Switching Career Paths
'Once I was exposed to the CU industry culture of supporting growth, innovation, and community involvement, I was hooked.'
AS A COLLEGE STUDENT—on a criminal justice and sociology path—Rachel Ringler had every intention of being a cop. But that was before she came in contact with $700 million asset Great Lakes Credit Union (GLCU) in Bannockburn, Ill.
Nearing completion of her BA from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, she landed a job as a teller at First Midwest Bank and eventually moved from the bank to GLCU in March 2008. Ringler started working in the fraud department in the card services area.
“While my hope was to obtain experience in financial crime investigations for a future career in law enforcement,” Ringler says, “once I was exposed to the credit union industry culture of supporting growth, innovation, and community involvement, I was hooked.”
“She immediately stood out as a Rock Star,” says Courtney Felt, customer success manager at Passageways, a CUNA strategic services alliance provider, who’s currently working closely with Ringler to revamp and relaunch GLCU’s employee intranet portal.
The credit union then called on Ringler to strengthen the call center team. In 2013, she was promoted to supervise a newly created department supporting the call center, overseeing employees who worked 50 miles away.
“Rachel quickly trained and got these employees on board,” says Jody Larabee, GLCU’s assistant vice president of operations.
The department, says Larabee, has evolved in a short time from a support department to an eServices branch, and Rachel has proven her skills in handling implementations, improvements, and upgrades. “When the credit union was looking at standards of excellence, and Rachel stepped up as leader of the team, the end product showed a high level of creativity and execution,” Larabee explains.
In her current position as the eServices branch manager, Ringler oversees the credit union’s electronic services enhancements so members receive the most efficient services possible.
“We want to make sure our members receive outstanding, personalized services,” Ringler says.
Eventually, she’d like a position in project management and lead product innovation. She already has started on that path by helping the credit union with implementing new products and through the relaunch of other ones.