In the Spotlight: Meet Mindy Faaiuaso
by Shawn Marie Brummer
Communications & Media Specialist
7/17/2020

Mindy Faaiuaso grew up alongside four sisters in the small town of Mohall, North Dakota, just north of the city of Minot. Her parents were well respected for their strong work ethic, something they passed on to all the children. In this family, you were expected to show up, work hard, and finish whatever job you were given.

During her school days, Mindy was active in band and helped with the school yearbook. Her first banking account and her first car loan were with a local credit union. Because her father managed the Farmers Union Oil Company (now Cenex) she had an early understanding of the cooperative principles and the philosophy of taking care of the members. Joining a financial cooperative seemed like the natural thing to do.

After graduating from high school with a class of 26, she attended Minot State University, where she received her business degree. Her first job after college was assistant manager of a retail store, where she worked for five years. However, she soon realized this wasn’t the career she wanted. She applied for a teller position with Northern Tier FCU (now North Star Community CU), was hired by Janice Katin (former Northern Tier employee and retired CEO of Affinity First FCU). This was the beginning of her career with credit unions.

During her time at Northern Tier, she worked in several areas, including teller, in account services as the overdraft processor, and in the bookkeeping department. It was here that she met Dorothy Moore, former VP/CFO, who encouraged her to try different aspects of the credit union industry. “Learning more about the different services gave me a better overview of the credit union as a whole,” Mindy recalled.

Then, her husband, who was active military, was transferred overseas to Okinawa, Japan. Mindy and the children went along, and while there, she worked in the elementary school that her children attended. Once the family returned to Minot, Mindy knew she wanted to return to her career in the financial world.

She applied at Minot Area Schools Federal Credit Union (MASFCU), and was hired by Manager Dee Dee Kraft as a Member Service Representative. “Dee Dee has always supported me as an employee, and that gives me value as a person,” Mindy said. “Every day, she models the credit union spirit in how she treats co-workers, friends and credit union members.  Life isn’t always easy, but our attitude can determine how we weather the storms in our lives,” she added.

Mindy has now been with MASFCU for the past 21 years. Everyone who works in a small credit union knows that cross-training is essential, and that eventually, you learn all areas. Mindy’s responsibilities range from member services, opening accounts, processing loans, managing cash and check card services, and producing the credit union’s quarterly newsletter. When she first started working at MASFCU, they were just starting to get the cash and check card program in place. Mindy was assigned the responsibility of handling member’s questions and issues, as well as dealing with disputes and fraud reporting. She is proud that the credit union’s loss due to card fraud is relatively low, and says their efforts in member education and their consistent monitoring of members’ transactions have played a big part in keeping the loss low, and maintaining a successful card program.

While working at a small credit union can have challenges, especially keeping up with new products and services on a limited budget, Mindy says that unlike other industries, credit unions don’t have such a mindset of competing against each other, but rather, the attitude of being a family. “Minot Area Schools  FCU doesn’t offer all the services of the larger credit unions, like credit cards and mortgages, but when our members ask about those services, we are glad to suggest they check with one of the other credit unions in our area that does,” she remarked.

In her personal life, Mindy has been married to her husband, Rudy, for 36 years. They have one son and one daughter, both married, and six grandchildren. Rudy is from the Pacific island of Samoa, and since he misses the sun and sand, the couple often travels to a warm climate to enjoy a sandy beach and some snorkeling. In her free time, Mindy enjoys reading, volunteering at her church, and spending time with family, playing board games or cards. However, while she says winning can be fun, she’s never too concerned with outplaying anyone else; she just enjoys the game! Very cooperative, indeed!

 

 

 

 

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