R.J. Montes always thought he would be a football coach.

The California native, who played football at Upper Iowa University, has found his niche as a coach, but in a far different arena. He has risen quickly through the ranks at Dupaco Community Credit Union by helping others succeed.

“I enjoy encouraging and motivating, inspiring others,” Montes said. “It’s something I have felt passionate about my whole life. People say they are passionate about something. Passion comes from the word for suffer. If you’re passionate, are you willing to suffer?”

Montes joined Dupaco in 2008 after excelling at a Fortune 500 financial services company. By 2010, he was leading Dupaco’s newest branch on Pennsylvania Avenue. He was promoted to his current position as Vice President, Regional Branch Services of the Eastern Region, overseeing locations in Dubuque, Dyersville, Iowa; Platteville, Wis.; and Galena, Ill.

Climbing the corporate ladder is not what motivates Montes.

“It wasn’t about the position I held, it wasn’t that I was the manager,” he said. “My success, my significance comes from adding value to other people. True happiness comes from helping others.”

Montes has brought that attitude to the Dubuque-area community, as well. He has been involved in numerous organizations, including the Young Professionals of Dubuque Board of Directors and as president of the Dubuque Triathlon Club.

“2013 was a profound year for me,” he said. “We were having our first child and then, through a health-risk assessment at Dupaco, I found out I wasn’t very healthy.”

He got himself in shape and in typical fashion reached out to co-workers to help them improve their lifestyle by forming the Dupaco Runners group. That has evolved into Dupaco’s efforts in Run4Troops, a community race that supports U.S. Military personnel.

“This year we had over 50 people and seven teams in Run4Troops,” he said. “I’m passionate about health and wellness for employees.”

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