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Employee Profile: Sherry Valley
Sherry Valley is six months into her role as senior commercial lender at Minnesota Lakes Bank, and she already knows what she truly enjoys about the job.
“Management and ownership truly care about the employees, and they provide us with the resources we need to help our customers be successful,” said Sherry. “That is an important consideration after you’ve spent more than 20 years in the banking and financial services industry.
“The other thing I really value about working here is the people. Everyone is dedicated to helping our customers and keeping our team successful,” Sherry continued. “That is a huge asset for the bank and the communities we serve.”
As a business lender, Sherry often meets customers in their places of work. If she’s meeting a business owner or manager for the first time, she’ll listen to them describe their goals, growth expectations and future financing needs. Once she has learned enough, she’ll prepare a proposal for their review.
“Just as people rely on a building contractor when they want to build their house, in the financial services world we hope our customers rely on our expertise to give them the financial products they need to succeed,” Sherry explained.
One of the things Sherry’s experience has taught her is that businesses have life cycles, from start up to maturity.
“One of my responsibilities as a business banker is to help determine which life cycle the business is in,” Sherry continued. “My goal is to help them make the transition from one cycle to the next as smoothly as possible, and to help them prepare for what is on the horizon in terms of financial commitments.”
Sherry is part of the four-person lending team at Minnesota Lakes Bank. Her six-month tenure in the job has helped her understand the bank’s culture and its commitment to participating in community events including the Fourth of July parade in Delano and the Spirit of the Lakes Festival in Mound.
Sherry’s husband is a retired career military officer, so the family was always on the move as their children were growing up. “We traveled throughout the U.S. and Europe, and my kids didn’t really have one place they called home,” Sherry said. “I was raised in Eagle Bend, Minnesota, a town of 300 people in central Minnesota. We haven’t had a place to put down roots until the last few years, and I’m looking forward to the community involvement this job brings.”
Sherry’s previous bank career was with one employer, Wells Fargo. With that bank she worked in several communities, including Grand Rapids, Baudette and New Prague. Between her husband’s career and her various positions in the banking industry, they are well traveled.
Sherry’s off-the-job hobbies reflect her personality, and she describes herself as a “very conflicted soul.” She is both a Harley-Davidson rider (she owns a Harley “Fat Boy”) and an avid quilter.
“I’m not sure how you reconcile those two hobbies,” she commented, “but they help me relax and express myself. I hope my diverse interests and skills will help our customers be successful, too.”