NEXT is proud to recognize Karyn Johnson as a recipient of the inaugural NEXT Powerhouse Awards.

Register now to join us in celebrating Karyn and all of the NEXT Powerhouses at #NEXTSUMMER20, NEXT’s first FREE virtual event, which will take place on August 23-25, 2020.

Karyn Johnson, Vice President, Residential Lending
Raccoon Valley Bank

About 20 years ago I was working at a hotel as a catering director and after having my 3rd child realized that I needed something different. I interviewed with a local bank and was surprisingly hired as a mortgage loan officer with zero banking background or lending experience. I went from planning wedding receptions and picking out menus to helping people plan the biggest purchase of their life. What were they thinking?

Now looking back, I am so glad they took a chance on me as I have grown to love what I do, helping people, whether that is buying their first home or their last or saving them money by refinancing to a lower rate or term. I thought banking was a cold profession but now I realize that it is about people and helping them realize their goals. In any business if you put your customers first and really care that they are benefiting from your services, you can be successful in any industry.

Three years ago, I took a bigger plunge into the mortgage business and took a job as manager of a mortgage department for a bank in the Des Moines, Iowa area moving here after 25 years in South Dakota. The bank, Raccoon Valley Bank, is a family owned community bank that was opening a new branch in Grimes, IA just outside of Des Moines. They had a very small mortgage department that typically closed about $6-8 million a year in mortgage loans. After hiring new loan officers, training a junior loan officer and gaining a dedicated loan processor we were able to double the volume after a year and then double it again last year. This year with their dedication and drive, we are on pace to do over $40 million in mortgage loans this year.

I am so proud of what we have accomplished in such a short time and I look forward to continuing the growth in our department and striving for excellence. Even though I have battled Fibromyalgia and chronic headaches for the past 17 years, I want to prove that I can do just as much as I did before this disease and I hope other people battling their own illnesses can remain strong and continue to live their lives the way they wish to as well.

For the personal side, I live in Grimes and am married with 3 grown children and a cat that fully believes he is a dog. I love to read, craft, play golf and watch college sports.

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