Valerie Plumb works for Marine Credit Union (MCU) in what she called the “smallest physical branch. It’s a cute, quaint little place,” she added. Small perhaps, but Valerie shared that she really enjoys working at the branch as a Member Service Representative. With her daily responsibilities ranging from opening and closing accounts, daily transactions, dealing with fraud and so much more, she calls herself a “Master of All Trades”. That said, Valerie said that she gets a lot of support from her regional manager. “She really supports us in every way she can,” Valerie shared.
Valerie has an interesting and diverse background growing up with a dad who was in the United States Marine Corps. “I’m not from anywhere,” Valerie said with a smile. “I lived a lot of places around the country.” Valerie shared she grew up everywhere from Twentynine Palms in the Mojave Desert to the East Coast, Minnesota and in the South. She especially liked living in Mississippi being able to experience four seasons and on the coast in North Carolina. “I’m a water person,” she shared. “I love to swim.”
Valerie’s husband was born and raised in the Midwest. They met, though, when they were both in the military. On her 19th birthday, Valerie shared that she found herself on a plane to Germany. “I sang “Happy Birthday” to myself. It was both scary and kind of exciting.” Valerie served in Germany for two years installing telephone systems. While in Germany at the unit’s Christmas party, a man named Tim Plumb and Valerie drew each other’s names for a gift exchange. Tim and Valerie have been married now for 35 years.
Valerie and her husband eventually landed back in the Sheboygan, Wisconsin area where her husband was born and raised. Valerie said she has no regrets being a stay-at-home mom when her family was younger but as the kids got older “and the toys got more expensive,” she explained that she went to work as a teacher’s aide for children with special needs. “It was natural,” she said, because her youngest child had special physical and occupational needs due to a cognitive delay.
Valerie also worked in retail for nine years, but retail being a seven-day-a-week job and wanting to have nights at home with her family, she thought she might try working at a bank or credit union. “I’ll give it a shot,” she said. “Tell me what to do.” Shortly after that, she started working at one of Fond du Lac’s busiest branches. “I learned so much there,” she shared.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the branch closed and only served members through the drive through at that location. “MCU didn’t need a big lobby anymore for the amount of people we served,” Valerie shared. And that is how she ended up where she is today.
“I had no idea about MCU before applying here,” Valerie commented. “I was floored. I loved the way they helped people and members. We do help a lot of our members.”
Valerie shared that their branch is located near a homeless shelter. “I hear their stories,” she said of those they serve in the area. “They are some of the best people. Some of them are just getting back on their feet,” she said. “Life happens. Some of their stories are very heartbreaking. We are here to hear their stories.”
One person, Valerie shared, had been living in her car for seven months and because of Covid and a fire, had nowhere else to go. “We helped her out and talked her through it,” Valerie explained. “She brought in her first paycheck. She says we are her therapist. There are a lot of those same stories.”
“It warms my heart because we got to help her,” Valerie continued, saying the woman was living in the homeless shelter, found a job and now goes back to the shelter to help those still there. “It’s humbling,” she added. “I have a nice warm house and food to eat.”
Valerie and Melissa, the other MCU employee at the small branch, are doing big things for their community. Valerie shared they do “a lot” of meals for the homeless and do walks to raise money for the community … among other things. “It’s really great to give back to the community,” Valerie added. “It’s really nice.”