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Highmark Federal Credit Union

Get To Know Us

 This is intended to be a fun, light-hearted way to get to know a bit about who Highmark is made up of, and what makes us unique. We hope you enjoy. We will add a few employees each week, and updating on Fridays as new team members join.
 
 

Stephanie Seitz, Operations Specialist (Rapid City)
"I am from Sturgis. I enlisted in the South Dakota National Guard after high school in 2014, and attended college in Vermillion – Go Yotes!" 
 
Kris Schmanski, HR Director (Rapid City)

Kris was born and raised on a ranch east of Rapid City that has been in her family for 4 generations.  Her great grandfather was the first pharmacist in RC and was located where Who’s Hobby House is now. Kris has been married for 31 years.  She has 4 (grown) kiddos, Andrew is a genetic counselor in Omaha, Kaz is our second son and is a software engineer in Minneapolis, and Jane is married and is an industrial engineer in Dallas. Her youngest, Sara, just graduated with her master’s in accounting and is sitting for the CPA exams.  She also has a 14 year old pup named Boomer who is half papillon and half American eskimo, as well as  3 grand pets!




Hannah Stone, Data Analyst (Rapid City)

Meet Hannah! She recently started as Highmark's first Data Analyst.

Hannah was born and raised in Rapid City but lived in the south for a few years before moving back home.  She has an accounting background and is in her last year of schooling for Accounting & Finance degree.  Hannah and her significant other, Jordan, have two dogs; both are long haired German Shepherds’ named Gunner and Walter.






Charity Bock-Goff, Market Manager(Gillette)

  • The first job I wanted as a kid? I wanted to be a doctor from as far back as I remember! I made the paper in my hometown for doing CPR on the baby dolls in preschool. I was constantly doctoring my stuffed animals and now I get to doctor my children when they are hurt or sick.
  • Favorite family vacation? My husband and 3 daughters packed up our SUV and went to Las Vegas for 10 days this summer! We made all made it alive after being stuck in the car that long together, lol! We all love hiking outdoors! Went to Mt. Charleston and stop at Zion National Park on the way back!
  • Favorite hobbies? I love spending time with my family, doing anything outdoors! Hiking, fishing, hunting, camping, etc. I love baking, my husband said it’s my goal to make him fat! I love laughing and joking around!
  • Do you collect anything? I love moose, I collect moose anything!
 
 
Deb Gray, Personal Financial Associate (Rapid City)

...was born and raised in PA in a small town with one stop light and at least 6 bars.   "After high school a friend and I decided to hit the big city of Los Angeles, look for jobs and of course live close to the beach.  This is where I met my husband Duane.  We will be celebrating our  39th wedding anniversary this year.   I am blessed with one step son Aaron, Megan, his beautiful wife of 13 years and two grandchildren, Tristen 12 and Gretchen 8.  We vacationed with my sister and her husband in the Black Hills of SD many times over the years we lived in CA and 25 years ago, made this our home. We have a 9 month old Golden Retriever named Koufax (after the greatest Dodger pitcher ever) who earned the nick name of “DOGZILLA” He is certainly spoiled and such a part of our lives, I can’t image life without a dog."




Sonni Jimenez, Universal Teller (Rapid City)
Sonni grew up in Scottsbluff, NE, where she also met her husband. They have been together for 13 years! She has two beautiful boys aged 12 and 7. She enjoys reading, watching movies, and watching her boys play sports. Mainly, she enjoys spending time with her family. So glad to have you on our team, Sonni!








Kelly McKenzie, Universal Teller (Rapid City)
Kelly grew up in Detroit Lakes, MN where she graduated from Detroit Lakes High School and then went onto Mayville State University for Business Administration and Accounting. She will be graduating Fall of 2022. She recently moved here from Utah where her husband attended flight training for helicopters. They have a dog, Lola and bunny named Funyun. They moved to the Black Hills area due to her husband’s job, and are looking forward to enjoying the nice summer days in Rapid City. Kelly likes trying new restaurants, being in the water and hiking.


