Moms Who Lead: Angie Ohmstede, Chief Operations Officer at TCCU
Tell us about yourself and your family. (Kids, ages, etc.)
I am 39 years old and graduated from Rider HS in 2000. In 2014, I graduated from a 3-year credit union management school (SCMS) at Texas Christian University and received the Award of Excellence. In 2018, I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Business Management graduating with honors from University of Phoenix.
I married my childhood friend (who I met in the church nursery as an infant!) 16 years ago in March 2005. He believes to this day that I saw him in his diaper and knew he was the one, lol. My husband is the Campus Pastor of First Baptist Church, West Campus on Barnett. He loves Ministry and I truly enjoy supporting him in that role. It certainly has its challenges especially when it comes to balancing my full time career & our large family with being a Pastor’s wife and the expectations many have of what a Pastor’s wife should be. I don’t feel most understand, but the ones that do, or want to, have extended such grace to me and have been intentional to walk with me through thick and thin.
We have many children, and quite the age range! Our oldest two are boys, ages 13 and 14. Our youngest two are girls, ages 2 and 6. Our two year old was a micro-preemie born at 25 weeks, weighing 1lb 15oz. She spent 87 days in the NICU, eventually beating every single odd stacked up against her. She is a true miracle (although I believe all babies are miracles!).
We have twin boys (Cannon & Coyt) who would be 7 years old today, but they only lived for a few days after they entered the world via emergency c-section. They were identical twins and developed Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome. Our doctor recognized the signs at my 21 week check-up and we were transferred immediately to Houston where I underwent multiple fetal surgeries and spent nearly a month hospitalized, constantly monitoring the boys. After three fetal surgeries that included severing the blood vessels of the placenta to give them their own blood supply, blood transfusions in the womb, and an experimental surgery that had only been documented in four other cases in the world, we were told by our surgical team they had done all they could do. As soon as their heart rates began to drop at 26 weeks, we were given two options: deliver them by emergency c-section to see if there was more that could be done outside the womb, or leave them in utero knowing we may never see or hold them alive. I will never forget that moment, the feelings, and the heartbreak as we faced what I thought was the most difficult decision of our lives. It could mean life or death for our babies. I remember I looked at my husband with tears welling up in my eyes and said, “I just want to hold them.” Within minutes I was rushed to the Operating Room and they were delivered. They fought hard and survived through the night and into the next evening. Cannon began showing signs of distress and crashed multiple times as we stood and watched. The doctor said they would keep fighting to save him every single time if we wanted them to. I again looked at Gary and found the only words I knew I could cling to and believed in. “He’s not ours.” He was so sick. After a long night filled with devastation and heartbreak, I remember checking on Coyt and telling him to keep fighting- gosh, I needed him to be okay. The next day around noon, we faced a similar situation with Coyt and had to make the nearly impossible decision to remove medical support. The only comfort we had was knowing he was with his brother in heaven. And they were both made perfect.
The doctors did everything they could to help them along but there were so many odds stacked up against them. We knew in our hearts that they truly belonged to our Heavenly Father and we were the luckiest parents just to have had the opportunity to hold them and love them as they took their last breath. I documented the details of our twin journey through loss in multiple posts at OhmiFam.blogspot.com. It was and still is a difficult journey full of grief and heartbreak, but also healing and new strength.
We have two angel babies that we lost to miscarriages that we cannot wait to meet in heaven one day! While nothing can truly prepare you for having to plan a funeral for two of your children, I learned that miscarriages are just as devastating and heartbreaking. It’s amazing how equally you can love 8 children, no matter the circumstances. Mommas and Daddies, hug your babies!
Are you a native Wichitan/North Texan?
If not, how did you come to be a member of our community? I was born and raised in Wichita Falls. I left for a semester of college in Arlington and moved to Abilene for a few months for my husband’s career in 2005. We love WF!
What do you do in your day job?
I have the true honor and privilege of serving Texoma Community Credit Union as the Chief Operations Officer. It is my job to oversee the day to day operations of the credit union while assisting the President in the development of corporate operations, personnel, financial performance and growth. I love to collaborate with others to think outside the box. I like to think I have an innovative spirit and a desire to try new things!
How did you get into that line of work?
I actually started as a Teller at TCCU in 2003. I was in college and really unsure of what I wanted in a career. Honestly, I just wasn’t career-minded but instead preferred to just live in the moment, which sometimes has its perks!. I went looking for jobs that might offer a more professional environment with growth opportunities. Hello, Texoma! I worked as a Teller for 1.5 years, then became our first Overdraft Privilege Coordinator for 1.5 years, Special Projects Coordinator and MSR for 1.5 years, Human Resources Director & Executive Assistant to the CEO for 9.5 years, and now Chief Operations Officer for almost 4.5 years. I mentioned above that I graduated from Southwest CUNA Management School at TCU in 2014. This program is known for being the equivalent of receiving your master’s in the credit union industry and truly prepared me for my current role as COO.
