Volt Credit Union Staff Achieve Certification as Financial Counselors

Certified financial counselors can help guide their members to sound financial decisions.

By Jordan Blomquist

Feb 2024

Volt Credit Union in Springfield, MO
Photo by Katy St. ClairKerri Southard and Courtney Keleher of Volt Credit Union. Purchase Photo

As a not-for-profit financial institution, Volt Credit Union strives to meet members where they are regardless of their financial situation. This includes the need for reliable financial advice from budgeting to navigating financial hardships for members. Recently, three employees of Volt Credit Union—Courtney Keleher, Tammy Bryson and Kerri Southard—successfully finished the Financial Counseling Certification Program. This program equips credit union staff with the necessary expertise and insights to assist members in making sound financial choices. They gave Biz 417 insight into the program and what they plan to do with the information they gathered from completing the program. 


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Biz 417: How do you plan to use the knowledge gained from the program?
Courtney Keleher: I am looking forward to a workshop with a local organization later this month to go over financial literacy and financial wellness. I will also be developing a course for our student interns at Hillcrest High School who work in our student-run credit union. The goal is that they leave the program with job skills as well as a solid financial literacy foundation. I love engaging with people and sharing what I know, so any chance I get to engage with members and teammates on financial literacy and financial wellness is an exciting time. 

Biz: In what ways did the program help deepen your knowledge?
C.K.: I learned the soft skills of making someone comfortable enough to open up to me about their budget and spending. Finances are an incredibly personal topic, and it is so easy for someone to feel judged about how they choose to spend money or where they are financially. The program really expanded my ability to talk through finances in a clear, non-judgmental way.

Biz: In what ways do you envision incorporating the principles learned in the program into your daily interactions with members?
Tammy Bryson: I plan to help members gain control of their finances for their financial future by teaching them to make a budget, track their spending, save for retirement and emergencies, plan to pay off debt, establish good credit habits and monitor their credit.

Biz: How did you personally benefit from completing the Financial Counseling Certification Program?
Kerri Southard: Personal and professional growth—a key takeaway for me is the knowledge necessary to have a positive impact on the financial well-being of their members and themselves on a day-to-day basis. The financial counseling curriculum is outstanding for deepening practical knowledge of all things financially related.

Biz: What made you want to go through the CUNA Financial Counseling Certification Program?
K.S.: I realized we were dealing with a lot of people from low-income households who were struggling with their credit scores and with making good financial decisions because they lacked knowledge and financial literacy.  Also, for community outreach, we want to go out into the community to employer partners and teach financial wellness and show solutions that are at their disposal. 

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