The sound of a smile

CUA veteran says her true calling is answering yours

With a 1-800 number that is answered here in Halifax, the CUA Customer Contact Centre is a popular resource for members.  If you’ve ever called, it’s likely you've spoken with Melodie van’tKruis.  It’s also likely you can describe the sound of a smile.

Melodie, most often called Mel, has been a valued part of the CUA family for 17 years and counting.  Through every interaction with members, her genuine compassion and desire to help shines through.  At the office, Mel’s infectious smile and interest in others lights up every conversation.

Going above and beyond

"She puts her heart into her work,” says Marie Mullally, President & CEO of CUA. "I hear from members who choose to call in to speak with Mel because she goes above and beyond to deliver a 'wow' banking experience."

Going above and beyond is part of Mel’s DNA.  Prior to joining the CUA team, Mel spent 15 years at McDonalds, working her way up to the role of Team Manager, assisting with payroll, staff training and performing other daily management activities.  When the Owner-Operator – who she admired a great deal – decided to retire, Mel was inspired to make a change. “A friend of mine worked at CUA and always talked about how great it was,” she says. “A positive work environment with a focus on doing what’s right for customers – it sounded like a perfect fit for me.”

The rest, as they say, is history.  Mel began as a teller and quickly made an impression as someone who brought "the CUA way" to life. After spending time at several CUA branch locations, Mel is now based at CUA's Spryfield branch in a community she proudly calls home.

When asked what she loves the most about her current role, Mel’s answer is simply, “helping people.” She then adds, “the satisfaction that comes from making someone’s day and being able to walk them through something they needed help with.  I love being part of that.”

Early inspiration

Mel is quick to credit her parents for instilling a passion for service.  “My mom taught me to treat others how you want to be treated,” she says. “My dad – a teacher – showed me how to retain information and guide others.”

Mel hopes to influence her children in the same way.  Her daughter, a 14-year-old aspiring artist, enjoys drawing, sculpting and animating, and dreams of a career in the creative space.  Mel’s 11-year-old son, who dreams of becoming an astronaut, has an imagination that inspires.  “He has taught our family so much about compassion, patience and love on a level that we never understood before,” she says, sharing that her son has mild autism.  “As soon as I come home he makes the time to ask me about my day – it’s something I always look forward to.”

Mel also looks forward to the weekend, when she and her husband take the kids to explore the city, search for Pokemon and plan the next family trip.  “No matter where we are, the kids always run straight for the fun – especially if there are roller coasters involved!”

It’s no surprise that to Mel, family is everything.  It’s evident in all she does – both at home and as part of the CUA family.

“I love the connections I’ve built with our members,” she says.  “I take my work to heart, and I think it makes all the difference.  You never know what the person on the other end of the line is going through.” 


As the CUA team celebrates Employee Appreciation Week, we’d like to send a special thank-you to Mel for her 17 years of service, and to the entire CUA team for their continued commitment to helping our members take a confident step forward in their financial journey.