Redwood Credit Union Napa Valley branch experience manager wins North Bay Forty Under 40 award

Gladys Milligan


Branch Experience Manager

Redwood Credit Union

406 Napa Junction Road, American Canyon 94503


Read other profiles of North Bay Business Journal’s 2021 Forty Under 40 Awards winners.

Responsibilities with your company: I am responsible for helping members achieve their financial goals and for guiding my team’s professional growth. I build strong relationships with our members, the community and my staff.

In 25 words or less, how do you exemplify the spirit of being a top Forty under 40 professional?

I believe in helping people. I believe that what I do makes a positive impact in people's financial lives.

Years with company: 2

Length of time in current position: 2

Number of companywide employees: 710

Number who that report to you: 6

Greatest professional accomplishment: My greatest professional accomplishment is being the first generation college graduate in my family.

My parents migrated to the U.S. and struggled to give my brother and I the best life they could. I am grateful to have been able to attend college, which has helped grow my banking career.

Greatest professional challenge: Creating a healthy work life balance.

Best advice received: Be the very best at what you do, regardless of your position and a promotion will follow.

Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months: Being able to continue to assist members throughout the pandemic. It has been rewarding to help our members overcome financial struggles.

What’s the biggest change COVID-19, the restrictions and the economic impact has had on your work and personal life?

We have had to learn to connect with members in a different way, through phone appointments, virtual appointments or through our digital channels.

Nonetheless, our commitment to helping our members, staff and community has never changed. If anything, our commitment to helping our membership grew stronger. Being a parent of two kids that are attending school through distance learning has been a struggle to say the least.

I have learned to let go of things I have no control over and concentrate my energy on the things that I can control.

And what’s the biggest lesson you’ve taken from that experience?

To show empathy more, everyone is going through something personal regardless if they show it or not. I want to be that person who can make others smile and forget their problems, even for just a moment.

What steps is your company taking to sustain your organization and morale in the current economy?

RCU is always here to help our members and communities, in good times and bad. RCU has stepped up in many ways during the pandemic, for people and businesses.

We've deferred loan and credit card payments, waived fees and late charges, and provided financial relief. For local business, we provided more than 2,100 SBA Paycheck Protection Program loans, which helped preserve about 9,000 jobs in the North Bay.

We also created several videos to help people manage their money, and support emotional wellness for adults, students and families.

Next professional goal: I love working for RCU and would like to continue growing my career here. My next goal would be to become a regional manager in the near future.

Education: Bachelor of Science degree in business administration, concentration in strategic management from California State University Sacramento.

Hometown: Winters, CA

Community/nonprofit activities: I am the treasurer for the American Canyon Community and Parks Foundation. I also serve on the board for the American Canyon Chamber.

Mentor/admired businessperson: The person I admire and is a mentor to me is my husband. Although he is in a different professional industry he brings a different perspective about the possible solutions to my work challenges. I can always count on his honesty, advice and motivation.

What is your most disliked industry buzzword?

Peel the onion.

Typical day at the office: Every day is different and I love that about my job. One thing that remains the same is my passion to serve our members and staff. Every day we look for ways to educate and improve people's financial lives.

In a business sense, what is the greatest thing about being under 40; and then what is the worst?

The greatest thing about being under 40 is that I can lead a team of different generations such as millennials and gen X's. I can bring out the best in them because I can relate to what motivates them.

The worst thing about being under 40 is the misconception of age equating to experience.

Best place to work outside of your office: Home

Hobbies: I enjoy working out, hiking, traveling, cooking and watching my kids play sports.

What you wanted to be when you grew up: As a child I always said I wanted to be a psychologist.

#1 thing you want to accomplish by the time you turn 40: To attend the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference

First job: My first job was at Gottschalks as a beauty sales consultant.

Social media you most use: I don't use social media.

Favorite book: “The Leadership Challenge”

Favorite movie: “The Proposal “

Favorite App: Pandora

Favorite after-work drink: A glass of rose or a good amber beer

Last vacation: Last vacation was to Mexico, to visit family. It was great spending quality time with family prior to the pandemic.

What does your mom or dad brag most about you?

How thoughtful and helpful I am, always putting others' needs before my own.

Gladys Milligan


Branch Experience Manager

Redwood Credit Union

406 Napa Junction Road, American Canyon 94503


Read other profiles of North Bay Business Journal’s 2021 Forty Under 40 Awards winners.

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