Teachers Credit Union Employee Spotlight: Carrie Upchurch

Teachers Credit Union Employee Spotlight: Carrie Upchurch

Carrie Upchurch, the St. John Service Center Manager for Teachers Credit Union, never imagined she would be guiding staff and credit union members through a pandemic. But Upchurch is grateful that she’s been able to help.

“This week’s been one of the most challenging of my career,” she said. “However, I’ve found solace helping members navigate this pandemic. It’s not a pretty picture – especially for older members who are suddenly sitting alone at home, filled with questions. Helping those TCU members get through that gives me comfort.”

The circumstances are unprecedented, but helping customers is nothing new for Upchurch, who has been working in service-oriented roles since she had retail jobs as a high school student in Highland.

“Working in the retail industry teaches you skills you could not learn anywhere else,” she said. “It teaches you about prioritization, quick problem solving, communication, humility, and about how people act when they’re seriously distraught. You learn how to keep a smile on your face and remain calm in spite of that. It builds your character in a way no college degree can.”

In 2006, Upchurch got her start in finance as a teller in Indianapolis. She was quickly promoted to assistant branch manager and then branch manager where she had her first encounter with crisis management during the 2008 recession. She picked up skills and built a client-focused philosophy that she carries to this day.

“Unemployment was rising, real estate values were falling, and many clients were negatively impacted by the economic downturn,” she said. “I put myself in their shoes and wanted to understand their perspective and to provide them with the best service and financial products available. A passion for service and assisting others has always guided me throughout my career.”

The fact that TCU shared her service-oriented philosophy helped inspire Upchurch to join the credit union five years ago.

Teacher's Credit Union

“I feel very lucky to have a job that aligns with my values,” she said. “Jobs are like relationships. It takes having a few to know what really makes you happy, and I’m forever invested in TCU and its people-first mission.”

One of Upchurch’s favorite parts of her job is helping members understand their financial situation so they can make informed, realistic decisions based on their personal situation and goals.

“For many people, numbers are abstract,” she said. “So, I work to translate numbers into a story about what their lives will look like if they save some money and plan for the future.”

The pandemic has caused a lot of anxiety about the future, but Upchurch is proud of how TCU has responded, instituting initiatives to support members.

“TCU instituted a personal loan program, deferment assistance, and other financial relief measures intended to help members bridge the gap,” Upchurch said. “During the pandemic, we’re working to be sure our members feel they have a place to turn for support while protecting their health and financial wellbeing.”

Upchurch’s commitment to the community includes volunteering for events like Teachers Credit Union’s annual Day of Giving, with employees in the St. John Service Center supporting the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana. With roots in the Region, the Schererville resident knows that her success, and TCU’s, depends on a thriving economic environment.

“I believe it’s important to support and shop local,” she said. “By supporting local businesses, we are in turn supporting our local economy and our neighbors—the people who are most invested of our community and its future.”

To learn more about Teachers Credit Union, visit www.tcunet.com.