Exec of the Week: Melissa Moraccini

Take charge of your career, she advises young CU professionals.

July 07, 2011
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In May, the Michigan Credit Union League named Melissa Moraccini as its Young Professional of the Year, recognizing her enthusiasm and dedication to the credit union movement.

Who: Melissa Moraccini

What: Mortgage lending manager

Where: Michigan Schools and Government CU, Clinton Township

Moraccini, mortgage lending manager for Michigan Schools and Government Credit Union in Clinton Township, tells Credit Union Magazine about her secrets to mortgage lending success, career highlights, and advice for other young credit union professionals.

CU Mag: How’s the mortgage market in your area?

Moraccini: It’s a little unpredictable because of all the changes in recent years and the anticipated changes to come from the Dodd-Frank Act.

The housing market in Southeastern Michigan has been declining for a few years, which has made mortgage origination challenging. However, it’s currently a buyers’ market, so I’m excited about the opportunities we have to help members obtain financing while getting great deals on homes.

CU Mag: What are the keys to mortgage lending success?

Moraccini: Having a dedicated team of professionals to make quality loans, educate members about the process, and build long-lasting relationships for repeat and referral business.

Our members truly appreciate direct, honest answers.

CU Mag: What are some highlights from your career so far?

Moraccini: Conducting and facilitating home buyers’ seminars to educate members and the community, and spearheading the inaugural Home Expo. It brought members of the community together with home improvement vendors, real estate education providers, and mortgage experts.

Another highlight was helping members through difficult financial times by re-evaluating their situations relating to home ownership.

Our credit union ranked among the top 15 largest residential mortgage lenders for Southeastern Michigan in 2008, according to Crain’s Detroit Business Magazine.

CU Mag: What career advice would you offer other young CU professionals?

Moraccini: Take charge of your own career, be self-motivated to invest in professional development and knowledge of your industry, and be passionate about your work.

CU Mag: What would be a perfect day for you?

Moraccini: Spending time with my family in the sun, on the beach in Caseville, Mich., and boating in the Saginaw Bay.

Do you know a credit union leader we should profile? Drop us a line.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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