Julie Haberkorn, Summit Credit Union
IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Julie Haberkorn, vice president of business development, Summit Credit Union.
1. What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?
The most rewarding part of my job is working with business owners. I love listening to them tell the story of their journey to arrive at their dream of opening their small business. It is so wonderful to be their partner in the process. I have the opportunity to provide insight and guidance to assist them regardless of the stage of their business. To be able to watch them achieve success provides tremendous satisfaction. I work with businesses just launching, as well as those that are expanding, ranging from real estate investment firms and small manufacturers to entrepreneurs with bright ideas. I love being part of solutions and I consider myself a creative problem solver, including partnering with the Small Business Association for loans. Summit has an excellent relationship with the SBA. In fact, Summit is the number one SBA lender among credit unions in Wisconsin. I often work with business entrepreneurs who have been turned down by other financial intuitions and, with our assistance, go on to do great things and become successful.
The most challenging part of my job is when a business is unsuccessful. It is so hard to see someone go through that experience, which often is the result of launching with insufficient working capital. Some business owners will come to the credit union to meet with a lender for a loan after they have already experienced losses and incurred a substantial amount of credit card debt. At that point, it is very difficult to provide a loan, although we have been successful in helping business owners get back on financial track and become loan-ready.
2. Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?
Dr. Charity McMahon of Body & Spine Chiropractic Wellness Center, Madison. She successfully launched her business six years ago. She is actively involved in her community and in several philanthropic organizations. She also successfully balances it all with her roles as a wife and mother. She contacted me with her business plan already prepared and I have had the pleasure of working with her through the launch, the growth of her business, and her recent relocation. It has been an incredible pleasure to watch her business flourish and navigate an ever-increasing list of roles.
3. What has been the high point of your career so far?
I was very proud of being made a vice president of a community bank in the Chicago area at the age of 26. It was a level of success that I had anticipated occurring much later in my career. I am also honored to have been recently elected to the Board of Directors of Dane Buy Local. It is an organization whose mission is to create a sustainable and vital local economy. Supporting local businesses is the right thing to do for many different reasons.
4. Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
Dream big, anything is possible, be fearless, and take some risks. At 21, I moved from my hometown with a population of 1,800 to metropolitan Chicago. Everything seemed pretty intimidating, especially the traffic. However, it provided so many opportunities that I could have never anticipated. I seized many but wish now that I had been brave enough to try a few more, like living in downtown Chicago.
5. What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?
Dane County offers small town charm with a great deal of big city amenities. Some of my favorite things include: the biking culture, Concerts on the Square, the Overture, Forward Theater, farmer’s markets, fantastic restaurants, and the craft beer selection. I also love the way that it seems you can meet someone, speak to him or her for 5 minutes, and find someone you both know.
6. Do you have any secret talents ort abilities that people would be surprised to discover?
I can slalom water ski, or at least I used to be able to do that.
7. What are your guilty pleasures?
My guilty pleasures are reading, craft beer, and lip balm. I once took so many books along on a vacation to Hawaii that I had to keep weighing my luggage and modifying my packing to be able to bring along my desired book selections. My abundant supply of lip balm came in handy this past winter.