LAKEWOOD, Wash. — From growing up on a tobacco farm, to becoming the Deputy Mayor of Lakewood — Mary Moss has lived many lives.
"I grew up on a tobacco farm in Virginia," Moss said, sitting in an office at Lakewood City Hall. "I grew up with two loving parents. I have four brothers and one sister. And we lived on a red dirt road."
Moss has always wanted to be a leader, but as a child, that didn't feel possible.
"My first goal was to be a nurse. Because back then, the only professions for women were either in education or nursing," Moss said.
But life led her to marry her husband, whose military career took them around the United States — and then, as she was approaching forty-five and working as a Sales Manager, she decided something.
"And one day, it just hit me. When I'm forty-five years old, I don't want to be standing on my feet all day," Moss said.
That's what led her to a job at Harborstone Credit Union — a job that spanned the company and lasted thirty-six years. She started as a teller and worked every department except collections.
"Harborstone means everything to me," Moss said. "Had it not been for Harborstone, I don't know if I would be the person I am today."
Moss attributes the credit union's commitment to its community to her success.
"You know, the mission for the credit union is people helping people," she said. "And that philosophy was easy for me to fulfill, because that's the way I grew up. My parents always taught us to always look out for one another, help one another, give back, because you're not going to get where you going in life by yourself."
And after thirty-six years at Harborstone, Moss achieved her ultimate goal — in 2010, she became Deputy Mayor of Lakewood. And from there, she created the Lakewood Multicultural Coalition, a group that organizes events celebrating diversity and inclusion.
Harborstone supports the work of the LMCC, as equity is one of its core values. They're committed to fighting inequality and injustice in their community and their country and act as a trusted ally of the LMCC.
"They have a diversity team that we are coordinating and working with," Moss said. "They've been a great sponsor and supporter for us."
Now, Moss works to bring impactful events to the Lakewood community and make positive change in the place she calls home.
"And from a tobacco field? I never would have dreamed of being here," she said. "But I can say for sure that my dream as a leader has come true."