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Tina Lee: Embracing credit union’s core values


Tina Lee, Arkansas Federal Credit Union’s director of member benefit services, didn’t waste much time embracing the credit union’s core values.

In her role as employee benefits broker for Arkansas Federal, she took to heart its mission to advocate on behalf of members. Lee joined the team in January 2019 and brought with her 15 years of experience in employee benefits. This past enrollment season, she worked up a transparent, comprehensive market analysis that enabled the credit union to offset some of the increasing costs of health insurance.

The savings were then passed on to Arkansas Federal employees and their families.

“I was able to provide a solution outside of the insurance industry’s status quo in order to be good stewards of our investment in employee benefits and to honor Arkansas Federal’s commitment to paying 100 percent of the health premium for employees and their families,” Lee said. “Because of this fresh way of approaching employee benefits, we are now working with other Arkansas employers to help serve in that manner.”

For Lee, her contribution represented just another day at the office.

“At Arkansas Federal, challenging the status quo is part of our core values,” she said. “That means to make every effort to do better and be better in order to serve our members well. It’s what we do.”

The task of uncovering savings and providing enhanced coverage for Arkansas Federal families was a challenging task, Lee said, but it was an important one. 

“With the rising cost of insurance being a burden for all employers, Arkansas Federal was not alone in seeking solutions after receiving a significant increase.”

Lee said one of the best things about working at the credit union is the freedom it affords team members to explore new ways to serve and encourages them to have a voice. She likes to recall something Heather Savage, Arkansas Federal’s senior vice president of human resources, once said: “Everyone has a voice here; how you use that voice is up to you.”

“For me, being able to use ‘my powers for good’ means I end every day knowing I have helped someone through the experience gained in the insurance industry and that I’m surrounded by like-minded people who are all after the same goal: to make a difference in the lives of our members,” she said.

Arkansas Federal’s corporate altruism is the real deal, Lee stresses.

“As someone who has worked for other financial institutions, I can tell you that many may say they are community-driven because it’s popular to say and it’s an appealing marketing strategy, but Arkansas Federal truly lives out that mission,” she said. “Through the corporate charities, we support, to giving employees paid time off to volunteer at other charities, the community focus is real.”

A big Kansas City Chiefs fan who loves spending time at the lake with her North Little Rock family, Lee is passionate about health-and-wellness and financial literacy issues. She even speaks at local schools on these subjects. That passion extends to Arkansas Federal members.

Lee said living a purpose-filled life means connecting with others and utilizing one’s skillsets to serve. She believes Arkansas Federal provides the platform for all employees to do so.

“Our members are treated like family, and empathy rules the day,” she said.

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