Brenda Stone shared she always wanted to be in a leadership position and has served at Marine Credit Union (MCU) as Supervisor of Deposit Operations for the past two years. “I certainly like helping people,” she said. “I really put the team first. Absolutely. I like to empower people. I like to help.” Brenda said she has always had an altruistic attitude in both her personal and professional lives. “My day is successful when I can help someone or help them feel better,” she shared.
Brenda said she feels she might have a different type of outlook on things. “I base life on gratitude, simplicity, order, love and joy,” she shared. Brenda said these principals, found in one of her favorite books, “Simple Abundance,” by Sarah Ban Breathnach has “gotten (her) through a lot of times.” The book, Brenda shared, was given to her by her sister after breaking away from an unhealthy relationship. She said that getting through life is a lot about gratitude. “It’s a discovery process, for sure,” she said. “You can always come up with at least five things, out of the day, to be grateful for.”
“I really have a lot to be grateful for,” Brenda continued. “I try to bring that back to the team.” In doing so, Brenda said she can bring her team back to MCUs core values of commitment, collaboration, courage, and compassion. The “company’s 4-Cs,” as Brenda referred to the values, work together. For example, “Having commitment means that team members help each other, and its collaboration that brings us together,” she explained.
Brenda has two sons who she is very proud of. Her oldest, Brandon, now 25, is passionate about and really, really, good at fishing, even having won the Pro-Bass state fishing tournament when he was only 15 years old. Brandon currently works as a director of marketing and has some very high-end (Hollywood) clients. Her youngest, Nathaniel, is still in high school and was recently named student of the month. He competes in golf, bowling and e-sports/gaming and has an interest in attending Viterbo University after high school to study graphic design.
Something both boys share with their mom is a love of community and volunteering. They’ve served community meals together and cleaned up the community … even handed out popsicles at parades together. “I recruited them both,” Brenda shared with a smile. She said she gets a “feeling of satisfaction” when she helps others. “I love the feeling of helping others through hard times.”
Brenda has had her hard times as well. She lost one of her sisters in 2018. Her sister was diagnosed with leukemia when she was only five years old. “I didn’t realize how spiritual she was,” Brenda shared tearing up. “Nothing ever stopped her from doing what she wanted to do. She couldn’t have kids and never married, but nothing stopped her. Maybe she has been my inspiration all this time.”
Another influential person in Brenda’s life was one of her supervisors at Kaplan, where she worked for 18 years before coming to MCU. “She was known to be rough and challenging and very cold. Before I left, I told her she was the best boss I ever had. She made me tough. I appreciated her leadership,” Brenda shared. She said her boss helped her to “do more” and “be more. You pick up things along the way from everyone,” she continued. “It kind of molds you somehow.”
When Brenda started at MCU, she shared she had never heard of the credit union before but knew people who worked there and heard a lot about the culture. Much like in her personal life, MCU’s mission includes helping people and advancing their lives. “Once I was hired,” she explained, “I could see all these things going on. It’s great.” She said she could never have imagined the magnitude of what MCU does for its members, employees, and the community.
Beyond her family and her work, Brenda said that when she isn’t volunteering, you can find her reading about leadership and has started several book clubs. “I’m passionate about my book clubs,” Brenda shared with a smile and said she loves to be continuously learning about leadership and how to grow and develop herself and her team.
Brenda said that community, connections, and family are what motivates her. Her best advise is to “take the time and appreciate what life has to offer in order to find true happiness, personally and professionally.”