El Paso, Texas-- First Light Federal Credit union is making history with the announcement of their first female CEO in the credit unions 60 year history.
Margie Salazar was recently promoted to become First Light Federal credit unions new CEO. Margie would be taking over the position of Karl Murphy who has been with the credit union for 38 years. Murphy will retire as chief executive officer at the end of January.
Salazar is a proud UTEP graduate who worked her way up to becoming the credit unions first female CEO.
“I started working at the credit union back as a UTEP student,” said Salazar. "I was in my 20s working as a teller at the fort bliss branch and since then I’ve obtained several different positions throughout my career here.”
Margie has worked for the credit union for 25 years. Becoming the CEO for the credit union wasn’t always on her radar, but after becoming Chief Financial Officer for First Light, Salazar was excited for what was next in her journey.
“It was honestly like a dream come true for me because 25 years ago I never imagined I was going to be CEO. I never has this over arching goal,” said Salazar.
However, her journey to becoming CEO was put on pause after a regular check up would turn into a life changing diagnosis
“Two years ago I was diagnosed with cancer, out of the blue,” said Salazar. “I went for my regular checkup and it turned out that I had blood cancer and it was pretty aggressive at that point.”
Salazar would spend the next two year going through aggressive chemotherapy treatments and a stem transplant, both of which caused her to lose her hair.
“That was very difficult,” said Salazar. “There was a lot of ups and downs and side effects and just everything that comes along with it.”
However, despite those challenges, Salazar never gave up.
“It could have been easy for that to prevent me from achieving my goals, but I did not want that to happen,” said Salazar. "I did not want that to be an obstacle to achieving my goals and I told myself that this is not going to stop me from getting to where I want to be.”
For Salazar, being able to show her two children that anything is possible, regardless the obstacles thrown our way, is something she is most proud of, and she has advice for others who may need that extra push to apply for that job of their dreams.
“We are sometimes our worst and we can also sometimes be our best encouragement so I would say, just believe in yourself and continue to instill confidence in yourself that you are just as qualified as anybody else,” said Salazar.
Salazar hopes to continue giving back to her community through this role and she hopes to use her years of experience at First Light to continue helping members with their finances.
If you would like more information on the services First Light has to offer, Click Here.