‘Find your why’

Credit union philosophy drives Jason Stidham to improve members’ lives.

Jason Stidham, Bay Federal Credit Union

I accidentally fell into the credit union movement. I started my financial career as a teller for a commercial bank right out of high school. When my position as assistant manager was eliminated due to the Great Recession, I needed a job.

I decided to apply at the credit union that was the only place to offer me—an 18-year-old, working college student—my first auto loan: Bay Federal Credit Union in Capitola, Calif.

I didn’t really know what a credit union was, I just remembered them because they were the only one to approve my loan. I started as a teller, worked my way up to management, and then joined the marketing and education team where I taught new hire orientation, trained employees, and dove into the credit union philosophy of “people helping people.”

It was so different from the environment where I worked before. Everything the credit union movement preached proved to be true: we truly exist to help our members, collaborate instead of compete with each other, and serve our communities in ways I never imagined.

 

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