Sonia McCabe serves as the Marine Credit Union (MCU) regional service manager for the Decorah, Prairie Du Chien, Davenport and West Des Moines areas. She has been with MCU for over 21 years. Originally from the La Crosse, WI area, Sonia attended high school at Logan and continued her education at Western Wisconsin Technical College, earning a degree in computers, during a time when the internet and AOL were new and connection speeds were still at dial up. “Interior decorating is not an option,” her mom told Sonia. She explained her mom wanted her to do “something important.” Although she said the culture at MCU has changed through the years, “In my heart,” she shared, “the members have always been number one. “I manage with my heart,” Sonia added. “My team is my extended family. They are my friends and my family. I care what happens to each team member.”
Sonia said “the philosophy,” at MCU, “has always been the same … always go out of the way to help members succeed financially. I know so many members by name.” She said that after 20 years, you get to know the personal lives of those you serve.
In June of 2020, the dynamic of her team changed. It became larger, now consisting of 12. “I am getting to know each person, their likes and dislikes, how they like praise. I keep these relationships close to my heart,” she said.
Sonia shared it was difficult when MCU lobbies closed due to the Covid pandemic. But, she said, they got through it as a team. Her work, she said, has always been about her team. “It’s never been about me as a manager,” Sonia said. “It’s been about them.”
Where did she get this caring leadership style from? “I’ve had great leadership at MCU – good leadership to guide me. I personally felt MCU has always looked out for my best interest.” She said her leaders taught her to be there for her team and to go out of your way to do so.
How are they getting through the pandemic? “It’s about listening,” she said. “Just listening and letting them vent what’s on their minds.” Sonia said she has strong connections with her superiors and colleagues. “You can always reach out with questions and concerns. That’s what makes us stay connected,” she added.
Her job, Sonia explained, is to help her staff reach their potential and reach their goals.
“I don’t think anyone anticipated covid hitting us like it did,” she said. “I know that everyone struggled. It was a hard process. A lot of members have taken on digital,” she explained and added that even those who didn’t feel comfortable can still do their banking with MCU.
“Smart ATMs were a huge win. It helped a lot of members who couldn’t be here in person.” Sonia explained. Since the beginning of the pandemic, MCU has “delivered a lot of great digital things. It may not have happened as quickly as they did without the pandemic.”
“I grew up in a credit union world,” Sonia shared. “The philosophy has always been the same – take care of the members. I love my job. I get to know people.” And through the pandemic, Sonia shared, “When they’ve needed us the most, we’ve gone out of our way to help them.”
Sonia credits her mom for her caring nature. “My mom,” Sonia shared, “she’s a giver. She always worked hard.” Sonia said her mom taught her to never give up … “even when the path is difficult. My mom always worked hard our whole life. My step-dad too. He would be the one to stop and help you. My mom too. She always went out of her way to help people.” She said her mom is “super proud of her.” That is if she is doing “anything other than interior decorating,” Sonia added with a laugh.
When not at work, Sonia said her “number one priority” is her family. Sonia and her husband Jonathan have two children, 11-year-old Quinlan and seven-year-old Briella.
Sonia has served her community at MCU for the over 21 years. “I love my job, my team and what I do,” she shared.