Consumer Lending · June 17, 2022

Mary Jo Healey

Mary Jo Healey

Mary Jo Healey is a Market Manager at Marine Credit Union (MCU) for the Des Moines, Iowa area. Originally from Park Forest, IL (a suburb of Chicago), she moved to Iowa in 1987. Mary Jo, previously, was CEO of a credit union that merged with MCU. She shared that during her previous position she received a letter regarding a merger/acquisition. “I would have normally opened the letter, glanced at it and thrown it in the garbage,” she shared. “But for some reason…”

Mary Jo said the credit union at that time needed to catch up with technology to keep up with “younger tech-based members.” So, she decided to listen to see what was being offered. “My biggest concern was that I wanted to make sure I took care of my teammates and members. When I got the letter, I researched MCU.”

She explained the “bulk” of her members previously had very good credit. “We didn’t do risk,” she explained. “It wasn’t a challenged field of members. We were heavily focused on deposits, making money on fees and interest. At the time,” she added, “MCU was in need of deposits. Because of their risk-based lending and their mission, I felt we would gel.” She said she was able to keep her location in Des Moines and felt they were a “perfect fit.”

The merger, from start to fruition, took over one-and-a-half years, but she explained that they were slowly able to move over to the MCU processes. “It worked out great,” she added.

“We were able to offer so much more to our members and draw in the younger crowd,” she explained. “It made perfect sense to everyone involved.”

“I’ve been employed at five different credit unions over 41 years,” Mary Jo shared. Even in high school, Mary Jo said she would go to school in the morning and went to work in the afternoon at a bank. “I loved what I did,” she said. “What I found frustrating was that the customer service just wasn’t there. With all the banks, you were just a customer. I knew I was missing something.”

Even early on, at her first job working in human resources for an insurance company, Mary Jo was in charge of credit union deductions and said she recognized they did not have the best processes in place. “I raised my hand and asked, Would you mind if I reached out to the credit union and learned more about their system?” Shortly after, Mary Jo shared, that credit union offered her a job. “It didn’t take long for me to accept.”

She went from being a teller, to a loan officer, worked in collections and later became CEO. From there Mary Jo moved on to larger credit unions, and said, “I took that as far as I could go.”

“I’m not the type to sit idly by,” she explained. I will raise my hand and, for the most part, it’s worked out really well.”

“Bank” she said jokingly, “is a four-letter word.” The mission behind a credit union, Mary Jo said, “is in my bones. My number one priority is what is in the best interest of the member.”

Where does Mary Jo get her passion to serve? “I mainly have to thank my parents,” she said. “I am a product of my environment. My parents were very kind and generous. I never wanted for anything in my life.”

“I’ve always been very compassionate,” she continued. “I try to put myself in other’s shoes. I am so fortunate. I am so lucky. Members … come in in tears. It’s heartbreaking. Bad things happen to good people. It doesn’t make you a bad person. It’s how you handle it.”

“I feel like I’m the lucky one,” Mary Jo shared. “There are days I wish I could scream,” she said but she finds pleasure in being a part of “helping another member … another life.”

“Unfortunately, it’s never going to end. There is always going to be someone who needs help.” But, she added, “We always make sure to put our members in a better position when they leave than when they came in, or give them the tools to get there.”