It started off as a typical beautiful sunny SoCal day as we rode on the backstage shuttle to our largest branch at the Disneyland Resort in Harbor Pointe to meet with Eddie and catch up on his adventures. When we arrived, we were met with a pop-up celebration of Disneyland’s 60th anniversary of the Matterhorn Bobsleds just outside of the branch – a great reminder that nothing is business as usual when you’re at Disneyland – another unexpected feel-good slice of fun at Disney!
It has been 5 years since the doors opened at our Harbor Pointe branch – a celebration that Eddie still vividly remembers to this day. He is a native Californian, raised in Long Beach who has been with Partners for over 14 years. Eddie fondly recalls his early experiences with his new leadership role and his interactions with the Executive Leadership team. Since then, Eddie has never looked back, and instead looks forward to even more partnerships with his new friends throughout The Walt Disney Company.
In our conversation with Eddie, he discusses fond memories starting at the Downtown Anaheim branch that led him to Harbor Pointe.
JULIE CHAN: What does it mean to be a Branch Manager at Partners?
EDDIE MANANGON: As the Branch Manager, I get to wear different hats—from working the teller line, the greeter desk, coaching the team, and conflict resolution. It was challenging at first to be responsible for everything that happens at the branch, including: cash handling, the day to day operations, and my favorite, interacting with Members. Having the support of my fantastic team, I feel more well-rounded and equipped to handle those situations.
JC: What do you think about working at the Disneyland Resort?
EM: Working at the Disneyland Resort is very special, and one would only realize how special it is by actually working here. I feel like I am part of something bigger. We are Cast serving Cast and we get the opportunity to interact and help Members from all the different lines-of-business and departments within the company – from Attraction Hosts to Leaders, everyone that creates magic for all of the Resort’s Guests! It’s wonderful to see how we have been able to impact our Members lives even as they create magical memories for guests.
JC: Tell me what a Member visiting Harbor Pointe would expect?
EM: A magical one! From the moment our Members walk into the door they are greeted with a friendly smile. We build relationships in the branch and learn about each other’s role in the company because cast members are very proud of where we work. We connect with them, so when we try to help, it feels like they are speaking with a friend or family!
One time we helped a Member finance an engagement ring. It was such a wonderful and beautiful experience. The Member believed he would have to save and save to purchase the ring, but was ecstatic to learn that he would be able to finance the ring with us and purchase the ring immediately! In fact, we also helped pick the ring, and even filmed the engagement!
JC: There are a few notable differences that makes us different from other financial institutions, wouldn’t you say?
EM: Definitely. Many other financial institutions regard lower credit scores as a means to charge more. And without help to increase scores in order to charge less. We, on the other hand, do our best to look out for our Members. Sometimes by helping Members finance their dream home when they thought they would always rent. Or help those that are having credit challenges with solutions to increase their score to get affordable rates.
A Member visited us few months back to apply for a credit card. During the application process, we found out that she and her husband were planning to buy a home in the coming years and wanted to improve their credit score. So, we looked into her application a little more and noticed that we could consolidate and lower her debt payments – saving them $700 each month! The couple’s credit score significantly improved, and they were able to receive the keys to their new home – only 5 months after that branch visit.
We are looking out for our Members’ best interest. Those are the small gestures we pride ourselves in, that other financial institutions may not find important. The importance of connecting with Members is the philosophy I help my team understand, and that is how we will continue to make an impact on our Member’s lives.
JC: What a great benefit for Members, coming from different times in their life and career, to have access to Partners. And what an impact to their lives it must be.
EM: Here at the resort, all the cast members are taught to give a high level of service to Guests. For us, that means we walk with Members through different stages in their lives. Whether they are new to the magic or celebrating a marquee anniversary, we strive to help them wherever their professional and personal journeys take them! Sometimes it means helping them with the basics, other times we’re helping them plan for retirement – those are the hardest ones, because once they retire, we don’t get to see them as often!
JC: What do you love most about working at Partners?
EM: My favorite part about working at Partners…and Harbor Pointe is working with my team and seeing our Members every day. I learn as much from them as they learn from me. Being able to share my knowledge and experience is a way of helping people improve their abilities to accomplish more than they thought possible.
JC: You must’ve seen the changes that take place over the 5 years here at Harbor Pointe.
EM: When we first opened the branch, we were behind the main entrance to all the cast members. We thought we were going to be busier than our largest branch in California, located on Katella by Anaheim stadium. We expected to have 200 Members waiting outside our doors! But we learned that most Members transition through the area to clock in for work and would only visit us during their breaks or shift changes. We ended up as one of the slowest branches for foot traffic.
Now, we’ve adjusted the way we engage with our members and try to provide them banking services where they work. We go out to them instead of waiting for them to come to us and were one of the first branches to launch Pop-Up Branches, where we setup in different areas throughout the Resort to help with all of their banking needs like checking account balances, helping with mobile banking, even applying for loans and opening accounts!
As we get better with leveraging technology, we won’t need to build more branches, we can setup Pop-Up locations throughout the Resort according to Members’ schedules. I see more opportunities to serve Members where they work and where they want. We are keen on learning on what works best for our Members.
JC: Any closing thoughts?
EM: I look forward to growing as a leader and am just so thankful for my amazing team and all the support we receive from the Disneyland Resort! I also look forward to my favorite part of the job, making more friends with new Members!