Team Member SpotlightJamie FathereeBEHIND THE SCENES:Guiding others on their financial journeysAs a Financial Wellness manager, Jamie Fatheree is focused on improving members’ financial standing no matter where those members are on their respective journey.BY BRIDGET McCREAThe Financial Wellness Team works with young adults who are in the early stages of navigating their finances and credit, individuals who are working to improve their credit and financial health, and those who are preparing for retirement. “We try to steer them away from the credit repair companies that charge money to basically dispute charges,” Fatheree said.

The department also participates in monthly webinars on topics like budgeting and credit repair and hosts a summer teen camp for youngsters who want to learn about the basics of credit, budgeting and other core financial topics.

“We stay pretty busy in our department and try our best to put ourselves out there, guiding members to make sure they’re financially prepared to take that next step, whatever that may mean for them,” Fatheree said.

Teamwork makes the dream work
Fatheree’s eight-person team includes five counselors who’ve earned CUNA's financial counselor certification and three administration personnel who handle all the scheduling, seminar prep and other tasks. The majority of the counseling sessions take place via Webex or phone, making the valuable service the team provides readily available for members.

Recently, Fatheree worked with a Credit Union member who had some “bumps and bruises” on his report and worried about being turned down for a cadet loan, a unique financial solution designed specifically for individuals who have been accepted into the American Airlines Cadet Academy.

The Credit Union recently partnered with the program to help future pilots pay for flight school.

“I spent the summer working with him to clean up some issues on his credit report and helped him establish good credit,” Fatheree said. “We were able to get him approved for a potentially life-changing loan that could impact his whole future.”

Soaking it all in
It’s only been a few months since Fatheree moved into her new management position. She started with the Credit Union in 1998 as a temp and after being hired on full time, she worked in various roles in numerous departments along the way. She said she’s looking forward to continuing to motivate her team to success and is enjoying working with a group completely devoted to helping others develop a strong financial foundation.

She’ll also be looking for new ways to positively impact members amid the current global uncertainty.

“Financial situations are changing drastically from what they were just 2-3 years ago,” she adds. “We're always looking for ways to help our members improve their outlooks and achieve both their current and future financial goals.”
Bridget McCrea is a Florida-based freelance writer who covers business, technology and supply chain for a variety of publications.