rochester, Minn. “It’s about giving people a hand up.”
At her first job at Vermont Federal Credit Union in Burlington, the CEO at the time and others shared stories of grassroots advocacy, how it led to success, and how vitally important it is.
“Their storytelling instilled in me how important credit unions are,” Legrand says. “Part of my mission now is to make sure everybody knows how credit unions work, how we’re different, and how what we’re doing affects millions of people.”
At First Alliance, Legrand often co-leads cross-functional teams that tackle objectives ranging from a core processing conversion to a complete rebrand. She believes effective teams draw on the strengths of those in the organization from the teller line to the C-suite.
“We’re good at eliminating noise and distractions, and picking the right players,” Legrand says.
Legrand challenges herself to be the right player, which led to competing in the three-day Rochester All-City Amateur Golf Tournament a few years ago.
“I had the lead after two days and then blew it during the final round because I let my mind get the best of me,” she says. A playoff round gave her another chance to fight the battle in her head.
By “learning to calm the anxiety” she went on to win her ﬂight by one stroke.
Legrand is an active volunteer in the Rochester community, serving on various boards. She and her husband also support many veterans’ organizations.
“Community involvement is at the core of credit unions,” she says, “and I know my credit union and those across the country are making a difference in the lives of so many they serve.
“I want to live in a community where we respect and help each other,” Legrand adds. “That’s why credit unions are so important.”