Maria Moore: Empowering Leadership in the Financial Industry

In an era where leadership paradigms are constantly evolving, Maria Moore stands out as a beacon of empowerment and innovation. As the Senior Vice President of Member Experience at Civic Federal Credit Union, Maria has leveraged her extensive experience and unique perspective to drive transformative change within the financial industry. Her journey is a testament to the power of perseverance, resilience, and a deep commitment to inclusivity.

This article delves into her insights on success, her professional journey, and her vision for the future, offering valuable lessons for aspiring leaders.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Civic Federal Credit Union: A Visionary Institution for Community Service

Civic Federal Credit Union is a federally chartered digital-first credit union established by the staff and volunteers of Local Government Federal Credit Union (LGFCU) to serve North Carolina’s local government employees, their families, and their businesses.

“We believe local government employees and their partners are true ‘servant leaders’ to their families, work, and North Carolina communities,” Maria explains.

Since its inception in November of 2018, Civic has gained recognition throughout North Carolina as a beacon of aspiration and innovation. Civics’ journey is just beginning as by June of 2025 Civic will service over 400k members and be over $4billion in assets. The credit unions mission is to work in service to people, and the planet, aiming for prosperity for all.

Transformative Leadership at Civic

Under Maria’s leadership, Civic is navigating a unique transition, integrating the personalized service of a traditional credit union with the innovative, digital-first approach that Civic embodies. “We are bringing together two organizations, one heavily focused on 1:1 interaction and the other on digital-first service,”

Maria elaborates. Her responsibilities include designing and launching a state-of-the-art contact center that balances self-service and live agent support. This comprehensive role encompasses hiring, training, and holding staff accountable for serving members both over the phone and digitally. Moreover, Maria is leading the implementation of advanced technologies such as AI-based IVR and Chatbots, with the goal of enhancing member experience and improving operational efficiency.

Charting the Path Forward: Maria’s Vision for Civic Federal Credit Union

Maria Moore’s vision for Civic Federal Credit Union is not just ambitious; it’s transformative. “We tirelessly work to position Civic as the financial institution of the future,” she states confidently, underscoring her commitment to innovation and progress. Civic’s strategy pivots around two core principles: financial inclusion and community development. Maria envisions Civic as a catalyst for positive change in North Carolina, contributing not only to economic growth but also to cultural enrichment and environmental stewardship.

At the heart of Maria’s vision lies a dedication to exceeding members’ expectations. By expanding product and service offerings, including the establishment of new branches and the enhancement of digital capabilities, Civic aims to redefine the banking experience for its members. Maria’s leadership is guided by a profound sense of responsibility towards the community. She believes that Civic exists not just to serve its members but also to respond proactively to external forces that could impact them.

Central to Maria’s approach is a focus on sustainability, inclusivity, and innovation. By embracing these values, Civic is not merely adapting to change but leading the charge towards a brighter, more equitable future. Under Maria’s guidance, Civic Federal Credit Union is not just a financial institution; it’s a force for positive change, shaping the landscape of banking and community development in North Carolina and beyond.

Navigating the Journey of Change Facing Challenges

Leading an organization through significant change is a formidable challenge. “Change is never easy, and we are going through a lot of that right now,” Maria acknowledges. However, she emphasizes the critical role of culture in successfully navigating these transitions.

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” she asserts, underscoring that a robust organizational culture helps both staff and leadership understand their impact and embrace total accountability. By cultivating an environment characterized by clear expectations, non-judgmental support, and high standards, Maria is driving both professional and personal growth within her team. This focus on culture ensures that even amidst rapid and expansive change, the team remains cohesive, motivated, and resilient.

Throughout her career, Maria has encountered numerous roadblocks that have taught her valuable lessons. “Perfectionists aren’t experts at getting things perfect, but rather at finding things that are wrong,” she notes. Initially, this tendency led her to focus more on doing the work than managing it. However, she learned that by finding, training, and holding people accountable, she could delegate effectively and increase her impact.

One notable example is when she launched a chatbot, initially writing all the intents herself but soon realizing the need for a dedicated channel manager. This delegation allowed for better maintenance and continuous improvement, leading to a 92% automated capture rate, far exceeding expectations.

“Some Leaders are born Women.”

Empowering Team Growth and Diversity in Male-Dominated Industries

Maria Moore’s leadership achievements extend far beyond project milestones or financial targets. “Culture doesn’t work if you don’t find the right people, train them well, and hold them accountable,” she asserts, underlining the significance of nurturing a supportive and accountable work environment. Her proudest moments stem from the personal growth and successes of her team members.

