Frontwave Blog

Meet Darlene Kercheval, Frontwave Branch Manager

At the heart of Frontwave Credit Union are our dedicated employees, who we call Dream Makers. This month, we get to know Branch Manager Darlene Kercheval, who has been serving Members, Marines and her own team of Dream Makers at our Twentynine Palms branch, located on base at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, for over 20 years.

Can you tell us a little bit about your professional background?

I have been in the financial industry since 1977. I started my career at Bank of America. From there, I went to work for a mortgage broker. When the refi boom ended, I came to Frontwave Credit Union. I was hired as the Branch Manager for Twentynine Palms in 1996. When the Yucca Valley Branch opened, I managed both the branches until 2018. I also graduated from the Western CUNA Management School in 2006.

What do you think makes you successful in your role as a branch manager?

Realizing that I work for my staff, not the other way around. I keep a positive, friendly environment and create a comfortable atmosphere that motivates the staff to work hard. I know if my staff is happy, they are motivated to excel. People will rise to your level of expectation. I am also a bit of a perfectionist (not in a bad way), but I do set high expectations of everyone and the success comes. “Be Nice” has always been my motto and goes a long way towards making both employees and Members happy.

What’s your philosophy when it comes to working with Members?

I try to never say no. Regardless of the request, we must exhaust all options to meet their financial needs. Even if we are unable to meet their original request, if you give them options, they will be pleased. We should all go the extra mile to please them. The best marketing tool is “word of mouth” from a happy Member.

Do you face any unique challenges working in an on base branch?

Probably the most unique challenge we have on base is the “No Soliciting” policy [which can make it hard to connect with existing Members and encourage new ones to join]. Also, because access to the base is limited, our target audience is sometimes limited. To overcome this, we just have to be creative. For example, we personally visit the Unit Commands and let them know that we are here to support their Marines, whether it be through education classes, sponsorships, financial counseling or awards.

What do you think sets Frontwave Credit Union apart from other financial institutions?

Though Frontwave continues to grow into a big credit union, we still have the luxury of having the “small town feel,” where we can get to know our Members personally and communicate on an individual basis. We have the ability to make decisions to improve our Members’ financial lives even at the branch level. 
If you find yourself at MCAGCC Twentynine Palms, swing by Building 1515 to say hello to Darlene and her crew and find out how they can help make your financial dreams come true!