Valerie Williams explained what her job is as the Senior Central Mortgage Loan Representative at Marine Credit Union (MCU). “I help change people’s lives by consolidating debt and/or getting them into homes.” She said she helps people on “the best” or “the worst” day of their life … “or somewhere in between.” “It isn’t about the numbers on paper” associated with that person … she said it’s about getting to know “everyone’s story.”
Valerie’s journey with MCU started in January of 2018. She explained that her first step into the financial services arena was helping people with smaller consolidation loans and vehicle loans, what she called “quick fixes but with the same purpose – to help get them into a better financial spot.”
Valerie led a team that developed a new department for MCU. She explained that MCU was already known for its service for less-than-prime lending, but the new department was to focus on people already in a great financial position. Before creating the new department, Valerie explained that once MCU helped members get to a better financial place, they used to send them somewhere else. She explained it was as though they had to say, “We’ve helped you out, now you’re too good for us. Go someplace else.” With the new department in place, Valerie explained they can now can also help advance the lives of those having “the best day of their lives.”
Valerie shared that other than her beloved grandmother, a “very giving person” who cared for her during her first five years of life, she didn’t grow up with strong role-models. “It put me in a position that I wanted to be the person I needed growing up,” she said.
Valerie learned early on to “do the best you can in everything you do” and held several leadership positions prior to being recruited to work at MCU.
Before her and her husband Zack relocated to the west side of Wisconsin for her new position at MCU, Valerie said she was “always a strong advocate of being a part of the community you’re in.” MCU, she said, helped her to stay active in volunteering.
“I’ve always wanted to help people from the aspect of being the person they needed,” Valerie said. Because of her personal background some “automatically think that I interact with youth.” Valerie shared, though, that she is a regular volunteer at a facility for the elderly with disabilities. “I feel they have been forgotten about … especially when they have mental or physical disabilities.”
Valerie also works with people who have graduated from MCU’s Finding HOME Program. “When they graduate, they can feel isolated and on their own,” she said. So, Valerie volunteers to help these families move into their new homes. “I’m small but mighty,” she said with a smile. “If there is a will, there is a way. I have found this to be very rewarding.”
Valerie shared she also “stepped up” and created a neighborhood watch program for her community. “There was a need for it,” she said. “I stepped up, because that’s who I am.” As president of the program, she says she does it because she wants to build a stronger sense of community where she lives.
Valerie doesn’t see herself as a victim of her past, but said, “I am a strong advocate for being a survivor. You have to be accountable and use the cards we are dealt with.” She said she is grateful for her past because without it she wouldn’t be as compassionate as she is now. “I’m thankful for what I’ve had and what I’ve worked hard for.”
As the captain of her soccer team growing up, Valerie said she would always be really excited to try something new and to take others under her wing. “I shared my love of the sport so they could love it too,” she shared. Valerie stepped into her career path with the sense of loyalty and leadership she showed as a child, starting at Dominos as an entry-level employee and moving up “quickly” to store manager, operations coach and eventually built training programs to “inspire leaders” at several locations of the franchise.
Valerie, said she is living her best life in a community she loves with the “best husband” and the “best dog,” Chester. “He really is the best,” she said of Chester. “There is so much about him to love. Everyone wants to be his friend and he wants to be everyone’s friend.” In addition, she said she is happy with her career choices. “Life is good,” she added.
Valerie said she aligns personally with the MCU core values and mission. She said, “It’s an integral part of who you are and that’s what brings it all to life. I want all of these things independent of MCU. MCU aligns with who I am as a person.”
She said she “feels so lucky” to be a part of her team at MCU.