For Mitch Gaffigan, Account Vice President at Purdue Federal Credit Union, financial services is in the genes. Watching his father work in a bank, and even taking a job as a drive-up teller at the young age of 14, Mitch found a natural career in the financial services world.
“I’m one of six kids, and three of us are in financial services,” Gaffigan said. “Growing up, we got to see everything, from the social side of it to being fortunate enough to work with him (dad) in the actual environment.”
After graduating from Calumet College of St. Joseph with a degree in organizational management, Gaffigan didn’t jump straight into the financial services field. Through various sales positions, he learned the skills needed to eventually excel in banking, his career of choice for around 20 years.
Having recently left Fifth Third Bank, Gaffigan chose Purdue Federal for its mission and commitment to putting members first.
“My decision was to go to an entity that is mission-driven,” Gaffigan said. “My objective was to work for a financial institution that has a driven purpose,” he said.
While Gaffigan has only been at Purdue Federal for six months, he has found a home there and finds the member-driven culture to be especially rewarding.
“The quality of people that I am working with is excellent, and the members couldn’t be better, either,” Gaffigan said. “The number one thing I like about where I work is that the culture is exactly what I was promised. It’s so refreshing. This is member-driven, and truly is mission-driven. It’s something that is unlike any large bank. It’s excellent,” he said.
Gaffigan enjoys problem-solving for Purdue Federal members.
“I like to produce solutions. Everybody [in the industry] understands the challenges they have but we benefit them by providing solutions that are new,” Gaffigan said. “To be a good lender, you have to be inquisitive and curious yourself. One of the great things about this role is that I get to learn along with producing solutions.”
Settling into his role, Gaffigan has set his eyes on the future, looking to shine a brighter spotlight on Purdue Federal Credit Union.
“I believe that my real role here is to make Purdue Federal more relevant to Northwest Indiana. Culture outperforms strategy every time and culture with strategy is unbeatable,” he said, referencing one of Purdue Federal’s philosophies. “I like that and that’s exactly what we’re doing. We’re implementing a strategy in Northwest Indiana but it’s with our culture. It’s been so much fun and we’re going to expand, at the right pace, so that we can deliver value to all of our current members.”
Gaffigan has been a supporter of many nonprofits throughout the region, sitting on many boards such as Hospice of the Calumet Area, Diocese of Gary, IN, Catholic Foundation for Northwest Indiana, Northwest Indiana Forum, and Moose Charities. Being active within these organizations has been a way for him to give back.
“I’ve been involved with non-profit groups in NWI for over a decade. I believe in giving back and the sanctity of life, from the beginning stages to the final days. These organizations are all great and have a value that’s delivered beyond what is organically delivered,” he said.
As a father of five, Gaffigan enjoys spending time with his family. He also enjoys getting out on the golf course when he can.
“I’m a lousy golfer, but I love the sport,” Gaffigan said.
Throughout his years, Gaffigan has gained a great deal of wisdom and knowledge. One of the most important pieces of advice he has for younger generations is to find the opportunities life brings you and go after them.
“Be hungry early. Make sure that you take it all in and remember that everything is an opportunity to learn,” Gaffigan said. “You have a series of opportunities to make decisions and it can be simplified down to ‘Just do the next right thing.’”