Liz Malott serves as Sr. Vice President of Talent at Marine Credit Union (MCU). She explained that she oversees recruiting, training, leadership and career development, and shares in employee engagement. She has worked at MCU for almost 22 years. “I came for a job,” Liz shared. “I needed money. My mom was in education … a principal. She banked at Teacher’s Credit Union (which is now MCU) and she set up my first account. I always liked the service I got there, so when the role opened, I applied and got a job as a member service representative.”
After growing up in Spring Grove, MN, Liz said her intent was to attend the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse to study biology because she enjoyed the subject in high school. “I failed my first class,” she shared with a smile. “I was discouraged so I switched to business, and I never looked back.”
After college, Liz took a job as a traveling sales-person. “It wasn’t my path,” she said and laughed. She had considered going back to school, but the day she was going to check out the college … turned out to be 9/11.
Not long after, Liz started her career at MCU as a teller. “I grew with the organization,” she shared. After nine months, Liz was encouraged to take a position as a supervisor near Green Bay at a new branch. “So, I loaded up my car and drove to Green Bay,” Liz explained. “I helped open the branch and met a lot of friends there.” After another year and a half, Liz was asked to move back to Onalaska and worked in indirect lending and later transitioned to a consumer lender. At another point, she landed back in La Crosse, where she had started, supervising tellers.
Liz explained that it was her goal to be a branch manager. She achieved that goal and managed the La Crosse branch for over 9 years. I didn’t have a passion for leadership, at first,” she said adding that it was just something she wanted to achieve. “I got a lot of good advice from my mom on how to handle situations,” Liz shared, and she said she learned a lot about leadership.
“As a young manager, I once heard that people often don’t leave organizations, they leave managers. I reflected on that,” she added. She said she learned how to be a better leader through self-awareness.
Liz commented that she has been at MCU, “longer than I’ve been married and longer than I’ve been a mother. I learned empathy.” She said she was better able to understand others through her own growth and things like buying and selling her own home. She felt she was also helped along the way. “I was lucky I had a tenured person at a branch who helped me a lot.” (Vicki DeLap) Liz said she taught her about empathy and how to listen.
Since the pandemic, Liz said that they are in a hard job market. “But, we have an amazing recruiting team,” she said. That and MCU’s focus on the work culture and the employee experience has been helpful as well.
“We truly believe we want to bring together a community of people who drive our mission,” she explained. “Most are really inspired by that. It helps to attract talent when working towards the greater good,” Liz added.
For her personally, Liz said that it is about MCU’s mission in helping to advance the lives of people and helping employees reach their personal and professional goals. It is about “treating people they way they want to be treated.” And, it is about helping leaders to “develop their own style that feels authentic to them.”
Liz now lives with her husband Matt, and their two daughters, Mackenzie (13) and Taylor (11). A fun story Liz shared was when she moved back to the La Crosse area from Green Bay. In her role at MCU, she had to file a report about a fraudulent ATM deposit. “Because it was over $5,000,” Liz explained, “I had to file a police report. So, I did. My husband was the officer who took the report,” she shared with a smile. It was the first time she had met him. “We were married two years later,” she added.