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.
Jason Candelora, Solutions Architect, celebrated seven years with the Synergent family in June. Throughout his tenure, he has held various roles. He joined Synergent in 2015 as a Corporate Programmer/Analyst in Professional Services, then moved to a Senior Programmer position in 2016. Two years later he was promoted to Team Lead – Programming, where he stayed until assuming his current role earlier this year.
“Being the first Team Lead for the programmers was a huge responsibility as the entire Development department was new, so we had to come up with our day-to-day administrative processes and all learn how to work together,” described Candelora. “We put in some long days back then, but the Development team has matured nicely and built on the solid foundation we established early on.”
Candelora reflects on being the first to hold the role of Team Lead – Programming as a highlight of his time at Synergent. It is a position he came to after many years of hard work and dedication to his field.
“I spent 10 years as a self-employed web developer,” explained Candelora. “This time really taught me how to handle all facets of the business in terms of the sales side, design, analysis, support, and so on. Then, during my years as a programmer for Synergent, I worked with our Business Analysts, which helped me learn how Synergent handles work in progress as well as the credit union world. As a Team Lead, I was able to brush up on my interpersonal skills and develop strong relationships across the organization.”
Problem Solving and Developing Solutions
Today, Candelora is involved with a series of high-level projects that he keeps on track. He spends a lot of time coordinating project status check-ins, researching new technologies, prototyping new approaches, and mentoring programming team members when it is helpful.
“I really enjoy solving problems and bringing efficiencies to other people’s jobs,” said Candelora. “Programming and developing solutions really lend themselves to doing just that.”
His passion for programming and problem-solving spills over into his desire to help Synergent’s credit unions. Candelora can think both technologically and logistically about what will best serve the credit unions based on their needs and long-term goals.
“My role is impactful, as I am able to offer guidance on the direction the company takes from a technical standpoint,” explained Candelora. “This allows the teams that are in the trenches producing the work to focus on their near-term challenges and goals, thus making them more productive. I also offer a unique set of skills given my professional history and am able to step in and assist on a wide range of IT issues and projects to help move things along quicker.”
Regardless of the task at hand, Candelora is always ready to enthusiastically assist. He feels proud knowing he can help both the projects he works on and the coworkers he works alongside.
“I really enjoy just making a positive difference in the projects that I am involved with,” exclaimed Candelora. “There is nothing better than wrapping up a big, difficult project knowing you did a great job!”
With numerous projects behind him, it’s challenging to pick just one he is most proud of.
“I would point to the work I did with the eDistribution system that is used to send 600,000 emails to credit union members every month to notify them that their eStatement is available,” said Candelora. “Prior to me joining this project, our eServices department had to stay up all night on the last day of each and every month to monitor these emails going out. We worked to reinvent this process and the team can rest at end of month.”
More Than Just a Job
While Candelora is fond of the work he does at Synergent, he is also drawn to the people he has come to know.
“I have stayed with Synergent and the IT team mostly due to the deep and meaningful relationships I have forged through the past seven plus years,” reflected Candelora. “Synergent is more than a job to me. I think of my coworkers as extended family. I have certainly gained a lot of valuable relationships and even friendships.”
With his Synergent family by his side, he has learned a great deal about both the business itself and the credit union industry.
“Being a one-man shop for so many years, it has been an incredible learning experience to see how functioning projects in a corporate environment work,” said Candelora. “Also, learning about the credit union mission and way of doing business has been a huge value-add for me!”
Outside of work, Candelora occupies his time with a range of activities. He enjoys cooking—specifically, “smoking different meats, baking bread, and really all facets of the culinary world.” Additionally, he likes gaming on his new gaming PC, creating videos for YouTube and other platforms, and traveling. He is looking forward to his first trip outside of the country this November!