Jessie Lewis lives, breathes, and, literally, sleeps financial education.
The community branch manager for Financial Center First Credit Union in Indianapolis, says she’s the go-to resource for financial advice among her friends, acquaintances, and her local community. But she doesn’t mind.
“It’s not a burden to me because it’s what I enjoy and what I’m truly passionate about,” she says. “I even wake myself at night cross-selling Visas in my sleep and discussing balance transfers.”
Until Financial Center recently added a second person to her team, Lewis was serving as a one-person mobile credit union, making house calls to employers. Lewis sees her job as an opportunity to reduce people’s financial stress by offering one-on-one credit reviews, budget planning, and ways to save money through credit union products and services.
“I’ve seen the very worst to the very best of credit reports and scores,” Lewis says. “Helping members financially gives me great excitement, whether it’s purchasing their very first vehicle, or helping them get a loan for in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment and seeing their children grow up.”
Lewis carved out her role at the $560 million asset credit union when it was revamping its select employee group (SEG) program. It’s been a perfect fit, as she’s become a top producer among all branch managers—exceeding loan goals by 41%, individual credit counseling goals by 36%, and new checking goals by 130%.
“Jessie’s production and performance are beyond phenomenal as the community branch manager for Financial Center’s SEG program,” says Dusty Simmons, vice president of membership development. “Her real talent is in the way she cares for members. She goes from acquaintance to trusted adviser in a first meeting.”
During her credit reviews, Lewis is known for being the member’s advocate, providing lots of notes and backstory to help members get a “yes” when their credit history doesn’t paint the entire picture. And when an answer must be “no,” she provides straight answers and specific instructions on how to work to a “yes.”
“She gets the member from education to action—taking ownership of helping the member do what’s in their best interest, regardless of whether it brings more business to the credit union,” says colleague James Davidson, Financial Center’s director of financial literacy. “She exemplifies our promise to help members improve their financial lives.”