Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
April 13, 2022

Grow’s Eighth Annual Women in Leadership Panel: Finding Work-Life Balance

The Grow Diversity Committee hosted their eighth annual Women in Leadership panel in celebration of Women’s History Month. This year’s panel, titled “Well-being and work: Is there a balance?”, was hosted by Katelyn Napier, HR Manager, and moderated by Chantel Negron, AVP of Asset Protection. Panelists included Grow leaders Jamie Ferrata, Tina Misser, Phynedra Little and Paola Woodruff. The theme of the panel led the way for an incredible discussion around a concept that affects all of us in the workplace: work-life balance.

Finding work-life balance

With decades of combined experience in leadership, the four panelists shared advice and personal anecdotes about a variety of relevant topics, including navigating time priorities amid hectic schedules, staying true to one’s own values and being comfortable with imperfection.

When discussing the concept of balancing competing priorities when it comes to work-life balance, Woodruff discussed a mindset shift toward being okay with not giving 100% to every single thing in the day. She reminded the audience that some days, your priorities will need to shift, and that’s okay. She said, “I had to really understand: it’s not about being perfect — it’s about being there. And if I lose myself, I won’t be able to be there for anyone.”

Misser advised, “It is really important that your passion and your purpose are friends with what you do for a living.” Little reflected on the importance of finding outlets within different areas of your life, which for her includes decompressing from a busy work week through spending time with loved ones. Ferrata explained that happiness starts with contentment in our personal lives, “If you aren’t happy with life, then how can you be happy at work?” She reminded us that it’s important to prioritize time with our families, take our vacation time away from work and practice gratitude for the blessings in life. “I also share my work accomplishments with my family at home because I’m proud of them! That contributes to my overall well-being.”

As the panel concluded, team members were quick to share their thanks to the panelists with lots of positive feedback. One team member wrote, “This has been an amazing opportunity listening to all this valuable information. What a fantastic way to begin the day!”

Thank you to all our panelists for sharing your leadership advice about work-life balance and inspiring us to live out our purpose.

To learn more about Women’s History Month, visit

About our panelists

Jamie Ferrata
Ferrata began her career with Grow in 2003 as a Relationship Specialist. Throughout her 19-year career, Ferrata has held numerous roles including Financial Card Services Operations Specialist, Business Systems Specialist, Sr. Lending Systems Analyst, Digital Product Manager, and now Agile Product Owner within the Digital Transformation department. She is a certified Scrum Master and Product Owner and has led many initiatives for the organization, including our online and mobile banking conversion. She is a Step Up to Leadership graduate and has been a President’s Club Award winner multiple times – most recently in 2020. She enjoys camping, the mountains and spending time outside with her two children and their dachshunds.

Tina Misser
Misser joined Grow in 2010 as a Workforce Management Analyst in the Member Contact Center (MCC) and took over as the MCC Manager in 2013. Prior to joining Grow, she had extensive experience managing operations and contact centers for multiple organizations, including Washington Mutual Bank and Bethpage Federal Credit Union. Misser was instrumental in transitioning our team to a remote environment without impacting service to our members. She was recognized as a President’s Club Award winner last year for all her efforts during a very challenging 2020. In her free time, Misser enjoys being with her daughter, biking, walking, swimming and staying at the beach until sunset.

Phynedra Little
Little started her career with Grow in 2011 as a Relationship Specialist at our St. Petersburg office. While progressing in her career at Grow, Little has worked at Clearwater, Gulf to Bay, Main Base, Brandon and Gandy, where she is currently the Branch Supervisor. She is a Step Up to Leadership graduate and, prior to becoming a supervisor, was awarded Top Relationship Specialist of the Year. She spends her free time with family and her daughter and enjoying beach sunsets.

Paola Woodruff
Woodruff joined Grow in 2019 as a Branch Manager at our Busch Boulevard location. However, her connection to Grow started much earlier through relationships built from the Academy of Finance program — where she currently serves as chair of the board of directors. In 2020 she brought her 10 years of front- and back-office operations experience at The Bank of Tampa to her role as AVP Financial Operations at Grow. Woodruff graduated salutatorian of her high school, where she was in the Academy of Finance program, and is a proud USF alum. She has received the Innovate & Collaborate Award and is a proud leader of Team Marvel and the Financial Operations team. Outside of Grow, Woodruff is involved with her church and community organizations, including the American Lung Association. In her free time, she enjoys playing the violin, writing poetry, cooking and watching her kids play basketball.

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