In the CU Professionals Spotlight: Meet Shelby Zach
by Shawn Marie Brummer
Communications & Media Specialist

Shelby Zach grew up the oldest of three kids on a ranch near Denton, Montana – a small town of about 300 people located in the central part of the state. Her younger brother and sister were often tended to by Shelby, a self-described “bossy older sister” who saw her parents working very hard and making sacrifices, as she also learned to value hard work, responsibility, and family.

She was an active and busy young woman; she was elected class president by her ten fellow graduating classmates, and was involved with the student council. She also participated in many fundraising committees, youth rallies, and was a member of Business Professionals of America, where she served as the Public Relations State Officer. The family ranch was located about ten miles from town, and Shelby loved running through the hills near their home, which was good training for her track and field, volleyball, and basketball activities.

After high school, she attended and graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, where she received a double major in Marketing and Graphic Design. It was during her college days that she met her future husband, Adam, while working at the mall together. “I always thought that I would leave the area to go back to Montana after school, but he somehow convinced me to stay in the Fargo area,” she recalled.

Her first job post-college was as Creative Lead at Promotional Solutions in Fargo, a company that creates branded items for many various businesses and industries. It was here that she met one of her biggest career influencers, Shannon Kirby. “She taught me so much about how to treat people with kindness, lead with creativity, and to do the little things to add a personal touch with people in business,” she shared.

For the next six years, Shelby was responsible for their internal marketing, social media, website design, e-commerce site design and all graphic design for promotional products, brands and campaigns. It was through product orders that she first became connected with a local marketing consultant, Amanda, who worked closely with United Savings. Shelby had assisted with branding promotional products for some of United Savings Credit Union’s events.

Wanting to expand her job skills, Shelby left Promotional Solutions and worked briefly at a small design agency. However, she soon discovered she was more interested in concentrating her efforts toward the success of one company. When she reached out to her marketing contact, Amanda, for potential job leads, she was referred to Nick Woodard, CEO of United Savings Credit Union. “They were just beginning the process of hiring an internal marketing person, and it felt like the perfect fit,” she stated.

Shelby was hired in January of 2019 as United Savings’ first Marketing Specialist. In this newly created position, she has a wide range of responsibilities. She manages content for all of the credit union’s social media accounts, and creates designs for social, internal displays, digital signs, marketing materials, quarterly newsletters, and various events and promotions. She has also taken on coordination of events for members and the community, including a Youth Month social, a Business After Hours booth, assisting with their Annual Meeting, as well as planning an upcoming Grand Opening and Pee Wee Picnic. She also communicates with vendors for advertising, video production, promotional products, company apparel, website updates, and generally any place that the United Savings CU brand appears. Recently, she began working to add more “storytelling” to their community relations, and will feature financial education as well as staff spotlights in a blog format in the near future.

Even though she has been involved with the credit union industry for less than six months, she is thrilled with her new career path. “There is so much I could say here,” she expounded. “I’ve always thought talking about money was difficult and uncomfortable, but that’s probably because I used to go to a bank and never witnessed the service you get at a credit union. Since becoming a member myself and hearing stories from coworkers and members, I don’t feel that way any longer. Members are proud to talk about what we’ve helped them overcome, and they are so loyal. Everyone I’ve encountered has been so accommodating, pleasant and supportive in my experience thus far. It just encourages me to spread the word about United Savings and all credit unions, because we all are doing so much good!”

As a relative newcomer to the credit union industry, she can also clearly see the misunderstanding in the public about what credit unions are, and who can be a member. “I have to admit that I was one of those people just a few months ago! So that makes it a little daunting, but it also gives me a lot to strive for,” she added.

Not only is Shelby striving to learn all she can about the industry, she’s succeeding. Just recently, she was chosen as the Outstanding Summit Crasher for 2019 at the annual CUAD event in Fargo. Next year, she will be acting as co-host of the 2020 Summit in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. “I’m still in awe, and so honored to have been recognized at my first credit union event,” she said.

One recent project, Credit Union Youth Month in April, was a win for Shelby and for United Savings. “Through our Youth Month initiatives this year, we grew our youth membership throughout the month, as well as our social media engagement. I was able to present some prizes to our Young Savers, and was delighted to get to see their joy. I’m also incredibly proud to be a part of this credit union that has been around almost 85 years, and I look forward to organizing celebrations for that huge milestone in the next year,” she concluded.

Meanwhile, she’s already looking for opportunities to become more involved in the community. She has helped plan and prepare meals for the local Ronald McDonald House, volunteers at the Giving Tree of Hope, and is on the volunteer roster for Hope Blooms.

In her personal life, Shelby and Adam were married about five years ago at Red Lodge, Montana. They have one son, Rhett, a very busy little boy who will soon be turning two years old. The family also has one pet, a dog named Driver, after the Green Bay Packers’ Donald Driver. In fact, Shelby and Adam were engaged at Lambeau Field, and are huge Packer fans.

When she is not working, Shelby enjoys cooking and baking, and entertaining family and friends. She also enjoys spending time at the lakes and reading a good book, or just making a road trip to spend time with the people she loves – especially her parents, who are thoroughly enjoying their first grandchild. She says she is really still a teenager at heart, and is waiting for the day that One Direction reunites so she can take in one more live concert. Hey, it happened for the Backstreet Boys, so who knows? It could happen.




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