The spirit of giving back

Shawn Hauser makes it easier for staff to volunteer.

September 25, 2020

When Shawn Hauser isn’t serving as community relations manager at $1.7 billion asset Altra Federal Credit Union in Onalaska, Wis., she puts her focus elsewhere—assisting others.

Hauser is passionate about her local chapter of the Children’s Miracle Network, where she chairs a committee of credit union employees who plan the annual Miracle Open Golf Classic.

And, because she grew up on a family farm in Western Wisconsin, she developed a love for animals and the outdoors early, which is something she’s woven into volunteering at a therapeutic horse-riding program.

“I love horses. They can provide so much to humans,” Hauser says. “The clients develop self-confidence, balancing skills, and so much more.”

She brings this enthusiasm every day to Altra, where she devotes much of her time to managing corporate sponsorships and donations, and coordinating large-scale volunteer and fundraising efforts among employees.

Over the last seven years, Hauser has spearheaded numerous community initiatives at the credit union.

She started Altra Gives Back Day, where employees come together to make an impact on community organizations.

In 2018 and 2019, more than 350 employees volunteered more than 1,300 hours at over 30 organizations.

She also drafted Altra’s first corporate social responsibility policy, which outlines the credit union’s giving priorities.

“We have a strong culture of giving back to the community,” Hauser says, “and this policy ensures that will continue.”

Hauser also oversaw the creation of a volunteer time-off (VTO) policy that allows employees to volunteer in several capacities, from supervising a child’s field trip to delivering meals.

“The VTO policy is one I wanted Altra to offer employees so they could volunteer during their workday,” she says. “After surveying staff, the No. 1 reason people didn’t volunteer was lack of time. I wanted to remove that barrier.

“I’m fortunate to be in a position where I help Altra give back to our communities,” Hauser continues. “I love the spirit of the credit union movement that embodies people helping people. And I love being part of an organization that values that spirit.”

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