“I was 17 years old, looking for a job, and Great Midwest Bank was the first place I walked in to,” she says. “It was the first full-time job I ever applied to.”
She started as a cashier at GMB’s first location, at 432 E. Wells in downtown, not knowing what it was a cashier did. She worked as a teller, loan secretary and loan officer — even filled in working relays for the phone switchboard — before working her way up the ladder to become the highest ranking woman at the bank. Today, Sue is assistant vice president residential lending & regional manager, based at the newly renovated Greendale location.
June 11, 2013 will mark her 40th year of service. That’s 40 years of fielding phone calls, answering e-mails and servicing multiple generations of customers. She has yet to make the leap to Twitter. “I don’t know Twitter, but I hope to meet him one day,” she jokes.
Sue is the first to say that her longevity isn’t a unique story at Great Midwest Bank. “My story is one of many,” she says. “It’s been great.
“It’s a fun business to be in. I took care of the grandparents, the parents and now I’m helping the kids get mortgages and refinance their homes. And it has been great working for a company as fair and giving as (GMB) has been.”
In an age where Big Banks are quicker to pass along a 1-800 number than answer a question, one can see why Sue has had success: She’s equal parts knowledgeable counselor and affable confidant — she embodies community spirit, and has the stories to prove it.
In 1990, Berg Roedel was on a neighborhood stroll with her then-2-year-old son when she came upon a man sitting on a bulldozer, overlooking an empty lot. The man stopped her. “How do you like the neighborhood?” he called out. “We love it,” she answered. The man bought the lot, did a construction loan with Sue, and recently refinanced that same home with Sue for the fourth time.
That’s community banking.
When she’s not helping others, Sue enjoys traveling and spend time with her sons Chris, Jeff and Andy. Today, she and her husband are empty-nesters. No immediate plans for retirement, but if she ever does, she’ll have generations of great stories to look back on. And she still sometimes finds herself back where she began — at 432 E. Wells.
“Today, it’s Louise’s (cafe),” she says. “Sometimes I go back and have lunch in the booth where my desk used to be.”
Check out Sue’s website here, and give her a call at (414) 421-1066 if you’re in the market to buy, build or refinance!
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