In the Spotlight: Barb Daniels Webster from Western CCU!
by Shawn Marie Brummer
Communications & Media Specialist
11/22/2019

Barb Daniels Webster grew up in Watford City, located in the western part of North Dakota. In her school days, she was a cheerleader for wrestling and football, participated in speech and drama, and was also on the staff of the school newspaper. “It was a great community to grow up in – small enough to know most everyone, but large enough to offer a good education with plenty of extracurricular activities to be involved in,” she said. .

Her parents had a major influence on her outlook in life, as they instilled in her the values of honesty, loyalty, a strong work ethic, and faith in God.  “I saw my parents deal with a lot of hardships in their life and they did so with perseverance and steadfast faith that there would be light at the end of the tunnel. It’s something that I admired and still try to emulate,” she shared.

After graduating from high school, she attended college at UND Williston and UND Grand Forks, where she received her Financial/Clerical Certificate. In 1983, she had just moved to Williston, a broke and single young woman in her early twenties. She needed a job, and so she applied for an opening as a teller at Western Cooperative Credit Union (WCCU).  

“At the time, I had no idea of the difference between banks and credit unions, but I had previously worked for a short time at a bank and I had good people skills, so I felt it would be a good fit,” she recalled. The year was 1983, and besides taking two short sabbaticals from the credit union, she says she has never regretted taking that teller position.

By 1984, she was promoted to head teller, and by 1987, she was the branch manager at the Downtown Branch in Williston. Then, she briefly moved to Bismarck, but was rehired as a consumer loan officer by WCCU upon moving back to Williston in 1990. For the next five years, she worked in lending, even wearing the additional hat of collections officer for a time.

In March of 1995, Barb was the object of a head-hunter search put out by the Williston Branch Manager of First Bank, and she received an offer to work for them as a personal banker. “It took some convincing because I was happy at the credit union, but money talks so off I went,” she said. It did not take long for Barb to realize that it was a mistake. She did not enjoy the corporate banking world, and she missed the people helping people philosophy.

She wanted to keep the banking job for at least one year, but shortly after that, she engaged in a conversation with her old boss at WCCU, and confessed that she had made a mistake. He responded by immediately offering her a job – back in her previous position as a loan officer. She happily gave notice to First Bank, and returned to her home at WCCU. In 2004, she advanced to the title of Consumer/Mortgage Loan Manager, and has held this position ever since.

In her role, Barb supervises ten employees and manages the daily operations of the consumer, mortgage, and collection department. She assists as needed with the consumer lending area, and always enjoys getting back to working directly with members. She likes to joke that her job description could also include “local fireman,” as it seems a lot of her time is spent extinguishing those small fires that pop up from time to time. Those situations don’t really bother her, as she says she has an excellent team of employees that are also equipped with “fire extinguisher” skills.

“I am very proud of the growth Western Cooperative Credit Union has experienced over the years I’ve been employed here,” she continues. “Not only in assets size, which was less than 50 million when I started and is now over 350 million, but also with the addition of seven branches. Having these branches allows us to provide a need to a much larger radius which is a positive impact for both our credit union and the communities we serve.”

Most of all, she is glad to be working in the credit union industry, fostering personal relationships with members, and meeting their needs. “I just believe that credit unions to do a much better job of truly serving their members and fulfilling the people helping people philosophy,” she concluded.

Besides her career at WCCU, Barb is active in many local organizations and has a list of commendations she has received over the years. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Eckert Youth Home, which is a residential child-care facility located in Williston that provides group foster care to boys and girls ages 12-18. She is a member of the Williston Noon Lions Club, and previously held several board positions there, including president. She is a member of New Hope Church, where she has been a past Sunday School teacher and nursey volunteer. In addition, she is a past board member of Williston’s Old Armory, and a past president of the Williston Jaycees. She has been honored as a Melvin Jones Fellow by Lions Club International, and is a graduate of Leadership Williston. She has also received the ND Jaycee Roughrider Award, and was honored as a JCI Senator by Jaycees International.

In her personal life, Barb has been married to her “handsome husband,” Rick, for about four years. They have a blended family of two sons, one daughter, and four granddaughters. Oldest son Alexander and his wife, Jayme, live in Virginia Beach, VA with their two daughters, Emilia (4) and Alyssa (2). Then, daughter Marie and her husband, Luke, live in Minot with their two daughters, Keely (13) and Ashlyn (12). Youngest son, Hunter, is a senior at MSU in Moorhead MN.

Barb and Rick travel several times a year to visit the east coast kids, and take advantage of Facetime to keep track of the growing grandbabies. They also have relatives in Washington state, so there are trips to the west coast as well.

They spend free time playing cards and games with friends, often with a friendly little wager thrown in to make it more interesting. Barb enjoys puttering with her many flower pots in the summer, and every year she vows to cut back on the number. However, each spring, she finds herself in the local greenhouse, unable to resist the myriad of beautiful plants.

Rick and Barb enjoy fishing together on beautiful Lake Sakakawea, both summer and winter. You might say Barb is a bit spoiled, however, as Rick makes sure she never has to bait a hook, remove a fish from a line, or clean or cook them. Finally, it appears she is on a first name basis with Zappos – the on-line shoe company that is not only known for their impressive options for footwear, but for their excellent customer service. In fact, they even sent her a congratulatory bouquet of flowers when she married Rick!  

                 

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