When Lola Johnson came to her first day of work at Hanscom FCU, she couldn’t know that she would someday be responsible for a team of 11 employees. And that team would touch the lives of 75% of the credit union’s new membership.
Lola was named a Credit Union Rising Star by the Cooperative Credit Union Association. The award recognizes the brightest and most vibrant young credit union employees in the region, based on a written nomination highlighting leadership, creativity, and service to community.
The winners not only excel in the industry, but they also have significant potential to leave their mark in the future. But first, I’d like you to know Lola’s story so far.
Before coming to Hanscom FCU, Lola was in the U.S. Air Force for four years. Her group directed flight plans for C130s. Ensuring the safety of the pilots and crew and helping with their mission was a good fit for her.
Following her service, Lola returned to her native Massachusetts to be near family. In 2004, Lola became a call center representative at Hanscom FCU’s main office. “I knew as soon as I set foot in the door that this was where I wanted to be,” Lola explained.
The following decade saw call center communications change, not just at the credit union but everywhere. “I am really interested in how digital services have developed.” As more services became available electronically, Lola began working more with members through email and the website.
Her positive attitude and talent were recognized by coworkers. In 2012, she was honored as a Hanscom FCU Extraordinary Service Program Award winner. Soon after, Lola was selected for a Member Relations Center position. The group was out in front with innovative services, including online loan applications and acceptance to make the application process seamless.
As the department grew, Lola advanced to assistant manager in December 2013. Two years later, she became the department manager. Since she advanced through each position, she naturally understood the department’s goals as well as how each person contributed to success.
Lola certainly succeeded. In her first year as manager, the Member Relations Center generated $36.1 million in new loans and brought in 6,892 new memberships. Despite this volume, the Member Relations Center kept its focus on the concerns and needs of each member.
In Lola’s own words, “We treat each person as an individual. Members have stories, just like mine and yours. I want members to know that we will turn every corner with them. We know there’s genuine hardship out there.”
Part of the reason Lola gets the best work from her team is her ability to empathize and lead by example. “I want to know each employee’s goals, and what motivates them. That way, together we can find the best way to meet those goals while fulfilling the mission of our department.”
Lola is active with the First Baptist Church of Bedford, providing dinner once a month for the congregation. Also, she lights up when talking about being a host family in the METCO program. METCO brings students from Boston to suburban schools.
“A host family helps students who travel from the city to attend school. They give kids a place to stay after school, so they can participate in sports and other activities.” Lola describes herself as “everybody’s mom,” making signs and cheering for kids at games when their families can’t attend.
“We hold fundraisers for cheerleading and camp activities,” Lola explained. “I’ve always liked to help.”
Lola’s talent for helping others embodies the spirit of teamwork, leadership, and innovation at the heart of every successful credit union. She has a bright future ahead and truly is a rising star.
Please join us in congratulating Lola!