‘It was like a door opening’
The credit union philosophy fits Michael Murdoch perfectly.
Though a lifelong credit union member, Michael Murdoch has only worked in the industry for four years. Now the communications specialist at Wauna Credit Union in Clatskanie, Ore., he started out in marketing before accepting a position with a Portland, Ore., credit union.
“It didn’t take long to be sold on credit unions, especially their role in delivering financial education to the underserved,” Murdoch says. “I’d always been involved in volunteering, but with a credit union, I experienced hands-on results for the first time. It was like a door opening—my calling had found me.”
A recurring theme in Murdoch’s credit union message is financial literacy. “It’s an invaluable aspect of modern life, so I’m trying to get in front of everyone: elementary students, teenagers, adults, elderly—anyone who might benefit,” he says. “Being physically there, providing live responses, and seeing the engagement in people’s eyes really strengthens the will to do more.”
Murdoch says part of what make credit unions different is their willingness to say yes when members find themselves lost or challenged financially.
“We may have to offer an alternative loan arrangement or make other exceptions, but it’s all about giving people a chance,” he says. “This is the kind of service that makes credit unions unique.”
Murdoch’s a military history buff who has “been long stuck on the U.S. Civil War.” He’s currently reading “Team of Rivals,” about Abraham Lincoln’s astute handling of a cabinet loaded with men who were in competition with one another.