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Michigan Credit Union League

2021 AC&E: This Year's AC&E Young Professionals

At AC&Es of years past, a group of young professionals called “Crashers” would be in attendance, gaining useful access and knowledge to help them grow as future leaders in the Michigan credit union movement. This year’s future leaders and scholarship winners are known as the AC&E YPs (Young Professionals) and you might have seen them walking around the conference.

This year’s initiative to bring YPs to the AC&E was spearheaded by three group leaders who put in considerable time and energy to coordinate the group -- launch and award the scholarships and organize the group activities, meetings and networking events, which included special mentor meetings with CEO executives and a "give back" activity that coordinated art supplies for Children's Miracle Network Hospital children patients. The leaders are: Kyle Trondle, marketing manager of T&I Credit Union; Erin Kozminski, VP of Marketing, Allegan Credit Union; and Kyle Zagunis, Operations Manager of One Detroit Credit Union.

The AC&E YPs' attendance was supported by scholarships from the Michigan Credit Union Foundation.

Below, you can get to know the YP a little more:

Ginger Grey Weeks, Community West Credit Union
Ginger Grey Weeks is a young professional who is always ready for any challenge that comes her way. Growing up the oldest of four, she learned from an early age what it means to be hard working, responsible and driven. Having a pastor as a father also grounded her in faith and strong ethics that foundations every decision she makes, both personally and professionally.

Currently she lives with her fiancé, Andy, and two golden retrievers, Buddy and Bella. They keep her quite active and lively every day. Ginger also is a full-time, online student to Grand Canyon University where she is studying for her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. She is an avid learner and a strong believer that everyone should be life-long students. She would describe herself as an extroverted introvert; socializing and meeting new people are always a highlight of her day, while sipping hot coffee and reading a good suspense/romance novel top off her night. An opportunity like the one the MCUF is offering to young professionals at the AC&E this year is one Ginger could not help but jump at; it is a chance of a lifetime!

Jakayla Hamminga, Forest Area Federal Credit Union
Jakayla Hamminga is a driven and enthusiastic Member Service Representative that currently works at Forest Area Federal Credit Union. She lives by the credit union's slogan both in and outside of work: “strengthening our communities, investing in your success.” She enjoys coming to work with the goal of ensuring members leave the building satisfied and with a smile on their faces, and loves to continue to spread the joy once she clocks out for the day as well. Her job allows her the opportunity to give input to improve the service that the credit union offers to it's members and leaves much space to grow for its employees, which is something that she places a lot of value in.

Among other things, Jakayla has spent some of her free time being present in the community. The annual road cleanup is one event she attends to benefit the community that she enjoys. There is a lot of value to be found in giving back to your community and that is a big theme within credit unions versus big banks, a lot of the revenue of Forest Area gets invested back into the members that they serve. C.S. Lewis says, "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." Jakayla lives by that, some of her biggest aspirations lie within her work. Aside from work, Jakayla has what you could call a bit of a hobby farm at home. Which includes (but is not limited to) eight miniature goats, one goose, and a flock of chickens, but with how things are going currently it won't be long until that list gets longer.

Jakayla puts her heart into her work and always puts her best foot forward when starting a new day. Her goal is to march until she reaches her destination, then catch her breath for a minute, and then get back up and keep on marching.

Krysta Campbell, Public Service Credit Union
Krysta Campbell began her career in the financial industry as a part-time teller at Public Service Credit Union in Romulus at 18 years old. Two years after working as a teller, she applied for the role of Records Librarian in the IT department and has currently held the position for three additional years (and counting).

Once settled in her new position, she steadily devoted herself to investigating and implementing various technological improvements with the end goal of transitioning the credit union into a paperless office. She has been crucial to the revamping of the credit union’s intranet site with the integration of SharePoint and other Microsoft 365 products. Her insight to the organization’s forms brought about her involvement with the assembling of the SharePoint site, ultimately progressing the credit union’s paperless objective.

Her passion for her professional and personal growth has driven her thirst for knowledge. While studying at Eastern Michigan University, she simultaneously takes advantage of the various external IT certification courses made available to her. Although she still has a ways to go until she gets established, she has already laid the groundwork for her to advance in the financial industry.

