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IBA Member Spotlight: Michelle Westendorf

Archived Industry News:IBA Member Spotlight: Michelle Westendorf

Last Updated: 11/12/2020 3:42 PM

Westendorf: Meeting New People a Benefit of Banking Career

Michelle Westendorf gained an appreciation for customer service while waiting tables while she was in high school. She says she uses the lessons she learned as a waitress when working with customers at the bank, which is one of her favorite parts of her job. “Not only do we have the pleasure of helping [customers] with their personal financial goals, getting involved in community events and helping with fundraising, we also get to form great friendships with people we otherwise would have never had the opportunity to know,” she said.

Today, Westendorf is vice president, agricultural/commercial loans at Fidelity Bank & Trust in Janesville.

How did you get into banking as a career?
I began working at GMAC Mortgage in the mid-1990s after receiving my degree in accounting from Hawkeye Community College. I began working in the foreclosure department and eventually moved into the loan originations department.

Prior to your current role, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had, and what lesson did it teach you that you still use today?
I worked as a waitress in high school for a small café. I learned how to deal with different personalities and find common ground with customers. I use this every day in working with clients that may have a different background from my own. I have always felt it is important to make sure each and every customer we contact feels that they are valued.

What is your best elevator pitch for why banking is a great career?
We get to meet so many great people within the communities that we serve. Not only do we have the pleasure of helping them with their personal financial goals, getting involved in community events and helping with fundraising, we also get to form great friendships with people we otherwise would have never had the opportunity to know.

How does getting involved with the Iowa Bankers Association help you and your bank?
It helps us stay informed about our ever-changing industry.

When you’re not at work, what do you like to do most?
Spending time with family and traveling.

What is a quote or guiding principle you live by?
The harder you work at something, the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it!

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