Ivory Kealani Lloyd – Entrepreneur and Innovator
Have you ever heard someone talk and they just light up a room with their positivity? Well, that is how we met Ivory. When we Crashed the Crashers at CUNA GAC, we were pulled into her drive, positivity, and excitement. Ivory has a passion for entrepreneurship on her island in Hawaii and women in leadership. Check out our chat with Ivory!
You have been part of the credit union industry for just under a year – what is your favorite difference that the credit union industry has compared to the other industries you’ve been a part of.
I’m not sure if this happens to everyone in this industry. But as soon as I was in it, I knew this was it. These were my people, this was my calling, and I was in it for the long haul. Which, if you would have asked me a year ago if I even knew what a credit union did, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. (I’m kind of embarrassed to say that, actually!) But really, I came from non-profits, running my own business and most recently motherhood to very small human beings so it’s very different and in the best way possible.
We hear you there it just happens. You have a unique role at the credit union, tell us about your day to day as a COVID Relief Program Manager.
Every day is different! I think if there has been one constant this last year post COVID is that things are changing daily and that is basically how my position came about. We created this role last month, to address the current challenges our community is facing, which as you can imagine, is always different. One day it may be creating a team to process PPP Loan Forgiveness Applications, the next day it’s looking at the next rental relief program and last week, it was boating pallets of food over to our north shore community that was cut off due to a landslide after a huge rainstorm!
These are crazy times, but it is all part of the journey. You were selected to CRASH the 2021 GAC, what was your most impactful takeaways.
My fellow CRASHERS! I loved being connected with such bright YP within our CRASHER class.
Being new to this industry, it was honestly a CRASH course to the CU World and I tried to soak up as much as possible on very little sleep and more caffeine that should have been allowed. Although, I’m told that is very reminiscent to the actual in-person GAC experience.
To know what was happening within the industry and know that we, as a small little credit union out in the middle of the pacific, are not alone in the work we do. In these ever-changing times, I was grateful to see how our industry has responded to this crisis, ways in which CUs have pivoted and been agile in 2020 and beyond. Post-Crash, I was able to connect with a few of my fellow crashers and it led into me getting into the DE Class of March 2021.
How exciting! Are you involved in a YP group in Hawaii?
3 years ago a few of us YPs saw the need for more cross communication and support so we created a group called the Lady Entrepreneurs and Innovators, who although are made up of women of all ages it truly grew out of a need of us YPs saw on our island. This groups is focused on sharing resources, creating stronger connections amongst women entrepreneurs and providing a platform to better support women in business. We recently just won an Innovation Grant partnered with our credit union to deploy courses to small businesses in marketing and finance. My hope is to carry everything I learn from people and groups like you to see how it fits in here!
Growing up in Hawai’i, on a small island, it is a part of our culture to take care of the island, its resources, and our community. The Hawaiians took pride in being stewards of the island and no matter what work or role I have been in throughout the years it has always come back to how I can better serve our island. It is why when I was in college and there was a huge project about to happen without a proper EIS (Environmental Impact Study) and without community consent, I flew home instantly, jumped in the water with many family and friends and stopped it from happening. It’s what drove me into Political Science and studying sustainable development and ultimately landed me here.
That’s amazing and your passion really shows! What advice do you have for people who are timid to apply to Crash Events? What is something you want to accomplish with Hawai’i Credit Unions?
Just do it, drink the Kool-Aid! You won’t regret it! Talk to your leadership team. I’m so grateful to have an incredibly supportive CEO at Kaua’i Government Employees Federal Credit Union, so I would say, if you’re unsure, talk to your leadership about the benefits that you could bring back to your team or other people who have crashed in your CU.
The week following CRASH, I (with a powerhouse team) launched the first Sister Society Hawai’i Chapter that I’m SO excited about, especially after hearing so many powerful women leaders in our industry at the GAC, I felt so proud to get this chapter started. Our speakers were next level incredible and we spoke about how we as women leaders, will transform our economy post-covid.
I would say I’m very passionate about women in business and creating an equitable and sustainable economy for Hawai’i. Our islands were devastated when the pandemic hit with the highest unemployment rate in the nation. With our high cost of living, we are seeing our local people being pushed out of their homes. That isn’t necessarily an isolated problem, but it is one that I am seeing, and my hopes are that we can come up with initiatives to address these issues of our community.
Very well said, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
What’s spare time? Ha! Jk. I have two boys, ages 6 and 2 that are wild island boys. We love to surf, bike, sail our canoe or play with our two puppies. We also run a small business teaching lei making, we try our best to raise our kids to be immersed in our host culture here in Hawai’i to set a solid foundation for their future.
CUltivate is people helping people with our mission to spread the word, connect the people, and give an outlet to share your stories. Know someone in the industry we should interview? Drop us a line at CultivateYP@gmail.com