What sort of skills and traits are helpful to be successful in your job?
A sense of humility. Confidence, even when you’re not sure. A sense of calmness, especially when situations feel like chaos. And a genuine desire to see those around you achieve their goals and find success. I have always been told that I “speak softly and carry a big stick”- negotiating peacefully but also having strength in case things go wrong. I guess I can see that- I definitely like to keep things peaceful! Even if it means I need to self-reflect, admit where I have failed, and ask for forgiveness.
At what point in your professional career did you become a parent? And how do you think that changed your career, the way you approached your job?
I became a parent right before I became the HR Director & Executive Assistant to the CEO. In fact, I found out about baby #2 around the same time and cried because I was 26 with a 3 month old! Becoming a parent changed the way I approached so many conversations and tough realities. You begin to experience a new level of empathy for others. In my career at that time, there were always things that needed to be addressed- and oftentimes they weren’t fun. But just like with parenting, the more you experience, the more you learn and if you choose to grow from those experiences, you become stronger and hopefully a better person because of it!
What’s a time you can specifically remember having to balance your career and being a parent? How did you handle it? When Andi was in the NICU was probably the most challenging time for me. I was actually placed on bed rest at 19 weeks due to partial placental abruption after only being in my new COO role for 1.5 years. Bed rest + NICU stay + actual Maternity leave when we brought her home = 7 months. I had planned on wrapping up several big projects prior to her arrival and we were in the very early stages of construction on a new branch. I was also trying to finish school [insert crying emoji]. I handled it the best way I knew how. Lots of prayer, patience, and listening to the wise council of those around me. This is also where that sense of humility kicks in. I had to ask others for help- that is SO difficult for me, and I don’t know why. Maybe because I don’t want to inconvenience others or that I just think I can do everything? God places people in your life for a purpose and sometimes only for a season. I’ve learned that to get through life’s valleys, I need to lean on those people and when you reach the mountain tops you should want to celebrate with them! That’s what I mean by seasons: the mountains and the valleys.
What does your child/oldest think of your job? What do they think you do all day?
My 14 year old loves TCCU and wants to work there as soon as he’s old enough. My six year old thinks I play with money, work on my computer, eat lunch, work some more, and go see Tia. (“Aunt” Tia and I have worked together at TCCU for 18 years!)
What’s one piece of advice you would give other parents?
Oh boy, I still need advice daily! But I am learning to recognize that each child is different and their individual needs require you to think differently and essentially raise them differently. NEVER be afraid to ask your child for forgiveness. We all have bad days and yell or scold when we could soften the approach or just stop and listen instead of assuming their decision was made out of irresponsibility (spilled milk, throwing a ball that breaks a window, etc.). Kids are kids and they don’t know what they don’t know. It’s our job to train them up.
Would you encourage young girls to have the same career?
Absolutely! For me it’s not necessarily the Chief Operations Officer role (although I absolutely LOVE everything about it). A career in leadership (and in the credit union industry) is so rewarding. You don’t have to be an extrovert or know everything to be a leader. If you love people, have a servant’s heart, desire to make a positive difference in the lives of others and stay true to who God made you to be, you have a good shot at being a great leader. Those are some of the qualities that the best leaders I know possess.
What’s your self-care routine? What “hobbies” or me-time activities do you make time for that help you recharge?
I need to make more time for myself, but I have 5 excuses at home. Haha. WHEN I do though, I love to run, drink coffee, soak up the sun, a little retail therapy (my husband would say A LOT of retail therapy, lol), and my new favorite thing is xtend barre.
What advice would you give to a 10 or 20-year younger version of yourself?
Okay, that would make me 20/30… I wish I would have finished college when I was younger (36 when I graduated), but only because three kids at home and then a fourth on the way made it super challenging. Honestly, taking courses that applied directly to the role I was in was extremely valuable so I could almost go either way there.
Take time to enjoy and foster the friendships God has given you. Be a good friend. Be intentional about developing your strengths and improving your weaknesses. Be better today than you were yesterday.
What do you do for fun with your kids in Texoma?
What local activities/places are a crowd pleaser with your kids? Where would you recommend other parents take their kids for fun? My older teenage boys would say without a doubt: Urban Air, Roller Plex, Castaway Cove, and Yogurt Journey. My younger girls would say the park (usually Burk or Kiwanis), feeding the ducks at sikes lake, Yogurt Journey/Grape Ape. It’s been tough with such an age range of kids, but this summer we are looking forward to being a part of the many activities and events downtown and at the Farmers Market!