I’ve Spent 16 Years Helping People at My Company. My Latest Mission? Elevating That Service

Sponsored by Navy Federal Credit Union

Annie Sebastian. Photo courtesy of Navy Federal Credit Union.

Annie Sebastian. Photo courtesy of Navy Federal Credit Union.

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Fairygodboss
June 22, 2024 at 10:16PM UTC

When her children ask what she does, Annie Sebastian responds that “I’m a leader that helps people service and support, the military, and their families.” In fact, Sebastian has spent her nearly 16-year career at Navy Federal Credit Union — a mission-driven and value-based organization — helping others.

During that time, she tells us that she’s held at least nine distinct positions. And, “the thread that connects them all is a focus on knowing and understanding our members and designing solutions that either directly help members financially or indirectly help our team members better serve our members.”

Recently, Sebastian’s years of experiences and passion for helping others have culminated into a new opportunity — leading the new, innovative Member Strategy department at Navy Federal as the Chief Member Strategy Officer. “The goal of the new Member Strategy office is to drive focused member growth and deepen, sustained member engagement by taking a holistic and comprehensive look at our members and aligning enterprise strategies accordingly,” explains Sebastian. As the leader of this diverse group, Sebastian is ensuring that they create effective horizontal alignment across channels, products, and communications to innovate and serve current and future members.

Throughout it all, Sebastian knows that her drive to help others is fully supported by Navy Federal. At the company, “we’re committed to creating new, innovative paths forward,” Sebastian tells us. “Our team loves to work hard and play hard. We foster an environment of fun and collegiality, all connected with a mission to serve our military communities. This foundation of levity and support from our team members helps us stay resilient and energized.”

In this interview, Sebastian shares more about her innovative department and how Navy Federal is fully committed to serving their members.

What inspired the creation of the Member Strategy Office? 

While our members have, are, and will always be our mission, how we deliver on that mission continues to evolve. The competitive environment is increasing and, in addition to our great products and services, we must know our members, anticipate their needs, and do things for them. Additionally, we’ve invested in building new capabilities because it is the right time to scale our impact and elevate member strategy across the enterprise.

What are some positive outcomes from this department’s work?

This new department and initiative will enable us to better understand our members’ needs based on data, research, and designs that amplify what we’re already doing well as well as develop solutions to close those gaps. It’s already driving new, horizontal conversations and challenging us to look at data and trends in fresh and insightful ways.

Can you describe a few ways that the Member Strategy Office benefits employees?

We focus on a “Mission First, People Always” philosophy that ensures:

  1. Our team members are taken care of and

  2. We’re developing a workforce that excels now and in the future.

The Member Strategy Office creates new opportunities for our team members to apply horizontal collaboration more than ever before and drive innovation. We’re able to leverage data, insights, and research in every decision. It also equips our team members with additional tools and information to efficiently accomplish their work.

What are you most proud of about this initiative?

Every day, I’m inspired by the way our team members continuously seek to learn more from our members and workforce. They are taking member-centricity to a whole new level! By incorporating member feedback into our delivery of excellent products, we’re providing exceptional member service and meeting our members’ needs.

Do you plan to grow the Member Strategy office in the future?

Absolutely! We are in the early stages of building our teams, operating cadences, and interaction models with our stakeholders across the organization. At Navy Federal, we believe in: “Do. Learn. Grow.” As we partner closely with our cross-functional stakeholders, the Member Strategy Office will continue to build, learn, and collaborate with Products, Channels, and Functions teams to ensure that our strategic approach is positioned to increase member engagement and satisfaction.

Finally, do you think other companies would benefit from similar initiatives?

The Member Strategy Office is committed to using data, insights, and research in innovative ways to listen to our members, add value to their lives through our products, and continue our commitment to providing excellent member service.

I hope other companies and teams share our commitment to understanding feedback from their customers and employees as key drivers of success. We genuinely care about the experiences and needs of all our members and team members. We learn more from them each day about how we can continue to add value to their lives through our service and products.



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