Amy Crowe, Summit Credit Union
IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Amy Crowe, financial education specialist, Summit Credit Union.
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1. What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?
My work provides me the opportunity to help people improve their personal finances so they can truly live a life that is authentic to them based on their values, hopes, and dreams. I have the opportunity to do a lot of public speaking, and in the process I challenge myself to find ways to connect to people, their emotions, and their dreams so they become motivated and inspired to think differently about their money. It’s challenging because everyone has his or her own source of motivation. My goal is to find a way to resonate with that motivation so they take what I have taught and apply it to improve their lives.
2. Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?
I admire the phenomenon that is Oprah. She is role model for continual learning and self-examination. She is vulnerable and yet confident at the same time. She shows women that you are enough just the way you are, that you can shape, form, and work toward something. But most of all that it’s defined by you and what resonates with you.
3. What has been the high point of your career so far?
I’m so proud to work in the credit union movement. I’ve been blessed to be able to give back every day in my work for almost 20 years. In 2000, I became a Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE) through the National Credit Union Foundation. It changed the direction of my life from marketing to teaching personal finance, which is truly my passion. Now I’m a certified educator in personal finance (CEPF). I’m producing Summit’s Project Money program, a financial challenge where people work with a financial coach to increase their savings and reduce their debt. It’s awe-inspiring to see people be vulnerable, conquer fear, overcome their own self-doubt, and courageously share their stories of change, challenge, and success with an entire community. In turn, I get to share these stories and inspire others to make changes. For my own family’s finances it’s a reminder to be mindful and intentional, and to live the life my husband and I want to live and provide for our daughter. I think any time you can gain value in your work and it can be applied personally, you’ve found a niche.
4. Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
Earlier in my career, there were opportunities I didn’t pursue or fully take advantage of because I thought I needed more experience. I’d tell my 21-year-old self to have more confidence, be brave, do it scared, and to embrace life by playing more. I’d tell her to write more, experience more fun things, build more relationships, and connect more with people. What I’ve learned is you have to continually challenge yourself to grow. You may rise and fall but you get back up and do it again. As a wife and working mom it’s important to show my daughter and remind myself that there is a balance between work and fun.