Earlier this year, Milton P., the Branch Service Manager of Partners’ Lake Buena Vista branch, celebrated 25 years with The Walt Disney Company. In commemoration of this milestone, I had the pleasure of sitting down and talking with Milton about his career with Disney.
As I mentioned in my last entry, I only recently started working at Partners a couple months ago, and so this was my first opportunity to meet Milton. I was obviously a bit nervous when we began our brief chat—just from spending an hour or two at the LBV branch, it was pretty clear to me that Milton is everyone’s go-to guy. He is a familiar and friendly face, not only around his branch, but throughout the Disney community. There was so much I wanted to ask him—not to mention the fact that 25 years is a lot of experience to cover in such a short conversation! But I couldn’t help my curiosity, so I asked Milton to simply start at the beginning.
When Milton first started his career, Partners was known as Vista Federal Credit Union. As Milton stated, “I didn’t know about Vista. I didn’t know what the credit union thing was about. My background was in commercial banking. The big difference back then, this was in 1992, compared to what it is with Partners now, is basically how small we were starting out in the back offices at Team Disney.” Partners was so small, he explained, that our cast members were spread out and intermingled with other Disney groups, without our own dedicated space. For those working for Partners today, it’s hard to imagine what this would have been like. The Partners I know has such a large presence around Disney property; today, we even have our own branch at the Partners Building!
As he walked me through his history with the Company, Milton explained that a big reason he loves working at Partners is because of our connection to Disney and the creativity and innovation that comes along with that. As Milton observed, “When I started working at the credit union, I quickly realized that being a part of Disney meant something really important. Disney always has this high standard to uphold. We’re always on top of things. We’re always innovative. The credit union had to evolve and has to keep up with that. So a new service or feature comes out, and Partners is already there, we’re already researching it. We’re already on top of it. I love that.”
Being somewhat of a Disney nerd, I can’t help but think of Walt’s famous quote, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” That tradition of creativity and innovation is embedded throughout Disney. I see it every day at Partners; for example, we were one of the first credit unions to support Apple Pay and we’re moving to an AGILE environment. I come to work knowing that there’s always something new and exciting in development!
As exciting and cutting edge as innovation is, there’s no hiding the fact that Milton’s favorite part of working here is the people and the relationships. As he stated, “I love working at a place where I get to interact with so many awesome people. And they make you feel good. It’s not like they call you up and just say, “Hey, I need something corrected.” Instead, it’s, ‘Hi Milton, how are you? How are the grandkids?’ It just makes you feel like you’re still at home. Sometimes it’s doesn’t even feel like work, to tell you the truth.”
Although Milton would be too humble to ever admit this himself, he provides outstanding service to our Members—he is always kind, thoughtful, and willing to go above and beyond. He always finds a way to help our Members around the clock, even those who arrive to our branch after it has closed. “Just little things, little things like that,” Milton says, “that’s what makes us different from a bank, being able to do that for our Members.” Although I myself have only been with Partners for a short time, I’ve quickly realized that it’s more than just being different from a bank: because we’re Disney and our Members are Disney, we’re willing to go that extra mile for them. That’s how we’re able to create our own Magical Moments.
As we wrapped up our conversation, Milton shared one last story with me. “I had a gentleman in here yesterday who has been with the Company for 40 years—40 years! He works over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and he told me yesterday that he’s getting ready to retire. We had a good conversation about it, and he feels the same way I feel. We’re working with family and cousins. Every day. We love coming to work. He said to me that he doesn’t know what he’s going to do when he’s home and retired and doesn’t get to commute to the most magical place on Earth.”
“We’re all headed in that direction and we all have to retire eventually,” Milton said, in a bittersweet tone, “but working for this company just does something to you, it lightens your life. And now after working here, I don’t think I can work anywhere else.”
Thank you again, Milton, for your kindness and generosity, and congratulations on 25 wonderful years! As I look forward to my own future with the Company, I can’t wait to see what my next 25 years have in store.
Formerly authored by Sarah B. at Partners