When it comes to building healthy business relationships, trust and integrity are among the most important building blocks. Without one, it is virtually impossible to have the other. This is something that the folks at TwinStar Credit Union not only know but put into practice each and every day. In Lewis County, it’s people like Shane Wood, Business Services Manager and Commercial Lender, and Tony Ruestig, Community Engagement Manager, that personify the trust and integrity that sets TwinStar Credit Union above the rest.
Shane Wood began his TwinStar journey in 2008 when he was hired as a teller at the Tumwater location. “When I was in the job market, I just had a sense that TwinStar would be a place I would enjoy working and that banking would be a good fit for my personality,” recalls Wood. “Over the years, I have progressively moved up and I have enjoyed every step of the way.”
Now as a Business Services Manager and Commercial Lender, Wood prides himself in providing trust and integrity to the TwinStar brand. “My job is to develop relationships within the local business community to help further TwinStar’s brand as a leader in business services and commercial lending,” he says. “As a result of those relationships, I get to help existing and new business members with the products and services they need to make their business banking seamless. TwinStar is centered around our relationship with our members and our communities. For TwinStar, it truly does come down to making sure we are taking care of both of those groups. They also value their relationship with their employees and they actively find ways to keep us engaged and involved with not just our institution but the credit union movement as a whole.”
While Tony Ruestig’s path to TwinStar has many differences to Shane’s, the end result is largely the same. “My banking career began with large corporate banks where the more you were able to sell the customer, the more profit the bank could receive,” says Ruestig. “I worked in that world for over 20 years. The hours and time commitment took a toll on me and my family. I needed to make a move, and that move brought me to the credit union world.”
This move from for-profit banking took a while for Ruestig to adapt. “It was not an easy transition,” laughs Ruestig. “My banking background wanted to change the fee schedule that TwinStar had for their products. I told the VP I was working for that the credit union could make more money if they just made a few changes. I was told that it’s not about us making money, it’s about our membership saving money. In that way, the credit union also succeeds. Honestly, it took me six months to understand that concept. But when I fully understood the credit union philosophy, that we are here to help our membership, I had wished that I began my banking career with the credit union.”
As their respective TwinStar careers progressed, Shane and Tony developed both a professional and personal relationship with one another. “Tony was on the business development team before I was, and I have had the pleasure to learn from him over the years,” explains Wood. “When you talk with Tony, you just feel like he really cares about you and that he is listening. He does not talk much about himself, but that is not because he is not an interesting person. Tony is an amazing and interesting person with talents and gifts that I admire. He is not just a coworker but a friend that will go out of his way to help you out whenever he can. Thinking of Tony two words come to mind: genuine and kind.”
When the two met, Tony was already impressed with Shane. “Shane built a very good reputation as a knowledgeable and reliable source of information for the members. I was a little jealous. He started a career in the credit union industry, and it took me years to make that change from banking. Shane has already started his climb up the credit union ladder, and I have no doubt that within a few years, he will be in the management of the credit union.”
This inevitable friendship is not surprising. From relationships between staff members at the credit union to relationships with the community and individuals, TwinStar’s very culture is about building and maintaining connections.
For more information about TwinStar Credit Union, click here.