Marine Credit Union (MCU) Consumer Lending Market Manager Evan Schwanke started in Green Bay, Wisconsin and ended up in Rushford, Minnesota. “I googled Rushford,” Evan said after he was offered an opportunity to work for MCU in the small Midwest town. He learned Rushford was home to “1,700 people, had beautiful hills, opportunities for fly fishing and a brand-new school” for his two children. “Let’s do this,” he said.
Prior to coming to MCU, Evan worked as a district manager for Pawn America. “The pawn world is the last line of defense,” Evan explained about people with financial hardships. “It’s rock bottom.” Evan said it was difficult trying to assist someone and not being able to put them in a better situation. “It wasn’t super fulfilling,” he said. He saw MCU’s mission – advancing people’s life so that can give back – as a way to help people. “It was inspiring to me.”
Evan said his job now is “meaningful work.” And, he added, “I really like what I do.”
Moving from Green Bay to the small community of Rushford, Evan said he feels an obligation to the community. Growing up with eight brothers and sisters, he learned the value of community. He said being connected to his community is “cool” and spoke to his roots when neighbors mowed each other’s lawns.
His goal is to lead with compassion and empathy and help people who are his friends and neighbors. “Treat others the way you want to be treated,” Evan said. “We mean it here.”
Evan said he doesn’t think he has ever experienced this level of compassion and emphasis on community in other organizations. “In real life, you hear about the concept,” he said. But at MCU, he said, it is their “driving factor. If you don’t do it, they call you out.”
To inspire his team, Evan said he encourages them to find a way to help people every day. “How can we make our communities and partners better every day?” And at their team call at the end of every day, they share something they did that day that they are proud of. “If you are impacting people’s lives,” he said, “you come back tomorrow and do the same thing.”
“It’s really easy for people to mold into the crowd and have that mentality,” Evan added. He said it’s important to “do the right thing … even when it’s not easy.” He said it’s important to rise above bad days and celebrate. “If you do that correctly, you have a huge impact on people.”
Evan said he feels it’s important to have the courage to ask the questions. Doing so in his role of market manager, Evan said, it is important to find people who need help and to be able to follow through with helping them.
Anything else? Evan said with a wink, “I do think that Aaron Rodgers will be back next year.” And … he added, “I’m my mom’s favorite.”
A self-professed dad-joker, Evan said when he gets nervous, he talks and makes jokes. What it “boils down to,” he said, “is that we only have so much time. Do something in the middle you feel good about and have fun. It’s okay to enjoy what you’re doing. Make a huge impact and have fun.”
He left with this: “What do the Chicago Bears and the mailman have in common? Neither deliver on Sundays.”