Born and raised in San Diego, Jacquelyne Crockett is a true Southern California local. Jacquelyne started her undergraduate degree at San Diego State University and graduated from CSU San Marcos with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. To continue her education, Jacquelyne attended California Western School of Law where she earned her Juris Doctor (J.D.). In recognition of her academic achievements, she appeared on the Dean’s Honor List for 2017-18, received the Moot Court Honors Board Award as a Negotiations Competitor, was honored as a “Student of Distinction” in 2017, 2018, and 2019, and was a National Competitor for the Alternative Dispute Resolution Team. Jacquelyne was also the Chapter President of Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity from 2017-18. Her experience and accomplishments speak for themselves. Jacquelyne brings a strong sense of leadership, innovation, and drive to MK Decision (MK). With opportunities present in her hometown, Jacquelyne seized the chance to further her career as MK’s Vice President of Compliance and General Counsel.
When did you start with MK?
My journey started at MK’s inception when we received an opportunity to do automated decisioning for a private-label credit card program. The product continued to evolve, as we were introduced to key players in the industry, and we built our Credit Card Origination System (CCOS). After this chain of events, MK identified that community banks and credit unions needed help with digital account opening and loan origination. We’ve since expanded our product line to meet the market demand.
What changes have you seen within the company?
There have been many adaptations since joining MK. MK’s Executive team recognizes what is needed at the time and looks to address each area of growth. Our recruitment pivoted from being completely developer-focused to now building out our Sales and Marketing departments. Our employees have evolved into MK leadership and paved their own professional development paths. I have seen the expansion and improvements of each physical office space, even our transition to a remote work environment.
Why did you want to join an innovative FinTech Startup?
MK was willing to give me an opportunity to grow and create my professional niche. Particularly, I get to wear many different hats, see how an innovative FinTech functions and the mentality behind them, and develop my own expertise in areas affecting community banks and credit unions. I felt this was a unique opportunity as an attorney.
I have a close connection with the owners, I have worked with them since 2013. They are true to their word and their mission is truly commendable–they want to help community financial institutions and see other people be prosperous. Taking a chance with MK feels right.
How has your role transitioned since working at MK Decision?
I started my career with MK as a bookkeeper. As the company grew, I focused on MK’s Operations department where I developed MK’s policies and procedures. Outside of the office, I continued to further my career and became a licensed attorney in the State of California. I saw the bright opportunity at MK and was promoted to Vice President of Compliance and General Counsel.
What are your new responsibilities as Vice President of Compliance and General Counsel?
With my promotion, I obtained two roles simultaneously. As Vice President of Compliance, my primary responsibility is to become an expert in the compliance regulations financial institutions must follow to ensure our products meet those regulatory needs. As MK’s General Counsel, I review all contracts that come through MK and any legal matters that are presented to the Board, whether employee hiring, incentive units, or our Master Service Agreements. While they are two completely different roles, they overlap in many ways.
How would you describe your job to a child?
In Operations, my job is to be sure all employees follow the rules and have fun. As Vice President of Compliance, I ensure that MK follows the rules. As General Counsel, I help MK grow while ensuring that it is protected.
When did you realize you wanted to be an attorney?
I realized I wanted to be an attorney at an early age. As the oldest sibling, I developed an instinct to look out for other people and ensure their best interests were protected. I feel that I am able to utilize my instinctual strengths as an attorney.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
One thing that gets me out of bed is knowing that I am responsible for other people. If I am going to slack, I cannot expect the people I am in charge of to excel beyond the standards I set. I must be accessible and accountable to them. In my personal life, I truly enjoy life and being social, so getting up and working with my colleagues is exciting.
What advice do you have for people who want to become leaders at MK Decision?
My response is tailored to women and people of color (POC) in leadership, but applicable to anyone. You have to show the world what you are capable of, no one is going to give it to you. You need to show your work objectively and have a strong, collaborative voice. Why I tailor my response to women and POC is because the banking and legal executive pool has a very distinct look. People are wanting to see leadership evolve, if you can be that person, leaders are going to seek you out.
What is your proudest moment at MK Decision?
I have not had my proudest moment as VP of Compliance or General Counsel, yet! However, as Operations Manager, my proudest moment was when I streamlined our internal processes to ensure that employees knew exactly what was expected of them with corresponding procedures to follow.
Describe MK in one word
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned at MK?
Although this is not the first time I am learning this, it is definitely an affirmation, people want to have a connection. Our industry is concentrated on the strong personal connections we have with our customers and partners. MK strives to understand and solve our customers’ problems. Internally, people want to feel a sense of belonging to the group they are associated with. At MK, we want to affirm that human nature is not left at the door just because we are working, we truly care about our employees and customers.