Employee profile: Teresa KingPublished by emzabinski on Mon, 2013-10-28 09:45
“I’ve been everywhere,” explained Teresa King when asked where she grew up. She was born in Mounds View, Minnesota, and moved to Grand Rapids with her family as a youngster. After her parents divorced, she spent time back in the Twin Cities before returning to Grand Rapids, where she graduated from high school.
Teresa experienced the same childhood issues that nearly everyone with siblings deals with. “I’m the youngest of three girls,” she explained.
“When we played Monopoly, my older sisters would give me two $10 bills instead of two $100s when I passed ‘Go.’ Being the youngest, all I knew was that I got two yellow bills every time I passed ‘Go.’ I would get so mad every time I played with them because I would go broke and they would just laugh at me. Maybe that's why I took accounting in college and now work with numbers today. Today, my sisters and I still enjoy getting together and playing games."
Teresa worked as a bookkeeper for the Golden Steer restaurant in Grand Rapids, formerly known as Bonanza Steakhouse and then Country Buffet. She was hired at Itasca State Bank but had her eye on a job at GRSB.
“I called Craig Wilcox every week to see if GRSB was in a hiring mode,” Teresa noted, “and he got to know my voice. My persistence paid off, because after one of the weekly calls he replied, ‘Well, we have a lot of pregnant people around here, and I think we’ll need to hire someone.’”
Teresa was hired as a bookkeeper in 1986 and in 2002 was appointed the department manager. During her years in the department, the name of the function was changed from ‘bookkeeping’ to ‘customer support services’ to ‘operations support.’ One thing didn’t change, however: Teresa’s desk location is only 10 feet from where she started 27 years ago.
“Our offices are in the lower level—some might say basement—of the main bank building,” explained Teresa. “I don’t mind working in this location, and I enjoy the work I do.
“In particular, I enjoy the people I work with, the customers and my coworkers,” she continued. “I am one of four people in the Operations Support department, and I feel like a coworker and not the boss.
“Over the years, my job has changed along with the name of the department,” Teresa noted. “I spend more time on staff issues and procedural changes than I did years ago.”
Teresa doesn’t claim to have a lot of hobbies. “Being a single parent and taking care of a house on my own are hobbies enough for me,” she said. She enjoys being a passenger in her boyfriend Steve Chandler’s 1947 Stinson float plane and fishing in Canada. Steve has also coaxed her back into the hobby of snowmobiling.
Snowmobiling was once a very important part of Teresa’s life. “I was married on a snowmobile on Pokegama Lake,” she said. “My husband was into snowmobile racing and our circle of friends was formed around snowmobiling. After my divorce I figured all of that was behind me.”
Teresa thought she was too old to have her body "beaten up" on the snowmobile trails each weekend, but she is getting back into the sport with her friend, Steve. “He operates those machines a little slower, and it suits me.”
Teresa’s passion remains her daughter, Lacey. During her high school years, Lacey was involved in dance, skating, dance competitions, and cheerleading. “She kept busy, and so did I,” said Teresa. Lacey is now a third-year student studying elementary education at Bemidji State University.
“I am so much different than what I used to be,” said Teresa. “After my husband and I separated, my friends and fun changed. My work has been a constant, and so has the commitment to my daughter.”
Left: Teresa and her daughter, Lacey; right: Teresa and Steve Chandler.