Rhonda Hotard

A salute to veterans: Rhonda Hotard

CEO is a proud sponsor of veteran community.

November 14, 2019

I served in the U.S. Navy from 1988 until 2002 as a petty officer second class aboard the USS Canopus AS-34 stationed in Kingsbay, Ga. While serving in the Navy, I met my husband, who was serving in the U.S. Marine Corps.

We finished our service and returned to our home state. I finished my college degree using the Montgomery GI Bill. We have two kids, one of whom is now a Marine Corps veteran and third-generation Marine.

I am a proud sponsor of our veteran community and actively volunteer with the Blue Star Mothers of Louisiana Chapter 1. I realize that service and self-sacrifice sometimes come with a high price and I am honored to have given, and continue to give, in some small way.

My military experience really shaped the person that I have become in many ways. It helped me to realize the importance of teamwork and working with a diverse group of people to accomplish goals. I learned what “good” leadership looked like and I experienced what “poor” leadership looked like. I learned to pay attention to details. By being responsible for the electrical safety program onboard the USS Canopus, I was prepared for regulatory examinations by the NCUA and how to manage expectations.

I was able to translate the importance of training in the military to the same concept at Louisiana Federal Credit Union. One practice that we put in place many years ago is to require all new employees to go through teller training as part of our onboarding. Just like in the Marine Corps, where all Marines are a rifleman first. Here at Louisiana Federal, all employees are a teller first. We have to be able to understand the fundamental experience with the member when doing a transaction.

One of the most valuable lessons that I learned in the military was to be accepting of people because everyone has a story and every story is different.

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