Brooke Liu went to college at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa where she studied criminal justice, human services and minored in psychology and sociology. Her emphasis was on mass murders and serial killers. Her intentions, she explained, were to work for the FBI dealing with serial killers. She said she was drawn to the aspect of community service and doing the right thing. “I really liked the nature of it,” she shared.
Brooke’s mom was interested in abnormal psychology as well and later in her life went back to school to study it. Brooke said that it was all part of their family’s dinner conversations while she was in elementary and middle school.
But Brooke started working in banking, as a part time teller, when she was in college. She explained that she worked her way up, eventually becoming the security director for the bank she worked at, dealing with robbery, counterfeit, and elder abuse situations. Later Brooke took a position at a national retail chain as the executive team lead of asset protection. “It was all about how to have a safe and secure environment,” she shared.
Brooke said she had to have good communication skills to do her job and shared a situation requiring her to talk down a 6’2” 200-pound man. “I think they were surprised by that,” she said with a smile.
At one time, Brooke also worked as the Director of Operations for American Security and Investigations, providing armed and unarmed security programs for the companies, including active shooter training. “I wore every hat,” she shared. But that job, she said, was a 24/7 operation. So, in order to create more balance in her work/life, she said she decided to get back into banking.
Brooke now serves as the Marine Credit Union Fraud Risk and Operations Manager. She shared that she didn’t know anything about MCU until after a recruiter called her and she started investigating the organization. “I’m a true believer of leaving the world in a better condition than how I found it,” she said. “I really like the community focus of MCU. When I choose employers, it has to be a part of their foundation,” she added.
Brooke is very active in her community inside and outside of her work at MCU. She has served as President of the Madison Area Crime Stoppers and is involved in the National Night Out with the Urbandale Police Department. She also serves on the board for Wisconsin Rural House.
She said she gets her passion to serve through her parents. “I grew up with a strong female role model with my mother,” she said. “She studied art and marketing and took every class available. It took five years to get a degree. It was just an interest of hers,” she added. “My mom taught me values. How can you look for the good?”
“There were times,” she continued, “that we didn’t have a lot of money. It was still important to her to help out the community. It’s not always easy to do the right thing. We had examples of what not to do. And we learned from that.”
Brooke remembers having parole and probation officers come to her school when she was in 6th grade. She also spent a couple of days with parole officers in high school. “It opened my eyes that there is a lot of bad in the world.” And she began asking herself, “How can I impact the world in a different way?”
“You have to hold onto that faith in humanity,” Brooke shared. “There are times it is hard to work in fraud,” she said and shared an example of how heartbreaking it can be when a senior citizen gets taken for $15,000 in cash. “Identity theft is a traumatic event for members. You have to build a rapport with them. I let them know, ‘I will help you through this.’”
“You always have to hold on to faith in humanity,” she said again. “You have to have thick skin. You see a lot that frustrates you. You have to be able to work through that.”
“Serving the community is helpful,” she added, “and being able to create policies that make sense and are member focused.”
Another helpful thing for Brooke is their chihuahua, Jocko, who has been called the “coolest dog” and Brooke’s husband, Aeriond. “He’s a police officer,” she shared. “We get each other and are each other’s biggest supporter. My husband has a fantastic sense of humor. It’s nice to end the day and have that. He wants to serve the community as well. We are two peas in a pod.”