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IBA Member Spotlight: Tammy Durnan

Archived Industry News:IBA Member Spotlight: Tammy Durnan

Last Updated: 4/20/2021 10:30 AM

Durnan Achieves Dream of Being a Banker

Dating back to grade school, Tammy Durnan dreamt of becoming a banker. Due to limited resources, she was unable to attend college, but that didn’t stop her from pursuing her dream. She moved to Iowa in 1992 and started a family. In 1997, she finally entered the banking industry as a part-time loan secretary/collections assistant and has worked her way up ever since.

Today, Durnan is executive vice president, chief retail officer at Midwest Heritage in West Des Moines. She oversees human resources, marketing, consumer and mortgage loan operations, and underwriting, collections, private banking and retail. And thanks to Midwest Heritage, she graduated from the Graduate School of Banking at Colorado in 2019.

How did you get into banking as a career?
From the time I was in grade school, my dream was to be a banker. I grew up in a small rural community in Miami, Arizona. Resources were limited, therefore, I didn’t have the opportunity to attend college. In 1992, I moved to Iowa with my late husband, started a family and decided with or without an education, I was going to be a banker. I started my banking career in 1997 as a part-time loan secretary/collections assistant. From there, I surrounded myself with positive people, went above and beyond with every task or assignment, and looked for opportunities to learn and advance in my career. My parents taught me the importance of giving 110% in everything I do. That advice, along with many role models and mentors who have taken me under their wing and helped me along the way have helped me continue to grow. In return, I do everything I can to help others along the way.

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?
Prior to starting my banking career, I worked in numerous retail positions. Nothing terribly unique, however, I did confirm I wasn’t a perfect fit for the food industry, and working at a clothing store was not in my best interest!

What is your best elevator pitch for why banking is a great career?
Banking provides unlimited opportunities and is rewarding from all different aspects — from management, sales, analytics, compliance and marketing. Plus, with the continuous changes in technology, products, services and regulations, bankers have endless job security!

How does getting involved with the Iowa Bankers Association help you and your bank?
The Iowa Bankers Association is instrumental in helping community banks. Over the years, my team and I have participated in numerous training courses and leverage their tools and resources on a continuous basis. Regardless of the department or individual you are working with at the IBA, the experience is awesome.

When you’re not at work, what do you like to do most?
I love hanging out with my grown children, their families and all of my friends. I also enjoy volunteering, shopping, biking, cheering for Iowa in any sport and vacationing!

What is a quote or guiding principle you live by?
I actually have two favorites that apply personally and professionally:

  • Every obstacle is an opportunity. Take the time to reevaluate — what do you need to start doing, stop doing and continue doing.
  • Exceed expectations — every customer, every interaction, every time.

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