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Marine Credit Union Partners with Statewide Initiative to Help Build A Resilient and Trauma-Informed Organization, Community

Beginning Efforts in La Crosse County

LA CROSSE, Wis. – Oct. 15, 2020 – Marine Credit Union is taking action and partnering with Resilient Wisconsin, a state wide initiative bringing together the latest evidence-based tools and trauma-informed practices.

Resilient Wisconsin works with community partners to introduce the Resilient and Trauma-Informed Community (RTIC), a framework adopted by community partners to collaboratively respond to what we have learned from the science of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) to build resilient organizations, effective partnerships and efficient systems.

“It takes an entire community to work on this issue of adversity in childhood,” said Bethany Thier, Project Coordinator for Better Together, a mental health grant funded by the Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Better Together helps coordinate the Resilient and Trauma-Informed initiative in La Crosse County. “Many in our community and communities across the country have stated that childhood adversity is a ‘root cause issue’. We have an incredible opportunity to get at the root of the root and make changes in the way our systems work. Developing a coordinated response through a network of Resilient and Trauma-Informed Community champion organizations is where dynamic changes can happen. Those changes can yield better lives for everyone in our community. That’s powerful work!”

In November 2019, Marine formed an internal team to work with Beth and Resilient Wisconsin, taking action and providing team members with the proper training to respond to community members with ACEs. That team has grown into a cross-functional network representing departments from across the organization.

“The first step for us was to build our foundation and learn as much as we could about ACEs and the building blocks of resilience,” said Jen Schlegel, Training Manager at Marine. “From there, our wheels started turning on ways we could implement these ideas. It has been imperative that we have representatives from so many parts of the organization in our group, including Collections, Training, Communications, Financial Counseling, and Lending. Having such a diverse and passionate group has driven these initiatives.”

Marine has already introduced Motivational Interviewing training to all new employees. This training provides the skills needed to fully understand someone’s story, without any judgment or assumption.  The first step in helping someone build a strong future for themselves is helping them understand why  they have made certain choices in the past.  

Additional resiliency-building initiatives Marine has launched or plans to launch:

  1. “Road to Resilience”: A standing 3-5-minute segment on weekly all-employee town hall meetings that will help employees build the skills needed to develop resilience in the workplace, at home and in the community
  2. Emotional Awareness: Weekly all-employee town hall meetings are all started with a confidential virtual poll to encourage employees to “check in” with their emotions; based on the Feelings Thermometer put out by the Wisconsin Office of Children’s Mental Health
  3. Anti-Bias Training: All new employees will be trained on how to identify unconscious biases in the workplace and overcome them through behavior change (being developed)
  4. Leadership Training: Training for all managers on weaving resiliency principles into people development and performance management (being developed)

“It’s important to equip our team with the tools and training they need to help themselves, which in turn helps them better serve all individuals in our communities,” said Shawn Hanson, CEO at Marine Credit Union. “With an awareness of trauma and resilience, we can better help our members build a successful financial future for themselves and their families. This makes our communities stronger. We’re just doing our part.”


About Marine Credit Union

Marine Credit Union is built upon the strong belief that members are more than a credit score, and we are committed to providing financial services to all members of the community—including those with past financial challenges. Marine will continue our long-standing tradition of delivering personalized lending solutions to fit our members’ individual needs. Marine Credit Union is a full-service financial institution serving members with office locations in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. For more information, connect with us on FacebookTwitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.