In the Spotlight: Meet Jaymason Bramblee from Oahe FCU
by Shawn Marie Brummer
Communications & Media Specialist

Jaymason Bramblee grew up in the small town of New Underwood, South Dakota, located east of Rapid City, just off of I90. Living with her father and one younger brother in the tiny town, she filled her days with all kinds of sports and other activities. She played volleyball throughout high school, and ran varsity track and was a starter on the varsity basketball team from the 8th grade on. She was also active in FFA, and was elected president of the student council her senior year. But by far, her favorite activity was basketball, and she played year-round, whether it was early morning training, summer leagues, or attending various camps.

After graduating from high school, she moved to Montana and attended Montana State University in Billings. A year later, she decided to move to Missoula, Montana to attend the University of Montana. (GO Griz!) However, after two more years of school, and still finding herself undecided about what she wanted to be when she “grew up,” she returned to South Dakota, and went to live with her mother in Pierre, hoping to find more opportunities.

She was working at AT&T as a sales representative, when one day, Dawn VanAsh, the CEO of Oahe FCU approached her. Oahe FCU was looking for a teller with good people skills, and apparently, Jaymason had made an impression on her. Dawn told her that she would be a good fit for the team.

“I was hesitant, as this was something that I never thought of as a career – let alone, that working at a credit union would be something I was good at, or even enjoy,” she recalled. Still, she mustered up the courage, took a chance, and went in for an interview. Shortly after, in 2012, she began working for Oahe as Teller/Visa Coordinator. Three years later, her title was changed to Loan Officer/Member Outreach, the position she has held for the last four years.

“To this day, I am so happy that I stepped out of my comfort zone and applied for that first position. I never imagined that I would enjoy this industry so much! Getting to help people every day is extremely rewarding,” she added.

On a typical day at the credit union, Jaymason might be assisting a member with practically any kind of loan, including autos, recreational, and home equity loans. She also helps with completing title work. Then, she does much of the marketing for the credit union, including updating their web page and their social media, as well as designing all the advertisements that the credit union places in newspapers or on the web. She also writes radio ads on occasion, and then processes mobile deposits throughout the day. While it can be challenging to find new ways to make Oahe FCU stand out from other financial institutions, she enjoys finding new ideas or creating a new spin for a product, making it more appealing for members. 

It seems that she has found her career. “What I enjoy the most about working in this industry are the people that we serve. I love the relationships that I have built over the years with so many of our members; I love that they do not feel like they can only come talk to me when they need a loan or financial advice. Many times, our members just stop in to ask how my kids are, tell me a good joke, tell me something exciting that has happened to them, or to rub it in that they are on their way to go hunting or fishing,” she explained.

Besides helping members in the credit union, Jaymason (along with other Oahe FCU staff members) volunteer each year for a local art and music festival called Oahe Days. They go out into the community to find sponsorships and donations for the variety of events that go during the weekend celebration.

Another way the credit union is getting in touch with the community is through the national Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® awareness initiative. “I feel like we have jumped in headfirst with the new campaign,” she shared. “This is something so simple and so easy to personalize for a credit union! Two of the biggest things that have worked for us would be email signatures for all staff with our own personalized OYE pictures. We get at least two comments a day from members and outside vendors about how they love our e mail tags. I have even had members take their own OYE pictures, and we started using them to advertise loan rates. When people in the community see a coworker or a friend on a local advertisement, that itself generates a lot of attention. This campaign is so versatile! I just love that CUAD jumped on board with it, and gave us the opportunity to be a part of it,” she expounded. (If you want to see some of the ways they have embraced the campaign, just check out their Facebook page.)

In her personal life, Jaymason has been married to “the dreamiest man out there,” Tyson, for six years. They have two children: son Gavin, (2 years) and daughter, Riplee, (11 months) who keep their parents quite entertained. Tyson works for the Amy Corps of Engineers, and has been in the Army National Guards for 15 years. He completed a tour to Afghanistan from 2011-2012.

Jaymason continues her love of sports, and stays active playing on a women’s volleyball team, and on a slow pitch softball team. The entire family enjoys the outdoors, and spends much time fishing and hunting together. They also love days at the beach, and boating on the river. Despite her athletic ability, she describes herself as a bit of a nerd, who loves anything to do with Star Trek and Harry Potter.

Throughout her life, she says she has been fortunate to have a very large support network of family and close friends, who have helped her to navigate through life. “It sounds extremely cliché, but really all of these people have made me who I am today, and I would not be who I am without them. It is this group of people who influence me to be a better person, better coworker, better wife and a great mom,” she concluded.

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