Listening to Melissa Hagen discuss the people of Mohall, whether her fellow staff or others within her community, explains why she has spent the last decade serving the people of Renville County. Originally referred by a Dakota West employee when there was a branch opening for a part time Member Service Representative, Melissa is now a seasoned loan officer and embraces her career.
“I encourage them and lift them up,” she says of those she serves. “I know the birthdays of our members and when their loved ones are ill. I’ve brought them lunches out in the field. Anywhere I go I’m always working. I can’t go to the store in my sweats.”
Melissa builds trusting relationships with our members and our staff in the small community of Mohall. She admits her coworkers at Dakota West know her better than some of her extended family. “They are my emergency contacts. I spend fifty hours a week with them. They encourage me and have seen me grow.”
Growing doesn’t begin to describe the changes Melissa has seen over her past decade with Dakota West. “When I first started, corn prices were unreal. I have seen where people have had to start thinking about their everyday lives and be accountable for their decisions.” Dakota West values the commitment our members make with us, and Melissa exemplifies that process in the communication she shares with our members.
“Conversations about loans can be turned into a learning experience. I want our members to know what they are getting into. We discuss whether a purchase is a want or a need and why they are asking for it. I like to have the conversation. We are dealing with large numbers on big farms.”
During her time with Dakota West, Melissa has also gotten to see her own family grow. With two little ones, ages two and four, she is living her example of keeping each day family focused and enjoys community activities together. She even plants the idea of savings with her oldest. “Pennies go to work with Mommy.”
Melissa clearly values the relationships that she has grown from the loans she services. Members who are considering a new loan, whether for the farm, for a new vehicle, your business, or to take the steps to home ownership, can find the values Melissa and all our loan officer share at one of our eight branches throughout western North Dakota.