In the CU Professionals Spotlight: Meet Janna Bergstedt
by Shawn Marie Brummer
Communications & Media Specialist

Janna Bergstedt grew up in the city of Jamestown, North Dakota, located on I94 in the east-central portion of the state. As a child, and still to this day, she enjoyed sports, especially volleyball, basketball, and softball. The family lived in town, where she has fond memories of playing with her four siblings – and her father – building monkey bars and swings in the basement, and driving go-karts. The family also spent many days at the farm where her father had grown up, where Janna learned to hunt, fish, and enjoyed hours outdoors in the country.

Her parents had opened an account for her at First Community Credit Union when she was a child, and where she deposited her money from her first job at the local Dollar Store. Working there, Janna says she often spent more than she made, but she also learned about customer service, and teamwork.

After graduating from Jamestown High School in a class of about 225 students, she attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Business, with an emphasis in marketing. Surprisingly, she became a customer of a megabank for a very brief time, before quickly returning to her credit union roots, saying, “We all have regrets from college, right?” She recalls feeling like a number when she would walk into the lobby. “It was so quiet, and I just felt awkward when I walked in the door. It was very unlike a credit union, where you’re welcomed with smiling, friendly faces,” she recalled.

After graduating from Concordia, Janna worked as a marketing specialist for Ulteig Engineers in Fargo for about three years. At first, she was doing business proposals, but soon took a position with the corporate team where she had the opportunity to focus on advertising, branding and various other communications. The experience and skills she gained there were a tremendous benefit, and easily transferred to the role she eventually acquired at First Community Credit Union (FCCU).

Janna made the move to FCCU’s Jamestown office in 2009 when she was hired as the Marketing Manager. In 2016, she was promoted to the Vice President of Marketing, her current role, where she is responsible for overseeing all marketing for the credit union, including product promotions, brand management, events, advertising, and communications. She recently moved to Bismarck, and now works from the downtown office, when she is not traveling between the many branches.

“The credit union industry is very unique,” says Bergstedt. “We’re more like a family, sharing good days and bad and working together to achieve our goals. The people are very down-to-earth and not stuffy, like some other places. Whether it’s working with coworkers, members or colleagues, they’re kind and helpful. People helping people is truly the philosophy we live by each and every day,” she explained.

One issue that credit unions face that is not unique, is the challenge of trying to separate from the competition. “It seems like on every block, there’s another financial institution. In marketing, we need to differentiate ourselves and make our credit union stand apart from the rest. That can be challenging, but it can be done with creativity, and that’s my favorite part of the job,” she added.

The rebranding of First Community Credit Union was one extremely successful marketing project, and a significant milestone in Janna’s career. “When I first came to FCCU, there was no consistency when it came to communications, and our brand was not really established. There were about ten different business card designs, and nothing looked alike. Our brochures were not consistent and many were outdated. I wanted to do something about that, and we certainly did,” she stated.

The rebranding project started shortly after Janna was hired, and took 18 months to complete. It was unveiled in 2011, and included a new logo, and updates to everything from signage and business cards to websites and advertising. It was a massive undertaking, but once completed, it was truly something for Janna and her team to be proud of. The credit union now has a strong, consistent, and modern brand image that supports and promotes a growing credit union.

With her vast experience, energy, and creativity, it’s not surprising that Janna’s skills are often in demand in the greater community. She served eight years as a board member for the Jamestown Kiwanis Club, including time as president. She served on the board for the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce and Jamestown Tourism, and currently is on the activation board for Credit Union for Kids, which helps fundraise for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals throughout the country. (If you haven’t caught the many stories in the Memo, FCCU is a strong supporter of the Sanford Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in Fargo.)

In addition, she has been a frequent volunteer for the Kiwanis Club for the past nine years, including acting as co-chair of Kiwanis Kids Against Hunger for seven years. She has been a Relay for Life team chair and auction co-chair for St. John’s Academy Hope Dinner. She also led the Buffalo City Photography Club for several years.

Janna’s many achievements and her willingness to make a difference in her community has brought her recognition from several organizations. She was named “Rookie of the Year” by the Credit Union Executive Society; “Outstanding Young Professional of the Year” by the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce; and “Essential Community Member” by Dale Carnegie. She also received the Walter Zeller Award for Kiwanis, and was a “40 under 40” nominee from Prairie Business Magazine.

In her personal life, Janna has been married to her husband, Blaine, for 10 years. They have “three crazy cats” named Milo, Phineus and Libby. The Bergstedt’s enjoy the outdoors, and often spend their free time hiking, biking, fishing, camping, and backpacking. Janna is a photography enthusiast, and likes to use those skills when enjoying her other hobby – traveling.

Finally, Janna says she is quite good at keeping a positive attitude in nearly every situation – and it seems for her, that situations do come up from time to time. As a self-described “klutz,” something is almost always going slightly wrong – be it cereal on the kitchen floor, or a silly small accident. A recent mishap occurred when she burned her jacket and nearly started on fire at the Hockey Day North Dakota event. (Photo right.) But Janna doesn’t let those little incidents bother her for long. “I just shrug it off, clean up my mess, and move on. At least I have the ability to laugh at myself,” she concluded.


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