For the last 40 years, Mindee Kohlman has been an active and influential member of the Credit Union movement in the Dakotas. She is highly respected by her peers and knows all operational aspects and interworking of the credit union since she worked herself up from a part-time teller to now the President and CEO of Aspire Community Federal Credit Union.
Her accomplishments have not gone unnoticed by those in the industry. During the Annual Summit Awards Banquet on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, in Fargo, the Dakota Credit Union Association announced Mindee Kohlman as the Dakota Credit Union Association 2023 Hall of Fame Inductee.
“Mindee Kohlman is a true servant leader who has a long history of supporting her credit union team and the credit union industry, both locally and nationally,” said Jeff Olson, President/CEO of the Dakota Credit Union Association. “During her years of service, she has led by example, demonstrating her commitment to her organization and to her community with a rare combination of professionalism and care. She had led with grace and dignity, and is well deserving of this lifetime achievement honor,” he added.
“I never thought I would be a Hall of Famer,” shared Kohlman. “Throughout my years in the credit union movement, I was focused on building a great team, and on finding ways to say yes to support our members. This honor humbles me, and it was a wonderful surprise.”
Kohlman is a leader who is always looking for the next program or opportunity to assist a member in their financial journey. Focused on collaboration, and forward-thinking, she’s a natural leader who holds her team up. She is supportive of the league, and its goals as a stakeholder in Washington DC. She shares that information with her team, so everyone can remain in the know about the current happening and what the legislation would mean for a member.
Throughout the years, Kohlman has embodied what credit unions stand for by embracing the people helping people philosophy. She does many activities to help people learn about credit unions and their benefits and is an active member of the local chapter. She has gone into classrooms to educate the communities youth about credit unions and how we are different. She has served in leadership roles on committees actively promoting chapter-wide events and activities over the decades of service.
As our director, she has led the way to increase our community involvement. In 2022 we noted over 923 hours of community service with a 96% staff participation rate. During 2022, Kohlman volunteered in several ways, too. She delivered our senior community members hot meals via the Meals on Wheels program. She has assisted with the enrichment of the cats and dogs at the Souris Valley Animal Shelter. She coordinates the packing of over 350 bags of food for local area children at risk of food insecurity with the Souris Valley United Way Backpack Buddies program. In May she completed another year of Junior Achievement teaching an elementary class (a Minot Chamber EDC program). She has volunteered her time at the Norsk Hostfest, the BurliMot half Marathon, and the Roosevelt Park Zoo. She is also heavily involved with LeeWok, a festival dear to her heart.
Her volunteerism has truly been a bonus to how she has impacted the credit union industry and the greater Minot community. Throughout the last 4 decades, she has sat on many boards, and committees creating positive impact in many sectors. The bulleted highlights below are an example of a handful of her involvement and achievements.
- Has attended NYIB (Now the Credit Union Financial Education Network)
- Selected alternate representative of the year for the 1992-1993 FIT Representing the Chapter
- Attended the National CUNA Marketing Conference in 1993, 1994, and 1996 as the state-selected delegate.
- Midwest Corp Federal Credit Union board member a total of 12 years
- Served on the ALCO and as secretary for the Midwest Corp Federal Credit Union
- Served on the Bylaws and Supervisory committee for Midwest Corp FCU
- A chosen representative for the 1995 Family Involvement Team
- 1996- Scholarship winner for the CUNA Conference
- Serving on the Family Involvement team for several years, chaired the group from 1994-1996.
- 1996- DECA North Dakota Association Outstanding Service Award Winner
- Completed the MERIT (Management Enrichment Training Program)
- 1997 Professional of the Year for ND Credit Unions
- Previous Verendrye Electric Cooperative Advisory Board Member
- Served on the League’s Annual Meeting Committee for Credit Unions
- 1993 – Jeans for Penguins, Souris Valley Credit Union Chapter organizer
- 1999 she was reelected to the ND credit union board of directors for a 3-year term
- Arnold Paulson Scholarship Winner in 2001
- 2002 – Women of Distinction Nominee for the YWCA
- 2003- Prairie Federal (now Aspire Credit Union) was a Dora Maxwell Award Winner
- 2004 Completed the CUCE (Credit Union Certified Executive) program through CUNA
- Selected Chairman and Alternate representative for the Special Olympics Golf Committee
- Volunteer for the Moose Lodge
- 2012 CFO Council Conference participant
- 2020 Minot Area Chamber EDC – Community Leadership Institute Graduate
- Certified Credit Union Compliance Expert
- 2022- Life Stages Financial Consultant Certificate
- Currently serves on the DAKCU Board of Healthcare Trust
There are so many things that Mindee is doing that don’t show up on paper. In the past several years, she’s continuously gone above and beyond for our membership. As a leader, she embodies what everyone would want in a boss. She leads by example and shows her team through actions how important everyone is. She’s a doer, putting in the hours often the first to arrive and the last to leave.
In February, Jason Rohrer, President of Aspire’s Board of Directors announced Kohlman’s intent to retire in May of 2023. Kohlman has been a leader with Aspire Credit Union for 35 years.