Mike Grady believes success is a team effort — and has risen through the ranks at Ent Credit Union to coach and develop employees to work together to benefit its clients.

Grady got his start as a teller in 1999, and now oversees seven service centers in the Springs areas. His goal: Create a team out of individual employees.

“I’m charged with coaching and developing our center managers to in turn engage and develop our staff,” he said.

He’s in charge of staff training, developing refresher courses and project management at Ent, and he says it’s part of his job that he loves.

“I take pride in identifying employees with potential and mentoring them to achieve their career goals,” he said.

As a manager, Grady is a driven guy, and believes in encouraging the staff at Ent to focus on success as well. But he doesn’t just apply that drive at work, he’s also deeply involved in various community outreach organizations and projects, including Pikes Peak United Way, where he has been a part of the Emerging Leaders Council since 2014.

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In 2013 and 2014, Grady was the campaign co-chairman for the annual Pikes Peak United Way campaign, and helped collect more than $400,000 in donations. The experience was eye-opening, he says.

“Running a campaign is like a second part-time job, but it’s also a blast,” he said.

Ent encourages Grady’s community outreach efforts, said Victoria Selfridge, vice president of corporate communications at Ent.

“Engaging with the community is one of the ways Mike exemplifies the credit union,” she said. “He lives and breathes community.”

Some of Grady’s projects included his trademark “Skip a Lunch Day,” where he challenges Ent employees to skip lunch to bring awareness to hunger in El Paso County.

“When I was young, and I sat down to eat dinner with my grandpa, he would always ask me if it was my turn to eat,” he said. “I thought it was a strange question. But I later found out his family would take turns eating because there was not enough food for everyone to eat at every meal. That struck a chord with me and taught me to be grateful for everything I have.”

He brings that sense of gratitude and encouragement to work, Selfridge said.

“He’s a great champion for internal initiatives; he looks for opportunities within Ent to get people connected,” she said.

And building relationships is a major part of what he does.

“I believe relationship-building is the foundation for a happy and productive staff,” he said. “It’s fun to get to know what’s important to people both in the office and at home with their families.”