Teachers Credit Union’s commitment to service involves not only serving members, but offering time, talent, and treasure for the benefit of community organizations and initiatives. TCU Business Development Officer Lori Nicklas embodies that commitment, bringing the credit union’s mission to life.
Active in the community, Nicklas is a member of the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce and Valparaiso Rotary. She also serves on the boards of Challenger Learning Center of Northwest Indiana, Valparaiso Family YMCA and Home Team Valpo, a nonprofit created in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Porter County and Valparaiso Now that supports homeowners who need help sprucing up their houses and yards.
Nicklas joined TCU a decade ago as a Mortgage Specialist and was promoted in 2017 to her current position.
A detail-oriented person, Nicklas makes sure that she knows everything there is about the products and services she represents. She also likes to get to know her clients personally, so she can better help them reach their personal financial goals.
“Patience is key when working with members who are making important financial decisions,” Nicklas said. “I’ve really connected with clients when I have taken the time to let them weigh a decision carefully, let them ask as many questions as they wished, rather than putting pressure on them.”
Organizational culture has had a huge impact on her performance and productivity, Nicklas said, with TCU providing inspiration both in its commitment to member service and in the way team members work together to develop creative solutions.
“We’re always looking out for our members’ best interests — that’s encouraged every day,” Nicklas said. “And we have built an environment where people can collaborate, innovate, and work hard and smart together.”
Her advice to those starting their careers is to always demonstrate your willingness to learn, embrace emerging technology. Actively working on herself both on and off the job, Nicklas has taken up hobbies that get her moving and feeling her best.
“I love running, hiking, and working out. I am also an Orange Theory junkie. It’s such an addicting workout,” Nicklas said. “I like to hike trails including the dunes, Coffee Creek, Tall Tree, or Sunset Hill Farms. I’m always up for anything that involves being outdoors.”
Whether working or working out, progress comes from effort. The path to achieving goals, Nicklas believes, comes in consistent effort and commitment to values that drive you.
“My favorite quote is, ‘The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do,’’” Nicklas said. “I believe that pertains to everything in life, not just business, and I try to uphold that in all the things that I do.”