Linda Gurath started her career in finances while she was still in high school. She explained that her mother worked as a manager for a financial company during that time. “She had to get permission from her district manager in order for me to work there,” Linda said. She explained that, as a high school senior, she went to school in the morning and worked for her mother in the afternoon. “She was hard on me,” Linda shared. She said her mother would “come down hard” on her even when she was making the same mistakes others had made. “She actually did me a favor,” Linda added. “The people we worked with knew she wasn’t playing favorites.” As well, Linda said she learned to be a hard worker from both of her parents, which has served her well this past 42 years working for Marine Credit Union (MCU).
Linda’s tenor with MCU started in 1979, shortly after she graduated from high school. She currently serves as the Deposit Operations Quality Manager. Not only does she have a legacy of knowledge about MCUs operations, Linda and her department touch almost every facet of the organization through auditing; overseeing IRAs, new products, and special promotions; mergers; supporting branch staff, training on all the above, and more.
What is it about MCU that has kept her there longer than anyone else in the organization? “I enjoy the people I’ve worked with all the years,” Linda explained and added, “I believe in how we want to help our members.”
Linda said MCUs level of commitment to helping the community is important to her. She remembers working in the gardens of an organization that used horses to help kids with disabilities and volunteering for United Way Day(s) of Giving. “At some point in someone’s life, everyone needs help.” She said, “it says a lot” about an organization that is sincere about “helping people improve upon their situations.”
Linda said she also connects with MCUs value of collaboration. She shared she sees that high level of collaboration within her department and throughout the entire organization.
“During the pandemic, lobbies were closed,” she explained. “People who had worked on the front lines moved to different roles. When the lobbies opened, we didn’t have people to go back into the branches.” She said that people throughout the organization offered to go and work in the branches. “It took a lot of collaboration,” she said. “Teams came together to pick up the work left behind so that we could fill the branches.”
“We say it’s “collaboration,” but this is also “commitment,” she added. “We still needed to make sure we met our goals within the departments and not drop the ball.”
“I believe in what we stand for, what we do and what we offer,” Linda said of MCU. “I’m counting down to when I retire,” she said with a little laugh. She explained her first goal was to be the first employee to work 40 years at MCU. After reaching that goal, she said her new goal is 50 years.
She explained that one of her favorite parts of her job is training … and she has done a lot of it through the course of her career at MCU. She said, “I love being able to answer questions and sharing tricks. I can see when something begins to make sense – when they start connecting those dots. It’s always nice to help someone and see that expression on their face.”
“It’s great to expand someone else’s knowledge, to help them to gain expertise and give them opportunities to move up in the organization,” Linda added. “It’s a good feeling helping others get where they need to go.” Linda began working at MCU in the first, and at the time, the only branch in Fond du lac, WI. Back then all the auditing was done by hand. “I’ve seen lots of changes through the years … from 10 to 400 employees. There was a time I knew who everyone was,” Linda added with a smile. “It’s great working here.”