Meet the Veterans: Shauna Bednar
UMB is fortunate to have several veterans on our team, and we’re proud to hire veterans in our local communities. This series highlights some of our associates who have served their country in the military prior to joining UMB. Be sure to check out the other profiles in our series. In this case, we’re taking a look at an associate who currently serves in the military.
Tell us about yourself
I grew up in Apple Valley, Minn. (just south of Minneapolis) loving sports, lakes and airplanes. My dad worked at Northwest Airlines my entire childhood and is now with Delta Airlines, so I have always loved planes, air shows and all things aviation-related. I received my degree in Business and Airport Management from the University of North Dakota in 2006. After college, it was not a great time for aviation, and I couldn’t find a job in the field, so I got a job working in the operations department at M&I Wealth Management in Milwaukee, Wis. I loved my job there and progressed from operations to a private wealth associate administrator.
After a while, I really started to miss airplanes and the smell of jet fuel (as my dad always says). I took the leap, left my job, and joined the Air Force Reserve. I met my now husband, Grant, during training. He is a Loadmaster in the Air Force. The Air Force brought me to the great state of Colorado which is where I am today and loving it.
What about your past shaped who you are today?
I have an amazing family who has always encouraged me to try new things and to never step down from a challenge. That has absolutely shaped my personality–I am not a quitter. I am proud that I earned everything I have. My family and friends are the most important people in my life and where all my loyalty lies.
Tell us about your family.
My parents and brother still live around the Minneapolis area, and I love to visit (preferably in the summer)! My aunt is a retired Chief in the Air Force, and she was my idol growing up. She was a beautiful blonde woman who would get dirty and fix airplanes. She was never afraid to compete with the men and always looked good doing it. She was everything I ever wanted to be: tough but still feminine.
Why did you choose to join the military, and specifically the Air Force?
I grew up with the idea instilled in me from various family members, but really I just love airplanes and country. The Air Force was the only branch for me.
Give us some highlights of your military career.
I am a flight engineer on C130s, which means my job is to ensure that the plane is operating correctly and that all of the systems (electrical, hydraulics, engines, etc.) are operating as designed. I am also there in case something goes wrong to assist in troubleshooting the problem. I’ve taken a lot of amazing trips to different countries and all over the United States. I get to air drop jumpers and cargo and fly low level missions in the mountains. It’s absolutely beautiful to see the mountains from a perspective not many people get to see. I am proud of my deployment in 2013 and look forward to my upcoming deployment in March. I have flown patients out of combat areas in Afghanistan and Army troops on their way home from deployments. It feels pretty fantastic to see the faces of the men and women who have been on the ground fighting in the dirt for months on end when they finally get to leave…especially once the air conditioning kicks in. It gives you a great perspective.
What are the challenges with balancing your career at UMB and also being in the Air Force?
Easily the hardest part is time management. I have flying time and ground commitments that I need to meet with the Air Force, and I am not willing to let my job at UMB suffer, so working around those can be difficult. There is a lot of planning that has to go around taking time off, especially when people are planning client meetings around my schedule. I am very lucky to have an amazing team here in Denver who supports me when I need to leave early, take days off or take three months off for a deployment. They are the best co-workers I could ask for!
What are your favorite ways to give back in the community?
I am actively involved in a local organization (Denver Kids‡) that is working to end the drop out crisis in Denver schools through providing students with educational counselors and mentors. I currently chair the membership committee and sit on the executive board of the Young Professionals Council‡ as well as mentor a middle school student named Sonia.
Where is your favorite place to travel?
I love anything warm and tropical. I may be from Minnesota, but I can’t do cold. I am always looking for an opportunity to go somewhere warm. I’m going to Jamaica soon and couldn’t be more excited!
What are your favorite ways to spend a weekend?
When I have a free weekend, which isn’t often as I give most of those to Air Force, I really enjoy sleeping in and going to brunch. I love to spend time with friends and family and watch the Minnesota Vikings or go to any basketball, hockey or football game. I also really enjoy musical theater, art museums and concerts.
How did you come to be at UMB? What made you want to work here?
I first heard of UMB back when I was working in Milwaukee, so I was excited to see a familiar name when applying. What I like about UMB is that it is a mid-sized bank, where we provide personalized service backed by the resources of a multi-billion dollar asset management firm. We can keep the focus where it belongs – on our clients. We know our clients and their families and they appreciate that it’s personal when they call. It is nice to see the impact of my job on the client.
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Mrs. Shauna Bednar is a Private Wealth Management Officer for UMB. She is responsible for administering investment and retirement accounts and ensuring compliance with applicable regulations while providing the highest level of customer service. She joined UMB in 2012 and has eight years of experience in the financial services industry.