#TheresNeverBeenABetterTime…to Love Credit Unions: Happy Valentine’s Day!
Love it or hate it, the time of the year filled with long-stemmed roses, heart-shaped chocolates and cheesy Valentine's Day card puns is here. While we at Filene love and celebrate credit unions 365 days a year, there's truly no better day to express our affection.
Yes, it's true. You're tops to us! It is because of you we exist to serve this industry and to advance the boundaries of possibility through research, innovative ideas, and collective action. It's your passion and insights that encourage us to think more boldly about the future.
An Interview with Danielle Frawley and Tanya Thompson
We clearly love credit unions--and as you'll see, so do our newest Fileners Danielle Frawley, Stewardship & Development Director and Tanya Thompson, Membership Manager. That’s right, in true Valentine’s Day spirit, both started with Filene in February, and both are here because they love the credit union movement and are committed to helping Filene members get the most out of membership with Filene!
Danielle and Tanya have a lot of history working with and serving credit unions. We asked them to answer a few questions so you can get to know them better. Our Filene members will be hearing much more from them in the year ahead.
Tanya Thompson (left) and Danielle Frawley (right)
How did you first meet credit unions?
Danielle: I was looking for a job in business to give me more experience in my field while attending college. My college roommate worked at a credit union and suggested that I apply there.
Tanya: I was introduced to credit unions in 1991 when I joined CUNA Mutual Group working nights while going to college earning a marketing degree. The very first thing I did after I got the job was become a member of CUNA Credit Union (Summit Credit Union) and haven’t looked back since.
What is your favorite "credit union moment" when you knew you were in love?
Tanya: It was my first day of training when I learned about the amazing birth of credit unions and the people helping people philosophy. The selfless heritage is something very special and I love the fact that it’s rooted in every credit union. I compare it to the Green Bay Packers--the only non-profit, community-owned professional sports team.
Danielle: It was during the first all-staff meeting at Fort Community Credit Union, when I heard our CEO, Ron Vogel, talk about sharing our profits with our members and the amount we were giving back that year to our membership through a patronage dividend along with community dividends that would be given out. The cooperative spirit felt so alive in that room and I knew that I wanted to continue to be a part of that.
One of our favorite quotes is (no surprise) from Ed Filene: "The credit union movement--it is a great movement, worthy of great deeds, deserving of great loyalty."
What is one of your favorite quotes from someone who inspires you?
Danielle: "We must remember what we started out to do and then find ways to do it with the modern techniques available." - Louise McCarren Herring
Tanya: “In all tests of character, when two viewpoints are pitted against one another, in the final analysis is the thing that will strike you the most, is not who was right or wrong, strong or weak, wise or foolish…but who would go to the greatest lengths in considering the other’s perspective.” - Mike Dooley
What do you bring--from your experience, passion and focus--to your work today that will help members get the most out of their relationship with Filene?
Tanya: Over my past 25 years at CUNA Mutual Group working closely with credit unions, one thing remained constant--there has never been a better time to be part of the credit union movement. There is a tremendous amount of opportunity for growth and bettering the lives of consumers everywhere.
Danielle: I've been fortunate to work in many different areas of credit unions. During my time within credit unions, I led the opening of two student-run high school credit unions, participated in the remodeling and building of credit union branches, led a rebranding effort, led a cultural shift and refresh, launched two new websites, implemented online account opening, and assisted in moving to a paperless environment. I'm really excited to bring my past experiences to the members of Filene to help connect the dots between their needs and ways that Filene can help them achieve their strategic goals.
What gets you the most fired up about working in the credit union industry?
Danielle: The credit union industry has a lot of opportunity to make impact as we navigate a new FinTech world with our members and consumers. As Mark says, "Hashtag there's never been a better time to be a credit union." Credit Unions are much more nimble than other industries and we need to utilize that strength to our advantage.
Tanya: I’m excited to share Filene’s research insights and tried-and-true innovation that creates depth and dimension to support the growth of the movement.
Anything else you want friends of Filene to know about you?
Tanya: I’m super excited to get to know our awesome members. We are a tremendous resource--let me know how I can help you!
Danielle: I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Filene and to continue my career in such a passionate industry. Fun fact about me--I grew up on a dairy farm in Southern Wisconsin and was known to occasionally play my recorder for our cows. The cows would line up along the fence-line to listen, even though I was terrible. My Mom has this on VHS somewhere, but luckily not many people have VCRs anymore!
Happy Valentine's Day
So once again, happy Valentine’s Day, no...week, no...month! Go ahead, just embrace it. And if you want to learn more about what Filene membership can do for you, hear Danielle play the recorder, or just have a chat with either of these credit union lovers, reach out to Danielle or Tanya—and maybe even share some of your answers to these questions in the comments below!