By living out its motto of “Doing what’s right,” the 101-year-old Workers’ Credit Union has become a kind of hero to the central Massachusetts area it serves. Fortunately for the people of Lancaster and its surrounding towns, Donna McCullen, branch manager of the Lancaster office, embodies that philosophy, and has made it her mission to do good by her customers, and her community.
With involvement in a plethora of charitable groups and events throughout the years, raising money and awareness for causes ranging from new homeownership to polio immunization in developing countries, McCullen’s 15 years (so far) at Workers’ has been a whirlwind of social good. After a decade and a half of learning the ins and outs of supporting worthy causes from a business standpoint, the desire to make it happen has become a kind of noble obsession, which she said can drive her marketing department manager up the wall (in a good way, of course) as he’s bombarded with appeals for the latest and greatest charitable sponsorship on McCullen’s mind.
“Once I get involved with something I’m like a dog with a bone; I just can’t let it go!” she said.
However, the desire to push for the greater good is not only the mark of Branch Manager Donna McCullen, she said, but of any true credit union employee.
“We’re heroes in a lot of ways,” McCullen said, relating an adage that stuck with her from a credit union league meeting of credit employees as “the people with the white hats” – gallant heroes eager to ride to the aid of those in need.
In the case of the CUs and their members, the most important call came during the period of financial volatility in the years following the Great Recession. Unlike the larger institutions that contributed to the country’s and consumers’ financial woes, Workers’ and other credit unions stayed consistent and lent stability to their members, McCullen said.
“Through all the changes, all the ups and downs, the credit union has consistently done the right thing,” she said, describing how she and Workers’ are not only nonresistant to change, but embrace it, absorbing into their own unshakeable system of values.
“If you’re not a nice person and don’t want do the right thing, you just don’t fit in here,” McCullen said with a laugh.
Having witnessed strong virtue and dedication to the good of others as the main factor in Workers’ success since she started as a part-time teller with the company at the turn of the 20th century, McCullen goes to work each day with that positivity in mind.
With one award for overall branch success under her belt, it seems Lancaster will be on the receiving end of McCullen’s heroic tendencies for the foreseeable future.
“It’s never boring,” she said. “There’s always something good on the horizon. I think we’re going to be around for a long time.”