MICHELLE GEORGE IS A NATURAL-BORN LEADER.
As the teller supervisor at Abilene (Texas) Teachers Federal Credit Union, she climbed the ranks during the past 14 years from an 18-year-old, part-time teller to a full-time teller and then to the supervisor position in 2007.
Her colleague, Denise Hassel, vice president of branch operations, says matter of factly: “Michelle will have my job.”
For several years, George led the credit union’s teller training program and shared her words of wisdom with fresh trainees.
“We train six new tellers each month on average,” she says. “Most recently, I have adopted the role of overseeing this program and its success. My time now is mostly spent training the trainers and hiring the right employees for our department."
“I see myself as more of a coach to my employees than a boss,” she adds. “I want nothing more than to see each and every one of my employees become all they’re capable of. I always lead by example. They know that I would never ask them to do something that I wouldn’t do myself.”
In addition to her responsibilities as teller supervisor, George frequently participates in organizing community projects. She was an easy choice when the credit union needed a chairperson to lead its campaign for the March of Dimes.
“I was nominated at our first employee meeting to be the chair of the campaign,” George says. “I really didn’t know what it would entail, but I knew I’d like to be a part of its success.”
Setting a lofty goal of raising $75,000, George organized multiple fund-raisers and events, including an iPad raffle, employee incentives for raising donations (such as free lunches and permission to wear jeans), and the donation of a penny of interchange income each time a member uses the credit union’s debit card.
The debit card program alone raised more than $40,000.
Another event Abilene Teachers Federal held was called “Window Washing.” “At two of our drive-up locations, we would wash members’ windows while they completed their financial transactions,” she explains.
George’s hard work has paid off. “Under Michelle’s leadership, the credit union raised more than $100,000 for the March of Dimes campaign,” Hassel says.
George attributes her personal growth to her experiences at Abilene Teachers Federal.
“I know that working for this credit union has allowed me to become the person that I am today and, for that, I am fortunate,” she says. “I know that I have a voice and I appreciate the opportunity to grow. “And I’m not done yet.”