One poignant example is a dedicated employee who triumphed over significant personal challenges. “I saw the drive she had to do better, and that is a skill that can’t be taught,” Maria reflects. By recognizing and fostering this potential, Maria exemplifies the transformative impact a leader can have on their team.

Thriving as a woman in leadership within the finance industry has its unique challenges, deeply rooted in historical imbalances. “I’m more successful because of the sacrifice of those women before me,” Maria reflects, acknowledging the trailblazers who paved the way.

While significant strides have been made, the industry still grapples with structural issues that hinder the career progression of women, particularly those from diverse backgrounds. Maria’s approach has always been to lead by example, offering herself as a mentor and advocate for inclusivity. She emphasizes the importance of not being confined by stereotypes or limitations. Additionally, Maria underscores the significance of having representation in leadership meetings, someone who can articulate your perspectives and advocate for your interests even in your absence, ensuring that diverse voices are heard and valued at all levels of decision-making.

“It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.”

A Personal Take on Success

Success is often perceived as a universal concept, but for Maria Moore, it is profoundly personal and unique. “Success isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept; it’s deeply personal and subjective,” she asserts. In the traditionally male-dominated financial industry, Maria has discovered that success involves embracing individual journeys and celebrating diverse achievements. For her, success is grounded in perseverance, resilience, and the capacity to overcome challenges. It encompasses setting meaningful goals, pushing boundaries, and continuously striving for self-improvement.

As a female leader, Maria believes that true success entails challenging stereotypes, fostering inclusivity, and empowering others to realize their full potential. Creating a work environment where everyone’s unique definition of success is respected and supported is a fundamental aspect of her leadership approach.

Life Before Civic

Maria’s journey in the financial industry is marked by distinct phases, each contributing to her growth as a leader. “Right out of school, I started at a bank, focusing on operations, audits, and executing others’ visions,” she recounts. This phase was characterized by a proactive approach, eagerly taking on any task that came her way. Later, Maria transitioned to a higher management role at a local credit union, where her responsibilities expanded to include planning, technology management, budgeting, and compliance oversight. Here, she also took on additional roles beyond her job description, such as leading volunteer efforts, mentoring colleagues, and contributing to the diversity committee.

However, Maria’s impact extended beyond the confines of her role. One of her most impactful endeavors was organizing a two-day principles and philosophy camp for employees. Through this initiative, she aimed to educate her colleagues about the principles of the credit union movement, empowering them to understand their role within the organization and the broader community. This commitment to education and empowerment exemplifies Maria’s dedication to fostering a culture of continuous learning and growth.

Striking Harmony & The Right Balance

Maria Moore, Senior Vice President of Member Experience at Civic Federal Credit Union, exemplifies resilience in her daily routine. Her workday begins with meticulous preparation the night before, ensuring a calm start to the day. Maria values face-to-face interactions at the office, where she reviews meetings, addresses urgent matters, and ensures top-notch member service, all while embodying the essence of resilience.

However, Maria acknowledges that achieving work-life balance hasn’t always been easy. Striving to prove herself, she initially struggled to maintain equilibrium. Yet, she found solace in building a team of passionate individuals capable of leadership in her absence. Her motivation stems from her family, striving to set an example for her children. Additionally, the encouragement from her team, reflected in their online sharing of accomplishments, serves as a driving force for Maria, propelling her to make impactful contributions both at home and in the workplace.

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Personal Goals and Advice for Aspiring Women

Maria’s aspirations extend beyond her professional responsibilities at Civic Federal Credit Union. She aims to make a significant impact on the communities they serve while ensuring her children grow up in an environment that fosters happiness and success. Her dedication to both her work and family reflects her balanced approach to life.

When it comes to guiding aspiring women in the financial industry, Maria’s advice is rooted in authenticity and self-belief. “You don’t have to be someone else to be successful. Don’t let others define your lane for you,” she advises. This principle has been a cornerstone of her career, allowing her to navigate challenges and achieve her goals without compromising her identity.

Maria also emphasizes the importance of empathy and a thorough understanding of systems, processes, and details. These attributes enable her to make well-informed decisions that lead to sustainable and meaningful change. By putting herself in the shoes of her staff and members, Maria ensures that her leadership decisions are both compassionate and effective, fostering a supportive and dynamic work environment.


Maria Moore’s journey as a leader in the financial industry is a powerful example of how perseverance, resilience, and a commitment to inclusivity can drive transformative change. Her leadership at Civic Federal Credit Union is not just about achieving organizational goals but also about making a meaningful impact on individuals and communities. By fostering a culture of accountability, empathy, and continuous improvement, Maria is paving the way for the next generation of leaders.

Maria’s story serves as an inspiration for aspiring women leaders, demonstrating that true success lies in embracing one’s unique strengths and relentlessly pursuing one’s goals.