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Joyce King, Solutions and Membership Manager at the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues.

Celebrating ‘Black History Month’: A Conversation with Joyce King

February is Black History Month which celebrates the cultural heritage, accomplishments, and contributions of African Americans who have helped shape our nation. In this feature, Joyce King, Solutions and Membership Manager at the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, shares what the month of observation means to her.

What does Black History Month mean to you?
For me, it is a time to reflect on and celebrate the many achievements of black Americans past, present, and future. In my life, the scales of fairness didn’t always tip my way, but there is a greater awareness of unconscious biases and an active societal desire for change and fair and equal opportunities for all. For this reason, I’m hopeful that one day we will live in a world where equality thrives.

For me, Black History Month is also about education, and I regularly make it a point to increase and share my knowledge about the contributions and successes of black Americans. For example, did you know that potato chips were created by a black man named George Crum in 1853? Or that Gwendolyn Brooks won a Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1950?

How did you get involved with credit unions?
Prior to joining the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, I spent just under 20 years as a mortgage banker. Seeking new opportunities, I responded to a Leagues’ ad in the paper for a product manager position with mortgage banking experience. Having worn many hats in mortgage banking, I felt I might be a good fit for the position. During the interview process I felt a strong connection to the hiring manager—it was as if we’d known each other for years. I was hired and never looked back. Initially, I thought I would be in the position for only one year. However, I quickly realized that the Leagues’ mission and the values and purpose of credit unions aligned with my own. As a mortgage banker, I was dedicated to helping people change their lives and establish a family tradition of homeownership, serving the underserved. Similarly, the Leagues’ mission is committed to helping credit unions change people’s lives. It was, and still is, a perfect fit.

How long have you been with the Leagues, and how has your role changed?
I started at the Leagues in September 2001. My initial role was as a product manager where I managed a platform called Rapid Real Estate, which allowed credit unions to aggregate necessary products and services to originate real estate loans at a reasonable cost. We negotiated on behalf of credit unions of all asset sizes to bring down the cost of ancillary services. At one point, I was also on the Research and Information Hotline (now the Compliance Hotline powered by ViClarity), which was a time of rapid developmental growth in my career.

I also held the position of lending solutions manager, and in that role, I collaborated with our business partners to offer lending products, such as auto loans, business loans, first and second mortgages to our member credit unions. In my current role as solutions and membership manager, my primary responsibility is to promote the value of Leagues membership to California and Nevada credit unions, and ensuring our current members are utilizing the many resources, products, and services that are included in their membership.

What is it like to be a black female professional within the credit union industry?
I don’t know if it’s much different from being any other professional because the same rules apply no matter what industry: operate in integrity, be kind, be open to change, be humble, be bold and most importantly be you.  The credit union industry is built on the foundation of ‘people helping people’ with a growing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and it is exciting to see more professionals from different backgrounds—including black females like me—step into the world of credit unions.

Who are some role models or mentors who have inspired you either personally or professionally?
My number one role model is my mom. Though she’s no longer with me in the natural, her love and words of wisdom shaped the woman I am today.

I’ve had three mentors who have impacted my work ethic and professionalism. They are in no particular order: Tonja Wheatley for her consistency, Sylvia Fath for her work ethics, and Jerome Davis for his ability to make everyone feel important and a part of the team. I’m also throwing in Oprah Winfrey; I admire how she was able to bring millions of multicultural households to tune in to a black woman’s talk show for 25 years, appearing to not lose sight of her humble beginnings, and Marguerite Annie Johnson (Maya Angelou) for her poems that make you think, reflect, and move you to tears, action or amazement.

What is the best advice you ever received?
If you make a mistake, own it, learn from it, and move on.






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