Connections that Foster Growth

TCU Business Services Relationship Officer Rickey Miller makes it his business to make a difference in the community, prioritizing service to others both professionally and personally.

Rickey Miller helps people and businesses grow.

The Business Services Relationship Officer with TCU is driven by a strong desire to connect with others — personally and professionally — helping them navigate the complexities of everyday life and assisting them through hard times.

“I’m blessed to be able to make my community a better place and earn a living while I’m at it,” Miller says. “To be in a position to make a difference is a responsibility I take to heart.”

Miller has worked for TCU since 1992, when he graduated from Manchester University with a degree in communication studies. He has helped the credit union drive new membership and guide members toward the products and services that provide them financial peace of mind.

Fostering relationships has been part of Miller’s life for as long as he can remember, and he’s forthcoming about the fact that it’s not always easy to move past superficial interactions to develop true teamwork and mutual support in the workplace and beyond.

“It’s a constant process,” he says. “But if you can identify shared values between yourself and others, strong connections flourish that bring positive change and push people to work toward the greater good.”

Miller’s experience accepting responsibility and overcoming challenges gives him personal insight into how to navigate life’s surprises. After graduating from South Bend’s Clay High School in the late 1980s, he received a basketball scholarship to Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Becoming a father during his freshman year precipitated a move to Manchester University, where he was a scoring leader before breaking his foot the day before his senior year. The injury ended his basketball career.

“There’s something to gain from every detour,” Miller says. “Usually you walk away a stronger, wiser, a better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.”

The key, he adds, is persistence, not dwelling on what went wrong, but evaluating the path forward and the opportunities it presents.

Miller takes special pride in imparting these lessons to young people. In addition to serving as a board member of the Youth Services Bureau and the South Bend Alumni Association, Miller also serves as volunteer mentor with Junior Achievement of St. Joseph County’s Titan Challenge business competition. The Titan Challenge is a business strategy competition in which high school students build the skills they will need to contribute to tomorrow's workforce using a real-world simulation game.

Miller also has served as a basketball coach in the South Bend Community School Corporation, leading the 2018-2019 Washington High School freshman boys team. In April, the TCU Board of Directors honored Miller as one of three inaugural recipients of the David R. Sage Award for Exemplary Leadership. The Award was established in honor of former board chairman David R. Sage, who stepped down this spring after nearly four decades as part of TCU’s leadership. Miller was honored for Leadership in Service, recognized for “being known among colleagues and members for his selfless commitment to service, kindness and ability to adapt to change.”

Much of Miller’s motivation comes from living well for his three sons and three daughters, the foremost relationships in the Relationship Officer’s life.

“Maintaining fruitful relationships and connecting with others is essential,” Miller says. “The success of our community depends on supporting young people’s social, emotional and academic development — which are mutually reinforcing. Every one of us can be part of achieving a more equitable society.”