Jeff Jorgensen

A Message to the Voter:

Hey, thanks for the click!  So you are curious about who I am and what makes me tick?   Great, let me try to fill in some of the blanks missing from a boring ole traditional résumé!

I am nearly a lifetime resident of South Dakota, most of my years living in Sioux Falls.  It is a town of nearly 175,000 people in the southeast corner of the state, very near Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska.  My roots are deep here as my parents grew up on farms only 75 miles away and I attended all my formal educational  training (grade school – college)here too.

Every summer as a kid was spent at my Grandparent’s farm, playing when younger, and then working as I matured.  It would have not been too hard for me to have followed a career as a farmer, but the lure of the financial system was too hard to ignore.

My aptitude for money and accounting and math and all things financial was evident early in my life.  I remember double checking the waitress’s calculations on our family’s bills before there were cash registers.  The best part was I would often catch them making mistakes!  My parents loved that!

My first job in the formal financial world was in 1982 when I worked at a local family owned bank while I put myself through college.  Because this bank was run in a manner very closely to a Credit Union, (the family owners truly cared for their customers) it was a relatively easy transition to move to a Credit Union for the first time in 1985.

Loan Officer was my first title as a Credit Union employee, but as many of us know, that meant little.  I was also the collector and the person who cleaned the office, the bathrooms, shoveled the sidewalks, got the mail, fixed anything broken, painted the offices, etc.  You just did what needed to be done, without question!

After nearly 6 years at this Credit Union (now called Highmark FCU in Rapid City, SD), I moved East across our state and began my stint at Sioux Empire FCU in 1990, where I am still employed today.  My official title was Accounting Supervisor, but once again I was drawn into doing everything.  I even recall carrying in and setting up the first PC we ever had at our Credit Union, along with the Okidata dot matrix printer!

Upon the untimely death of our President/CEO in December 1991, the Board hired me as the President/CEO in January 1992.  I still hold this position today.  At that time, we were a multi-SEG Credit Union that had ~$9.8 million in assets, 5 employees, ~3,500 members and only one small rented location.  Today we are a community-chartered Credit Union that has ~$115 million in assets, 60 employees (including ~20 in our mortgage origination CUSO, CU Mortgage Direct, LLC), ~10,500 members and 3 separate locations.

Our affiliation with CU*Answers started in 2005 when we converted from USERS, Inc.  It was not until December 2009 that I was given the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors.  My involvement came in the form of an appointment to fulfill the unexpired term of Joni Shinn.   I was elected to my first full three year term in 2010.

My participation with this Board has been consistent and persistent.  I believe I have an obligation and a duty to attend every single meeting, plus come prepared, both physically and mentally, to engage in activities and dialogue that sort out our opportunities and challenges.  The time required to meet these obligations is sometimes daunting, but I have found it to be rewarding, both professionally and personally.

It is difficult to separate all the pieces of this job; my personal agenda, my Credit Union’s agenda, my fiduciary duty as a CU*Answers Board member, our customer-owner’s agenda, and not to mention the regulator’s agenda.  I do this to the best of my ability and with the incredible support and direction of the other six Board members and our talented Management Team; I believe I do this very well.

Personally speaking, my wife and I met in college, she in the Nursing program while I was in the Business program.  We married in 1985, and in April of this year, we celebrated our 34th year together.

We have two children, both married; a daughter, 33, and a son, 29.  Our daughter and her husband live nearby, which works great for me so I can see my grandchildren (Liam ~7 yrs., Amelia ~3 yrs, and Elias ~18 mos.) anytime I want!  My son & his wife are missionaries living in Haiti, so we only see them a couple times a year.

I would love to have the opportunity to continue in my role as a volunteer.  Please cast your vote to allow me to serve our CUSO as a Board member for another 3 year term.  Thank you in advance for your support and thank you for acting upon your curiosity about who I am!

If you desire to learn more about me, feel free to contact me directly!