A Look at Addition Financial's Women In Leadership

March is Women’s History Month. While we do our best to celebrate the women of our community & organization year-round, we would like to take this opportunity to share empowering stories from some of our women in leadership here at Addition Financial Credit Union to close out Women's History Month. 

Who Are the Women Leading Addition Financial?

One of the things we love about Women’s History Month is that it inspires women to share their wisdom with each other. Here are some of the women whose leadership skills support Addition Financial every day, along with their best pieces of advice.

Miriam Mitchell

Chief Lending Officer 

Lending is an essential part of what we do at Addition Financial. Miriam Mitchell started her career at Addition Financial in August of 2015 as a Real Estate Loan Processor. She worked hard and rose through the ranks, becoming a manager and then the Director of the Real Estate Department. 

After nine years in that position, she was promoted to Vice President of Lending and from there, she moved into her current role as Chief Lending Officer. Miriam oversees all aspects of lending, loan servicing and the secondary market. It’s an important and essential job that impacts every one of our members who has a loan, including personal loans, car loans and mortgages.

Miriam says that the most rewarding part of her role as Chief Lending Officer is mentoring up-and-coming leaders and watching them work for and transition into new leadership roles.

When it comes to sharing what she’s learned as a woman in senior leadership, here’s what Miriam had to say:

“The advice I would give to young women aspiring to be leaders is to always believe in themselves and never say no to an opportunity!”


Yomary Velez

Regional Director, Branch Operations.

Yomary Velez came to Additional Financial in 2014. Her first role with us was as a peak time Member Services Representative at our Kissimmee location. She earned her first leadership position within our credit union when she was promoted to Head Teller at the Kissimmee branch.

From her first promotion, Yomary continued to move up within the organization. She moved from Head Teller to Assistant Branch Manager, and then to Branch Manager. In her role as Branch Manager, she was instrumental in opening two new locations in Osceola County: Poinciana, and The Loop. She feels blessed to have had the chance to work for inspirational leaders within the organization who mentored her and helped her grow into her current role as Regional Director, Branch Operations.

The most rewarding aspect of Yomary’s role is her ability to help her teammates maximize their potential while working toward their most important personal and career goals.

Her best advice for younger women: 

“Take on new challenges and opportunities that may present that are outside of their comfort level and have a set of clear short and long-term goals. Surround themselves with inspirational leaders who can provide mentorship and guidance but most importantly be receptive to their feedback regardless of how difficult that feedback may be. Devote time for personal development and never stop learning. Be their own cheerleaders, be resilient, and don’t be afraid to share their ideas.”

Shirley A. Shoemaker

Senior Vice President, Branch Operations

Shirley A. Shoemaker came to Addition Financial in January of 1988. She’s played an instrumental role in our growth as a credit union. She began her career as a teller at our Weber Street location, where she assisted members in a variety of ways.

She worked her way into a leadership role on the teller line. She served as acting Branch Manager of the Weber Street branch and assisted members with various aspects of lending. She worked at several other branches before moving into the back office in Branch Operations. Her current role is Senior Vice President, Branch Operations.

For Shirley, the most rewarding aspect of her job is watching team members grow and develop to the point where they can be promoted and pursue the career they want.

Shirley advises young women to be open and unafraid:

“Take advantage of any opportunities that are presented, but also invest in yourself as part of your own development. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.”

Cristina Lehman

Director of Public Relations Executive Director, Addition Financial Foundation

Cristina Lehman joined the Addition Financial team five years ago but has been an Addition Financial member for 10 years. Her career path included time working in radio, reality TV, public relations and communications. She then switched careers and worked as a high school teacher for seven years, earning her Masters degree while pregnant and taking care of a toddler.

She put Addition Financial on her short list of potential employers because she had spent years doing PR and communications for a school district and she knew we had strong partnerships with area schools and colleges. She first served as Marketing Manager, then created our Public Relations team. Her current role is Director of Public Relations & Executive Director of the Addition Financial Foundation.

Cristina calls her position at Addition Financial “a dream come true.” The most rewarding part of her role is the work she does with the Addition Financial Foundation because creating programs for non-profits in our membership area is something that inspires her.

Cristina encourages women to focus on the importance of learning and mentorship. She told us:

“Listen, observe, find others that you admire and watch how they interact and communicate. Never be afraid to ask questions and never be afraid to talk to anyone at any level and ask for advice. People love feeling that someone is interested in learning more about them. I have never been told that someone is too busy to talk to me.”

Encouraging Women in Leadership

We hope these inspiring stories motivate young women everywhere who are working toward their goals to keep going. Here at Additon Financial, we are proud to have a working environment that fosters ongoing professional development and opportunities for success.

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