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A Crasher’s Story: The Year of “Yes”

Educational Systems FCU’s Nicole Galloway was one of 58 emerging leaders chosen to Crash the GAC earlier this month. A collections manager, Galloway represented Maryland. She shared her amazing experience, including why she encouraged her fellow Crashers to make this the year of “Yes.”

What surprised you about the experience?

My fellow crashers and I are from all different walks of life from various positions in this credit union industry movement. The way that we all meshed so well together, our ideas were the same, our joy of the credit union movement was the same, our passion and desire to see change was the same. We all talk every single day since the crashing experience and have plans of connecting and meeting up soon. For those that have already had interviewing opportunities we have been there to build them up and help to prepare them for the next chapter of their journey. It is such an amazing feeling to have a group that is cheering for you in the forefront and the background full of crashers and mentors. 

How has the crasher experience impacted you professionally and personally?

It is hard to put into words how impactful and important this experience has been for both my professional and personal journey. I had the amazing opportunity to be able to network with some of our industries top leaders. I sat at the Herb Wagner awards with a gentleman from Ukraine and connected about their credit union movement. The Hill hikes were remarkable, seeing John and Rory in their element, as well as the other CEOs that came along with us. To simply be afforded the opportunity to be in the room and understand that our voice matters, and that the politicians do care about financial literacy and the impact that it has on our communities, is a remarkable feeling. I also now have a team of 58+ individuals that I can bounce ideas off. We have all been there for once another. The speakers also taught us so much, from learning about the beginning of the credit union movement and the umbrella man, to understanding that it is ok to “not dull your sparkle, because the right person will wear shades.” And then our last session of providing that safe space to allow for our voices to all be heard provided me with so many tools and techniques to continue to lead and develop my team to be the next leaders of our industry. I also have been talking (in some instances a lot) about this opportunity with the Collections Roundtable that I have been awarded the opportunity to Chair. Unfortunately, in our area, we are not as privy to opportunities such as this, so I have vowed to continue to be that voice to make sure we apply, we try, we continue to make things happen. 

What were your key takeaways?

My key takeaways are that it is perfectly fine to advocate for yourself. Produce a plan, one of the speakers advised us to do a series of items:

  1. Come up with three items for your own personal development and growth.
    1. Write it down, let your supervisors know your intentions, and then have a plan of action.
  2. Be intentional in your development plan allow your voice to be heard, be open for change for our future growth and endeavors.
  3. Learn more about financial literacy and the impact that it can have on our youth. Be the change you want to see. 

Would you encourage other young professional to apply for the program?

Yes, everyone should apply. No matter your walk of life, no matter if you are young or young at heart. There is an opportunity for all of us to learn, grow, and excel in the financial industry. Do no limit yourself for the fear of not being accepted, for being an introvert. I advised all of the crashers that this is our year of “yes”. Even if you are told “no” or “not yet” do not allow that “no” to deter your determination to succeed in life. 

Read about our DC Crasher, Moria Adams from Andrews FCU.

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