Synergent’s mission is to ‘help credit unions succeed and improve the financial lives of their members.’ In our monthly Employee Spotlight series, we feature one of our dedicated staff members to help you get to know the people who are working as an extension of your credit union team.
Christal Sullivan, Team Lead – Account Relationship Management, has long been a member of the Synergent family, with over 33 years of building lasting relationships and serving our credit unions.
“I started 33 years ago answering phones for Check Processing part-time while I was in high school,” explained Sullivan. “Then I moved to Team Lead – Research and Support in Check Processing before becoming the supervisor of that department.”
Eventually, she joined the Account Relationship Manager (ARM) team, and subsequently was offered Team Lead of the ARMs in the Business Development department.
“There were changes being made in the Check Processing department, and Ben Jordan [now Synergent’s Chief Information Officer] and I had a conversation one day about the open ARM role and how he thought I would do a great job at being an ARM,” said Sullivan. “It never crossed my mind that I would actually move to a new division. I applied, interviewed, and got the job. I was scared to death to make the move after more than 20 years in Check Processing, but it was the best move I could have made.”
For the ARM team, each day is completely different. They each spend time with all their credit unions monthly to discuss projects, goals, successes, concerns, and anything else on their minds. Sullivan described how one of the main priorities for the ARM team is staying engaged with all the projects going on at any given time with their credit unions.
“We go to several different kinds of events, from chapter meetings, new branch openings, retirement parties, golf events, and more to help build stronger relationships with our credit unions,” said Sullivan. “We work very closely with all departments throughout the organization to build new processes and share credit union feedback. An ARM is likely to be involved in anything that involves a credit union.”
Sullivan explained how the ARM team is essentially an extension of the credit union at Synergent, acting as the voice to advocate for varying credit union needs. The contact an ARM has with their credit unions leads to lifelong relationships between ARMs and credit union staff.
“The credit unions have become my friends and family,” reflected Sullivan. “Being their advocate, seeing them grow, assisting with their challenges, and celebrating their successes is so fulfilling.”
A Thriving Career Built On Relationships
Now serving as Team Lead, Sullivan enjoys watching her team grow and build the strongest relationships with Synergent’s credit unions. She looks forward to visiting the credit unions, strengthening relationships, and being a part of each credit union family.
“It’s challenging to pinpoint exactly what I’ve learned in my time with the organization because I have learned so much,” said Sullivan. “I have learned the value of credit unions, as well as how to build long-lasting and strong relationships internally and externally. This happens when you are a team; you listen, you work hard at what you do, and you become passionate about what you do every day.”
The last two years as Team Lead of the ARMs have been some of Sullivan’s favorite, and she is proud of how far her team has come. She explained that the relationships they are building with credit unions are the strongest they have ever been and commended her team for the amazing work they do.
“I am very grateful for my professional path and the people that have guided me to be where I am today,” Sullivan said.
When she is not leading the ARMs, her favorite things to do include being outside, snowshoeing, hiking, motorcycling, and camping.