Minnco president retiring at end of month
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Isanti County News © March 16, 2016 – Steve Oien always knew he wanted a career in numbers, and that’s just what he got.
After 36 years, Oien will retire from Minnco Credit Union at the end of March, serving as president the past 25 years.
Oien worked his entire career from the Cambridge location. The community and Minnco members are invited to a retirement party in his honor from 2-6 p.m. March 23 at the Minnco Center Community Room, 236 Second Ave. SW, Cambridge.
“I received my degree in finance, and I had a friend working at the credit union in Mora when he mentioned the credit union in Cambridge was looking for
someone,” Oien said. “I was interested, so I applied for the job and I got it.”
As far as his decision to retire, Oien said, “it’s time,” and noted his wife has been retired for five years. He said he’s looking forward to spending more time with his family and grandchildren and will continue to live in the area.
I’ve worked closely with Steve for the last 13 years and I absolutely love his management approach,” said Chris Daniels, chief financial officer for Minnco Credit Union. “Steve is a man of high character and integrity and he is the type of leader that you want to follow and strive to do your very best. He is straightforward, to the point and quick to give a thoughtful answer. His management style is inclusive and he strongly believes in a team environment.”
Daniels said he enjoyed his time with Oien.
“You always know where you stand with Steve and his approach to both life and work is admirable,” Daniels said. “It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with and for Steve. He is respected by his fellow peers in the credit union industry and he is well-liked by both members and employees. Steve will be missed by all, and I’m thankful for knowing him and had the pleasure of working with him.”
Throughout his tenure, Oien has seen his share of changes. He noted when he first joined Minnco, it consisted of one 30-by-40-foot building. Now Minnco has its location at 235 W. First Ave., Cambridge, as well as branches in Cub Foods in Cambridge, Isanti, North Branch and Andover to serve its 26,000-plus members.
“I always felt that if you are not growing in the financial industry, you are dying,” Oien said. “In the financial industry, you need to continue to grow. Adding branches and growth is the biggest thing. We have seen some huge changes.”
Many contribute to the success of Minnco.
“Staff is critical to any business success, and we have a great management team here as well as a great board of directors,” Oien said. “Our staff is always the one who deals with the public and our members.”
Throughout his career, Oien saw his share of technology changes.
“When I first started, we had a dumb terminal that connected via phone to a computer in the Twin Cities area,” Oien said. “And it would always go down because of the phone lines. Nowadays, we rarely go down and our speed and transactions are a lot faster.”
It was always the community and people Oien worked with that kept him at Minnco.
“The people here are great, and this is a great community,” Oien said. “I always thought this job was interesting and it was always changing. I think this always kept me motivated.”
The Minnco board of directors is appreciative of Oien’s efforts, too.
“Steve had a good very relationship with the board and he will be sorely missed by all,” said Minnco Board Chairman Jerry Schleicher. “Minnco has come a long way with Steve as the CEO, with his professionalism and expertise. I wish him all the luck in his next adventure.”
Oien thanked the community and all of Minnco for its support.
“It has been a good job, and I would like to thank all the Minnco members, staff, board of directors and the community,” Oien said. “I thank you for your commitment to Minnco.”
Photo: Minnco Credit Union President Steve Oien will retire at the end of March after 36 years with the credit union. A retirement party will be held March 23 in his honor. Photo by Rachel Kytonen