Katie Parkman grew up in Hope North Dakota, a small town located about 40 miles northeast of Valley City.
She attended Hope Public School from Kindergarten through 12th grade, then moved to Grand Forks where
she attended Northwest Technical College in East Grand Forks, receiving her Administrative Assistant Associate Degree, studying communication, time management, and organization.
During her college days, she worked part-time at Rural American Bank in East Grand Forks, and then accepted a full-time job with Waste Management. During this time, many of her coworkers were telling her how they loved doing business with their local credit union.
Katie had never belonged to a credit union before – but she took her colleagues’ advice and joined Riverfork FCU in Grand Forks in 2005, and fell in love with the atmosphere of the “small town” financial institution.
“I really enjoyed walking in – they knew my name and made banking personal,” she shared. Soon, she felt a desire to get back into the banking world as a career – so when a position for a member service representative (MSR) opened at Riverfork, she decided to apply. It was 2012, and she has been there ever since!
It wasn’t long after being hired as an MSR that she was promoted to Visa Analyst. There was a need for some marketing skills at the credit union, and soon Katie was managing all marketing and social media as well. Over the years, she continued to learn a bit more about all the positions and found that she really enjoyed new challenges and helping her fellow employees when needed.
Katie found a strong and willing mentor in former Manager/CEO, Veronica Holweger. “I have always looked up to her; the way she ran the credit union and the respect she got from our members was top notch,” she stated.
When Cheryl Malm, former CEO of Med Park FCU announced her upcoming retirement last fall, Holweger decided to make the transition to that credit union, leaving an opening for a manager at Riverfork. Katie has stepped into that role, and officially assumed the Manager/CEO title on October 1, 2021.
“Veronica has been so very helpful in the transition into my new job, and I know I could not do it without her continued support and assistance,” Katie says. As the new Riverfork Manager/CEO, she oversees three full-time and one part-time employee.
“I love the People Helping People philosophy that the credit unions have,” Katie continues. “When there is a member who needs a loan and doesn’t know if they qualify, and you are able to tell them they were approved, just seeing the way their attitude changes and how unbelievably happy and grateful they are, it is one of my favorite parts of the job.”
In addition to her work at the credit union, Katie says her career has opened opportunities to volunteer for several organizations in the community. She has assisted in packing backpacks for kids of lower income families at Northlands Rescue Mission, which provides food for those in need during weekends. She has also assisted the Grand Forks Senior Center delivering Meals on Wheels and has volunteered with Junior Achievement through the school systems to help with financial literacy education. She is particularly proud of the first place national Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Award that Riverfork received in 2019 following their community service project collecting donations for local cancer patients.
In her personal life, Katie is mother to one 16-year-old son, Kaleb. They have two adopted dogs: Jax is a miniature lab who was adopted from Texas, and Dakota is a Chihuahua they adopted from Mexico. When she is not working, Katie enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading real books (not electronic versions), and traveling. To unwind at the end of a hectic day, she takes both the dogs out walking as much as possible, which always helps her to relax.
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