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Sherry Special

How Much Does $1 Million Weigh?

Sherry Carr, SVP Consumer Lending and Branch NetworkBecause I have spent my career working for Financial Institutions, I’m often asked questions about money. Not just about loans, savings accounts or other products and services, but about actual currency. Questions like, “What does a million dollars look like?” “Have you ever seen a counterfeit bill?” “What is the largest bill printed?” Some of the answers to these types of questions are interesting and surprising.

When you are in the business of working with currency, like our Mission Fed tellers do, it becomes part of your everyday life. Money is counted, procedures are followed and cash drawers are balanced—and you may not think twice about interesting factoids. But I thought it would be fun to visit these questions and provide some answers for them.

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To Buy or Lease—That is the Question

Sherry Carr, Senior Vice President, LendingI am often asked by my friends and family, “Should I lease a car or buy a car?” Before we even go there, let’s talk about making the decision on what type of car.

Getting a car is not just a financial decision—it’s very emotional and personal. Why do you think there are so many makes and models to choose from?! We have green, economical Smart cars to black, shiny, chromed-out Hummers, and everything in between.

Everyone can remember their very first car, whether it was an old beater that you saved up money for or a new car that Mom and Dad bought you for your birthday. I can remember my first car: it was a baby blue Chevy Camaro that my Dad bought for me when I graduated from high school. I know…what a lucky girl! My dad is a “new car” guy. He would never buy a used car; he wanted that new car smell and he loves to haggle with the car dealers. He always got a “great deal”—in his eyes. I was very appreciative of my dad’s gift, but the Camaro was better suited to him than to me. I am small in stature (downright short, actually) and a car with bucket seats and a long hood did not quite “fit” a person of my height. I had to sit on a pillow to see over the hood, and for that reason, got into a few fender benders. After the third bent bumper, I handed the car over to my brother.

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“Going to Bat” for our Members

Sherry Carr, Senior Vice President, LendingLike many of you, I love America’s favorite pastime: baseball. I am, of course, a Padres fan—but I love watching Little League baseball even more. I have two adult sons who played baseball from age five through their high school years, and I’ve watched more baseball games than I can count. I held all of the positions that a mom could during those baseball years, too: Team Mom, Banner Mom, Snack Bar Mom, and just mom for anything the team needed. However, the toughest and most rewarding job was coaching the teams, selecting the players, teaching the players their positions, practicing and more practicing.

There are many similarities between coaching and managing, especially in branch management. I proudly served as a Branch Manager for many years in my banking career, and it was one of favorite positions. Like coaching a little league team, a Branch Manager has the opportunity to coach and develop individuals who are just starting their careers in banking. Most of the Mission Fed Senior Management Team has held a teller position at some point in their career, including Debra, our CEO! As in baseball, we often refer to our branch staff as “teams.” It really does take the entire branch team of Tellers, Financial Representatives and Managers (Coaches) to deliver our products and services to our membership with the highest level of service. Each time you give us the opportunity to serve you, we are “up to bat” and playing proudly for the Mission Fed Team to meet your financial service needs. We want to assist with your financial well-being as well as provide you with high quality service each time you visit our offices. When that goal is achieved, it’s a “home run” for us!

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Showing Our Appreciation

Sherry Carr, Senior Vice President, LendingCan you believe that is it November already and the holidays are just around the corner? I don’t know about you, but this year zoomed by for me—and it has been a very special year. I am thinking about what I can do for or give to my family and friends to show them how much I value and care about them.

I also have a Mission Fed family and that includes you, our members. One of the reasons why this year has been special is the celebration of Mission Fed’s 50th Anniversary. We would not have achieved this milestone without our loyal and dedicated members.

Although we have been doing special 50th Anniversary promotions throughout the year, Mission Fed’s volunteer Board of Directors and our Senior Management Team wanted to make sure that we ended the year with a clear message to members that you are very special to us and that you have contributed to Mission Fed’s strength, soundness and stability all these years. As a result, we’re not just telling you how much we appreciate your membership...we’re showing you with several new promotions:

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Resolving to Have a Resolution—and Keeping It

Sherry Carr, SVP Consumer Lending and Branch NetworkWhenever the New Year approaches, there are always conversations around the water cooler about New Year’s Resolutions. I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of setting resolutions for myself—I haven’t been able to set one and be successful at it yet!  

Here are my top three resolutions from the past:

Lose weight:  A classic resolution for everyone.  We all want to lose the extra pounds that we gain during the holiday season.

Start a work out regimen:  I have heard that gym memberships peak in January and February—I wonder why (see resolution #1).

Since I have not been successful with these resolutions, I decided to try a new one that does not involve dieting, sweating or resisting the shopping urge.

