Making the decision to leave it all...
Updated: Oct 30, 2021
"Vizo Financial Corporate Credit Union’s CEO, Jay Murray, will be ending his tenure with the organization in June of this year. Murray, who has been with the Corporate for nearly 30 years, has decided to devote more time to family and personal interests." “This past year has really brought the importance of family and self-care into the limelight, so the time has come for me to step down from my leadership position at Vizo Financial and spend my time doing the things I love most – being with my wife and daughters, traveling and pursuing some of my interests in education, music and some other hobbies,” said Murray. “My time with the Corporate is something I will always treasure, and I’m so proud to say I was part of this incredible movement that puts people and community first. Credit unions will always have a special place in my heart.” Yeah, that's what the press release said, but there's a lot more to the 38 year journey that led up to this decision. On July 19, 2007, just three days after I told my parents I would become the next CEO of Mid-Atlantic Corporate Federal Credit Union, my father suddenly passed away. My father's death would become a catalyst for me. A catalyst that caused me to think about my path in life and what legacy I would ultimately leave.
I can't remember much of that day when he passed away. I was in a meeting at a hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina. What I do remember is leaving the meeting room to answer my phone because my wife kept calling me. She was hysterical. I couldn't understand most of what she said, except the part when she said, "...your Dad died". That part I do remember. I was so glad my father heard this news before he passed away. A few years earlier, my Dad worked for Mid-Atlantic as the first "mail guy". He was a retired postal employee so this role fit him well. As many father and son relationships go, we never said, "I love you" all that much. My Dad said he was proud of me when he heard the news. For me, I only needed to hear that one time in my life from Dad. I would later come to realize that my father's influence built my career. It's one of life's misfortunes that we realize the impact of a person after they're gone from our lives. We never get to tell them face to face how much they meant to us. But, I think this is how it's supposed to work. Besides being a mailman, a father, and a Boy Scout leader, my Dad also ran a lawn mower repair business out of our home. As it grew, he was asked to fix more than lawn mowers. He'd try to fix anything. People called him "Jack" while his real name was "Julius". Even his own parents called him Jack. But the name fit him well. He was a "jack of all trades" and master of none! My father taught me two things that built my career. One, shake hands and introduce yourself. He would introduce me to people I did not know, and say, "This is my son...". I would stick out my hand and say, "Hi my name is Jay...". That act alone, done for so many years, would break down any fear I had about meeting strangers. It taught me to say "hello" to strangers everyday. Some of those encounters would strike up valuable conversations whether it was in a grocery store, in a doctor's office, or at a business reception. I have no fear going into an event and not knowing anyone. That's how you build a network - one handshake at a time! The second thing he taught me was to be curious. He knew a lot of stuff about a lot of things. I watched my Dad ask a lot of questions. He was always learning new things through reading and asking questions. My Dad was never afraid to try new things. He learned things so he could save money. But sometimes he wanted to learn things for fun. That's how you come up with more ideas and strategies. As a CEO, being curious and willing to try things is a valuable skillset when running a company in today's world. These two elements, used through out my career, afforded me a successful pathway that provides freedom to be curious and to try new things in the future. I look forward to the next 38 years.