Majel Hein is a member of the 2021 Rising Stars Under 40 recognized by the 7 Rivers Alliance and the River Valley Media Group.
Age as of Sept. 1, 2021: 36
Town of residence: Stoddard
Occupation/company: Financial Counselor, Marine Credit Union Foundation
Family: My husband Ben and I have been together more than 10 years and we a very energetic 3-year-old daughter named Althea. It is my absolute favorite thing on this earth to spend time with them doing anything at all. Whether it is fishing down by the river in Stoddard, having tea parties, playing with dump trucks, or taking naps. They are my loves and my life, and I would not be where I am today without them.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
I have been a financial counselor almost 10 years. It is a true honor and pleasure to work with individuals and families to help them help themselves. In 2018 I was given the opportunity to build a program unlike any other to connect families to homeownership that do not qualify for it anywhere else. I work closely with these households for up to 18 months. We work on their finances, but we also work on everything else! Money touches everything and when we have control of that, often there is so much more time to spend on ourselves. My proudest moment professionally is when I see these families close on a home. My proudest moments are seeing their journey of change and realizing what they are capable of. It’s honor to be invited to be part of their lives and successes.
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Please tell us what community and volunteer activities you’re involved with – and why?
I have been involved in dozens of community and volunteer groups over the years. I join groups and volunteer for causes that speak to my heart and passions. When I am involved in something, I am a “doer” and want to help move the needle wherever I can.
Currently, I am involved in: Secretary of the District Board of Western Technical College, Financial Services Advisory Committee Member at Western Technical College, Volunteer Instructor for Western’s Project Proven, Chair of the Governor’s Committee on Financial Inclusion, Advisory Board Member for Great Rivers 2-1-1, Member of Habitat for Humanity’s Housing Advocacy Committee, Member of Wisconsin’s Domestic Violence Task Force.
Tell us what inspired you to be a leader in your organization and in your community:
I never had any intention to lead; I wanted to inspire. My dedication is fueled by my passion to help others move forward, whatever that means to them. That passion comes from my personal experience of fighting my own battles against substance abuse and the mess that being absent in your own life can bring. I have seen ups and downs and turnarounds. I have been frustrated with systems and have had to get creative to be able to accomplish my goals, but one of my favorite quotes is, “You can change your life at any given moment, never forget that.” We can’t undo the past, or get back time but we CAN make decisions now to move us in a direction to achieve the dreams and goals that we have! We can choose to be resilient when it is easy to give in. However, the thing is that is hard to see when you are in the thick of it, day to day, moment to moment, fire after fire. We get tired and discouraged. I am in love with a career where I get to inspire hope and show people that there is an opportunity to pursue. Sure, we must break down barriers to get there because it probably won’t be easy, and it certainly won’t be perfect, but the journey is just as important as the outcome.
What advice would you offer younger leaders to aid their success?
Stay in school! Ha, but seriously. I am going to say this knowing full well I am not “old” or “wise” but what I do know is that when I was younger; I would get caught up on the small stuff. I cared so much about what other people thought of me. I would dwell on what I had failed in and stew on what I could have done differently. This discouraged me to the point where I left school, TWICE! I would avoid being in the front of the room and making connections because of that fear. This fear is totally normal, it comes with the territory, but staying in it and getting uncomfortable and learning makes you better. It’s so easy to just pass through and go through the motions. Remember this, “You learn when you squirm!”
Another favorite quote, “Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.” - Pope John XXIII”
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