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It’s Never Too Soon—or Too Late—to Save

Sherry Carr, SVP Consumer Lending and Branch NetworkI had a busy weekend that included attending a baby shower for my niece, Amanda. She’s having a daughter and they plan on naming her Olivia. I also threw a Super Bowl Party and had the opportunity to play with my 10-month-old godson, Rocky. After shopping for gifts for the baby shower and Rocky, I’m amazed at what new parents have available to make their lives more comfortable and convenient! They have interactive toys that are multi-lingual, gadgets that make baby wipes warm and baby food with spoon attachments—all you need to do is squeeze and point it at the baby’s mouth! Not to mention the carriers, swings and chairs that practically put the baby to sleep for you. No more days of putting the carrier on top of the washing machine or driving around in the car, praying for the baby to fall asleep.

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Knocking Down Walls—in a Good Way

Sherry Carr, SVP Consumer Lending and Branch NetworkAbout a year ago, I wrote my first post for The Bottom Line Blog. During that time, I was engrossed in a home remodel, and shared that we were tearing down walls, refinishing wood floors, redesigning the kitchen, purchasing furniture and choosing new appliances.

We were thrilled with the results, but it was definitely a journey getting the house back in order and to the point where we could enjoy our new kitchen and family room. At that time, we said, “Never again!”

Well, it’s a year later—and I’m in the midst of yet another home remodel. This time, it’s the master bedroom and bathroom. We’ve got more missing walls and a big, gaping hole in the floor. On top of that, this time around, we’re replacing the heater, so we’ve been without heat for about two weeks now. I don’t know what we were thinking when we decided to remodel during the cold, rainy months of March and April! My saving grace is thinking about what the house will look like when the construction is done, and then I can really say, “Never again!”

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Skyping™* and Facebook™* and Twitter™*, Oh My!

Sherry Carr, SVP Consumer Lending and Branch NetworkIt’s amazing how many methods of communication are available to keep in touch with our friends, family and co-workers. My mother, who is in her 80s (she keeps her age a secret, so I am truly not sure how old she is), was complaining that she does not hear from her grandkids (my adult sons) as often as she would like. So, of course, I scold my sons and lay on the guilt trip for not calling their grandmother more often.

Then, I realized how rarely I actually speak to my sons on the phone. If I want an immediate response, I’ll text them. If I want to talk to them, I’ll typically Skype with them. So I decided to use technology to bridge the communication gap. My eldest son lives in Australia, so I scheduled a Skype call between him and my parents on my home PC. My parents were thrilled that they could talk to and see their oldest grandchild, but they spoke into the computer so loudly that I’m pretty sure their voices carried across the ocean to Australia anyway.

We are so lucky that we have access to all these ways to communicate.

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Take a Vacation!

Sherry Carr, SVP Consumer Lending and Branch NetworkIf you have been reading my previous posts, you know that my son Jared lives in Australia. He’s visiting for a month and it’s so great having both my sons on the same continent—I am one happy mom! Since we’re all together, we decided to be tourists in our own city and head to the beach and a couple of theme parks.

I have to say, theme parks are a much different experience with your adult children. Now they conspire to scare their parents on the frightening and fast rides. They said things like, “The House of Horrors isn’t scary, Mom—you’ll be able to handle it!” They never warned that “Chucky” and other gruesome monsters would be chasing me! I was so frightened, I screamed and ran through the ride and became part of the entertainment for the other park attendees. Well, I guess they got me back for the time when they were little and I told them that they would like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disneyland. They both came out terrified and crying. I’d say we’re even, and now that we’ve recovered from our frightening experiences, we have some good family memories to share.

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What’s so Special about a Name?

Sherry Carr, SVP Consumer Lending and Branch NetworkThis year has really flown by—and if I need any proof, I just take a quick look at my blog posts.

I have shared stories of my home remodels, my son’s college years, our vacations and other little tidbits of my family life. However, I don’t think that I have shared that during those remodels and other family escapades, I have also been planning a wedding, my wedding.

I thought that I should share this happy news before my name changes in a few months on my blog and on the letters I sign here at Mission Fed. My new last name is going to be Special. No, it is not just “special”... it really is going to be Special. My fiancé (who is a wonderful man) comes from an Italian family and their name was probably changed at Ellis Island from Especiale to Special. So my name will be Sherry Special. Our Marketing Team here at Mission Fed really wants me to keep my old surname “Carr” so that our next Auto Loan special rate offer can be signed by Sherry Carr Special. Okay, it’s kind of cute, but I am not keeping my surname. What I am keeping are the tips that I have learned while planning our wedding and passing them down to other couples when they are ready to take the big step!

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