In her first credit union job, Val Mindak worked in almost every area of the organization. This paved the way for a career in the movement and sparked Mindak’s passion for community involvement.
Today, the president/CEO of $275 million asset Park City Credit Union in Merrill, Wis., says her extensive credit union experience shaped her leadership style. Since Mindak became CEO in 2009, Park City has seen overall growth of more than $200 million in assets.
“I consider myself a transformational leader,” says Mindak. “I encourage my teams to take ownership of our growth and success. My priority is to foster a positive culture where staff want to drive our mission and vision forward.”
In an employee survey, 96% of team members reported feeling connected to the organization, noting a link between their work and Park City’s mission. “My goal is to foster that connection and share how they contribute to our success,” she says. “If we lift each other up, we’re going to provide better service to our member-owners.”
The credit union also drives its mission through the Park City Cares program, which encourages employees to participate in “random acts of kindness” and community service. In 2020, staff completed more than 150 acts of kindness and more than 1,200 collective community service hours in all 10 counties Park City serves.
“We rake lawns, paint houses, and deliver food,” says Mindak. “We even have teams at grocery stores on rainy days to carry umbrellas for shoppers and load groceries.
“What makes us different in our markets is how and where we show up,” she continues. “People in the community praise us and help drive our brand because of the great experiences they’ve had with us.”
Mindak has participated in rotary clubs, chambers of commerce, a hospital board of directors, and redevelopment authorities. “Being visible as a local leader is important,” she says. “It’s an opportunity to understand what’s going on in our communities and align staff to help with social causes.”
Most recently, Mindak formed a leadership council for women in northern Wisconsin to advance entrepreneurship and provide networking and learning opportunities. “This is especially critical as we consider the pandemic and the future of business.”
Advocacy is another passion for Mindak, who serves as chair for the Wisconsin Credit Union League. “My role is to bring value to Wisconsin credit unions,” she says. “We partner with credit unions statewide to speak with one voice.”
Emphasizing the credit union difference is key to helping lawmakers understand the movement’s value. “It’s essential to show how we help residents, small businesses, and communities,” Mindak says.
She also serves on the regional community development council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, bringing the perspective of northern Wisconsin to discussions about compliance, regulation, and policy.
In June 2019, the Wisconsin Legislature awarded Mindak with a special citation for her advocacy work at the state and federal levels. Mindak credits her collaborative approach as a guiding principle for advocacy success.
“Effective leadership means moving people toward a common vision,” she says. “We can contribute so much more when we work together.”