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Taylor Champagne, Business Process Consultant, Field Force Training

October 16, 2020 | 5 min. read

With her trademark humility and charisma, it’s no surprise the 2019 Employee of the Year credits her career success to her colleagues.

As a field deployable trainer, Taylor Champagne visits Financial Advisors in their offices to help them incorporate processes to improve their client service and efficiency. You can find Champagne and her team of subject matter experts on the front lines of all innovative processes rolling out to the Advisor field force. In the ever-changing world of financial regulations and technology, Champagne ensures that First Command Advisors are up to date and equipped to provide consistently exceptional client experiences.

What inspired you to join First Command?

I joined First Command a little over five years ago. I was a young mother looking for a fulfilling career that would allow me to provide for my family as their needs change. I recognized an opportunity for development here at First Command. My supervisor felt I could bring a positive energy to the team, and I felt called to do that.

When I joined First Command, it was immediately evident to me how much my colleagues care about our mission. I also saw an opportunity to enhance the team with cross-departmental communications and networking. I’m proud to have co-created the Employee Engagement Committee, which gives our associates the opportunity to develop skills outside of our required duties, bridge internal communication gaps and have some fun! It was impactful, and a great way to start my career. Today, I leverage the many resources and connections I’ve made over the years to support the people I train.

What are some of the biggest challenges in your current job?

One of the most difficult things that we face as an organization is marrying each individual team process to the overall company processes. For example, each Advisor team prepares for a client appointment differently, based on their style. Each client meeting, however, has baseline process requirements that must be met.

It’s my job to put Advisors in the best position possible – utilizing their unique individual styles while ensuring compliance with regulatory and corporate standards. Sometimes this can get tricky. My role is supporting each individual team and understanding what they need to thrive.

What gets you excited about coming to work?

I love the spontaneity of my job. I love the opportunity to make connections with people, and for people. I also love the thrill of the pivot. My catch phrase is, “Call me anytime.” When I help an Advisor who, in turn, helps clients, it benefits everyone. It’s incredibly rewarding when I help an Advisor overcome an obstacle or learn a new skill.

Who is the woman who influenced your life the most?

My Mom. She was one of ten kids, and she always taught me to be solution-oriented and self-sufficient. She wanted to make sure I would find a way to be successful regardless of my circumstances. 

At First Command, Information Security Engineer Karina Donaldson has been my peer mentor. She inspires me every day to wake up and push myself, because empowered women empower women

Karen Atwell, Vice President in Leadership and Talent Development, has been my senior mentor for two years now. She makes me aware of blind spots, and I appreciate her candor. In the long term, I aspire to be in leadership development, too.

Tell us about the soft skills that have led you to where you are today.

I value the concept of the platinum rule, which is treat others how they want to be treated. Honestly, I think that taking the time to be empathetic to others has propelled my career.

What are your thoughts about diversity in leadership at First Command?

Inclusivity is key to leadership. Good ideas come from different cultures, lifestyles and backgrounds. They come in different ages, shapes, sizes and colors, and at any level in the organization. Bringing all these perspectives together leads to the ultimate collaboration.

I would like to see that ingrained in our basic systems at First Command, and I hope to personally contribute toward that goal. I appreciate that First Command takes the value of diversity seriously.

Last year you were presented with First Command’s prestigious Employee of the Year award. How do you feel about that honor?

Receiving that award is a true testament to the power of diversity and collaboration here at First Command. The amazing people that I work with motivate, inspire and empower me to show up every day and give it my best. We are all working together as one team with one mission.

Favorite Movie: Hidden Figures

Favorite Book:  How Women Rise, by Sally Helgesen & Marshall Goldsmith

Favorite Work Resource:  Book recommendations. I love reading books others have recommended.  Tracy May in Field Support Operations actually recommended How Women Rise.

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