Employee profile: Jolene Bergman

Jolene Bergman

As a youngster growing up in Taconite, Jolene Bergman used to play “bank.”  She and her friends would cut out strips of paper, create their own currency, and then—tying a string to an old-school thermos with a screw top—create a homemade pneumatic tube canister to move their play money from their play cars to the play bank.

“I loved that game,” explained Jolene, “and I always wanted to work at a bank.  I am so lucky because now I get to do that in real life.”

This banker-to-be was hired at Grand Rapids State Bank in October 2012 as a teller.  Six weeks later she volunteered to fill some of the open shifts at the west concierge desk in the main bank in addition to her teller duties.  On May 30, seven months after being hired, Jolene transferred to the Operations Support department.

“I always liked numbers, and when I had the chance to attend college I split my first year being undecided about majoring in graphic arts or accounting,” said Jolene.  “I ended up moving from the Twin Cities to Duluth and then on to Grand Rapids, so I didn’t have the chance to complete a degree, but I really enjoyed working with numbers as well as art.”

Jolene Troumbly Bergman graduated fourth in her class at Greenway High School.  She participated in track, figure skating and worked as the student manager of the girls’ hockey team. 

“I believe I can get a lot of places with hard work,” said Jolene.  “I am a single mom now, and I enjoy being part of my four-and-a-half year old daughter, Nola’s, life.  I’ve made choices in my life to be fully available to her as much as I can be.”

Jolene appreciates the support her family has given to her, just as her grandparents were supportive of her parents and her when she was growing up.  “I’m lucky to have my parents here to help me with Nola,” Jolene added.  “They are an active part of her life, and they help a lot.”

The Troumbly family and the community of Taconite are almost interchangeable.  Jolene explained that everyone is family, even if they’re not related.  “When you see someone, you probably know them,” said Jolene.  “In times of tragedy, the whole town comes together.  You don’t have to say anything; it’s understood because that’s what family is all about.  Growing up, from age 6 to 16, we all played together, and everyone was a big brother or sister to the younger kids.”

Jolene equates the family atmosphere of her home town with the family feeling she has already experienced at Grand Rapids State Bank.

“I was honored and surprised to be selected for the opening in the Operations Support department,” said Jolene.  “It feels like a good direction for me as I move up in this bank.  I really get the feeling that people want to help.  Heather (Swanson), the teller manager, has been there for me on numerous occasions, and this really feels like family.  I have felt encouraged and supported, and it gives me the confidence to try new things.”

For someone whose favorite off-work activities are drinking coffee and goofing around with friends, work is an outlet for a lot of creative energy.  

“I have had two jobs dealing with things that are precious to people: their kids and their money,” said Jolene.  “Whether I was working as a child care aide or as a teller, I try to make people feel at ease knowing their precious assets are in good hands.  It’s the way I was raised.”

      troumbly family        run or dye

From left: Jolene and Nola; Jolene and her parents, Darlene & Felix Troumbly; Jolene and friends participated in the "Dye or Run" event in Minneapolis in early May ("my clothes are still 'dyed'")

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