 
Brandi Brockmoller, Universal Teller (Gillette)
 
Brandi was born and raised in Nebraska and moved to Gillette in 1998. She has two grown children, Colton (23) and Hannah (20), who both live in Gillette.  She has been worked in some form of finance industry for years.  Fun fact about Brandi: she has a cosmetology degree. She lives with her boyfriend, his 3 kids, two hounds (Daisy and Lola), and two DEFECTIVE hairless cats (Pearl and Luna). She love tattoos, refurbishing/flipping furniture &  making farmhouse home decor.  She recently started ice fishing and has been learning to ride motorcycle. We are excited to have Brandi's energy on the Highmark Team!


 


 
Michelle Wyckoff, Universal Teller (Rapid City)
 

I was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska and raised my kids there as well. I met my husband of 36 years at the age of 12 in youth group. I have 2 grandkids that are teens, 1 that will be a year old on the 17th and one due March 8. I also have 4 grand-dogs: A lab, a doodle, a doxie and a hound. I love to read, hunt for awesome rocks and cool looking wood, and enjoy spending time with my family.






Bethany Case, Universal Teller (Rapid City)

I’m from Nebraska! I came to South Dakota for college at Black Hills State University. My major is Tourism Hospitality and Management, and I already have my Associates in Business. I have one younger brother, who is way taller than me. I have a cat named Nacho, a hamster named Taco and another cat that lives with my parents in Nebraska named Gato! I love to go hiking whenever it’s nice out, I’m a huge nerd for video games and movies!

 
 
 
 
Ethan Gonda, Personal Financial Associate (Rapid City)

I was raised in Wichita, Kansas. I left to pursue my degree in Wyoming both in Sheridan and Laramie! I got a degree in Finance and fell in love with the outdoors, so I just couldn’t leave. I love live music, hiking, snowboarding, and sports. I will ask anyone and everyone where to camp and hike as I get familiar with the Black Hills, so be prepared! I am super excited to start this journey here at Highmark FCU!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Nick Schwan, Internal Auditor (Rapid City)
Nick enjoys hunting, hiking, and beer. His dog's name is Morgan. He says he is a pretty good cook (editor note: he is a fantastic cook and his BBQ is out of this world good!). He claims he is constantly remodeling his house which he normally enjoys (except for most recently). He also especially enjoys teasing and startling his work colleagues, in-office pranks, and specifically those focused on his friend, Aaron, Highmark's Controller. 



 
Pam Lang, Commercial Loan Officer (Rapid City)
Pam joined our Commercial Lending Team this past Summer. When asked to provide a bio or a bit about here, she offered these tidbits. Meet Pam - who has a great sense of humor! And meet her doodle named Dash. 



  • Do you collect anything? Dust
  • Most unusual pet: Dash – we both have bed head and attitudes upon waking
  • First job I wanted as a kid: journalist
  • Favorite meal: anything someone else has prepared






 
Dawn Pilster, PFA (Belle Fourche)
 

Dawn was raised in Billings, MT but moved to SE Montana where she met and married her husband 15 years ago.  They have 2 kids together - Laci -14 and John -9, and Dawn has an older daughter named Emily (26) and a

3 year old grandson.  They also have 2 furry Corgi boys named Duncan and Darby.  In her spare time she loves going on bike rides and hiking and exploring in the beautiful Black Hills.  She and her husband purchased a house in Belle Fourche last year and they have been enjoying making it their home. Congratulations to Dawn on her recent promotion to PFA!





Raysha Newell, Belle Fourche (Universal Teller)
 

Raysha Newell was raised in Sundance, WY, where she currently lives with her boyfriend and their 10 year old son, Justin. They added a corgi, "Huckleberry", to their family a little over a year ago.  Raysha enjoys camping, fishing, and lake days as a family. She has always loved living in the Black Hills and her favorite time of year is the rally. She enjoys attending concerts at the rally. Her favorite past time is anything with her family and she enjoys getting everyone together and cooking enough food to feed an army. Per Raysha, "you definitely won’t go home hungry after hanging out at my house."

 
 
 
 
 
 
Sascha Schulze, Belle Fourche (Universal Teller)


Sascha Schulze is our newest teller in Belle Fourche. She is married, and has two daughters and two grandchildren, as well as two pets. She has a German Wirehair dog named Timber and a cate named Binx. Sascha enjoy the outdoors and likes to hunt, fish, hike and bike. One of her favorite sayings is “Into the woods I go to lose my mind and find my soul!”




