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Meet Basel

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Meet Basel


photo of baselBasel Z.

Collector II
Team Member Since 2019

Be the hardest worker in the room. Be proactive. Ask questions and don’t be afraid of the answer “no”. Hold yourself accountable. It all sounds cliché, but it will pay off – literally.

Describe the work you do at the Credit Union.

My title is Collector II, but I do much more than just collect, especially now with the pandemic still going on. I help members make payment arrangements to bring their loans current, lower their payments and interest rates (if they qualify), and offer skip payments when needed. Simply put, I do my best to put members at ease when they get a call from me. I’m trying to get rid of the negative connotation that collectors have. Ultimately, we’re only trying to help our members, not scare them. Based off the feedback I’ve received, but internally and externally, I feel I’m doing just that. Is it fulfilling? Absolutely. There’s nothing better than giving a member some much needed relief during these difficult times. Would I have ever thought I’d enjoy being a collector? Honestly, no. But now that I’m doing it, I find it rewarding.

What was your first job?

My first job was at Best Buy as a Home Theater Representative in 2005. I absolutely loved it and the discounts were amazing. My favorite memory is when the Lakers were playing the Suns in Game 4 of the first round of the 2006 NBA Playoffs; Kobe Bryant hit a buzzer beater to win the game and I was watching on the main TV with other customers. When that happened… I was so excited! I lost my mind and started running around the department screaming. Loss Prevention at the front of the store was alarmed and had to make sure everything was okay.

How did you come to be an SCE FCU team member?

Before working at the Credit Union, I worked at a collections agency called ARS National Services. There, I worked with Adam J., our current Collections Manager. He was actually my supervisor there. When he told me he got hired at SCE FCU and that a Collector II position was open, I told him I was interested immediately. I had four years of collections experience at that point. For whatever reason, I was good at it and Adam thought I’d be a great fit there. I had a couple of great interviews and the rest is history. I’m beyond happy to be working here where I get treated with respect and recognized for my accomplishments. 

How do you spend your free time?

I got married in 2016 to my beautiful wife, Viola, and I’m now the proud father of my daughter, Melody, born this year in February. I’m very anti-pet and have an irrational fear of birds. I love reading and binge-watching TV shows (right now I’m watching Young Sheldon after having recently finished The Big Bang Theory). I enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles. I used to play basketball, but have switched to tennis, which I absolutely love and plan on playing for as long as I’m able to. I love my Lakers and 49ers. Roger Federer is my current favorite athlete. I love playing Call of Duty with my cousins and hanging out with my nieces and nephews. And of course, I love a good dad joke. Speaking of which, when does a joke become a dad joke? When it becomes apparent.

Recently, Basel was awarded our Marc Ladwig Inspiration Award – an award named after a team member who lost his life to cancer. Here’s what was said about Basel:

“Whether he’s regularly saying good morning to everyone or cleaning the office to ensure its tidy for everyone, Basel treats others how we’d like to be treated – with kindness, courtesy and politeness. He encourages and praises others to share their valuable ideas while actively listening with no interruptions or his two cents. He has a list of everyone’s birthday and always takes the initiative to send an email blast so we can plan something special for them. Basel has a positive outlook on life and reminds us anytime something goes wrong, “It’s going to be okay.”

“There’s a reason Basel earned his nickname “The Machine.” He has the ability to show a keen interest in a project or new task, as well as a readiness to get involved. Until he sees the task fulfilled he won’t give up. Basel takes responsibility for his results and doesn’t assume it’s up to the team to pick up the slack. He has a clear expectation of what his job entails and understands why it’s important to get the job done right.

“Basel creates an environment of goodwill, who provides a positive role model. He motivates others to do the same without dwelling on the challenges that inevitably come up in any job. In the one and a half years he’s worked with the Credit Union, he’s adapted personal behaviors to accommodate others, which is what it takes to work effectively as a team. He also adapts well to all the changes and new processes in the Collections department due to the pandemic. Basel stays positive, focused on what he can control, and stays connected to his team.