As of Wednesday morning, two Synergy Credit Union executives are in the running for Next Top Credit Union Executive (NTCUE).
The NTCUE competition allows young credit union professionals to stand out amongst their peers, and be recognized for the work they are doing to advance their credit union and the financial movement.
“It provides finalists and the winner with educational credits to help them further their careers within the credit union industry,” according to the competition’s website.
The two Lloydminster credit union executives who are in the running for the 2014 NTCUE are Kristy Miazga, regional manager II, and Maranda Sheahan, an account manager, who both work at the Lloydminster Synergy Credit Union.
Both were nominated for two different projects Synergy Credit Union has. Sheahan for Rock Your Money Like a Rockstar, a program that she explained as teaching students and kids financial literacy, and Miazga was nominated for Synergy Emerging Leaders, which Miazga described as creating and growing the next level of incredible Synergy Credit Union leaders.
“My pitch was to promote Synergy emerging leaders. Synergy emerging leaders is the internal committee of existing leaders in the company and it’s really for anyone,” Miazga said of the Synergy Emerging Leaders Program. “It’s people from across our entire organization who want to further our career and strive for success. Our main mandate for the committee is to promote networking from within the company.”
Miazga couldn’t give an exact date of when the committee was first formed, but said it really took off four years ago.
“In the last three years I came on as a committee member, and worked my way up through the different positions in the committee.”
Since Miazga has been involved in the Synergy Emerging Leaders, she said that the committee has gone through some restructuring.
“We have created regions within the Synergy Credit Union branches,” she said.
Sheahan said that her background was a reason why she has passionately made financial literacy for everyone a priority.
“Coming into the financial world, I see a need for financial literacy in the community. Rock Your Money Like a Rockstar is aimed towards youth, but it can be adapted to any age and background,” she said.
“It’s about giving the basics to someone to make good financial decisions in their life.”
Sheahan said that young people might not always know that the actions that they have, or they take can hurt them in the long term financially.
“Just being able to give students and young people that guidance can help them with the hard choices they might face later in life,” she said.
During the interview, Sheahan said that she was part of the Synergy Emerging Leaders committee and the Rock Your Money Like a Rockstar spawned from that original committee.
“Within this group that we have, we were presented with an opportunity to do a financial literacy conference at the Saskatchewan Student Leadership conference.”
In the past, Sheahan said that presenting financial literacy was something of a formal presentation.
“It might have been a little dry, and we knew that we only had an hour to make as much of a impact as possible,” she said.
Being one of only 24 candidates for the award this year, Sheahan said that being nominated and recognized shows that there is a need for financial literacy.
“Financial literacy is not going away, and that times have changed, youth have changed but how we are presenting it has to change,” she said.
Being nominated for this award seemed like a pipe dream some time ago, Miagza said.
“It seemed like a pipe dream a while back, so far out and not obtainable, but here I am.”
Sheahan said it’s a pleasure being nominated beside someone who you’ve worked with for sometime.
“Going up against someone that your respect can be difficult, but either way we both will be routing for each other. If I don’t go the whole way and she does that is great, and vise-versa. Either way, we will be supporting each other.”
With voting open to the general public, which began yesterday at 10 a.m., Sheahan and Miagza are both asking for the community’s support in getting them to the next round of the competition. Miagza and Sheahan both agreed that getting to the final round of the competition would benefit not only the programs that they are promoting, but themselves as well.
Fifteen of the top 24 candidates for the NTCUE will go onto the next round of the competition. Twelve of those 15 will those who receive the most online voting from July 16 to 31. Three contestants will be selected by the NTCUE committee and will move on from with the top 12 contestants.
Voting takes place online at http://www.nexttopcreditunionexec.com/vote.