Employee Spotlight: Michelle Gossett, Team Lead – Check Processing

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.

Michelle Gossett, Team Lead – Check Processing, found a home with Synergent while temping nearly 22 years ago. After enjoying both the people she worked with and the way the job changed on a daily basis, she did not want to leave.

Within her time at the company, she has worked in numerous capacities, including check processing, implementations, account relationship management, and research. She currently holds the role of Team Lead – Check Processing. Gossett knew the previous Team Lead was planning her retirement, so she transferred back to the Check Processing department in an effort to relearn the job, hoping to apply and ultimately be chosen for the Team Lead position. Now in that role, Gossett spends much of her time attending meetings, testing an updated platform, and working with her team to complete day-to-day processing tasks.

“My job impacts the credit unions greatly because we process all of their deposit work, clear their inclearing checks, and process their returns, so we are continuously moving money back and forth,” Gossett said.

Gossett explained that the credit unions’ deposit work comes throughout each day between 8:00 am and 7:00 pm. Her team receives the work through various channels: in-branch, merchants, RDC (mobile), ATMs, ITMs, or Shared Branching. They carefully check all work for any duplicates in order to not process the same thing twice, while also keeping an eye out for deletion requests from credit unions who may ask for batches to be deleted or items to be corrected. From there, they can begin to balance out the day’s work. They let the credit unions know what work was received, helping credit unions balance against what they scanned over.

“We have three different roles at night: the balancer, the person who creates files that get sent out to different exchange points, and the float,” described Gossett. “Everyone has a role to get done in order to balance and make sure the work gets to where it needs to go.”

For their deposit and inclearing work, they follow a process called item verification where they type the MICR line information on each item that the credit union has touched. She explains that the day’s work for inclearing is a bit easier, as they receive work from only a few places (such as the Federal Reserve or MECHA – the Maine Clearing House Association). This work typically runs from 6:00 am to 1:00 pm, then they balance and disperse each credit union’s draft file for that day.

“The returns are done two different ways,” said Gossett. “We have incoming returns—items that were deposited at a credit union but come back due to non-sufficient funds (NSF), stop payment, or a number of other reasons—and then the outgoing returns, which are items drawn off from the credit unions but for similar reasons to the incoming returns that are going back to the bank of first deposit (BFOD).”

Since joining the company, her work has changed a lot. She noted how everything used to be paper checks and has since gone almost entirely electronic. Through this, Gossett has encountered numerous learning and skill-gaining experiences. Yet, one thing stands out as an important reminder.

“The number one thing I have learned is not to panic if something goes wrong because if you panic, everyone else will panic and that is never a good situation,” said Gossett. “Just take a deep breath, exhale slowly, and come up with a plan of action to resolve the issue.”

Encountering learning opportunities daily, she explained how she cannot choose just one highlight from working at Synergent, as she has gained from each role she has held within the organization. Gossett is very proud of the work she did years ago when she was faced with the challenge of creating a training class for credit unions to use.

“I had to create a training class and give it to the credit unions on how to use and troubleshoot the shared branching capture machines,” Gossett said.

While Gossett does enjoy her time alongside her coworkers, she also looks forward to the time she spends away from the desk where she can be found camping, reading, painting, woodworking, and with her family.