Nov 15, 2011
Q&A with Alan Zierler
Alan Zierler is a 1976 graduate of Fox Valley Technical College and current president and CEO of Capital Credit Union
. With more than a dozen locations and $400 million in assets under his direction, he is proof that education and hard work pay off.
Why did you attend FVTC?
My dream in high school was to become an accountant. However, at that time I simply couldn’t afford a four-year college or university. Fox Valley Technical College was close to my home and affordable. Plus, the scheduling was flexible so I could work full-time while attending school.
What were some of the skills you gained at FVTC?
Fox Valley Technical College gave me the same education I would have received at an expensive four-year university or college. I know this because one of my best friends in high school went to a state school studying accounting. When we compared notes, I realized we were using exactly the same textbooks and covering the same material.
What was your first job after graduation?
My very first job was in management training here at Capital Credit Union. I’ve continued to grow with my organization. After 10 years on the job, I went to earn my bachelor’s degree. I could afford it then, and I realized that I needed it on my resumé if I wanted to move up in my career field.
How did your FVTC education help prepare you?
The college taught me how to learn. It’s helped me keep up in my field. In terms of classes, I must say that the marketing course I took, which was part of the associate degree program, opened my eyes to some very important issues. When I became president and CEO of Capital Credit Union, I immediately hired a VP of marketing. I was the first in this area to make marketing a VP position.
What are your responsibilities as President and CEO of Capital Credit Union?
As the CEO, I’m responsible for the overall governance of the organization, but these days it’s also important for me to play the role of a visionary. We’re constantly looking at our competition, considering our customers’ service needs, and handling the proper use of our assets. A good example is the entire topic of expansion. We have 13 brick-and-mortar offices now, so we’re always comparing the advantages of opening more locations while also expanding our online services.
Why would you recommend FVTC?
Not only do I recommend Fox Valley Technical College, but Capital Credit Union makes it a point to employ FVTC students while they are in school. Some of them stay on after graduation. Our organization also hires other Fox Valley Tech graduates who do not work for us during their school years. We recently calculated that FVTC students and graduates make up between 10 to 15 percent of our workforce.
In addition, we encourage our employees to take classes at Fox Valley Tech. Capital Credit Union covers tuition costs for all of its employees based on varying levels of credits per semester.
I’ve always felt that Fox Valley Technical College more than measures up against its competition. I’ve done well. I’ve succeeded and enjoyed my job. Work is fun for me, and I feel like that’s the most that anyone can ask!