Amy Ortega serves as the Market Manager out of the (MCU) branch in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. She works along-side five business development officers and 60 (plus) partners in the community. Her job, she said, mostly consists of creating relationships and serving others in her community. Her focus – “What can we do to help you? It’s all about helping one another,” she said.
Amy explained that her job is “a lot” of leg work. Her team spends their time out in the community three days a week meeting with six to eight partners a day. They do this, Amy explained, to get to know their needs.
“During the pandemic, we created massive relationships,” she shared. “Yes. This is sales.” But, for her and her team, she explained, it is so much more. Amy said a lot of their work during the pandemic wasn’t about sales, but about asking the question, “What can we do to help (our partners)?” In one situation, her team brainstormed to come up with ideas to help a dealership that was struggling through the pandemic. They decided to help the partner by serving up brats and hamburgers to the first 100 customers on their lot one day – MCU paying for the food and MCU employees volunteering at the event. Even better, people at the event wanted to donate. So, they put out a cup and not only helped the dealership but raised over $600 to help rescue animals.
“It is so amazing to work for a place where I can be 100 percent myself,” Amy shared. “MCU loves to help people.” Amy said that after taking the job at MCU, she realized the “sky’s the limit” and she has never been turned down in her advancing the credit union’s mission to help the community or an individual. “Let’s just go help someone,” she said. “My job backs me up in that,” she enthusiastically added.
Amy is originally from Lomira, Wisconsin, a small community about 15 minutes from Fond du Lac. She met her husband while in high school and said she “married young.” She credits gaining her passion to serve others to her mom, who was a single parent to her and her two brothers. “No matter what, she would find a way to help somebody,” Amy shared. She said that when she grew up, following her mom’s example, she had learned that it’s not about how much you earn, but more so, how she wants to be remembered as someone who could be counted on.
She explained that starting her own family at a young age and with her husband’s starting military salary, “We didn’t make a lot of money.” But she said that her children would say that their best memories where from times they didn’t have a lot. Because, she explained, those were the times they “made something out of nothing.”
“Everyone deserves someone to help them,” Amy continued. She recalled seeing other veteran families struggling financially. “It’s always the great people, isn’t it,” she said referring to people who serve. “I’ve seen it all,” she said referring to veterans who had been injured in the line of duty and those who had fallen into addiction. “It’s just not right.”
Amy said she has felt it important to be there to help others, even spending her last bit of money to help those less fortunate. “I tend to want to be giving,” Amy shared. “I was shocked to work for a place that loved me for that.”
“I really care about my people,” Amy added. “My team is the world to me. They are so compassionate, so loving. She said that even though they might have to play catch-up sometimes because of their mission to help others, “it’s all worth it,” to her and her team.
Amy shared that when branches closed due to the pandemic, it was a “sad moment in time” for her, not being around her team. She said she didn’t know what she could do to help, but MCU stayed in touch, had talking sessions about COVID and even developed a Compassion Task Force who reached out to members.
Before Amy was able to return to her office, she said she personally wrote letter to MCUs partners and called them but knew she needed to do more. “I was itching to get out there and help,” she said. “We listened to their stories and chose who we could help.” Amy shared this year’s school supply drive was bigger than ever and even brought her to tears because of the overwhelming response from the community to help. “There was food, the police department, the fire department, the army…they all showed up. Sixty plus children left with backpacks filled with supplies, food, drinks, new shoes, bikes, and gift cards. I am so blessed with the community that I serve,” Amy added. “MCU backed me 100 percent!”
Amy and her husband, Adam, have three children, Ashley (23), and twins Abbi and Alex who are now 19 and now have a two-and-a-half-year-old granddaughter, Ameera. What’s next for Amy? “Learning how to overcome all the changes in the world and keep going towards your goal,” she replied. She said MCU’s motto isn’t about just advancing the lives of others financially. “It’s believing in the “I can” in your life. It’s more about what we can do to help our members, our partners and our community.”