In the CU Professionals Spotlight
by Shawn Marie Brummer
Communications & Media Specialist

Lisa Snedeker never imagined that one day, she would find herself living on a farm in rural South Dakota. She grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan and has also lived near Los Angeles and Seattle, a self-proclaimed “city girl” who was transplanted to the country. (Why does the Billy Currington song “Good Direction” start running through my head here?)


Credit unions have been in her life for some time. When she was just 16 years old, her father took her to the local credit union where he was a member to get a car loan for her first vehicle. It was a 1976 Chevy Nova with a payment of $30 per month. It was her first serious financial obligation, and one that she has never forgotten. “I was very proud to begin my lifelong love of the freedom to choose and pay for the things I like to have in my life,” she stated.


After graduating from high school, Lisa attended Kalamazoo Valley Community College. She later moved and settled in Seattle, Washington. While living there, she managed an office for emergency response. She also met her future husband. He was a South Dakotan who was working in Seattle, but who had every intention of moving back to the state.


After the two were married, they settled on a farm just outside Woonsocket, South Dakota. Lisa spent the next several years raising her family and helping on the farm. This particular area is famous for their outstanding melon crops, primarily watermelons and muskmelons. At one time, the Snedekers were big producers – and Lisa says she learned quite well how to select the best of the crops. Later, they moved primarily to growing hay and raising cattle.


In 2003, cattle prices dropped at the same time that expenses of raising growing family of seven were increasing. Lisa decided to go back to work, and found work at Dakotaland Federal Credit Union as a Teller/MSR. She stayed in that position for eight years. Even though she had opportunities for promotions and other opportunities there, she wanted to keep her flexible schedule that allowed her to attend many activities with her kids. “Being a Mom has always been my first love and best job even though the salary is significantly less,” she remarked. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”


By 2012, Lisa was ready for a new challenge and so she accepted a newly created position of Training Coordinator at Dakotaland FCU. Shortly after that, she also began managing the Woonsocket Branch Office. “I enjoy the dual role as I am able to not only work with staff throughout our organization, but also keep in touch with the day to day needs of members and staff at the branch level,” she remarked. “Serving the members and being involved in community are important to our success,” she added.


Her role at Dakotaland also allows her to work at a job that is in harmony with her own personal beliefs. She loves working with people who have a passion for serving others, and having a mission that is focused on helping people achieve success. She has an outlet for teaching others the importance of sound financial practices and helping them overcome life struggles with coaching and guidance. To further her education, Lisa graduated from the Dale Carnegie course as well as the Leadership Huron program and the SDFU REAL course. Above all, she loves working in an industry where we all work together to advocate for common sense principles. Lisa shared that Dan Cumbee, CEO of Dakotaland recently remarked, "We Impact Lives." She agrees wholeheartedly and says that she has looked up to Dan ever since she first began working at Dakotaland FCU. “He truly exemplifies the motto of ‘people helping people’ and instills that in his team,” she remarked. 


Lisa is not only making a difference for Dakotaland members, she makes a significant difference in the greater community as well. She is the current Vice President of the Central Chapter of Credit Unions and serves on the Woonsocket Development Corporation Board of Directors and the Sanborn County board of 4-H Leaders. She is Vice-President of the Woonsocket School Board, serves as a member of the FFA Ag Advisory Committee, the Woonsocket Community Care and Learning Center Board of Directors, the Spirit of Faith Lutheran Methodist Church High School Youth Group Leader and Finance Committee, Fundraising Committee, Education Committee and Women’s Group. Plus, she serves as the Sanborn County Farmers Union Legislative Director, the District II Farmers Union President and State Board Member, and as a Board Member on the Associated School Boards of South Dakota. She is a past board member and President of the Huron Junior Achievement, where she continues to serve as a classroom volunteer. On top of all that, she is a regular volunteer for many organizations and events. In fact, she volunteers more than 400 hours each year – serving meals, speaking at events, reading to students, leading workshops, and picking up garbage.


“There is no end to the list of ways a person can volunteer their time and hands to serve others. I'm a big believer in celebrating every day and knowing every day we have an opportunity to change lives, to give hope, to spread a little happiness,” she concluded.


It might be good to mention here that while Lisa was on my list of “potential Spotlight interviews” for a while, I was prompted to reach out to her when I saw a Dakotaland FCU Facebook post congratulating her on receiving the “SHE Award” for Community Service and Humanitarian (photo left). The award recognizes the contributions of outstanding women in the Huron area who are making a difference in the world around them. Co-worker Dawn Mutchelknaus nominated her for the award, saying in part:


“There are women you meet who have endless enthusiasm and an undying commitment to doing what it takes to make a difference in the world around them. These women are infectious and have a level of energy that renders most of us tired just watching them do what they do. These are the kind of women we seek out to serve on every board, committee and project, not only because they are up for the challenge, but they are famous for getting it done and making it fun along the way. These women know how to utilize their resources, cultivate talent, lead a team and make a mean pot roast. Lisa Snedeker is one of these amazing women."


It is certainly not difficult to see why she was presented with this prestigious award. It’s also easy to understand how she was able to teach aerobics for many years!


On a personal note, Lisa has been married to her husband, Mark, for 26 years. She had two sons when the couple first met: Michael, now age 34 and Patrick, now 32. Both the older sons are married; Michael and his wife Bobbi have four boys, Patrick and his wife, Cheyann have two girls. Then, she and Mark together have three sons: Corrie (24), Shaun (19), and Nick (17). The entire crew lives close by. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family. She also stays motivated by reading her favorite authors: John Maxwell, Steven Covey, Mel Robbins, and Darren Hardy. She is always up for a trip, or a walk, or to go dancing.


Finally, Lisa says that while going from city to country living has definitely had its ups and downs, and even though she is definitely a “unique” resident of Sanborn County, that she wouldn’t trade it for the world.





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