Employee profile: Tanya Finken


Tanya Finken

Tanya Finken grew up in the Shallow Lake/Warba area about 15 miles east of Grand Rapids.  Tanya explains that, like everyone else from that part of Itasca County, she learned to appreciate hunting and fishing at an early age.

“My brother and I grew up on Shallow Lake, and there were fewer than half the number of houses there are now on that lake,” she said.  “I know how to bait a hook and shoot a deer, but so does everyone else who lived there. I am very much an outdoors person; it’s in my blood.”

Tanya is an extrovert: she loves people.  She also loves working in the banking world, something she didn’t know until given an opportunity at an area restaurant.

“I worked at Madden’s Dutch Room after I graduated from Grand Rapids High School,” Tanya said.  “I was a waitress and bartender, but as Denny and Anita got to know me better, they would give me more responsibility.  When they took vacations or were away for weekends, I was asked to handle the money, including making deposits and doing some of the bookkeeping.  I learned that I really liked that work.”

Tanya found an opportunity to do that work at Lakes Area Credit Union, formerly known as the Blandin Credit Union.  She was hired as a teller, and five years later moved into a loan processing role.  In short order she was appointed a loan officer, then loan supervisor and finally given responsibility for mortgage lending, business lending and collections.

“I grew into a variety of positions during my time at Lakes Area Credit Union,” Tanya added.  “I learned from the ground up, and I have a good understanding of the broad role of banking.”

Tanya took time from her career to be a mother, but when the opportunity to work at Grand Rapids State Bank became available, she jumped at the chance.

“GRSB is known as a good place to work,” said Tanya.  “I didn’t mind being hired as a teller because it is a way to remain in the banking industry.  I understand I have to start at the entry-level role to work my way through the organization, and I am all about that. 

“I see some of my former customers from the credit union who bank here, and they ask me what I’m doing here,” said Tanya.  “I tell them I’m here now and that we appreciate their business, and that’s the attitude I take with everyone.  It’s encouraging to see that I developed a bit of a following.” 

Tanya’s active life isn’t confined to banking and the outdoors.  She has volunteered for the March of Dimes for the seven years, and she has had a couple of roles in the Bethel Church in her neighborhood. 

“I help with Sunday school and do some of the readings at church,” Tanya explained.  “Doing the reading gave me a lot of confidence in my professional career, too.

“I participated in the Grand Rapids Chamber Business Networking, which was a great opportunity.  I really opened up and learned not to be nervous in front of a group, and my reading at church helped me.”

Tanya was hired as a teller on March 19, and she’s already looking forward to developing new customer relationships at GRSB.  “This is the work I love,” Tanya added, “and working in a bank is a great job for a people person like me.”

Finken family

John, Tanya and Jerica Finken

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