The power of service

Volunteer efforts bring staff together.

August 21, 2019

Credit unions are known for their community engagement.

But that’s not what drew Joseph Pezley to his role as senior accountant at Kinecta Federal Credit Union in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

He served as a vice president at a national commercial bank for several years and wanted a change. What Pezley didn’t understand at the time was that moving to credit unions would be more than just a career change.

With a background in information systems management, Pezley was used to hectic work environments with many demands and few resources. He says the $4.4 billion asset credit union is different.

“It’s the best place I’ve ever worked, and it has everything to do with the atmosphere,” Pezley says. “It’s so easy for me to do what I do here.”

Pezley recently oversaw the development and implementation of a new SharePoint-based payables solution. A major project with many stakeholders and even higher stakes can be the stuff of nightmares at other organizations. But at Kinecta, everyone pitched in and made it happen.

“There weren’t any barriers,” he says. “We do a lot of talking. Instead of emails or DMs, I get up from my desk and go to that department. It sounds simple, but it works.”

Pezley and his finance peers at Kinecta have a reputation for being open-minded and willing to take on new roles, which his colleagues appreciate. But he says one major component of the organization’s culture is to thank for this: service.

“I don’t necessarily come from a background full of community service or volunteering,” he explains. “Kinecta taught me that.”

Employees organize fundraisers to purchase backpacks and school supplies year-round. They also participate in “Operation Teddy Bear,” where employees visit elementary schools in low-income areas and read to the kids.

Plus, Pezley says Kinecta does more than just help people where the credit union operates. Through volunteerism, employees work better together.

“I don’t think we would have been as successful with the payables project if all the people working on it hadn’t volunteered together,” he says. “You already know each other—’We served Thanksgiving dinner together.’ That makes the whole team work better from that point on.”

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