Mikkelson a friend seniors can bank on
2014 Women of Distinction - Banking and Finance
When Flo Mikkelson goes to work, she combines the interests of her employer, the interests of her customers and knowledge of her community to create a special blend of service that makes her one of a kind.
Mikkelson, 82, is being honored as a 2014 Woman of Distinction for her work in banking. For the past five years, she’s served at Guaranty Bank in Greeley as assistant vice president and Guaranty 50 Club coordinator, where she specializes in helping customers aged 50 and older.
“She has brought a remarkable energy that’s positive and caring, energetic and vibrant when working with her group of seniors,” said Mike Bond, Greeley market president for Guaranty Bank.
In addition to the traditional services offered to bank customers, such as free checking or account perks, Guaranty 50 Club members receive a monthly newsletter and access to special trips and community events. Over the years, Mikkelson has organized everything from bus tours exploring Colorado history, viewing fall colors or gambling in the Colorado casinos to cultural events at places such as Greeley’s Union Colony Civic Center. She and her senior customers flew to Dallas last year to see the Broncos play and plan to bus to Sana Fe, N.M., later this summer.
Mikkelson came to banking more than 30 years ago, after a career in a different field, with a belief in helping people as they age. Customers 50 and older make up Guaranty Bank’s “core depositors,” Mikkelson said, and as such they deserve a little extra.
“It’s something special for our people,” she said.
Guaranty Bank is a Colorado corporation with 28 branches along the Front Range. It serves more than 4,500 Guaranty 50 Club members.
The work she does draws new clients to the bank, but the best part of her job is helping people stay connected, she said. Her clients have a zest for life, but often bump into the limitations that come with age, such as decreased mobility or the loss of a spouse, she said. Mikkelson’s work offers them opportunities to engage with the world in a fresh way.
“People say, ‘I used to do those things by myself, but now I’d like to just get on the bus and let the driver handle the traffic and enjoy the ride’,” she said.
Mikkelson stays connected with her community through volunteer service with a variety of Greeley-based nonprofits and city organizations. She also is a wife, mother and grandmother.
Many of her clients try things through her program they wouldn’t have otherwise done, she said. It’s something that keeps her coming to work each day.
“I’m sure other people could do this work, too,” she said, “but the commitment has been there to drive me to stay with it all these years.”
While some people settle into routine as they age, Mikkelson keeps expanding her comfort zone, Bond said.
“She is very hungry to learn,” he said. “I admire that in anybody, much less someone who has maintained it well into her 80s.”