Shalonda Dawkins

PODCAST: The impact of CUs’ hurricane relief efforts

Industry's generosity awes Shalonda Dawkins of United Community CU in suburban Houston.

October 5, 2017

Thanks to a well-practiced business continuity regimen, Shalonda Dawkins was prepared for the operational challenges Hurricane Harvey presented to United Community Credit Union in suburban Houston.

But the senior vice president/chief operations officer of the $95 million asset credit union didn’t anticipate the toll the superstorm would take on staff.

And she was overcome with joy at the financial and emotional support people throughout the credit union industry provided to get United Community and its employees back on their feet.

“In business continuity, you prepare for working for a period of time at another location. You don’t really prepare for, what if my branch manager loses her home? What if my tellers don’t have cars?” Dawkins tells the CUNA News Podcast. “So, to have people reaching out with funds…that was super important for us as a credit union.”

Many of those contributions arrived via CUAid, the National Credit Union Foundation’s disaster relief fund, which continues to provide assistance to credit union staff and volunteers following the hurricanes that pounded the nation and its territories late this summer.

“To know that we work in an industry where people care so much—that was something we weren’t prepared for,” Dawkins says.

That type of assistance is fitting, though, because Dawkins has always been one to look out for others—a generosity of spirit that led Credit Union Magazine to name her a Credit Union Rock Star.

The magazine's fifth-annual special issue honoring Dawkins and her fellow Credit Union Rock Stars comes out next week.

In this episode of the CUNA News Podcast, Dawkins discusses United Community’s disaster relief response to Hurricane Harvey, her pathway from marketing into operations, and her ongoing commitment to mentoring marketing professionals.

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