Meet Tanner DeKam, the Branch Manager at Great Western Bank in Brookings. After graduating from SDSU, Tanner started his work within the financial industry where he found his passion and interest for helping people!

Name: Tanner Dekam

Title: Branch Manger

Hometown: Edgerton, MN

Company: Great Western Bank – Brookings

What are your responsibilities?

Tanner is responsible for the development and growth of the branch’s retail department, as well as the overall leadership of the branch activities. Mr. DeKam manages risk, the development of employees, and sales development for the branch. Other responsibilities include providing personalized banking services to current and prospective customers, as well as analyzing credit and financial information for processing of loans and other bank products.

How did you find your way to where you are today?

Tanner graduated from South Dakota State University with a Bachelors of Science in Economics with a Business Specialization. Immediately upon graduation, he started working in the financial industry. “I worked in the Customer Service department for my first three years post graduation, which taught me a lot about the banking industry. I learned about different departments within a bank and which each department does and why. It was here that I found my passion and interest in helping people in a way that I enjoyed,” Dekam shared. Ultimately, this would lead him to being a Consumer Loan Officer for a few years. In 2020, Tanner found himself changing job roles again, as well as institutions. He became a Personal Banker at Great Western Bank. This expanded his job role from just lending, to helping customers with any and all banking needs, like personal and business checking accounts to IRAs. A few fast-paced months later Tanner accepted the Branch Manager position in the Brookings office, which is where he is at currently, and staying very busy learning more each day!

What role has education and training played in your career path?

Education helped Mr. Dekam learn the fundamentals and basics while establishing a solid foundation of knowledge to build on.

“The education I received was great, and I will forever be grateful for that. It helped guide me to the industry I wanted to start a career path in. The training and experience I received on the job has been priceless. Getting first hand experience is what really drove me to my career path and where I am at today, and, is still determining where my career may end up as I continue to learn and do more.

– Tanner DeKam

What qualities or characteristics do you find are necessary to be successful in your role?

TRANSPARENCY – Being transparent & honest with customers and employee is a big key factor. Finances/lending can be scary and confusing, so being open and honest with customers can really help them understand products and how they work. Also being transparent and honest with employees on expectations and goals can help set us both for success.

PASSIONATE – Tanner has had a passion and sincere interest in lending since he started working in the banking world. Dekam wanted to be the best he can be, for himself and the customers that he helps. Tanner wants to know more, learn more and do more because he thoroughly enjoy it!

COMMUNICATION – As a manager, communication between employees needs to be clear and efficient. Communication with customers is also equally important.

CRITICAL THINKING- Critical thinking plays a major role, especially when it comes to lending. Analyzing the customers current needs.

How would you recommend someone interested in the same career/occupation pursue a similar path?

Mr. DeKam would recommend finding your passion and interests and to pursue a position/career from there. Getting yourself in a position that allows you to learn about several career paths is what he really enjoyed about his customer service position. Tanner shares, “I could take my career many different directions from that point. Getting on-the-job-experience is what really helped me find what I love to do.”

What are other skillsets (perhaps unconventional) that thrive in this field?

Self-Motivation, technology proficiency, interpersonal skills, being organized are all skills that would help an individual in this type of career field.

What extracurricular activities helped you develop professionally?

Networking was a big factor that has helped Tanner get where I am at today. Talking to other professionals in the same field has helped him overcome some of the challenges he was facing at the time. Knowing that someone else has had the same issue/problem as him was comforting, but also getting their knowledge and experience on how they resolved it was great.

Want to learn more? Connect with Tanner!

Tanner Dekam, Branch Manager | Great Western Bank| 605.692.7100

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