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Coronavirus Heroes Part 8: Onice Carter puts customers first

This is the eighth in the EAGLE’s 10-part Coronavirus Heroes series. Every weekend, a new Coronavirus Hero will be featured. This week’s Coronavirus Hero is Onice Carter, Vice President of Mississippi Federal Credit Union in Oxford.

Heroes aren’t only defined as local police officers and medical personnel; they can also be bankers. Onice Carter is the vice-president of the Mississippi Federal Credit Union in Oxford, and has served there for 15 years. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Carter said her love for her community and staff members only continues to grow.

Q: What has been your response to work in dealing with the Coronavirus?

A: A financial institution can’t close its doors and wait until the pandemic passes or lessens. Our lobby closed March 17, and we were forced to conduct all banking via our drive-thru lanes and by appointment. My team and I had a “whatever it takes” attitude to continue to serve the needs of our members. Needless to say, this has been unlike anything I have ever experienced in my career.

Q: How do you make sure that everyone (yourself, employees and customers) stays safe when conducting business?

A: While our lobby was closed, we alternated having some staff working at home and some from the branch. That allowed us to keep the number of people in the branch well below 10 each day, and enabled us to social distance from each other. Before our lobby reopened May 15, we had the branch fogged, sanitized and thoroughly cleaned to help ensure the safety of our members and team. Now that we are open, we have staff helping direct our members to the right person and enforcing social distance guidelines, in addition to regularly sanitizing the branch.

Q: Has your job been impacted (positively or negatively) by the Coronavirus?

A: It has been harder for all of us to conduct our jobs than any of us imagined, and we have all become proficient at Zoom meetings! When our lobby was closed, we had unusually long lines at our drive-thru lanes, but our members were most patient and understanding. Many of our members have expressed their appreciation for the efforts we are making on their behalf.

Q: How has customer service changed for your business in the last four months?

A:  Our focus on customer service has not changed, but we have had to go about it differently than before. We have protective germ shields in every office, have installed glass panels between tellers and members, and of course, have all the necessary PPE for both members and employees.

Q: Do you feel like you and your team are heroes? Why or why not?

A: We don’t consider ourselves to be heroes. We enjoy our work in helping our members reach their financial goals, and are happy to be able to continue to work during this pandemic.