By Meredith Knight
One thing that makes Credit Union of Texas employees proud is the company’s history of philanthropy. Each year, CUTX members and volunteers donate thousands of volunteer hours and millions of dollars to worthy causes such as Children’s Advocacy Centers, Junior Achievement, NAACP, the suburban homeless population, and more. CUTX supports its members by awarding annual scholarships and offering special programs and discounts to students, veterans, active military, or first responders. They further invest in their family of employees. Here are four we thought you’d like to meet.
Jennifer began working in car sales right out of high school but soon transitioned into auto financing. She still remembers one unforgettable early experience. “A man came into the service department with a car that was consistently breaking down when he needed to get to work,” she said. “He didn’t think he could afford a new one. I told him, ‘Let’s just see what we can do.’ He ended up qualifying for a new car at a lower rate than he’d been paying. It felt great to know he now had a safe vehicle he could depend on.”
Jennifer’s phone rang the next day. It was the same gentleman asking if she could help his daughters. “His three daughters all ended up qualifying for financing,” Jennifer said. “For two of them, it was their first car. The third daughter was pregnant with her fourth child and all of them were cramming into a tiny hatchback.“ I was able to get them into a safe vehicle with room for everyone. This is what I love about working for CUTX. Our members are our family. We get to be a part of their milestones from new babies to retirement.”
Now as Chief Engagement Officer, she’s making a difference in people’s lives every day. “When you do something like help someone obtain their first mortgage, you’re making their dreams a reality,” Jennifer said. When not on the job, she’s a mom of four busy girls and serves on the board of directors for Streetside Showers, a nonprofit which provides hot showers to the suburban homeless population in Collin County. This month she’ll be receiving her MBA from SMU.
Angela, Chief Administrative Officer, prefers putting her MBA and project management certificate to work making an impact in the back office. “Over 16 years with CUTX, I’ve worked in collections, project management, development, and many other departments, so I understand the ins and outs of each,” she said. “A lot changed last year because of the pandemic, and I’m working with an even wider variety of departments.” But you won’t hear Angela complain. She loves looking for ways to improve any process. “There’s often a philosophy in financial institutions that, ‘This is how we’ve always done it so it’s the only way it can be done.’ But CUTX is always open to innovating more efficient processes that benefit our members and employees.”
Angela says that during the COVID pandemic, financial institutions were suddenly eager to work with people struggling to manage their finances but that’s the way it’s always been at CUTX. “We have an amazing team working in collections,” she said. “They’re all about working with members to keep their finances in good standing. We want them to keep their car and their home and want them to be a member for life. When they need us, we always want to find a way to be there for them.”
Angela supports local nonprofits such as The Children’s Advocacy Center and Christmas is for Children Telethon. She especially loves volunteering alongside her daughter.
Kerry, Chief Accounting Officer, first cut her financial teeth in tax work and internal auditing. “I love accounting,” she said. “It’s like assembling a puzzle. All the pieces tell a story about an organization.”
She’s been a senior manager at CUTX for five years. “I worked at another credit union before coming here but the culture at CUTX is different” she said. “Credit unions by nature are collaborative with folks, helping each other and sharing across departments and even across credit unions. It’s even more so here. For instance, we made a core conversion recently and now are helping other credit unions make the conversion, sharing our experience and giving advice. It’s great working for a company that’s so eager to pay it forward.”
Kerry is an active member of Bentwood Trail Presbyterian Church, volunteers at Minnie’s Food Pantry two or three times a year, and supports the Presbyterian Children’s Home and Services. In her younger days, she said she loved swinging a hammer on Habitat for Humanity builds. Kerry enjoys bicycling, especially on the trails at White Rock Lake, and recently participated in a three-day, 170-mile ride in Colorado.
As a Chief Retail Officer, Courtney oversees 16 CUTX locations, so she interacts with many employees. She’s uniquely qualified to do so after having worked in most of their positions, at one time or other. “I consider myself lucky,” she said. “A small-town girl who moved to Dallas at 19, I got a job as a CUTX teller and worked my way up through almost every position. It helps me to gain the respect of those I manage when I can honestly say I understand the unique challenges of their job.”
“Every day brings challenges, but it helps to work for a company like CUTX,” Courtney said. “We’re heavily focused on serving our members with a red-carpet experience. Giving back to the communities where our branches are located makes them even better. I’m proud to work here. CUTX was started by teachers and we’re still very committed to supporting local schools and teachers. We’re always eager to get involved, whether it’s serving lunch to local teachers on the first day of school, feeding the homeless, supporting first responders, or meeting any other needs we see.”
When not on the job, Courtney loves being outdoors with her husband, two small daughters, and extended family, especially anywhere in the mountains.