As he smiles, he says, "I enjoy the spirit of giving." Meet Senior Member Service Manager Nick Cook whose outlook on the holidays sums up his approach to serving First Central members.
As the implementation lead for many products and services offered, he is one of the most knowledgeable employees on staff. Nick has been with First Central for 13 years in the following capacities -- teller, accounting assistant, overdraft privilege administrator, member service supervisor and currently as senior member service manager.
When Nick began as a teller, he was finishing his degree at Baylor University. He graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in Financial Service and Planning. This was no surprise to those he had told all along that he wanted to be a "financial planner" when he grew up.
Lorena, Texas is his hometown. Here he could be found active in sports like football, baseball and track. He was also a member of Future Farmers of America (FFA), part of the theater department activities, and participated on the UIL science team.
"But that was high school," he said. "during college, I worked for a library, auto parts supplier and bar-b-que restaurant. I then became an independent personal trainer and interned with an investment company all prior to joining First Central."
So let's do Q&A.
A. A sports car or B. Fully equipped weight room? (B)
A. A warm cup of coffee or B. a Dr. Pepper? (A)
A. Cold weather or B. Hot weather? (B)
A. Early or B. Last minute shopper? (B)
For Nick and his wife, spending time together as a family makes the holidays special. "Especially since the arrival of our daughter last November," he added. Nick has been asked numerous times to dress up as Santa. "I was Santa last year for baby's first Christmas. I have been told recently, by the clerk at the gas station where I buy coffee each morning that I look like a "skinny Santa" -- which I took as a compliment," he said with a twinkle in his eye.
A good old fashioned hamburger, woodworking, and hanging out at friends' homes are present favorites. When relaxing, he and his wife like to play board games. "We like playing several versions of Ticket to Ride," Nick explained, "also regulars on our list include Five Tribes, Shadows Over Camelot, Dicecapades or Quelf (for families)." "Loaded Questions is good for a group of friends and Apple to Apples is a good party game," he said, "but my favorite is Ticket to Ride US Map."
That may be part of his love for visiting Chicago as a tourist versus as the in-law to his wife's family located there. Most of the time, however, Nick can be found in the Waco offices -- although he may be found at any of the five branch locations periodically. "My favorite product is our Kasasa Rewards Checking because members are rewarded for utilizing convenient services such as their debit card, e-statements, and online banking," Nick said. "Members typically use these services and are now rewarded for their activity," he explained, "It's all in the spirit of giving."