by Shawn Marie Brummer, Communications Specialist
Lori Holtz grew up in the town of Williston, North Dakota. As a young woman, she played basketball, played the clarinet in the school band, and played tennis throughout high school into her first year of college. Never afraid of work, she babysat full-time during the summers and then assisted as a softball coach and referee for the Williston Recreation Department.
After graduating from high school, she attended Minot State University, working as a hostess at a restaurant and as a campus research assistant, until she obtained her CPA license. She worked briefly doing accounting for a janitorial service, then was hired by the State of South Dakota as a sales tax auditor where she worked for two years.
Her first job at a credit union was as an accountant at Highmark Federal Credit Union in 1995, back when it was known as Rapid City Federal Credit Union. There, she met one of her career mentors, John Carlson, President/CEO. “When I came to Highmark, I knew nothing about the credit union industry,” Lori shared. “I’m thankful for John for hiring me and giving me the chance to learn so much over the years I spent there.”
She spent 17 years working for Highmark, and her title grew to financial officer. When her family moved to Minot in 2012, and she decided to take a break from working at credit unions. However, when a Chief Financial Officer position became available in 2016 at Prairie Federal Credit Union, (now Aspire Credit Union), she interviewed and found another mentor in Mindee Kohlman, President/CEO.
“After I interviewed with Mindee, I knew that Aspire was the right fit for me,” she explained. “We have a great staff and Mindee is an incredible leader – a hard worker who is always willing to pitch in and help with whatever needs to be done.”
In her CFO role, Lori is responsible for the accounting functions of the credit union, including the general ledger, preparing the financial reports, and the NCUA 5300 Call Report. She also prepares the asset and liability management reports (ALM), assists with the budget, and monitors their investment portfolio. Finally, she is responsible for the processing of all payroll functions.
Despite being a “numbers person,” Lori truly enjoys the “people helping people” credit union philosophy, and it shows in her involvement in the Dakota credit union network, as well as the greater Minot area community. “We truly care about our members and not just about making a profit,” she stated. “I appreciate the relationships I have built with others in the credit union industry, and I enjoy networking with other credit union employees whether at chapter meetings, the DakCU Summit, or the MonDak Roundtable. I like being able to share ideas and how other credit unions are always willing to help,” she added.
Because of her involvement with the Credit Unions United Chapter, she has been the recipient of their Summit Scholarship. In 2021, she attended the Community Leadership Institute through the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce and has also completed the Life Stage Financial Consultant (LFSC) Program through BVS Dynamic Learning.
Finally, Lori says she is very proud of Aspire for the many hours their staff spends volunteering and giving back to the community. She herself has served as a frequent volunteer for Junior Achievement, Backpack Buddies, the Norsk Hostfest, and even served as treasurer for her girls’ soccer team when they were young.
In her personal life, Lori has been married to her husband, Brett Holtz, for 31 years. Each summer, they rent a cabin in the Black Hills, where they enjoy a “camping trip.” They have two adult daughters: Amanda, who is a travelling nurse; and Alyssa, a college senior. They also have one dog, Rex, a Black Lab mix they adopted as a rescue from Louisiana Hurricane Ida in 2021. While she did complete a marathon once, she says her running days are over.
Now, in her free time, she enjoys travelling, kayaking, and just spending time with family and friends.
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