In the CU Professionals Spotlight: Meet Travis Dengel
by Shawn Marie Brummer
Communications & Media Specialist
3/15/2019

Travis Dengel was raised in the western North Dakota town of Dickinson. He graduated in 2008, and left the area before the big oil boom really made its impact. During his school years, he says Dickinson was just a great small town to grow up in, where he was active in football and held a part-time job throughout his high school years. He grew up as a credit union member; as a child, he joined the Pee Wee Penguin young savers club at Western Cooperative Credit Union. Still, he says he really didn’t know much about credit unions back then.

After graduating from high school, he moved to Bismarck and attended Bismarck State College (BSC), where he received an AAS degree in business. He had worked for Kmart previously in Dickinson, so he transferred to the Bismarck location for a short time. He then went to work at Best Buy in their home theater department. In 2010, he began working at Capital Credit Union as a part-time teller at their North Branch. After graduating from BSC, he accepted a full-time teller position for Capital CU in their Main Office, where he worked for about two years.

Another opportunity presented itself at Railway Credit Union in Mandan as a teller. He applied and was hired, and was soon promoted to teller supervisor. From there, he eventually moved to loan processing, and then became a loan officer. Now, he has been with Railway for more than six years – two years as a loan officer.

In his position at Railway CU, Travis is tasked mainly with consumer loan underwriting, and also assists at times with titles and collections. We recently reported in the Memo that Railway has launched an Emerging Leaders program; and Travis was one of the first employees selected to participate. As such, he serves as a guide for other employees and also acts as an ambassador at Railway CU events, a role he accepts with some humility.

“Really, everyone in our industry also serves as an ambassador for credit unions,” says Dengel. “We all try to promote, and engage people to the credit union way, whether at work or not.” He shares that he takes pride in seeing his credit union growing, and was a part of Railway’s team when the credit union reached their $100M in assets milestone, and when they had a successful merger with Genie-Watt Credit Union.

Promoting credit unions truly seems to come easy to this young professional. “I love seeing the generations of people. From assisting someone with their first car loan, to helping finance someone’s retirement RV, being part of the steps and milestones in our members’ lives makes me feel like they are part of my family,” he remarked.

Travis adds that Railway’s mentorship team has been a positive influence in his life. “Through any situation, whether it’s for career advice or personal life, they are there to help and are a staple for all of our employees.” With a strong support network, it is easier for employees at Railway to be a part of changes in the industry, while maintaining the core values of “People Helping People,” he adds. He is very excited for the Dakota roll-out of the “Open Your Eyes” awareness campaign, which he sees as the next big step for credit unions across the country. In fact, Railway CU was one of the first credit unions in the Dakotas to embrace the new awareness initiative with an immediate pledge of financial support when the campaign was first announced.

Travis has also been involved in the greater credit union community, serving on the Missouri Valley Chapter of Credit Unions. In 2014, he received the Arnold C. Paulson Scholarship from CUAD, which allowed him to attend that year’s Summit. In 2018, he was selected as a GAC Crasher, and carried the North Dakota flag for the opening ceremonies in Washington, DC. That year, he also received a scholarship from the North Dakota GAC to attend the national conference. “It was the experience of a lifetime,” he stated.

But perhaps one of his proudest achievements at Railway is the difference he has made with the credit union’s Pee Wee and Friends® young savers club, helping children and families with their financial future. As a childhood member of the club, Travis is well aware of the impact of starting good financial habits at an early age. To support those efforts, he volunteers as the DJ for Railway Credit Union’s annual Pee Wee Christmas party that typically draws more than 150 children.

In addition, he is currently working towards his BS in Business Management through Minot State University, and is acting co-chair of Railway Credit Union’s Great American Bike Race Team, helping to raise money for medical services and purchase equipment such as wheelchairs, communication devices and adaptive tricycles for children and young adults with cerebral palsy or related disabilities. He has also been a volunteer at numerous events for the local United Way and other charitable organizations. Finally, Travis is also the person who spearheaded getting a city ordinance changed in Mandan, to allow urban chicken farming so that residents can now keep up to four chickens in a coop in their yard, as pets or for eggs. “Not only is it a great thing for Mandan, it gave me a unique perspective of local government and ordinances,” he added. 

He sums up his professional and personal success by referring to one of his idols, Buddy Valastro, better known as The Cake Boss. “He just proves that with hard work and family, you can achieve anything. Even with cake,” he concluded.

On a personal note, Travis has been with his wife Tiffany for over ten years. They were married about five years ago on a beach in Hawaii. They have four cats: Aurora, Oceana, Savannah and Aries. When they are not working, they enjoy camping, riding motorcycle, and 4-wheeling in the summer. Travis enjoys woodworking, and at one time, operated his own small decal and woodworking business. The Dengels also love to travel, and are looking forward to an upcoming trip to New Zealand to celebrate their five-year anniversary.

 

 

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