Tara Kieler works remotely from her Platteville, Wisconsin home as a Regional Service Manager for Marine Credit Union (MCU). She explained that she oversees five branches in Platteville, Lancaster, Dodgeville, Monroe and Sheboygan. She said that she serves as a coach for her team. She explained that this can include “how they handle things, celebrating success, goal cascading and creating development plans for each employee.”
“We can learn what it’s like in different departments,” Tara explained and said that it gives employees the opportunity to learn their “best fit” in the organization. This all serves MCU’s values of collaboration and commitment well. “I love our new values,” Tara shared.
To go back a bit … Tara explained that she started in banking in 2010 but she loves the “family feel” at MCU. She started at MCU five years ago as a teller, and also worked as a banker and assistant manager. The organization she worked for originally merged twice before MCU. “Technically,” she explained that she has worked a total of seven years at MCU, but four since the merger.
What is it about MCU for Tara? “Community involvement is a huge passion of mine,” she explained. “It shows that we are compassionate people.”
“It’s the leaders’ role,” she continued, “to be able to see different personalities to be able to utilize strengths instead of focusing on weaknesses.”
“I had a leader who did that,” Tara shared. “She pushed me, focused me and encouraged me to speak in front of people. I’m grateful I had a leader with compassion who pushed me to grow.”
But there is even more to it than that for Tara and how she empowers her team. They do what they call a “feel good Friday” when her team is encouraged to share a story of something they are proud of. They have “motivational Monday” quotes and “coffee chats” on Wednesdays. “We can’t wait to share with the team and with higher up leaders so that we can share in the success with those employees’ stories.”
“Celebration,” Tara continued, “is the number one thing we need to focus on. Celebration and encouragement.” She said she is always finding ways to celebrate success. “When we make our employees happy, they make our members happy. This creates a circle of helping each other.”
Tara was born in La Crosse. When she was in high school, she worked at a supper club and her first bank account was at MCU. “I remember thinking that I always wanted to work in banking. Everyone was professional and kind,” she shared.
Tara later attended Madison Area Technical College. Her thought at the time was to study to become a dental hygienist, but she got a job at US Bank … which eventually brought her to MCU.
“It’s a family feel,” she said at MCU. She explained how much she appreciates MCU’s volunteer hours for employees and being able to help the community. “You get to talk and meet with the CEO and the executive team. I’m excited to work for a company like that,” she added.
Tara and her husband Jason have two children, Kaylynn (8) and Jayne (5). They live just outside of Platteville in Kieler, Wisconsin. Her husband’s great-great grandfather was one of the founding fathers there.