Fresh ideas born of experience

Rebecca Lamper customized tried-and-true ideas for Community Choice CU.

August 21, 2019

Rebecca Lamper was a banker for 24 years before accepting a position with Community Choice Credit Union, headquartered in Farmington Hills, Mich.

But it didn’t take long for her to embrace the movement and make her mark on the credit union. She drew on her banking background to introduce new ideas in her role as member center manager, working out of the $1.1 billion asset credit union’s Holland, Mich., office.

In her previous job, she had developed many relationships with municipalities, and she saw an opportunity to leverage those relationships to drive new deposits for Community Choice. Lamper wrote a new standard operating procedure to launch these accounts, leading the way for the credit union to expand its operations.

“Because of this recommendation, the credit union was able to drive millions of dollars into our facility,” says Kendra Craven, indirect lending manager at Community Choice.

Since Lamper was new to the area, she jumped on an opportunity to participate in the nine-month Michigan West Coast Chamber Leadership program, which provided a deep dive into the assets of the community.

“Often my members have needs outside my scope,” Lamper says. “It’s important for me to know where to send them to get their needs taken care of.”

Lamper also gained new insights on leadership from her cohort of 36 community leaders in the program. Her biggest takeaway was the importance of trying to understand the viewpoint of the people she leads in order to better communicate.

“It helps me understand who they are and the direction they need to go,” Lamper explains.

She applied this to motivating her team to volunteer in the community. While Lamper leads by example with her volunteer work, which includes serving as a longstanding Rotary member and as board chairman of the Allegan County United Way, she knows that not everyone shares her passion for volunteering.

To engage her team in getting involved, she invited each of her direct reports to recommend a cause or organization they cared deeply about. That idea inspired her team to log almost 200 volunteer hours in 2018.

Lamper says one of the best things about working at Community Choice is that her employer shares her values.

“Community Choice’s motto is ‘Give Big, Give Back,’” she says. “And they afford me and my staff the opportunity to do that.”

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