For Maureen Wojnar, the credit union industry is all she’s ever known.
She was 16 when she secured her first job Homefield Credit Union in Grafton. She took the bus to work the first day because she hadn’t yet gotten her driver’s license.
“I’ve had a lot of opportunities to grow here, and a lot of different roles in the institution,” said Wojnar, now assistant vice president of operations at the credit union.
Lloyd L. Hamm Jr., president and CEO of Homefield Credit Union, attributes many of those opportunities to her business acumen, enthusiasm and ability to undertake new initiatives, which “made her the obvious choice for the position,” he said.
“During the recent unforeseen extended absence of a member of Homefield Credit Union’s management team, Maureen willingly stepped in and took on the added responsibility of this division to ensure there was no disruption in service to the credit union staff or its members,” he said.
Wojnar is also actively involved in the community, serving on the board of directors for the Grafton Lions Club and volunteering at her church. She also ran a basketball program for almost 20 years with her father.
Wojnar exudes an enthusiasm for what she does. A revitalization of the credit union brought about by a new executive management team has been one of the highlights of her career, she said.
“The energy, and the vision that they’ve brought to the institution have been, in my opinion, is somewhat contagious. People are excited about working here,” Wojnar said, also citing a recently opened branch in Milford.
“It’s starting to really take off. It’s a very exciting time,” she said.
With an industry trend of financial institutions downsizing on branches and putting their time and resources into digital capabilities, the blueprint for the future can be vague.
“I think that people will still want services that make it easier, faster and more efficient to do their banking not in person, but I don’t see technology fully replacing the personal touch,” Wojnar said.
Incorporating the credit union philosophy of “people helping people,” Wojnar anticipates credit union members may value the personal touch more than their counterparts, since it’s often what drew them to a credit union in the first place.
“Especially in the credit union industry, credit union members have an expectation that they can get everything they can get at a big bank, but they also get that personal touch that they want, being more than just a number,” she said. “It’s hard to see what the next piece of revolutionary technology will be down the road, but I just think it will be further enhancements to mobile capabilities.”
What drives her to go to work every day, she said is “the people, the members, i’s the people you work with. It’s feeling like you’re actually helping people day in and day out,” she said.
Wojnar recalled her first day of work when the CEO and treasurer asked her who she was and who had hired her. When Wojnar identified the person who hired her, the CEO told her to go home and come back the following day, as it was that person’s day off.
“If I had just left that day, I wouldn’t still be here 30 years later,” she said.