As vice president of human resources (HR) and compliance for $988 million asset Alabama Credit Union (ACU) in Tuscaloosa, Brandi McKinney says one of the best parts of her job is mentoring others.
“The HR and compliance fields are diverse, both in terms of the people who enter the field and the types of industries in which we work,” McKinney says.
“Despite this, the core principles and functions of successful professionals are the same,” she says. “I love the opportunity to work with recent graduates from different industries as they grow into successful leaders.”
That willingness to lead and assist others in their professional career paths has made a difference.
“During her time at ACU, our staff more than doubled to nearly 300 employees,” says ACU President/ CEO Steve Swofford. “This required a sophisticated HR response, which Brandi expertly delivered.”
That response included ACU establishing itself as the first credit union in Alabama to implement student loan repayment as a benefit to employment. She also helped launch an internship program that blends community involvement, project management, classroom learning, and work experience—which won an Excellence Award from the CUNA HR & Organizational Development Council in 2016.
Since launching the program in 2012, it has produced 73 interns and raised about $35,000 in charitable funding.
McKinney gains some of this knowledge and insight through her willingness to network with peers. She serves as an officer or member in the Alabama Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), League of Southeastern Credit Union’s Peer Councils Committee, University of Alabama HR Institute, the CUNA HR & Organizational Development Council, and Leadership Tuscaloosa.
Most recently, McKinney served as lead for ACU’s Pandemic Response Team, which she calls “an amazing learning opportunity” despite the challenges.
“Never have we seen such a degree of daily landscape changes,” McKinney says. “We knew early on that we can make plans, but those plans may be broken. Working through the considerations we need to make, knowing they may not work out, is an excellent exercise that drives decision-making when we have to pivot by necessity. That ability to shake off the daily surprises and forge ahead makes me proud to serve as part of this extraordinary team.”