Marie Jacobsen works remotely for Marine Credit Union (MCU) from Bangor, Wisconsin as an Outbound Consumer Loan Officer. She explained that in her position she does “outreach” in that she sees “financial opportunities” to help members when viewing their portfolios. Doing so, she is able to “help them see things they might not see and bring light to opportunities” for MCU members.
Marie explained that her move to Bangor was her 23rd move in her life. She was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, but being a daughter of a nuclear physicist, Marie explained that they moved often. Her dad, she said, “decommissioned nuclear power plants” so when there was a national disaster her father would be a part of an emergency response team. A highly notable time was in 2011, when her father was part of an emergency response team that saved Fukushima, Japan from nuclear disaster.
She explained that after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami her father was called to decommission the nuclear reactor after radiological levels in California became affected. “Nuclear power plants are near bodies of water,” Marie explained. This caused an “emptying of radioactive materials into the ocean. The exposure was just above poisoning level.” She explained that her dad and three other engineers came up with engineering as quickly as possible and that they saved Japan.
At the time, Marie shared she had just turned 21. What was it like having a dad who saved the world from nuclear destruction? “He wore a necklace with a radiological detector. It was always red,” Marie remembered. “There were videos of him in hazmat suits. That was my dad. Any time there was a disaster.” There were times, she shared, that she didn’t see her dad for a year. “As I got older, it became normal.”
“My dad is the most humble, non-suspecting person you could ever meet. It’s one of the things I love the best about my dad,” Marie shared. “He’s a hakuna matata (Swahili for there are no troubles) guy.”
Did Marie realize how important her dad’s work was? “Kids didn’t believe me,” she replied. “We moved a lot, so I was the new kid a lot.” Marie explained that no one but the teachers believed her stories about her dad. “I got picked on for it. As a kid it was a weird topic. Sometimes I didn’t like what he did.”
But Marie shared that her appreciation grew as she got older. That said, she also shared that he’s okay but that her dad’s health has declined faster than the average person. “I’ve watched him become tired,” she said. Her father was passionate about his work though. “Who does that,” Marie continued, “unless you really care. My dad was big into conservation efforts.”
She explained that her father left a career in forestry when he started working in nuclear power. She said that it was during a time when nuclear power started becoming more popular in the U.S. and, she added, “he was looking for a new opportunity. He stuck with it.”
“I can remember before 9/11,” Marie continued. “It was ‘bring your kids to work day.’ I got to put a suit on and see what it was like.” She said it was a big deal for a nine-year-old … like a “Men in Black” experience.
Marie has had a few other experiences she shared as well. After graduating from high school in Marysville, OH she moved back to an area in the state of Washington where she said was her favorite place they had lived when she was a child. She attended Columbia Basin College where she earned a degree in applied arts and science. Her long-term goal was to work with special needs children.
But after the university where she intended to study dropped the endorsement for working with special needs kids, Marie moved back to Tennessee, fell in love and married. “We were young lovers,” she said and after five years, she had an amicable divorce. “We were young. It wasn’t what we wanted,” she explained. Soon after Marie moved to Florida and became a realtor where she was nominated for “rookie of the year.” She explained that even though she became successful in her career, her life didn’t feel balanced, so she returned to Ohio.
When in Ohio, she worked for a pawn brokering company and later, after coming to the La Crosse Wisconsin area, Marie worked in a firearm sporting good store. “I was the first female to work there in 30 years,” she shared and laughed. And that is where Marie met her finance, Zach who proposed just a few days before Marie’s Heart of MCU interview. Their first date was on Thanksgiving. “He made me tacos,” she shared and laughed.
Marie was hired at MCU August 15, 2022, as a temp-to-hire and by Aug 30 was hired on full time. “The support here has been amazing. I have never met more supportive people … ever. I feel very connected to them.” Marie said she also loved knowing she has been able to help people in her work at MCU. “I really like educating members,” she said.
Outside of work, Marie and Zach enjoy their cabin in the country. Marie also enjoys her yearly trips to Florida to dive for scallops. “I love water and was a competitive swimmer,” Marie explained. “When I was in real estate, they started me on diving. Even though I’m no longer an agent, I am the mermaid of the group,” she shared and laughed again.