In the Spotlight: Meet Brooke Johnson from Capital CU
by Shawn Marie Brummer
Communications & Media Specialist

Brooke Johnson says she is a typical small town girl, who grew up mainly in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. Her parents split when she was still in middle school, and both remarried. Brooke is the youngest of the blended-family kids, having two older brothers and two older step sisters. After her sophomore year of high school, she moved to New Town, North Dakota, with her father and her step mom, but still enjoyed her summers working with her mother and step dad at their Bed & Breakfast and farm near Highmore, South Dakota.

She graduated from Parshall High School in 2012 in a class of 24 students. Through her involvement in Future Business Leaders of America, she landed her first “real” job as a customer service representative at the local insurance agency, where she discovered her passion for helping people. She decided to pursue a business degree.

She moved to Bismarck, North Dakota to attend Bismarck State College. Her plan was to stay in town just long enough to get her Associates Degree, and then move to Fargo or Spearfish to continue her education. However, after earning her degree, she decided to stay in town as she loved the city, the opportunities it offered, plus she had made many good friends. The location of Bismarck was also convenient for visiting all of her family, while still leaving her with a sense of independence.

While attending college, she worked at Olive Garden, and then in 2014 she started taking online courses through Dickinson State University. She applied for a part-time teller position at Capital Credit Union’s North Branch, while continuing to work at the restaurant. “I had no idea what credit unions were all about at the time, but I was highly attracted to Capital Credit Union because they were open later in the evenings and on the weekends, so I would be able to get hours and experience while attending school,” she recalled. “I quickly learned the credit union philosophy – and it fits perfectly with my personal values,” she added.

When a head teller position opened at the Sunrise Branch in North Bismarck, she applied and was promoted in May of 2015 at the age of 21. As the newest branch in Bismarck, Sunrise was a bit slow, as members were still “discovering” the location. However, that gave Brooke the opportunity to quickly learn her job, and to continue to seek out more responsibility.

Along the way, Brooke had decided that she ultimately wanted to be a branch manager. She knew she would need additional experience, particularly in lending, to achieve that goal. She asked for increased responsibility again, and in May of 2016, her title was changed to Head Teller – Universal Services Representative.

With her new title, she continued to act as head teller, but was also opening new member accounts, working with IRAs, and was quickly learning consumer lending. During this time, she received her credentials as a Credit Union Certified Financial Counselor (CUCFC) from CUNA, and also completed Capital Credit Union’s CU Lead program, which is a three year internal leadership program.

Soon, she was able to assist members with any of their needs when they came into the branch. Shortly after, in May of 2018, her title changed to Assistant Branch Manager. Less than two years later, in January of 2020, she transitioned to her current role as Branch Manager.

During a typical day, Brooke oversees the day-to-day operations, supports the frontline, and assists members with loans, new accounts, IRAs, or anything else they come into the branch for. It seems she has found her niche. “I love that we are very member and service oriented. In everything we do, our goal is to help the member. We are truly here for the members and get to know them personally,” she stated.

She is quick to add that she has had some strong female influences in her life, including her mother and her grandmother, both of whom are strong, genuine women, who have been supportive in everything Brooke does. She has also found some strong work mentors, and is very appreciative of her helpful coworkers when she needs advice or feedback.

Above all, Brooke says she feels very fortunate to be working at a credit union that has been named a “Top 10 Employer” in the Bismarck/Mandan area for young professionals 12 times, and was named North Dakota’s Best Credit Union in a Forbes survey in the summer of 2019.

“I’m thankful to be a part of an organization that is so big on supporting our community and getting out there and volunteering, but I am most thankful for the community education, getting into schools and teaching students about financial literacy,” she concluded.

In addition to working hard at her credit union and volunteering in the community, Brooke is the current Credit Union Public Relations Team Chair at her credit union, and is the Chair of the Missouri Valley Chapter of Credit Unions. She is also a member of the Bismarck-Mandan Young Professionals Network, and is a Junior Achievement volunteer teacher.

In her personal life, Brooke is a self-proclaimed “helicopter dog mom” to her medium sized rescue dog, Odin. She says he looks quite similar to the homeless dogs in basically every Disney movie. He is a four-legged 50+ pounds of spunk, who loves snow days.

In her free time, Brooke enjoys spending time with friends and family, and likes to partake of “Bloody Mary Brunches” on occasion. She is very spontaneous and willing to travel on a whim. She’s already been a bridesmaid in eight weddings! It’s not uncommon for her to decide she needs a “road trip” – and to be behind the wheel in less than an hour, or to book plane tickets at last minute bargain prices on her weekends off work. Being spontaneous is one of her strong points; she’s even jumped off the Stratosphere in Las Vegas, and has sky diving on her bucket list. Most recently she learned the (much less dangerous) sport of curling, something she had barely even heard of before she jumped in. She also enjoys arts and crafts, and can often be found making earrings, decorative signs, or personalizing cups.

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