Women in Technology: Lois Profili

By W.B. King

In what is a recurring feature, Finopotamus spotlights innovative women who are positively impacting technology applications in the credit union industry, and beyond.

While she hasn’t had formal technology training, First Eagle Federal Credit Union’s CEO Lois Profili understands that innovation drives the member experience. After serving 39 years at the Owings Mills, Md.-based credit union, she said this forward-leaning approach has resulted in the organization growing from approximately $2 million in assets to over $100 million.

“When I first started, our small staff handled everything across the board, giving us lots of experience and interaction with members. We had just begun offering checking accounts,” said Profili who added that the credit union currently employs 24 people with one dedicated to technology.

First Eagle Federal Credit Union's CEO Lois Profili.

“I’ve worked in nearly every department – from marketing to lending to IT. It’s been so rewarding to watch our institution grow and offer new, relevant products to members,” she added. “In our credit union, we look for strengths in each employee and strive to help them reach their potential.”

The tech training she gained over the years resulted from various interactions with vendors. And while there were few women in these advisory roles some 40 years ago, she said that has changed.

“We have to outsource most of our tech and [today] there are plenty of women who are there to help,” said Profili, who assumed her current position as CEO in 2001.

As an example of a positive vendor relationship, Profili pointed to the Farmington Hills, Mich. –based Member Driven Technologies (MDT), which she has called a “trusted technology partner” for over 10 years.

In addition to hosting the credit union’s core platform, MDT, she noted, collaborates with First Eagle FCU on “all things IT, sharing trends and letting us know about new vendors and capabilities we should consider.” She added that MDT’s “robust security controls help protect our organization and members.”

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Initially, Profili, who holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in finance from Notre Dame of Maryland University, worked in retail and bookkeeping before entering the credit union industry in 1982. She noted that it didn’t take long for her to understand that credit unions have something special to offer.

“I found a passion for it,” said Profili who has served as the Baltimore Chapter Association Director at the MD | DC Credit Union Association since 2011and is a former member of the Supervisory Committee for Mid-Atlantic Corporate FCU.

When reflecting on inspirational people from her past, Profili’s former boss, Pat O’Haire, stands out as her mentor. At the time, Profili was serving as the credit union’s chief financial officer. And while at times they would clash over expenses, O’Haire instilled the importance of investing in technology. Before retiring and passing the baton, O’Haire offered two pieces of advice.