As you read this quarter’s newsletter, you will notice many exciting changes going on at Heartland Trust. After 31 years leading the operations, compliance, and HR departments at Heartland, Sheryl Bernier has retired/significantly reduced her work hours and duties.
Sheryl’s departure brings changes in the form of promotions and new hires. Our team is growing, and we are bringing on experienced and knowledgeable people who share the qualities and values that we hold up as important. And while not seeing Sheryl every day will be a hard change, we are grateful. Grateful for her three decades of leadership. Grateful that our other team members are growing with their careers. Grateful that we can bring in other experienced professionals who want to grow with Heartland.
Spring is a wonderful time of year.
Snow melts, flowers bloom, docks, and boats are placed in the water. This is the time of year when we see the cold bareness of winter transition into the long warm days of summer. With the season come key moments that signal the end of winter: tax season, golf course openings, trees budding.
For all of us, spring confirms that winter doesn’t last forever. As dreary March stretches into light-filled May, we find new hope, new growth. We receive this confirmation when we have to buy our kids new soccer shoes, or suffer aches and pains from hitting golf balls, or see farmers in the fields.
After the year we’ve been through, it is comforting to recognize the growth process is alive and well. No matter how cold the winter is, spring comes. This time of year, that’s confirmation of new opportunities and growth for us all.
We have all been confronted with challenges over the past 10 months.
Whether we needed to find a new way to complete a familiar task or wrestled internally with some difficult questions, this pandemic has affected all aspects of our lives.
In response, we’ve had little choice but to move onward.
While finding a way forward can be uncomfortable, it’s actually a good thing. Challenges promote growth. When we face obstacles, we learn how to be more efficient and prioritize what’s important to us. We’re forced to recognize and cherish the small things in life.
As we turn the page to a new year, I celebrate the ways the team at Heartland Trust has moved forward with confidence and purpose. I’m proud of everything we’ve accomplished professionally and personally in a year where nothing was expected. Even as the world changed around us, we hung on to the values that mean so much to us and you.
I’m proud of the challenges we’ve faced and look forward to seeing how we continue to grow. Onward!
We’re Celebrating 30 Years!
As a company dedicated to serving our clients and community, we are proud to be celebrating our 30th year of business.
Looking back, we are grateful for the strong foundation Steve laid down and Sheryl Bernier helped carry out. When Gary Hanson and Neil Jordheim joined, business development started to really take off. These four, along with Denise Lies, set the tone for how Heartland Trust Company was going to succeed. Their dedication to building trustworthy relationships, being transparent about business practices, and providing excellent service is a model that lives on. It’s a great way to go about life. Not only do we want our clients to sleep well at night, we want to sleep well at night knowing that we are doing business and life in an honest, genuine manner.
Today, Heartland Trust has 22 employees who have a combined 425 years of experience in the financial industry. Over the years, some faces have changed and more bodies have been needed, but many things have stayed the same.
There are many great quotes out there that are relevant right now, but it’s a lyric from Bob Dylan’s song, Brownsville Girl (a B-side track from the 80’s) that is in my mind: “Strange how people who suffer together have stronger connections than people who are most content.”
Yes, the times they are a-changin’ in many different ways, and it is easy to feel alone or isolated as we all do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. But remember . . . our families, businesses, communities, states, and countries are all in this together. We have all been forced to look at things from a different angle. Ultimately, it is making us stronger and pushing us forward so that we can be more resilient in the future.
Is Being Vulnerable a Weakness
By Brian Halverson, President
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is a hot topic in today’s business world, and rightfully so. It is your ability to express and control your own emotions and also your ability to understand and interpret other people’s emotions. Why is this so important, you may ask? Just watch an episode of The Bachelor or Bachelorette. Many of our own problems we bring onto ourselves.
As humans, it is impossible to get every decision just right or have the proper reaction to everything. It’s hard work balancing a sick kid, getting everyone out the door in the morning and on time, dealing with a flat tire, meeting deadlines, dealing with health issues, etc. This is where having the ability to be vulnerable is so important. If you are aware you made a poor decision or said something out of line in a meeting, recognize that and have the courage to admit it. It’s far better for your team at work or your family if you address it, put it behind you, and move on. If you don’t, it will linger on and not only affect your performance but those around you.
At the end of the day, we all want to be happy and that starts with ourselves. In my mind, being vulnerable is not about winning or losing, it’s about showing strong character.
Be Present; Be Great
After my grandmother’s funeral in early August, the message from Pastor Corey Bjertness stuck with
me: “Achieving meaningful greatness comes from having good character and consistently being
present.” In our family life, meaningful greatness is not achieved by working long hours so your kids can
have the fanciest toys or electronics. In our work life, it’s not achieved through a grand marketing plan
or a single transaction.
Meaningful greatness is achieved by consistently being present.
When it comes to family, there are things we don’t want to miss: T-ball games, summer vacations, piano
recitals, and more. There are also those small moments you don’t realize you miss.
Prepare and Enjoy
Before the start of every Concordia football game, Coach Terry Horan quotes Joshua 1:9: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
As we move through life, there are defining moments that we can prepare for and some we cannot. Moments that make us happy, sad, mad, proud, and a myriad of other emotions. Something as memorable as a summer weekend when we play the best golf game of our life with a great group of friends, or the exhaustion and uncertainty from a long health battle. These experiences shape our outlook on life, the stories we tell our kids, and how we plan for tomorrow.
In our line of work, we understand what people are going through because we experience the same things. Whether something is expected or unexpected, prepare for it and embrace those you trust to help you get through it.
What Coach Horan was impressing on the Cobbers before taking the field is that we have prepared for today. Not just in the days and weeks leading up to the game, but the months and years as well, whether we knew it or not. Every experience has shaped us, no matter how large or small. Get out there and enjoy the moment. We have a game plan, but also be prepared for the unexpected to arise for us to overcome. Be confident and strong and remember that someone will always have your back to help you through the hard times and enjoy the good times.
Trusts Built Trust
Next year – 2020 – will mark 30 years that Heartland Trust Company has served our community.
As you might know, we started our business by managing trusts, serving as trustee for the benefit of our clients and their beneficiaries. And over the decades, these trusts led to your trust – and our growth.
Today, we still do trusts, but our largest group of account types includes IRAs and investment accounts. We also set up and manage 401(k) plans for businesses.
Patience Is a Virtue
Everyone has heard the saying “good things come to those who wait” or maybe you’ve heard of the marshmallow test given to children. Likewise, delayed gratification is a major part of investing. Chasing an asset class that just had a winning period or selling one that experienced a losing streak can wreak havoc on a portfolio.
The current volatility in the stock markets reminds me the value of having a game plan and sticking to it. No asset will go up forever; almost everything is cyclical. If you are patient and stick it out, however, odds are the outcome will be positive. If you go back 10 years ago, the unpredictable asset class was housing and, eventually, the entire stock market. About 20 years ago it was the technology sector. At those points in time, if you got out at the bottom and didn’t get back in in a timely fashion, you may still be feeling the effects.