The Star-Herald

Credit union hires relationship officer

FORT KENT, Maine — Acadia Federal Credit Union has experienced exponential growth in recent years. Management quickly recognized that the time had come to realign the institution’s core management with their strategic plan, while also looking to place much greater emphasis on building relationships with staff, members, and the communities Acadia FCU serves. 

In order to fully answer this need, a new relationship-focused position was collaboratively designed by Acadia’s management team and a search to find the right person for this position began. The search for a natural leader with the ability to inspire and motivate others ended with the hiring of Jill Bouchard Cairns of Fort Kent as chief relationship officer.

As CRO, Bouchard Cairns is responsible for staff and member relationship development and finding outlets to continually connect with the communities in the credit union’s service areas. She will help to manage ongoing staff training in conjunction with the training manager and will also oversee human resources and the marketing and public relations functions of the credit union.

“The opportunity to join the Acadia family in this newly-created position that is focused on maintaining and building relationships is so very exciting,” said Bouchard Cairns. “I am looking forward to working with the staff on areas such as career development, volunteerism, support, training and internship program opportunities. With an amazing team already in place to work with, Acadia is moving in a great direction and I am honored to now be a part of it.”

No stranger to working closely with people from varied demographics, Bouchard Cairns spent the last 16 years working in different capacities within the admissions department at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, with the last eight years as the director of admissions. Her prolific experience in developing student and parent relationships as part of UMFK’s recruiting process will be paramount in her new position as relationship officer.

 “We are constantly looking to improve Acadia, and the real driving force behind everything for us is really about relationships,” said Luis Sanclemente, Acadia FCU’s executive vice president.

 As Bouchard Cairns settles into her new position, some of her first projects include enhancing Acadia FCU’s employee performance evaluations with the goal of helping staff focus on their strengths and provide opportunities for career growth; creating employee project teams to help identify areas where Acadia can set a new standard for being a great place to work; assembling member and community focus groups to help improve Acadia’s service and product offerings; creating fun, exciting, and engaging monthly morale boosters to help keep employees motivated throughout the year; and developing a system to regularly encourage staff to participate in volunteer opportunities in our communities. 

Raised in New Canada, Bouchard Cairns is a 1992 graduate of Fort Kent Community High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in social science from the University of Southern Maine in 1999, then obtained her master’s degree in leadership studies from USM in 2016. 

She resides in Fort Kent with her two daughters, Sadie and Molly. She loves to read, spend time with her children, and relax at the beach.

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