Mel H. - IT Operations Officer

Hello! My name is Mel Haats and I have worked at Lake Region Bank in Willmar & New London for nearly 35 years.  I started as Real Estate Loan Processor in the Mortgage Department.  Since then I have held many titles including Mortgage Loan Originator, Consumer Lender, Y2K Coordinator, Cashier, and Operations Officer. Currently I’m the IT/Operations Officer & Consumer Servicers Manager.  Yes, I have just about done it all! I am incredibly grateful to Paul and Clark Vollan, the owners of Lake Region Bank, for the opportunities they have provided me to grow alongside the bank and to continuously learn new skills.  While anything related to real estate lending will always be my favorite area of the bank, working in IT and operations is definitely interesting and rewarding.  In my current position, my job is to make sure everyone else can do their jobs as efficiently as possible.  Our department also works hard to be sure our customers have a great experience banking with us, both inside the bank and digitally. 

Outside of work, I enjoy gardening, sewing, knitting & crocheting, hiking, biking, and camping - the list goes on and on! I’m generally game for just about anything that involves having a new experience and spending time with my family and friends.  My husband of 37 years and I have three grown children who have added three wonderful spouses to the family as well as five grandchildren and several “grandpets”. Family is truly my great joy.  

Having worked outside the home full time while our kids were growing up, I know how much time and energy it takes to manage a career while also scheduling daycare, helping with homework, shuttling kids to activities, and even just cooking dinner some days!  As such, I am so happy to see employers moving towards more flexible and work from home schedules whenever possible.  I am also very pleased that more women are moving into the IT and operations management sectors.  Banking is a great place to use those skills that get honed raising a family; just like at home, it takes communication, organization and a calendar to keep everyone headed the same direction!