Wearing a lot of hats just comes naturally to RRCU’s Patricia Cunningham

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By Kenny Mitchell

When you talk about working women, the images that pop into your head are varied and plentiful. In today’s world, women are everywhere from CEO’s to telemarketers and from ranch hands to school teachers. This section is proof of that fact.
Around our parts, just the word “working” has so many meanings and describing what a person does is hard to do, because in today’s workforce, people are asked to wear a variety of hats.
In Northeast Texas, there may not be anyone wearing more hats that Patricia Cunningham, the Marketing Director for Red River Credit Union.
Patricia wears a lot of hats. On a daily basis she handles all of the advertising and public relations work for the entire RRCU organization, which currently encompasses 22 physical locations, a virtual branch, and three, brand new student run branches. Her department creates and manages all of the marketing campaigns for radio, television, print and digital media.   They also go into the community and host member drives, lobby days in the branches, and community events.
If that isn’t enough, Patricia also supervises the Student Services Department, which is the credit union’s outreach into the local schools, where they have three working kiosks inside area high schools.  Those partnerships allow RRCU to hire two student tellers at each school who work the kiosk as well as work at a local branch.  These kiosks allow other students and staff at each school to take advantage of having a credit union on campus.  RRCU reaches beyond the three partner schools for Financial Literacy by teaching classes K-12 and beyond in our entire service area.
Patricia buys into training local students because she was one herself. In May of 2000, she received her Masters of Science in Business Administration from Texas A&M University-Texarkana with an emphasis in Marketing, and she also earned her Bachelor’s degree from TAMU-Texarkana in 1998.
When asked what motivates her to excel at all that she does, Patricia says, “Well I definitely would not say that I excel in everything I do.  I may attempt to excel but it does not always happen.  I don’t always excel in baking.  I’ve had many a failure in the kitchen.  I definitely failed at trying to snowboard and ended up with two broken arms.  Yes, two at the same time.  However, I’ve been accused of being extremely competitive when it comes to my career.  I don’t consider myself competitive at all but when it comes to my work, I can be a bit obsessive I’m told.  I can’t be passionate about something I don’t believe in.  If I believe in my work, believe it makes a difference and it’s the right thing, I will jump in with both feet and will do what it takes to get the job done.  I love what I do, some days I can’t believe I get paid to do what I do; but I’m very grateful to work with such talented people and for a fabulous organization.”
Family time is also important to Patricia. She and her husband Hunter have been married for 13 years and they have a son, Cade, who is 11 years old and a 5th grader at Red Lick Elementary. Patricia states, “It may sound silly but my son definitely inspires me the most.  Being born at 28 weeks and only 2lbs, he came out a fighter.  We had many days where we had no clue what was going to happen and no idea how our lives would be but in the end, we have a perfectly healthy boy.  Things could have been very different and with the technology, care, love, and support he is our miracle.  He inspires me every day to make a good impression, be a better person, a better mother, and be a better wife.”
She credits her family for her success at work stating that, “The support I’ve had from my family definitely makes a huge difference.  I’ve had jobs where I was not home until very late at night and then out very early the next morning and without the support of my family I would not be where I am today.” She also says there have been many people that contributed to her success on the job, with a long list of co-workers and supervisors that got her to where she is today.
You would think that might be enough, but oh no. Patricia has big plans ahead for herself and Red River Credit Union. She says, “My plan for the future is to see the steady growth of the credit union and hope to one day very soon see us reach the 1 Billion Dollar Asset size that I’m sure we will reach.”
Another goal for Patricia is to one day make cornbread like her mother made, and she says if she could go back and do anything it would be to get that recipe. Patricia says, “The one thing I would want to go back for wouldn’t be for change, it would be to ask questions.  There’s so many things I wish I had asked my Mother before she passed.  I would love to go back and ask all those questions I just never asked.”   
Patricia Cunningham no doubt personifies what it means to be a successful working woman in 2016, and there is little doubt that she will continue to be one that others can look to as an example as she meets the goals she has set for herself and Red River Credit Union in years to come.


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