It’s apropos that Tim Smith is a key part of Workers Credit Union; the man does not abide sitting around. He’s a senior vice president, CFO and treasurer, yet he still commits to volunteering what little personal time he has to organizations large and small. He helps out on Habitat for Humanity builds, mobilizes his company each year to participate in United Way’s “Day of Caring,” is chairman of the board for Fitchburg’s Sizer School Foundation and sits on the advisory panel for the Federal Home Loan Bank.
Many often shirk the civic responsibilities to their community by announcing that their simply “too busy” to volunteer; Smith, however, may be able to use that excuse and have it qualify as legitimate. But he refuses.
“You make time for the things that are important to you – you have to make it a priority,” he said, explaining how he juggles his volunteerism with his career.
Dedicating one’s self to a community is a keystone for credit unions, Smith said, and furthers this point by stating spiritedly, “it’s a part of our culture to give back to the community in every way that we can. At Workers, for example, we have the ‘Workers Way’ – a list of 30 behaviors that lead to a stronger community, and volunteering is a big one.”
His enthusiasm for giving himself to the community influences his colleagues, as they too dedicate their time and energy to groups like the United Way and Habitat for Humanity. In fact, 20 of his coworkers very recently returned from one such job site, spurred on by his enthusiasm for the organization.
“The whole concept of sweat equity – of a ‘hand up’ rather than a ‘handout’ – is simply amazing,” he said of his passion for the nonprofit.
Much of Smith’s work, however – both paid and unpaid – is dedicated to benefitting a community in which he doesn’t actually live. Workers Credit Union is based in Fitchburg; Smith lives more than an hour’s drive south in Franklin. His goodwill isn’t spent entirely on his adopted community, of course. In Franklin, Smith lends his financial expertise to his hometown by serving on the finance committee.
Still, as committed and perpetually busy as he is, Smith does occasionally allow himself a moment to himself. In these moments, he said, he actually expresses a regret, and it’s difficult to imagine what someone so engaged and energetic could possibly have to regret.
“My only regret is that I didn’t get into credit unions earlier,” he said.