Providing For the People; Owned By the People [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW] Jennifer Goodall
ABOVE: Jennifer Goodall, Branch Manager – PrimeWay Federal Credit Union
So Jennifer, how long have you been in the financial services industry, and how did that become your career path?
I have been in the financial services industry for over 24 years, and I truly love and have a passion for helping others meet their financial goals. Before coming into the financial services industry I saw a need, whereby I saw my relatives, friends, some entrepreneurs and others who needed a lot of financial awareness and guidance. I wanted to work in an organization that allowed me teach others how to overcome obstacles and achieve financial wealth. Whether I was helping people better understand the importance of saving their money, or figuring out better ways to strengthen their credit so they could purchase their first vehicle or first home, it became extremely important for me that I talked to others about financial literacy so they could achieve the American dream.
How have you helped to educate African American consumers about auto loans, specifically as it relates to their purchases and financing of automobiles?
Helping our members understand their credit and FICO scores is extremely important before making any purchases, whether for an automobile or a home. We sit with each potential borrower to analyze their current situation in order to give them the best possible rate. We consistently work to make sure that all of our members know that we are here to guide them along the way and do whatever we can to help them accomplish their goal of auto or home ownership.
What should African Americans consider when choosing a credit union versus a bank?
As you know, credit unions and banks have similar products. What most people don’t realize is that credit unions are a not-for-profit entity that is owned by its members. So, once you are a member of a credit union, you own a piece of that credit union! Our rates are often lower than the rates that most banks offer, and we offer many free services to our members that help them save money. As a long time credit union member myself, I think the greatest thing about a credit union is the service that is offered. We know most of our members by name, and we want all of our members to know that we are here to help them. We have certified counselors on-site to help our members stay on track, rebuild their credit, boost their credit score and so much more. We also sit down and talk to you, and want to get to know you and what’s important to you. That’s why you should choose PrimeWay!
What type of advocacy work do you do to promote education and awareness in the community?
At PrimeWay, we promote financial literacy and the education of our members and the overall community by facilitating classes such as Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, Junior Achievement and other programs. We also offer scholarships to deserving students who have exceled academically in the classroom. PrimeWay’s mission statement is C.A.R.I.N.G. (Compassion, Accountability, Real Value, Integrity, New Ideas, Guidance). We live by our mission statement every day, as we interact with each member that visits our branch lobby.
What has been your most rewarding experience since being in the financial services industry?
The thing that I can honestly say has been the most rewarding and exciting thing since I have been in the financial services industry has been watching our members achieve their financial goals. The excitement and tears that fill their eyes after finding out they have been approved for their first auto loan or first home loan is beyond words.
How important is community support and how do you do that?
Supporting our community is extremely important, as it contributes to the overall growth and development of the area. I volunteer whenever and wherever possible in all capacities, from serving on a committee as chairman to working hands on with children with autistic needs. I am so glad that I work for an organization like PrimeWay that supports me with working segments in our community.
Who has been your biggest mentor since you have been in the financial services industry, and what did they teach you that has made a difference?
I have had the privilege to work with a few mentors since I have been in the financial services industry, that have taught me professionalism and life lessons on many levels. One of the most important attributes that I have been taught was the ability to “lead” by example. My mentors have shown me great leadership characteristics, which is so important to me because I strive hard every day to be a positive leader in the workplace, in my community and in my home life.
Why should the community come by and visit you and what should they expect?
The expectation that each and every individual should have when they come to visit me at my branch located at 4935 Hwy 6 in Missouri City, Texas, is that they will always be provided with excellent customer service. They will always be greeted by a friendly staff that is ready and willing to service their financial needs, and we are eager to help with their lending needs. Be sure to give me a call at 713-799-6364, visit our website at www.primewayfcu.com, or just stop by any time we are open.