by Shawn Marie Brummer, Communications Specialist
Erika Lamb was nine years old when her family moved from the city of Jamestown to Lisbon, ND, a town of about 2,000 people in the southeast corner of the state. They lived in town, but Erika was very active in FFA, where she served in various officer positions, including Vice President. She participated in small animal care, won several awards in Agriculture Mechanics Design & Fabrication, and was a state winner in Home/Community Development. She also received the American Degree, the highest degree achievable in the National FFA Organization, as well as the Star Greenhand, a prestigious award presented to the chapter's most active first-year member.
She attended Lisbon High School, where she played several sports, including track & field and volleyball. She graduated in 2012 in a class of about 50 students, then started at North Dakota State University in Fargo in the fall of 2012. Her initial choice of majors was Radiological Technology, however, in a short time she realized it was not for her and switched her major to finance.
During her college years, she began working at the Bobcat Plant in Gwinner, ND in the summer months, first as an assembler, and later she landed a finance internship at the plant, working on their fixed asset audit and monthly reports. The hard work paid off; she was able to save money so she could focus on school during the winter, and she even graduated a semester early with her Bachelor of Science in Finance.
Right out of college, she began working for First State Bank of North Dakota (now known as BankNorth) as a customer service representative in Buffalo, ND. At the same time, a friend was working at Dakota Plains Credit Union in Enderlin, and when a position became available at the credit union for a member service representative, Erika decided to apply. She was hired in April 2017; by October 2017 she moved into consumer lending. She continued to develop her skills, receiving her Credit Insurance Producer License, in addition to completing multiple training courses through CUNA. In August of 2021, she was promoted to Residential Real Estate Loan Manager.
In her role at Dakota Plains Credit Union, Erika meets with loan applicants to obtain information and to answer questions about the process. She analyzes applicants' financial status, credit, and property evaluations to determine feasibility of granting loans, and explains to members the different types of loans and credit options that are available, as well as the terms of those services. In addition, she works directly with clients to identify their financial goals and to find ways of achieving them. She will also negotiate payment arrangements with members who come into difficult times.
“I enjoy working in the credit union because I get to constantly help people,” Erika shared. “I love helping people to achieve what they have been working for every day, whether it is purchasing a home, vehicle, toy, or by refinancing something they already have and saving them money. It’s really a daily learning experience – not one day goes by that I don’t learn something new,” she added.
Besides helping members at the credit union, Erika finds ways to give back to the community as well. She recently volunteered to be on the Enderlin Community Development Committee, which is an advisory board for the city that looks to develop economic and civic opportunities. Prior to COVID, she also volunteered with several work colleagues at the Encore Thrift Store that benefits the Enderlin HEART program, which provides services to elderly in the community regardless of their ability to pay.
In her personal life, Erika has been married to Andrew Lamb since 2017; they were high school sweethearts who have been together for nearly ten years. They have three dogs: Chevy, Dave, and Douglas. Chevy is a Shetland sheepdog that likes to lay around; the other two are Brittany Spaniels that keep the couple on their toes!
Erika also has an extended family that includes her mom, Lavonne Kiser; stepdad, Cale Kiser; father, Tim Guthmiller; and stepmom, Tina Guthmiller. She also has three step-siblings: Mercedes, Casper, and Drake.
When they are not working, Erika and Andrew enjoy “mud bogging” at different events in Minnesota and North Dakota. They also spend time tinkering in their garage or cruising around in their Ranger. But don’t let all that mud and grease fool you! Erika also enjoys “Pink It Forward” Designer Purse Bingo in Fargo – so far she has won three designer bags: Two Michael Kors, and one Kate Spade!
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