The following is a brief interview with Shannon Grunewald, loan operations officer at Waldo State Bank. Grunewald is chair of the 2023–2024 FIPCO Software Users’ Committee.
How did you first get into the banking industry?
I had just graduated from high school, working a part time job, trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up and an opportunity came up to work for a large bank in their post-closing department. After 14 years working in large banks, I decided that taking on a position at a small community bank was more my style. Who knew someday I would find Waldo.
Why did you decide to join a WBA committee? Why should others consider lending their time and expertise to shaping Wisconsin’s banking industry?
My supervisor at the time was ending his term on the committee and continuously expressed how important the connections he made were and how much fun he had. I loved the idea of being a part of suggesting enhancements to make all our lives easier. I now have a network of peers (I now consider friends) that I can bounce ideas off of or get suggestions for new products.
How has WBA facilitated the growth you have seen in your career and as a leader?
Ahead of the 2023 FIPCO Compliance Concierge Software & Compliance Forum this past October, FIPCO contacted me, as this year’s chair of the user committee, asking if I would be willing to do an opening speech and committee member introduction. I couldn’t say no, but as someone that has a fear of public speaking this was one of the hardest things I did this year. But the encouragement that FIPCO staff, my fellow committee members, and my coworkers showed me, made it in the end one of the easier things I’ve done.
As a banker, and as a leader, what is the most important lesson that you have learned?
That with the right people around you, anything can be accomplished. Regulations and HMDA will always be the death of me, but as long as I have a great team surrounding me, I will go on. Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. –Confucius.
Who (or what) motivates you to succeed?
Seeing my team learn and grow. If I have shared knowledge with someone and later see them share it with another, it’s the best feeling around.