Amy Bryant lives in Warrens, Wisconsin but grew up in Whitefish, Montana near Glacier National Park. She said it was as “heavenly” as it sounds. “I’m thankful I was raised there before it was discovered. It’s all tourists now,” Amy shared. “I’m thankful my father and my aunt gave me and my sister the opportunity to be raised there. My roots will always be there.”
But life isn’t always as beautiful as the world we live in. “Life,” Amy shared, “hasn’t always given me the best hand.” Amy’s mother passed when she was not even two years old and Amy had other challenges as well. The turning point for Amy was at her lowest time and her sister asked her “How do you eat an elephant?” Amy replied, “I don’t know. I don’t even have a fork or a knife. I don’t know.” Her sister replied, “One bite at a time.”
“And that was it,” Amy continued. “It hit me so hard. I even have it tattooed on my shoulder. ‘How do you eat an elephant?’” Amy said she learned to handle one thing at a time when there are hurdles to overcome and obstacles to get past. “One bite at time,” she said again. “This calms me and keeps me feeling grounded. How do you get over things? How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. It’s all you can do.”
In eighth grade, Amy moved from Montana to Fargo and later to Tomah, Wisconsin where her father and her grandmother lived. She graduated from Tomah High School and later worked at the Walmart Distribution Center. After a while, she transferred to the retail end.
“Retail wasn’t for me,” she explained. In 2012 she started working for a payday loan company in Tomah, and in early 2020 a friend reached out to her and told her she would “love” working at Marine Credit Union (MCU). “You would do amazing,” her friend told her. But it wasn’t until 2021 that Amy finally applied for a position, because, she explained she was in a senior level position and grown comfortable where she was at the time. After applying, though, Amy shared that she was offered a position at MCU within two weeks. “It was everything I was told it would be … and then some,” Amy continued. Because of her life experiences, Amy said she had learned to be a compassionate person and that aligned with MCU’s values.
“At 7:40-ish, I set up and I clock in at 8 a.m. It comes in waves. Some days are so busy, it flies by,” she explained. “On slow days I ask others if they need help. It’s a nice balance of busy and not busy,” she said of her responsibilities as a consumer loan officer.
Amy explained that there is “a lot more collaboration and compassion” at MCU than at her former employer. “It’s nice we have the compassion. We don’t just look at a score,” she said. “Life happens. We know that. And we want to get your story.”
When working with members, Amy knows that “life happens.” She said, “Compassion definitely comes out because I’ve been there/done that. I’ve been there because I wasn’t always dealt the best hand. You have to have compassion.”
“It’s ground-breaking,” she continued. “Banking is cut and dry. With MCU, it’s more … more than a yes or a no.” Amy said she knows she has helped people even being asked to dinner by members who she has been able to help. “You don’t get that hometown personal care from many places,” she said. “It makes my heart happy. I change people’s lives. You can’t say that often … not in the financial industry.”
Although she was given challenges in her life, Amy said she is doing good now. Her and her “fantastic boyfriend” Zeke enjoy hunting and ice fishing together. Along with their three cats (Fuzzy, Henry and Eleanor), they recently welcomed a new puppy into their family, a plott hound named Karen. “She really is a Karen,” Amy shared laughing.
“I hope that I’m doing good,” Amy added … “doing good with our mission. I have a lot of compassion.” There are times, she said, when talking to members that “my allergies start acting up (her eyes well up). I know I’m in the right company with MCU.”