Following college graduation, Jill Schaffler landed a computer operator position at Firefly Credit Union, where she was responsible for batch processing and help-desk support. She’s now vice president of enterprise operations at the now-merged TruStone Financial Credit Union in Plymouth, Minn.
Schaffler oversees technology at the $4.8 billion asset credit union to ensure member service is efficient, user-friendly, and aligned with the credit union’s goals.
“I still use many of the skills I used when I began my career,” she says. “It’s about understanding the basics and making informed decisions.”
Schaffler leads the credit union’s digital channel working group, which stays up to date on industry trends and ensures members have access to convenient digital services. She also works with cross-functional teams to develop and implement initiatives that elevate the member experience.
“My role continues to evolve, keeping up on ever-changing industry technologies,” she says.
In 2021, Schaffler played an instrumental role in the merger between Firefly and TruStone Financial. Over nine months, she collaborated with 27 work streams to select best-in-breed solutions to seamlessly merge and deploy a common technology for more than 190,000 members and 650 employees.
Schaffler and the enterprise applications team have implemented several digital innovations to enhance member service. One example is a digital loan origination process that saved members an average of $731 on their loans while achieving a 7.3 times return-on-investment payback.
She also directed a streamlined mortgage experience, a frictionless digital member enrollment process, and a one-click lending program. That’s in addition to a credit card rewards platform migration that transitioned 154,404 accounts and 1.66 billion points with 99.98% data accuracy.
Schaffler finds inspiration by making a positive impact on others, whether it’s fellow employees or TruStone Financial members. She likes to lead by example.
“As a leader, my actions set the tone for my team,” Schaffler says. “Encouraging autonomy and creativity in their work is important, not only for their growth but also to feel a sense of pride in their work.”
She believes a positive culture of innovation boosts motivation.
Schaffler’s efforts have also led to national information technology (IT) recognition. In 2023, TruStone Financial was the only financial institution to receive the CIO 100 award, which celebrates organizations that use IT in innovative ways to deliver business value.