In the Spotlight: Meet Andrew Goeden!
by Shawn Marie Brummer
Communications & Media Specialist

Andrew Goeden grew up in the country near the small town of Crofton, Nebraska. He was the youngest of three children, with an older brother and sister. He graduated in a class of approximately 50 students from Crofton High School, where he played football, ran track, and also played saxophone in the school band.

As a child, he says his parents instilled in the children a strong work ethic and commitment to always doing the best they could. “Having personal responsibility and being accountable for your actions was always expected,” he recalled. “They taught me you have to work for what you hope to get out of life and that you are not entitled to anything. I was also taught to always treat others like you would like to be treated because you have no idea what someone else is going through. These lessons have guided both my work and personal life,” he added.

Following high school, Andrew attended the University of South Dakota, a public university in Vermillion, South Dakota. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, he began working at a CPA firm. However, he quickly realized that public accounting was not for him. He then accepted a job as a staff accountant at a construction company located in Yankton, South Dakota, where he spent the next seven years.

He found his interest turning to the banking industry after spending those years as a staff accountant, and then he landed an interview at a local credit union for a CFO position. The interview process prompted him to learn a bit more, and he began to do some research about the credit union industry.

“I liked the small community, down-to-earth, non-corporate feel,” he explained. “Plus, the overall philosophy of credit unions just meshed with my value system.”

While he did not land the CFO position, a short time later he saw an opportunity at Vermillion Federal Credit Union for a loan officer position. Even though he had no previous experience in lending (or any type of banking for that matter) he jumped at the opportunity to get his foot in the door. Andrew was hired in August of 2019.

Now, it’s been a little over a year, and he is truly enjoying everything he thought he would about the industry. “The small-town community feel, where you recognize your members when they come in or talk to them on the phone – and there is more of a personal connection that you don’t get with the big banks, where they just know you by your account number,” he expounded. “I also like that credit unions are non-profits, and because of this we can offer better rates and lower fees. We are also more forgiving and can look at a member’s personal history with us, and not just go by some strict set of guidelines set forth by upper management. Credit scores, debt ratios, and other numbers only tell part of the story. I feel like in the credit union industry, you have more leeway to actually listen to your members in order to get a more complete perspective,” he explained.

He continues, “I am really proud of our credit union’s commitment to community involvement. For example, every year for International Credit Union Day we serve a free lunch and offer other prizes such as calendars, coffee mugs, tote bags, and other credit union branded items. It is a good way to not only give back, but to interact with our members in a more personal way not related to just business. I help with whatever needs to be done, whether it be to help serve food or cleaning up afterward.”

Besides “pitching in” whenever help is needed at the credit union, Andrew is involved in all aspects of consumer lending, including personal loans, auto, and mortgage refinancing. In addition, he does the payroll and handles accounts payable, along with various other duties. He says he does find it challenging to keep up with compliance issues, especially as the rules and regulations in the lending area are subject to frequent changes. He is also building a network of credit union peers, and was one of this year's Crashers at the Summit in Sioux Falls, SD. 

In his personal life, Andrew is a single man who enjoys many outdoor activities including hunting, fishing, and hiking. He is still an avid runner, and he also likes to watch many sports – especially football when Nebraska is playing! He also proclaims himself to be a Green Bay Packers Fan who is surrounded by Vikings fans at the workplace. (A little friendly rivalry always makes things more interesting, anyway.) He is always willing to volunteer for church functions or for various fundraisers.

On a side note, Andrew has one hobby that is a bit unusual. It seems his father has a pilot’s license, and is part-owner of a small, single engine airplane. He thoroughly enjoys taking to the air, and luckily, he’s had many opportunities to go on a “casual” plane ride with his dad.

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