The new leaders of Georgetown’s two largest student-run companies, Students of Georgetown Inc. and the Georgetown University Alumni and Student Federal Credit Union, will begin their terms today.
Both Lizzy MacGill (COL ’14), who was selected as the next CEO of The Corp, and Chris Kelly (COL ’14), the new CEO of GUASFCU, list improvements to customer satisfaction as top priorities.
“I really want to focus on customer satisfaction and overall quality,” MacGill said of her coming promotion at The Corp. “We have made strides this year, but there is still so much more to be done.”
MacGill started out as a barista at Uncommon Grounds after joining The Corp in the second week of her freshman year and later became director of UG. She also served on the company’s Service and Outreach Committee.
Kelly specified improvements to bank processes and competitiveness as priorities in addition to improvements to client satisfaction.
“We’re definitely looking to focus on growing our loan portfolio along with rolling out a new fleet of convenient products for our members,” Kelly said, citing GUASFCU’s new ATM in Hoya Snaxa and the introduction of remote deposit capture, which allows customers to deposit checks electronically.
“The constant goal for the credit union is to remain competitive with not only other credit unions, but larger commercial banks as well, and I think we’re doing a lot of things toward this end,” Kelly added.
This focus on competitiveness inspired this year’s GUASFCU leadership to introduce free overnight deposit service, Quick Pay service, student-friendly branch hours and house accounts, which are designed for housemates to conveniently split payment for rent and utilities.
“We’re competing with commercial banks with tools that many other credit unions do not normally provide,” he said.
Kelly acknowledged that the presence of Capital One in Leavey Center presents a constant competitive challenge.
“Our biggest challenge is going to be on-campus competitors and maintaining our image as the premier Georgetown banking institution and competing with technology and scale,” he said.
MacGill’s term as CEO of The Corp will be dominated by the development of the company’s new salad and smoothie shop, which is slated to open in the New South Student Center in fall 2014.
“It’s going to be a huge challenge but also really exciting to work on,” MacGill said.
MacGill, who has been working closely with outgoing CEO Mike West (COL ’13) since learning of her appointment Jan. 14, said she looks forward to serving as the final stop and sounding board for various Corp directors and management teams, she will miss the hands-on experience of working inUG.
“The most frustrating aspect of being CEO is actually the lack of tangibility you have since you’re not in the stores every day, so in a way, I’m visualizing a lot more and communicating with different services’ directors to support their visions,” she said.
But MacGill stressed that her early days as a barista at UG formed an indispensable foundation to her success as CEO.
“It was so valuable to learn the business from the very bottom up — from stocking shelves to making coffee to managing the cash register,” she said. “If you don’t know the ins and outs of how a Corp service works, you can’t successfully manage it.”
Kelly, too, earned his stripes at GUASFCU first through an entry level position as teller and then as a member of the company’s credit and information technology departments. He was named vice-chair of the credit department in his sophomore year and later chosen to manage GUASFCU’s operations alongside three other interns last summer.
“It becomes easy to work long hours when you’re with people whose company you genuinely enjoy,” Kelly said.
Reflecting on their early days with their respective companies, both Kelly and MacGill expressed a degree of disbelief at how far they have come.
“To think that I was once a freshman meeting the then-CEO and being impressed that he’d even know my name, to now being in this position and getting to train new hires is such an incredible feeling,” she said. “It’s really exciting to watch someone else discover just how much The Corp shapes their entire Georgetown experience, like it has for me.”
Kelly’s assessment of his ascendance through the ranks was similar.
“I honestly never thought about becoming CEO early on. I was just excited to be a part of the organization,” he said. “I think it’s natural to want to do as much as you possibly can for something you love, though, so in this case, I think then wanting to become CEO is a natural extension of that sentiment.”
The CEOs of both companies — Nikhil Lakhampal (MSB ’13) at GUASFCU and West at The Corp — expressed confidence in their successors’ ability to carry the torch forward.
“Chris brings a number of skill sets to the table and I am confident that [he] and the new Board of Directors will collectively improve the Credit Union over the next year,” he said.