From the movie she can watch on repeat to the unique super power she’d love to have, Jean Hopstetter, Member One’s Chief Operations Officer, sits down with us to talk about what brought her to Member One, her greatest piece of advice, and an interesting tidbit that you wouldn’t find on her résumé.
How long have you been at Member One?
I’ve been here since April of 2008, so I recently celebrated my ninth year.
Where were you prior to Member One?
I was working for a credit union in Tampa for 12 years, originally known as MacDill Federal Credit Union, and then rebranded to Grow Financial Credit Union. They rebranded just a couple of years before I left.
So what brought you here?
The opportunity to move back to Virginia was appealing to me. I grew up in northern Virginia before moving to Florida. Throughout my entire professional credit union career, I aspired to serve in this very role, so whenever an opportunity was offered that I thought would help me achieve that goal, I took it, including when Frank Carter, Member One’s CEO, called and offered the opportunity to join Member One; I couldn't pass it up. Plus, it's beautiful in the fall!
What’s the coolest place you’ve ever visited?
It would have to be Phuket, Thailand. My mom was from Thailand, so I was able to visit there many times growing up. It’s a beach area, and I have an aunt who owned a bed and breakfast. There were six little houses on the property, and every house came with a Jeep. So we could go stay there and have our own vehicle. You’re driving around these mountain cliffs on these winding roads, and the water is crystal blue, and the sand is sugary. It’s just the most beautiful place I have ever been to.
If you could condense the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned into one sentence, what would it be?
Think before you speak.
What is your favorite movie?
I’d have to say it’s Top Gun. I can watch it over and over and over.
If you could do anything other than what you’re doing now and be successful at it, what would it be?
News anchor. After I decided I wasn’t going to be a teacher, I thought I’d like to be a news anchor. I just always thought it would be fun. I would want to be a New York newsperson, like Connie Chung or Tom Brokaw.
If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
I would want to be Dr. Dolittle and be able to talk to animals. I mean, think about it—how many times do we say, “I’d love to be a fly on that wall”? What if you could talk to that fly? And then you could send them in for recon! I just think it would be so cool.
If you could meet one person dead or alive, who would it be?
Oh, gosh. I thought of people like Gandhi and the Dalai Lama, but I think I’d pick my grandfather because I remember being around him a lot when I was little, but I wasn’t old enough to ask him about his life and all the things you’d want to ask your grandparents now. It would be interesting to talk to my grandfather again.
If a kid walked up to you asking for advice, and you only had 30 seconds to give them your best nugget, what would it be?
You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. I do think it matters whom you surround yourself with because people influence others in good and bad ways, and I think it’s important to be selective about whom you’re spending time with and giving your time to. I liken it to people kind of having their own board of directors. You should seek out people who will challenge you and help you grow in positive ways.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your résumé?
I think I’m pretty boring, but one thing might be when I was in high school, I got a trophy—I still have it today—for being the fastest, most accurate typist in the entire county.
Wow! That should be on your résumé!
I know! But it was on a typewriter, so I don’t even know who uses a typewriter these days. But yeah, I was the fastest, most accurate typist in Hillsborough County, which is a huge county in Florida, which <jokingly> makes it a bigger deal!
Congratulations are in order!
Why thank you! I really need to bring that trophy in and put it in my office!