A Q&A With Women's History Month Honoree, Tracy Holstege

Published March 28, 2023

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One of the founding principles behind credit unions was that people could achieve greater financial empowerment by pooling their resources to loan money to their neighbors and coworkers. In the early 1930s, debt was rampant, and many people—who couldn’t get a loan from a bank—were forced to go through sketchy loan operations that charged exorbitantly high interest rates. 

Credit unions offered a beacon of hope to communities in need, oftentimes lending the vital money needed for people to buy homes, save their farms, or feed their family. The credit union movement took hold and the philosophy of service and "people before profit" is still the backbone of what we do at Maps and at credit unions across the nation.

Over the years, we have had the privilege of helping countless member achieve their dreams of homeownership. We have been fortunate in our role as a not-for-profit credit union to educate and guide our members through the best financial decisions possible. Today, we’re honoring someone who has had a huge hand in helping our members fund their futures, Tracy Holstege, our Director of Mortgage Lending.
 
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Holstege started in the mortgage industry over 20 years ago and joined the Maps team in 2011. Her drive and resilient spirit have made her a pillar of the mortgage industry for decades and she is a shining example of how dedication, know-how, and compassion can lead to great leadership. Sharon Whittemore, a Maps Mortgage Loan Officer, said of Holstege, “I believe what makes Tracy a good leader is her commitment and passion. Tracy’s leadership style is to lead by example. She isn’t afraid to dig in and get the job done. I enjoy her passion, her dedication, and her level headiness.”

Doug Ecclestone (also a Mortgage Loan Officer under Holstege’s leadership), says that she is one of the most hard-working, dedicated leaders he’s come to know. He finds her approachable and supportive, but also commends her for setting the pace and keeping the team motivated. He adds, “Tracy has managed to keep a healthy work environment for all of us to feel comfortable in. All of us can be ourselves. She has a great open-door policy and really makes the department feel like a family and not just coworkers.” We agree and we asked her a few questions about motivates her and what gets her through the toughest moments.

Maps: What motivated you to become a leader in your industry?

Holstege: I have been in the mortgage industry for over 23 years now and I have held several positions that have led me to where I am today. When I accepted the role as Director of Mortgage Lending, my true motivation was to “carry the torch” and to perform my late boss’ job as well as he did. I also felt like it was the next step in my career path, and I was ready for a new challenge and the responsibility that came with it.

Maps: Have you drawn professional inspiration from other women? Tell us about someone personally or professionally who has inspired you.

Holstege: Every day I am surrounded by inspirational women—whether that be at work, at home, in the gym, or on the soccer field. I admire my new “girl boss” who is confident, wears countless hats, and has endless capabilities. I am inspired by the committed and surprisingly strong 79-year-old woman that works out beside me five times a week (and who delivers Meals on Wheels Monday through Friday, all while never skipping a beat). Most of all, I am inspired by my giving “mum” who has boundless leadership skills. She has taught me to lead by example, be empathetic, a good listener, and have a resilient spirit.

Maps: What motivates you when things get tough?

Holstege: This is an easy one for me. When I am feeling defeated or overwhelmed, I think back to the clutch phrase my mentor (a special person in my life) would say to me, “You’ve got this”, and somehow it always gives me the courage, strength, or the clarity to work through whatever it is.

Maps: What does good team leadership look like to you?

Holstege: A good leader is someone who is able to provide competent guidance, is a role model and an inspiration to others, and (most importantly) a good leader is someone who is truly vested in bringing out the best in him/herself and his/her team, so together they can achieve a common goal. I am fortunate to have had effective leaders in my life with growth mindsets, who have instilled their trust in me and who continuously pushed me to do and be better. Now it is my turn to return the favor.

Maps: What advice would you give the next generation of female leaders?

Holstege: Nobody is a born leader. Leadership skills can take time to develop and are not just developed within your job experience or from mentoring. I personally gained leadership experience through education and playing sports. Having a diverse and versatile set of leadership skills will give you the confidence to be a great leader. 

Maps: Who is your favorite female historical figure?

Holstege: Diana, Princess of Wales because she was a global icon of style (which a girl can appreciate), charity, and compassion. She dedicated so much of her time to good causes, earning the respect of millions and making a difference in the world. She said, “Every one of us needs to show how we care for each other and, in the process, care for ourselves.”
 

Check out our Q&As with our Chief Operations Officer, Rachel Pross, Maps Community Foundation Executive Director, Kim Hanson, and VP of Commercial Services, Jenn Winegar, and then stay tuned for one final interview as we wrap up Women’s History Month.

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