In the Spotlight: Meet Heidi Bulman from Black Hills FCU
by Shawn Marie Brummer
Communications & Media Specialist
6/28/2019

Heidi Bulman grew up in the small eastern Wyoming town of Newcastle, with two stoplights and a population of about 3,300. As a child, and into her adulthood, her parents have played an important role in her life. “They have always been a true example of hard work paying off,” she shared. “They started a family when they were young, which delayed their personal dreams in order to raise two young girls. But it didn’t derail them from achieving great things,” she added.

During her school years, she was active in many various activities, including student council, cheerleading, and track and field. However, her favorite activity was always competitive swimming. After graduating with a class of 117 students in 2000, she headed off for college.

Heidi attended South Dakota State University (Brookings) where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. She worked for her family’s business in International Sales for a time, and then began working for National American University (Rapid City) while also achieving her Master’s Degree in Management and Leadership from the same. She spent eight years as the Director of Affiliate Relations. The position required extensive travel to other communities to build business relationships, which brought Heidi to the realization that she really didn’t know much about her own community! She decided it was time for a change, to a career that would allow her to spend more time with her family, and to become more involved in her community.

She had first become interested in credit unions when she started dating her now husband, Jonas. He was a member of a credit union at the time. Fast forward to when they began to look for a house to purchase together, and credit unions were first in their mind for a home loan.

When she saw an opportunity for a Community Development Officer at Black Hills Federal Credit Union (BHFCU) in Rapid City, she decided to apply. Now, it has been nearly four years that she has been involved in the industry, and she could not be happier in her role. At her credit union, Heidi is responsible for community and staff event planning, coordinating NCUA community expansion and membership eligibility communication, as well as financial literacy education throughout the community. In addition, she acts as a project manager for the credit union’s huge Annual School Supply Drive.

“I love the people,” says Bulman about working in the community as part of the credit union. “I really get to feel and hear the impact BHFCU has on others. Knowing that in some way, we have helped members in their life, that’s pretty special.”

She continues, “Every year when we donate school supplies, we work so hard to gather, sort and distribute to thousands of children. I get emotional. I’m sure the exhaustion plays a part, and I am equally sad and satisfied to see all of the hard work go to people so deserving. I have a soft spot for education and teachers – my mother is a 4th grade teacher. Their job is definitely impactful and important.”

Working in the community, she knows firsthand the challenges of educating people about credit union membership, making it understandable and desirable. She is excited about the possibilities with the new CUNA awareness initiative, and believes the Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® campaign will help reinforce the credit union message of “People Helping People,” as well as the availability of credit union membership. In fact, her credit union was one of the first from the Dakotas to sign on with a pledge of financial support.

As an involved member of the community, Heidi has many opportunities to help spread the word about credit unions. She is currently a member of the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce Workforce Development Committee, and has also served as a member of the Box Elder Job Corp Center Board of Directors. In addition, she graduated from Rapid City’s Citizen Police Academy in 2017.

Her achievements in the community and at her credit union have not gone unnoticed. She has previously been recognized by CUAD for completing the most financial education presentations in the classroom. She was also an essential leader of the BHFCU Staff Engagement Plan, related to their recent Core Conversion that won a Diamond Award from CUNA this year. This coming November, she will face another career challenge and achievement when she attends CUDE (Credit Union Development Education) through the National Credit Union Foundation in Madison, Wisconsin.

In her personal life, Heidi has been married to her husband, Jonas, for nearly nine years. She says she aspires to be more like him, as he is great at dreaming big, and worrying less. With Jonas came a “bonus daughter,” Matte, who just graduated from high school. Rounding out the family are two fur babies: Lily “the boss”, a Yorkie; and Bodhi, a Boxer-Husky mix who also acts as her running partner.

Always up for a personal challenge, she is currently preparing for a half marathon in Vancouver, BC. This will be her fourth such run, and her goal is to narrow the scope on her upcoming competition. In fact, she loves most competitive sports, and spends many summer nights and weekends as a softball mom, helping with her daughter’s team. She also volunteers with a local swim club, enjoys reading, spending time with her large extended family, watching Denver Bronco Football and MMA Fighting – and surprisingly, has recently taken up crocheting!

Finally, Heidi is really looking forward to the 4th of July next week, and has a special reason to celebrate Independence Day! As it turns out, one of her ancestors, William Whipple, was one of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence back in 1776.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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