Nancy Cavallero, Universal Teller (Spearfish)
  • All-time favorite meal: My mom’s homemade spaghetti sauce with penne pasta and homemade meatballs!
  • The trip you most want to take, but haven’t yet: My fiancée and I want to go to Italy and Sweden to visit our relatives!
  • Highlight of this past Spring/Summer: This past May my fiancée proposed to me! After about a month of deciding when the wedding should be we finally decided on September 24, 2022!
 

 
 
 
 
Andrew Koupal, The In-House "Insurance Guy" (Dakota Financial Services, Rapid City)
 
Your proudest atypical accomplishment: Going on a chicken sandwich run for a very “under the weather” Dave Chappelle at 1 in the morning.  No picture, but I got a serious bro hug and $300.
The first job you wanted when you were a little kid:   Farmer
What your last meal on Earth would be:   A ribeye from my dad’s farm, fresh May asparagus, baked sweet potato with butter and ranch.  To drink, a 2010 Brunello di Montalcino preferably from Biondi-Santi.
The trip you most want to take, but haven’t yet: Ireland/ Scotland for a tour of distilleries.
Highlight of this past year: Didn’t run out of toilet paper, nor did I hoard any.
 
 
 
 
Amanda Millard, Teller (Rapid City)
  • Your most prized collection:  I like collecting fridge magnets from the places I've traveled to. And I like taking pictures because I enjoy the memories. 
  • The first job you wanted when you were a little kid:  I wanted to be a Killer Whale Trainer at Sea World
  • What your last meal on Earth would be: My last meal on Earth would be a Roasted Potato Pizza, Coconut Shrimp with Wasabi Sauce, a Salad with Ginger Dressing and Tiramisu for dessert.
  • The trip you most want to take, but haven’t yet: I want to go to Egypt.

 

 

 
Jordan Taylor, IT Help Desk Associate (Rapid City)
  • What your last meal on Earth would be. Steak/Velveeta Shells and Cheese
  • The trip you most want to take, but haven’t yet. Florida fishing
  • Your most unusual pet. I used to have an iguana. Current pet photo here. Meet Gunner.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Laurna Boland, Universal Teller (Spearfish)
 
Most prized collection:  I do collect clowns. I have a lot of Emmitt Kelly’s.  They just make me happy.  I also have a collection of stuff my son made when he was little.  The one I am most attached to is a Christmas gift he made. It is a Christmas bell with the paper rings to count down to Christmas. He made it when he was 4 years old. He is now 37.
The first job I wanted when I was a little kid was to be a 3rd grade teacher.
My last meal on earth would be anything Mexican and a blizzard from Dairy queen.
Celebrity crush is Trace Adkins and Blake Shelton
A trip I would most want to take would be to Italy or Greece.
 
 
 
 
 
Gary Sortland, Collections Manager (and Volunteer Firefighter), Rapid City

  • Something you are proud of:  Being able to work hard and even giving back to the community has really been a big accomplishment for me.  Being able to help those when they need assistance.
  • Most prized collection.   Have you seen my office with all the “Fire Collectibles”  all given to me by my coworkers?
  • The first job you wanted when you were a little kid?   Police officer.   Guess that didn’t work out LOL.
  • Last meal.   Steak with Baked Potato and fresh veggie of any kind.
  • Trip you'd like to take:  I’ve been to several countries out of the US.  I'd like to see Great Britain and other parts of Europe.




Tiffany Phelps, Operations Specialist (Rapid City)
  • Your most prized collection: Thousands of books
  • The first job you wanted when you were a little kid: Dancer
  • A superstition you have.  I ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS have to put on my left sock/shoe first…
  • Your biggest fear or phobia: Snakes
  • Your most unusual pet.  3 crazy dogs
  • A contest you have won.  Multiple spelling contests.
Note: I can vouch for this. She is our in-house editor!
 
 
 
 
 
Mark Posthumus, Special Projects
  • Your proudest atypical accomplishment:  Designed and supervised building of the Rapid City branch and the Custer Branch.
  • The first job you wanted when you were a little kid: To fly airplanes.
  • The trip you most want to take, but haven’t yet: Panama Canal.
  • Your favorite go-to quarantine adult beverage: Wyoming Whiskey (as seen on the Walt Longmire series on FX)
  • A contest you have won: When I married my bride 44 years ago. 
 
