It’s not hard not to recognize a good fit when you see one. When the folks at TwinStar Credit Union see talent, personal drive and a true sense of community, they go for it. These qualities are exactly why they knew Leif Hatlen, TwinStar’s newest Commercial Relationship Manager, would be a terrific asset to the team. After all, “Realizing financial dreams together” is not just their mission statement – it’s just how they do things.
Originally a Livermore, California resident, Leif came to the Pacific Northwest to attend Pacific Lutheran University where he earned a degree in Business Administration and Financial Resource Management. After working as a business lender for a competing institution for 10 years, Leif knew it was time for a better fit.
“TwinStar was appealing to me for a variety of reasons,” says Leif. “They are aggressively expanding into the Pierce County market. The depth and breadth of services they offer allows me to look at most deals, and if it makes sense for the credit union and the client, we’ll do it. And when it comes to treating their employees the right way, they walk the walk. This stems from great leadership from top to bottom.”
Leif admits that the hardest part was just making the decision to join the TwinStar team. “The biggest challenge was just saying yes to the possibility that there was as better place to work,” he recalls. “Once I made that decision, everything else just fell into place. My referral sources now know that TwinStar is able to offer everything the big banks do, and so much more!”
Chris Heck, Director of Business Lending and Leif’s supervisor, was pleased Leif made the switch. “Leif’s personality and the manner in which he conducts business aligns very well with the culture here at TwinStar Credit Union,” Heck says. “Leif has developed a very strong commercial banking background and a reputation for making responsiveness a priority in his day-to-day operations. In the short time that Leif has been with us, I have heard numerous times of Leif providing a prompt reply, whether the communicated outcome was favorable or not.”
It wasn’t long before Leif’s background, experience and personal drive made an impact on the business. “Leif joined the TwinStar team and immediately impacted our Pierce County branches by closing over $3 million in business/commercial loans over the past 60 days,” says Heck. “These loans helped business owners in Pierce County reach their financial goals by either expanding into their own building or freeing-up cash flows through a reduced monthly payment, which allows the owner to utilize those funds for other growth opportunities. Leif’s actions speak for themselves and as a result he has worked hard at developing a strong rapport with the staff in our Spanaway/Lakewood branches, as well as, his business services partners.”
Yet it’s not all business with Leif. When he’s not closing million-dollar deals or making that monthly payment a little easier for a small business owner, Leif never falls short of extracurricular activities to keep him busy. Having played basketball for four years at PLU under the leadership of Coach Bruce Haroldson, Leif has become a coach himself at Tumwater High School, both as head JV coach and assistant varsity coach. “It’s been an amazing experience and such a great opportunity to give back the youth in our area,” he says.
Leif is also a board member for the South Sound ROOTS Sports Academy, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing elite-level training, camps and sports teams for children of all ages. “These services always come with an expensive price tag,” explains Leif, “and we make sure that our services are available to everyone regardless of their economic background. At Roots, we believe financial means shouldn’t prevent kids from chasing their dreams.”
Beyond that, Leif just loves being outdoors with his family. “I have a boy and a girl, 10 and 7, and we love spending time outdoors on bikes and skateboards, or walking our dogs. I love wilderness backpacking, pack rafting, and exploring from Montana to Alaska. I like to spend a few weeks every year in the wilderness with family and friends.”
As a mission statement, “Realizing financial dreams together” aligns exactly with how Leif is fitting into his new role. “At other institutions, I’ve always had to fight hard to get my client what’s fair,” he recalls. “Here at TwinStar, they work with me to make sure the client gets what they deserve.”
For more information about business loans, or any other financial services TwinStar offers, click here.