Finding her voice
Melanie Riedl’s involvement reaches all corners of the credit union.
Melanie Riedl has found her voice as vice president of development and strategic initiatives at University of Louisiana Federal Credit Union. Her passion for speaking about credit unions, compliance, and financial literacy has educated members of the Lafayette, La.-based credit union as well as credit union peers nationwide.
She joined the $47 million asset credit union in 2007 as a marketing manager. A year and a half later, her career path turned toward compliance after she offered to help research a compliance issue. She became a certified Credit Union Compliance Expert. Riedl worked in both roles—as the compliance officer and a marketer—for five years before her CEO asked her to choose between the two positions.
“It’s easier to replace someone in marketing than in compliance,” she says. “I love both. Both are 80% research and 20% implementation.
“Compliance touches every part of the credit union,” she continues. “Never enter a meeting with a problem unless you have solutions. Compliance defines the solution specifically.”
Her advice: “Know your resources. Networking is important. I can contact people I’ve met from all over the country for advice. Get involved and learn what credit unions are all about. Find a mentor. Pick that person’s brain.”
Active in the Lafayette Chapter of Credit Unions, Riedl has served as president, vice president, and secretary. She also served on committees for the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council.
She transferred the knowledge she learned at schools, such as Southeast CUNA Management School, into expertise that makes her a sought-after credit union speaker.
“My passion is teaching financial literacy,” says Riedl, who recently became a Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor. She works with community development financial institution grants to provide financial literacy and counseling on campus and for people who’ve lost jobs and are training for new ones.
With 17 years of experience in financial institutions, Riedl can’t imagine working elsewhere. “The credit union isn’t just a job,” she says. “It’s a family extending beyond this building to the league and across the country, standing up for the right things.