When Monica Galindo saw a posting for GECU’s newly created director of advocacy and external affairs position, she had to apply.
“I knew I would love it—that it would be perfect for me,” she says.
Her passion was key to her landing the job. After all, a love for GECU, its community, and the overall credit union mission is a requisite skill for the role.
Since starting at GECU as a title clerk in high school, Galindo kept advancing into new areas within the $4.1 billion asset credit union in El Paso, Texas.
Knowing a college degree would allow her to progress further, she took classes at night and during her time off, and graduated shortly before eyeing the new post in 2016.
She’s grateful to Crystal Long, GECU’s president/CEO, for “allowing me to mold the job.”
Looking at Galindo’s varied duties—meeting with federal, state, and local lawmakers; developing a young professional (YP) program for GECU; and crafting messaging on important legislative issues to name just a few—it’s an ambitious agenda.
In addition to being a 2022 Rock Star, the Cornerstone Credit Union League named Galindo the Young Professional of the Year.
The dual awards are appropriate, she says, because participation in the league and related groups keeps her abreast of legislative issues and initiatives she can bring back to GECU.
Moreover, Galindo credits the National Credit Union Foundation’s Development Education (DE) program for “promoting internal reflection, leadership, and putting the people helping people philosophy into action.”
Her DE project was to “develop a more robust and intentional YP program for GECU.”
She tailored the program to what YP participants value, including professional development, community involvement, and government relations.
Messages to lawmakers and GECU’s 900 employees and 400,000 members are more effective “if I show how legislation impacts them,” she says.
Having grown up in El Paso, Galindo forges local partnerships with groups such as United Way and El Pasoans Fighting Hunger “to identify and solve challenges our members and the El Paso community face.”
GECU members can’t thrive without a vital, healthy, community and economy, she explains, which makes support for community a unique credit union business model and a virtuous circle.