Serving a Member While She Served the World
It’s a common dream for many people. Packing up, heading out, and traveling the world. But, whether it’s a fear of the unknown or being grounded in their day-to-day lives, it stays just that: A dream.
Kim Yaeckel Dixon, a Coastal member since the early 90s, felt this dream as well. A sense of wanderlust ran through her and she pondered heading out and seeing the world. But the difference for her? She took the leap, deciding to pack up her stuff, ready to experience the world.
“I had a great life here, but I always felt there was more I could be doing,” she says. “So I decided to join the Peace Corps.” As a business management consultant for IBM, she knew she could put her work experience to good use educating others.
So she signed up, and was assigned to a 27-month term serving in the country of Georgia, right on the border with Russia. As if moving her life to another country wasn’t enough, there was more. This was her first time leaving the country.
When you get ready to live in another country there’s a lot of things to worry about. Will you be able to speak the language? Will you miss home? And what about finances?
“I was nervous to be away from my college-aged children and my mother,” she notes. “I certainly didn’t want to burden with my financial issues.”
Kim, a Coastal member for nearly three decades, came to her local branch to, in her words, “identify a live person with a name, a phone number, and email I could contact if I had any problems from the other side of the world.” She even brought along her college-age son so he could put a face with the name.
Enter Coastal employee Steve Clark. With Steve, Kim found so much more than a live person with a face. She found a partner, ready to help in any way he could while she was away. “I had been a member for over 25 years, and have always been so pleased with the customer service. But Steve, he went way above and beyond,” she says.
Over the two plus years Kim was away, Steve helped in countless ways. From assisting her mother with depositing a few of her checks, to answering questions and helping with paperwork.
And when Kim decided it was time to sell her car, Steve was there to help ensure the whole process went smoothly. “Steve actually met my son at the bank to assure that the deal was done properly,” Kim says proudly.
While Kim was on the other side of the world, helping refugees develop new businesses, she could rest a little bit easier knowing she had Steve Clark and the rest of the Coastal helping her keep her own business in order.
You can read more about Kim’s time in with the Peace Corps in Georgia on her blog at http://kimgeorgia2014.blogspot.com/2016/09/peace-corps-georgia-assignment-brief.html