by Shawn Marie Brummer, Communications Specialist
Pam Reis grew up in small North Dakota communities, graduating from North Central High School in the small town of Rogers, located about 20 miles northeast of Valley City. During her school days, she was a member of the girls’ basketball team, and participated in class plays as well. Considered a “Class B” school, her close-knit class consisted of about 40 students.
Her first experience with credit unions was when she was hired as a Member Service Representative at Elm River Credit Union in 1992. There, she met her first career mentor, Erin Olstad, who had been hired as the General Manager/CEO at Elm River earlier that same year. “Erin mentored me from my very first day,” Pam recalled.
She continued to work at Elm River CU until 2015, receiving several promotions and job description changes over the years, from Loan Officer to Assistant Manager. During this time, she earned her NMLS license (Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System) and her State of North Dakota Insurance License. In addition, she completed the Star Certificate Training that was offered by the North Dakota League, and even received an Arnold C. Paulson Scholarship in 1999. One of the highlights of her years at Elm River Credit Union was when they opened a new office in the small town of Kindred, a branch that continues to be very successful to this day.
While she was quite happy in her work, in 2015 she and her husband decided they wanted to be closer to their children and grandchildren in the Fargo area. She already knew Karen Andersen, CEO of Postal Family FCU through various league meetings and events, so she reached out to her to ask if she knew of any credit unions hiring in the area. Karen offered her a position as a Member Service Representative, and Pam accepted and never looked back!
Already a seasoned employee of a smaller credit union, Pam was well acclimated to wearing multiple hats and switching tasks quickly. In her current role, she is responsible for member transactions, answering phones, tracking titles and insurances for loans, researching debit and credit card issues, and running credit reports.
While the growing fraud issues that credit unions and their members face concerns her at times, she says she enjoys the “People Helping People” philosophy that is ingrained in the industry. It’s a philosophy that Pam not only follows at work, but in her personal life as well.
“Living in small communities most of my life, you find that in order for the community to be able to succeed and thrive that it takes many hours of volunteer work,” she shared. It’s not surprising that she has fulfilled that call by serving on various committees and volunteer groups over the years, including the Page Jaycees, Page Area Women, Page Community Club, Page Housing Authority, and Our Savior Lutheran Church.
In her personal life, Pam has been married to her husband, Steve, for 41 years. She says he has always been her biggest supporter, both personally and professionally. They reside in Fargo along with their cat Frodo, and not too far away are the other important people in their lives. Daughter Nicole, who is married to Dan, has two children: Genevieve (12); and Gerald (7). Daughter Brittany is married to Cody; they have one “grand pup” named Vesuvius, and three “grand cats,” Puck, Nyx, and Lady.
In her free time, Pam’s favorite thing to do is spend time at their Devils Lake campsite with the family, fishing and having smaller, intimate gatherings. Apparently, Pam is a pretty good fisherwoman – with Walleye being the preferred catch. So far, the largest fish she has netted measured over 26 inches – a lucky fish that was released back into the lake. However, the ten-foot tree branch she reeled in one time did make it all the way to shore!
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