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Credit Union CEO builds with MBA

DeBoer pilots SAC Federal Credit Union

Credit Union CEO builds with MBA

A Master of Business Administration degree from Bellevue University served as a building block for Gail DeBoer as she constructed her career path. The current President and CEO of SAC Federal Credit Union will be using a building block of a different sort when the Credit Union breaks ground on a new corporate headquarters building.

"The next two years are going to be a challenge while we're waiting for that to be built," DeBoer said. "Trying to find a conference room to hold a meeting is challenging."

Finding the time to get to a physical classroom can be a challenge for a working mother. That's why DeBoer, a mother of three with husband, John, chose to attend MBA classes online with Bellevue University. DeBoer completed her MBA in the summer of 2002, taking a single class at a time.

"The online was appealing. I had three kids who were very active in high school activities and I had a full-time job," she said. "I just didn't have a night or two every week that I could devote three to four hours to, because I had such a crazy schedule."

While the online schedule may have made it easier for DeBoer to juggle her schedule, she cautions those who may believe that online coursework is easier.

"It you think it's easier than you're doing it for the wrong reasons. I found every professor I had to be extremely supportive — still they have expectations," she said. "I'm a pretty disciplined person. I think online worked for me because I could schedule myself. I didn't wait until the last minute to do things. I could get on every day and stay current. I think you have to be pretty self-motivated to do the online. It worked well for me."

An International Business class that brought students from around the world together in an online classroom stood out for DeBoer.

"I found that really fascinating. There were a couple of different countries represented," she said. "Having the conversation with International students added a huge amount of diversity. They would say things that you really don't get from a book. I thought that was a huge benefit."

DeBoer had taken traditional classes at a local university while working full time, completing her bachelor's degree over about a 10-year period.

"I really did love accounting classes," she said. "I applied to be the internal auditor for a new division Northern Plains Natural Gas. That was my first accounting job and I just kept taking classes."

She joined SAC Federal Credit Union 24 years ago and became CEO in 2007.

"I'm just a huge proponent of higher education. I really appreciate Bellevue University and the education that they gave me," DeBoer said. "I know that it's one of the reasons that I have this position. I think if I hadn't had the (online) program that they offered, I probably would not have done it. It would have been very difficult for me to go traditional."

For more information on Bellevue University's MBA degree call 1-800-756-7920 or email OneStop@Bellevue.edu.

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