2019 Awards of Excellence - Rachel Oakes
PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR
Franklin First CEO Michelle Dwyer writes, “When I took the reins as CEO, one of my goals was to bring financial education to the members of Franklin First. Rachel Oakes was the first person to raise her hand to say that she wanted to be an integral part of that initiative.
“Rachel was certified as a Financial Counselor, or coach as she prefers to call it, through CUNA’s Financial Counselor program. After becoming certified, she started to build our financial education and coaching program from the bottom up. She did all the research necessary to make sure that she was prepared, and that the credit union had the best resources to start helping our members.
“In addition to being our resident financial coach, Rachel is also a Loan Officer. She has taken her knowledge of loans to help craft products that can assist members that may be in a tough spot, financially. These products include our Credit Builder Loan, Fuel Assistance Loan, and Sub-Prime Auto Lending; and, she is currently working with our Chief Lending Officer to create Micro-Business Loans and a loan for tech school students to be able to purchase the items they need coming out of school so they can begin their careers.
“Rachel is also very active in the community for Franklin First. In fact, she won Franklin First’s Difference Maker Award at this year’s annual meeting. This was the first year Franklin First gave out this award and in part this award was created to be able to recognize Rachel in a public way and to use her dedication and passion as an example to others.
“Rachel has participated in our Senior Safeguard Lunch and Learns, Reality Fair, and puts together our financial carnivals. She is also very active with the Northfield Junior Fire Fighters organization, which is a group that teaches kids the skills to be a Fire Fighter when they get older.
“Rachel does all of this while still being a very productive member of our staff. After even the briefest of conversations with her, you can tell immediately that she is passionate about financial education and helping our members become more financially stable.
“Franklin First has big goals in the next few years and some exciting plans, and I am sure that we would be lost without Rachel to help bring us through some of these projects.”