What do you love about your local credit union branch? Is the atmosphere warm and inviting? Do you have a favorite teller that greets you each time you stop by? Is there convenient access to an ATM that accommodates your busy schedule? Whatever your reason may be, it takes a group of talented and hard-working teammates to make each branch a welcoming, community-focused environment. This is exactly what has been established at MVCU’s Haverhill branch led by Branch Manager Taveiry Brito. In this Behind-the-Scenes look at our Haverhill location, Taveiry gets candid about community, leadership and Haverhill’s unique interior design.
Located in a busy plaza on Water Street, our Haverhill branch offers an open-concept space with vintage accents of wood and exposed brick. Upon entering, you are kindly welcomed by either a “lobby leader” or the branch manager herself, commanding the room with her enthusiasm and an infectious personality.
It's evident that being a leader comes naturally to Taveiry, who was born in the Dominican Republic, moved to Lawrence when she was just five years old and has lived there ever since. Growing up, her father demonstrated an incredible work ethic, as he was not only the first Hispanic grocery store owner in the city but owned six businesses throughout Lawrence. Even in his retirement, Taveiry’s father occasionally works at Lawrence’s city hall.
Taveiry (left) believes that establishing a successful branch relies on this “number one thing:” putting together the right team.
From a young age, Taveiry had a passion for numbers and began helping with her father’s businesses as a teenager. “I was always an A+ student with a passion for math,” Taveiry recalls. “Numbers were always my thing and growing up in grocery stores, my father taught me how to count and how to manage money. I was helping my father with all the books and finances by the time I was around 13. It was always a natural thing for me to be in this field.”
Taveiry’s interests and skillset led her to her first job in the financial world at Northwest Corporation (now part of Wells Fargo), at the age of 21. There, her existing financial knowledge and love of numbers helped her absorb the world of credit, lending and financial services. Taveiry has spent over 18 years in the industry, holding leadership positions at banks including Santander, Citizens Bank and People’s United Financial (now M&T Bank). Taveiry recalls managing one of Santander’s largest branches in this district, where her team had the bank’s highest customer service score. She credits this success to human connections.
“It’s the simple, basic, human touch. It’s caring,” says Taveiry.
This natural affinity for helping others is what shifted Taveiry interests to working at a credit union. Since joining MVCU in April 2022, she has helped the branch improve its member service by implementing an action plan with sales and operations tactics she learned from working at larger bank branches. Though her hard work, talent and enthusiasm shine, Taveiry’s love for supporting her community is her true motivation.
“I came from a fast-paced banking world of a lot of movement, a lot of demand and a lot of financial pressure,” Taveiry describes. “At the credit union, the focus shifted to ‘what are we doing for the community, what are we doing for the member and are we really making a difference in their life?’ I really wanted to go somewhere that I can make a difference in someone’s life and when I do make a difference, it’s because it’s what the member needs versus what the company needs.” She says that this selflessness was instilled in her by her parents, who worked hard to put others first.
Her care and consideration are not reserved for just the members, though. Taveiry believes that establishing a successful branch relies on this “number one thing:” putting together the right team. She takes ample time to get to know each of her teammates and carefully considers how their strengths can benefit the credit union.
“I have eight employees, or teammates; that’s eight different families that I need to manage, eight different personalities and eight different sets of needs. I get to know each person individually because all of us are completely different. I need to be able to understand, respect and appreciate that.”
Taveiry continues: “As a leader, I look at people’s strengths and work to develop those values to help my teammate help our business. Everyone is different in every way so when I put all of that together, I create this atmosphere of people that work well together.”
The Haverhill branch boasts a unique, “vintage but professional look” (as Taveiry descibes) that adds character and history to the branch-visit experience.
The Haverhill branch team excels at MVCU’s goal of greeting each member as they walk into the branch. Each teammate takes a turn working as the “Lobby Leader” whose sole job is to greet every member as they enter and establish a friendly connection with them. MVCU’s branch staff operates in line with a set of “member standards” when they are working at the teller desk, encouraging a trustworthy and meaningful interaction between tellers and members. According to Taveiry, these are some of the most important ways to establish a camaraderie with the members who enter the branch each day.
With digital banking growing in popularity, the idea of keeping your items in a “vault” seems like a relic of the past. However, the Haverhill branch boasts a unique, “vintage but professional look” (as Taveiry describes) that adds character and history to the branch-visit experience. Along with the exposed brick and woodwork, there is huge vault with iron barred doors built into a brick wall—a sight that resembles a scene from a Harry Potter movie.
The branch also features large framed black-and-white photos of Haverhill in the 20th century, aligning well with the branch’s community values. It is the open concept, though, that truly helps the space become a place that encourages members to interact with MVCU teammates.
“When you walk into the branch, it’s an open lobby,” Taveiry describes. “Members can immediately see the tellers—there’s no maze or hallway to go through to get to them. That’s one of the things I really liked when I first walked in here, it’s a great open space where we can have that contact with the members.”
As MVCU gears up for 2023, Taveiry has much to look forward to—including her one-year anniversary with the credit union. But her main focus is making changes that will ultimately help elevate the member experience. “I’m looking forward to a lot of the changes that are going to take place that will help us improve the way we service our members,” she says. “It’s all about how much we can do, which can really make a difference in the member’s experience.”
For a safe and healthy in-person interaction with the MVCU member service team, stop by your local branch every once in a while. For Taveiry, it's the human connection that paves the way to success.