 
 
Tony Pannone, Chief Information Officer
  • Your proudest atypical accomplishment. My Cooking skills
  • The first job you wanted when you were a little kid: A Hockey Player
  • The trip you most want to take, but haven’t yet: Italy
  • Your biggest fear or phobia: Glitter
  • A contest you have won: Name that song played backwards on a radio station when I was 13.
 
 
 
Pamela RedLeaf, Personal Financial Associate
Meet Pamela, one of our newest employees. 
What your last meal on Earth would be:  Carne Asada Tacos
A superstition you have: When your hands itch, it means you are going to receive money in the near future.
Your most unusual pet:  My dog max. He is unusually obsessed with me.
Your biggest fear or phobia: I fear moths
Your favorite go-to quarantine adult beverage: Bud Light Seltzers
 
 
 
 
Jim Guptill, Commercial Loan Officer
The Fisherman....
Your most prized collection: Fishing boat and tackle. 
The trip you most want to take, but haven’t yet:   Australia and New Zealand
Your most unusual pet.  My cat – he used to play fetch with me…
Your biggest fear or phobia- Scared of heights

Cassie Pannone, Chief Financial Officer
Who knew....???
The first job you wanted when you were a little kid. Circus performer
 What your last meal on Earth would be. Popcorn
 The trip you most want to take, but haven’t yet. Bora Bora
 Your most unusual pet. Chinchilla
 Your favorite go-to quarantine adult beverage All of the things
A contest you have won. Drinking a beer on my head

 
 


Crystal Boyce, Personal Financial Advisor (Gillette, WY)
Your proudest atypical accomplishment: I make some stellar homemade donuts
Your most prized collection: I have a amassed a collection of children.  I’m up to 4 boys
A contest you have won: National Choir Competition in Dallas as a senior in high school
Your favorite go-to quarantine adult beverage: Orange beers
The trip you most want to take, but haven’t yet: Either Machu Picchu or The Valley of Kings.

  

 
 
Mindy Howard, VP Operations
What you didn't know about her: Handbell ringer for over 30 years
Collections: Angels (I collect figures, clocks, paintings, Christmas tree decorations whatever with angels on them)
What did she want to be when she grew up: Singer – I wanted to be a famous singer – not enough talent and huge stage fright issues changed that for me.
Best meal: Old fashioned canned meat and noodles, with cream peas and new potatoes.  My grandma used to make that meal and it will always be one of my favorites. 
Where will she travel when the craziness is over: Australia and New Zealand - hoping to go either there or Italy in the next 3 years. 
 
 
Vonnie Wackel, Market Manager, Rapid City
 
Proud Accomplishment: Took the Magnum PI Extreme Helicopter Ride in Oahu Hawaii, no doors and flying all sorts of directions.
First Job I wanted as a kid: Journalist or Fake News Correspondent
Trip I want to take: Scotland and Ireland
Superstition I have: Walking under ladders
Phobia: Fear of Frogs or toads
 
 
 
 

 
Aaron Prochazka, Senior Accountant 
The first job you wanted when you were a little kid. – As a kid I always knew I would be a Pilot, until about 3rd grade when I realized I was blind as a bat, and who would want a blind person flying their airplane?!  Probably no one, so I became an accountant!  
What your last meal on Earth would be – Being from the Midwest, I love steak, burgers & all types of BBQ.  But then I visited my wife’s family in Rhode Island for the first time 5 years ago they introduced to this thing called a Baked Stuffed Lobster, and it is amazing to say the least!  Maybe throw in an appetizer of Clam Cakes or stuffies too…
 The trip you most want to take, but haven’t yet – I have always wanted to travel to Europe but haven’t made it that far yet, specifically I would like to go to Czechia, Germany, Poland, Italy, Ireland, France and Spain. 
Your biggest fear or phobia) – My biggest fear is Mice!  My family always called me a big elephant scared of a mouse.
Your favorite go-to quarantine adult beverage - My Go–to quarantine adult beverage is a nice cold Busch Latte, or If it is a Friday evening I will go for a nice whiskey on the rocks like Pendleton.
 
 
 




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