I joined the U.S. Navy in 1974 as the Vietnam conflict was winding down.
Coming from a lower-income family, I felt the service was a way I could receive specialized training that I couldn’t afford on my own. I entered the Naval Nuclear Program and ended up serving on the USS Seadragon, a nuclear submarine stationed in Hawaii. During deployments throughout the western Pacific Ocean and Asia, I saw firsthand how lucky I was to have been born in the United States. My travels also opened my eyes to the world and helped me discover the kindness and beauty of people and how each of us truly can help each other.
The military taught me to set and accomplish goals, how to work with individuals who came from various backgrounds, and established my belief that given a proper mission and vision, anything can be accomplished if you put a cohesive team together, train them well, rely on their skills, and charge them with a task they believe in.
I have been with USAgencies Credit Union for 38 years, starting here as a title clerk shortly after leaving the service in 1980, and used these lessons throughout my career as I advanced to my current position. I will be retiring this year after 23 years as the CEO and I know that I would never have reached this level of success without the skills I learned in the Navy during my six years of service. It truly opened my eyes to new opportunities, just like the CUNA Open Your Eyes awareness campaign will do for many consumers unfamiliar with credit unions.
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