20 Questions

Kelly McDonough • First Alliance Credit Union


NAME: Kelly McDonough

Business: First Alliance Credit Union

Title/position: President/CEO

Hometown: Kelly was born in San Francisco, grew up and lived in Vermont, and has lived in Rochester for the past 10 years.

Family: Husband of 28 years, Denis, two children; a 27 year old daughter who lives in Madison and a 36 year old son who lives here in Rochester.

College/Education/Training: BA, Business Administration, magna cum laude, St. Michael’s College. CPA, state of Vermont 1983. Graduate of University of Wisconsin’s School for Bank Administration and the University of Missouri Columbia’s Senior Management Institute. Master of Science, Business Continuity Management, cum laude, Norwich University.

Organizations/volunteer involvement: 2013 Campaign Chair for the United Way of Olmsted County. Kelly has also been on the Board for the United Way for five years. She is also a member of the United Way’s audit committee, and Women’s Leadership Council. Kelly is Secretary of the Minnesota Credit Union Network (MNCUN) Board, Chair of their Audit Committee and a member of their Political Involvement Committee (PIC).

Length of time in business: Kelly has 28 years of credit union and financial services experience, beginning in 1984 as Vice President Finance with New England Federal Credit Union. She then became the VP of Operations. She then moved on to become the VP of Finance at Vermont Federal Credit Union. Kelly has been the President/CEO of First Alliance Credit Union since August of 2003.

What do you enjoy most about your work: “Helping members with their financial needs. Often, we are able to provide loans and other financial services to members that even they didn’t think they’d qualify for.” We understand that “life happens,” and we’re committed to helping our members achieve financial security. It is also very satisfying watching and contributing to the professional development of our younger employees. As opportunities arise within the credit union, we always seem to have qualified candidates ready and eager to move up to the next level.”

A typical day consists of: Having a line outside my door. My job is to provide guidance to employees so they can do the work of the credit union. I work closely with my management team developing strategies to achieve our vision as an organization.

Your most despised chore: At home, matching socks; at work, writing policies for new regulations.

What motivates you: “Helping others, especially my work with the United Way.” The work that is done makes a difference in peoples’ lives. It may seem small or insignificant, yet creates an important change or difference in peoples’ lives. Credit Unions are not for profit, but are cooperatives. Their goal is to make a decided difference in the financial lives of those served. That motivates me.

Greatest accomplishment: My kids. I am also proud of staying married for 28 years, my husband and I have learned to grow and change together through the years.

Who do you admire? Elizabeth Warren. She is responsible for holding big banks accountable. She is a voice in the Senate for the average consumer. Also Hillary Clinton.

Hobbies: Quilting, reading, hiking, being outdoors, traveling. I am also a political junkie

Favorite color: Blue

Favorite food: Chocolate.

Best vacation: Rome and Paris.

As a child what did you want to grow up to be: A teacher

How would you like to be remembered? As somebody who made a difference in the lives of others.


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