Neal VaadelandYour skills belong here

When Neal Vaadeland punches out of work, he oftentimes plugs into a gaming counsel. Not just to play – but to study.

“The people who work close to me know I’m really into video games,” says Vaadeland, Border States IT Tech Specialist I. “But I also like to research video game design and dabble in C++ programming when I have time.”

Programming isn’t something Vaadeland does at the office, but it’s a side hobby that has bolstered his strategic thinking as an employee-owner. His objective is clear – help the customer.

“People in IT never get to see the customer, but we’re constantly working on their behalf,” he says. “If an employee-owner doesn’t have internet access, that’s a problem. If a branch can’t run a credit card transaction, it’s an issue.”

Be part of a supportive team

Helping other people is in Vaadeland’s nature, and over the last three years he’s helped advance Border States’ IT support to the next level by approaching problem-solving with positivity and care. He knows each employee-owner has unique tasks that involve specific network needs.

“There are various challenges that could arise on any given day,” says Vaadeland, a native of Park Rapids, MN. “I like taking care of the end-user, not only making sure their issue is resolved, but following up afterward to make sure the issue won’t come back.”

Vaadeland lets everyone know his door is always open, and it’s a gesture that’s been reciprocated throughout the company.

The culture at Border States is really good because there are truly great people here,” he says. “It’s nice to know that I can lean on the people around me, who are part of one big team. You can easily approach people if you have questions, and I never have to feel like I’m asking a stupid question.”

Enjoy a fun, giving culture

Vaadeland appreciates that Border States makes it easy – and fun – for employee-owners to give back to their communities. During the company’s recent United Way campaign in Fargo, ND, he and his colleagues participated in the company’s fun summer camp theme for an entire week, raising money for local individuals in need.

“It’s a good feeling to know we’re helping the community,” he says. “The thing I loved most about Camp Giveback was the dunk tank, where some of the top management got soaked to raise money.”

Benefit as part of the employee-owner family

As an employee-owner, Vaadeland has part ownership in the company. He not only has a voice in many company matters, but is financially invested in Border States’ success.

Vaadeland also has access to regular in-house leadership training and advanced learning opportunities. Border States believes in investing in its people, creating the best workforce possible.

“I’m really glad I fell into IT at Border States. It’s definitely the perfect fit for me,” he says. “I feel like what I do each day matters.”

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