The biologist finds room to grow
A biology graduate from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Timothy Morris had no plans for a career in credit unions. But the loss of the scientific world is the gain of the credit union movement.
After graduating at the start of the Great Recession, he struggled to find a job in his chosen field.
A good friend referred him to a vacant position at The Capitol Federal Credit Union in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “The rest is history,” Morris says.
He started out as a member services specialist specializing in loan processing, is currently a card services analyst at the $ 609 million credit union assets. Morris was drawn to credit unions because he thrives on human interaction.
“I enjoy building relationships with our members and improving their financial well-being,” he says.
He believes credit unions can provide a work-life balance because they are rooted in the communities they serve.
“Credit unions that live up to the ‘people helping people’ mantra offer great careers because you have the chance to help members by providing products and services tailored to their needs,” Morris says. “As employees of credit unions, we can really help people achieve financial success.”
Morris is motivated by his duty of care to his family. “My ‘why’ is my family,” he says.
Providing for his wife and two-year-old son motivates him to succeed.
“I believe if you keep growing and moving forward, no one can stop you from being successful.
He cites hard work and tenacity as keys to advancement. “My pastor once said that babies are born because they have outgrown their surroundings,” Morris says. “If you keep growing and moving forward, no one can stop you from succeeding.”
Morris notes that his participation in the CUNA School of Management has greatly contributed to his professional development.
“I have grown tremendously and made so many connections with real, genuine credit union professionals from across the country,” he says. “Being with all these crazy people passionate about credit unions has helped me understand the movement better.
Morris seeks all available opportunities to also fully understand credit union operations, including additional strategic management courses and compliance certification.
“I enjoy learning more about the inner workings of credit unions and I have been fortunate enough to work in several different areas which have broadened my perspective,” he says.
He ultimately seeks to promote this perspective as the CEO of a credit union. “I am now diligently preparing for future opportunities in general management.”
He welcomes the ongoing conversation about diversity, equity and inclusion, and hopes they don’t just become “buzzwords and meaningless acronyms.”
“It’s a problem that won’t be solved without being intentional,” he says. “It’s time to add more seats to the table. I believe our boards and leadership teams should always reflect the makeup of the membership base we serve. ”
Morris advises credit unions looking to attract and retain young professionals to offer competitive compensation packages. “It might sound cliché, but doing what’s right pays off.”
This article is part of #CUYP: Young professionals in credit unions, CUNA News special focus on young professionals in the credit union movement. Use the hashtag #CUYP to join the conversation on Twitter.