Melissa Pashak, Jolt Credit Union
Melissa Pashak works as the Marketing Specialist at Jolt Credit Union. She’s worked at Jolt for the past seven years; and started just after graduating from Central Michigan University. She absolutely loves her job and is so glad to work for an organization that is so dedicated to giving back to the community.

Melissa grew up in the Great Lakes Bay Region and can’t imagine living and raising her family anywhere else. There is so much to do around the region from the multiple parks and museums she can take her daughter to, to the amazing breweries and restaurants she and her husband have date nights at.

Melissa is honored to have had the opportunity to join the group of other young professionals attending the AC&E and forming new relationships with others in the field of “people helping people.”

Rachel Hart, Wildfire Credit Union
Rachel Hart is the Marketing Research Specialist at Wildfire Credit Union in Saginaw. She has been involved in the credit union industry since 2015, and has enjoyed learning many different aspects of the industry and how credit unions work together to benefit their communities. “People helping people” is what she strives to do in both her personal and professional life, and feels proud to be employed in an industry that believes the same.

Rachel attended Delta College in University Center and Northwood University in Midland and is a proud resident of the Great Lakes Bay Region, where she was born, raised and now gets to be a part of working within that community. Rachel also serves as a volunteer patient advisor at Covenant Healthcare, which works towards improving patient care in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

Sarah Bartz, Marshall Community Credit Union
Sarah Bartz grew up in Northeast Michigan most of her life and just recently moved to Union City, a small town in southern Michigan. Her favorite part about her new home is that it is a small, tight knit community where everyone knows everyone. Her lifestyle is active and she enjoys the outdoors, road trips, gardening and is always excited to try new things.

Sarah got started in her career in the financial industry at Marshall Community Credit Union just under three years ago and has fallen in love with the whole scheme of it. She started as a teller and moved through member service and into lending where she is now a Mortgage Loan Officer. Having knowledge of every department has truly helped her to be able to give members the best possible experience. The financial industry was not her initial career path, she graduated from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Allied Health Sciences with hopes of finding a path somewhere in healthcare but found her niche in a credit union.

Her favorite part about working in a credit union is being able to truly educate her members and find the products that will benefit them the most. She is thrilled to continue her journey in mortgages to assist members with such an exciting time of purchasing a new home or helping them refinance for whatever their financial needs may be.

Shalene Kirchmeier, South Central Credit Union
Shalene Kirchmeier is employed at South Central Credit Union as a Member Service Representative and specializing in loans. Shalene has recently taken over the loan department at South Central. She is newer to the credit union life but is extremely excited to get out and meet new people as well as get into the community more.

When Shalene started at South Central, she started out as a full-time MSR with every intention on learning more and eventually getting her dream job ... a loan officer. She is now still serving as a MSR when needed, but she is now more educated on other roles as well. She now has her own department. Her goal is to be more involved in the community. South Central has only one location, which is in Jackson. If you know Jackson, you know about the opportunities South Central has to be more involved.

Shalene came from the banking industry ... let’s just say she loves how the credit union life is. She is excited to be more, learn more, teach more and most importantly, listen more. Everything she has learned so far has her eager to be so much more knowledgeable. Being from the small town of Springport, MI she has always been a small fish in a big world as is the credit union right now. Shalene wants herself and the credit union to be more.

Jennifer Tange, Allegan Credit Union
Jennifer Tange grew up traveling the world with her family as her dad was enlisted in the Airforce for 22 years. When he retired in 2004, her whole family settled back in her parents’ hometown of Allegan. She was fresh out of high school and looking for a job when Allegan Credit Union offered her a part-time Teller position. Working hard, she moved up the ranks from part-time Teller (three years), to Loan Officer (five years), to Teller Supervisor (three years), Operations/HR Manager (four years) and finally to the VP of Operations position she holds today.

Jennifer is always seeking to try new things and push herself outside her comfort zone. She attended CUNA Management School, graduating in 2010 with a CCUE designation and achieved a CUCE designation in 2018.

She loves being outside in her garden or hiking in the beautiful trails of West Michigan and hopes to show her two kids that life is for living and we should enjoy every moment. We should learn from the past but not let it stop us from looking for the beauty in today and the brightness in what could come tomorrow.

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2021-08-24 00:00:00