Ami Myrland, McFarland State Bank
IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Ami Myrland, chief financial officer, McFarland State Bank.
What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?
By far, the most challenging part of my job is finding the right balance between all of the daily project and task-related responsibilities while maintaining a high level perspective of the strategy and goals of the institution as a whole. My role is heavily focused on new initiatives for the bank, and while there is an extensive list of tasks to be completed, seeing these projects and initiatives through to completion is one of the most rewarding aspects for me. Throughout 2017, and continuing into 2018, our institution has been implementing several large projects including a new network, a new branch, and the expansion of some of our business lines. Seeing the progress and success of these projects has been extremely exciting and rewarding for everyone who has been involved!
Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?
I have had the pleasure of working with Bill Steinberg from Strategic Leverage Partners over the past year and have learned to admire so much about him. He has a way of posing questions that shift my thinking and perspective on a topic, expanding my ability to look at challenges through a new lens. Bill has also served as a mentor to me and has helped me see my way through challenges and accomplishments that would not have been possible without his guidance.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
As I reflect on my career and achievements, the transition to chief financial officer of McFarland State Bank, a $470 million financial institution, at the age of 31 tops the list. The day that our CEO called me into his office and gave me the news that I was going to have the opportunity to step in as CFO, I was excited, overjoyed, and scared to death! Knowing that our Board and CEO were willing to give me the opportunity, without prior experience as a CFO, gave me a humble sense of pride and confidence that has provided motivation through some of the challenges that have come my way. I know I’ve grown in all areas of my life as a result of this opportunity and will be forever changed and thankful for it.
Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
I would tell my younger self to be more patient. In college, I was always anxious to move on to the next thing, both professionally and personally. While I credit many of my successes to this characteristic, I would’ve liked to enjoy the moments a bit more as I look back. Time moves too quickly. We all need to breathe, be present, and be sure to enjoy life more as it moves at lightning speed all around us!
What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?
There are so many amazing things about where I live and work! I love that there is always something new and different to experience. From Badger sports to various festivals to outdoor recreational activities, there are so many events happening all the time. Summers in Dane County are by far the best. Our weekends are spent at the Union, on the boat, or grilling out in the backyard with all of our neighbors. There’s never a shortage of fun options available!
Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?
I would say my hidden talent is my ability to play the flute and piccolo. While I no longer play very much, I was a first chair flute player in high school and have always carried my love of playing music with me through life. Whenever I get a chance, I pick up a flute and play a few scales.
What are your guilty pleasures?
Cranking up some fun music and having a dance party with my kids! I have two sons, ages 5 and 2, who have picked up on my love of music, especially songs from Disney movies. On a fairly frequent basis, we ask Alexa to play some music, turn it up loud, and sing and dance until we drop! It’s one of my favorite ways to de-stress at the end of a day or to pull my kids out of a crabby mood. I’ve also been known to turn up the tunes while driving and sing along as loud as I can — as long as it’s only me in the car!
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