Nichol Beckstrand
Compassion is the bank’s motivation. Its mission is to empower, its spirit is to achieve.
Attend our next Women’s in Business Event – 10:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. November 28 – and get in the holiday spirit as Sunrise Banks President Nichol Beckstrand speaks to the rewards of community outreach. Also, pitch in with staff and help assemble packets for the People Serving People emergency shelter for the homeless, one of the company’s philanthropic projects. Female legislators will share their stories of public service during table conversation. Register
What makes a good business leader?
Authenticity. I think good leaders need to be seen as being authentic regardless of the type of message they are delivering. If someone does not authentically believe in their team, their corporate culture or their strategy, there is no business book that is going to teach them how to deliver the right message.
What book are you reading right now?
I recently finished reading Al Franken’s book “Giant of the Senate.” I found it a delightful look at the politics and relationships in Washington. It was interesting to see how his past as a comedian works for him and against him in D.C.
Who inspires you the most? Why?
This may be cliché, but I really admire Sheryl Sandberg’s business sense. I see her as someone who plays by the rules that have been dealt. She does not ask for the rules to be changed. She achieves and once she achieves, she recognizes that the rules should be changed, and she changes them to make the path she is treading easier for those who follow. 
What prompted you to join Sunrise Banks?
I wanted to use my highly specific skill set in banking but also fill my soul. Sunrise appeared to be an organization that had enough diversity of activity going on to keep me energized but gave me an inner return I wasn’t getting in public accounting.
Why does your company place such significance on philanthropy?
We firmly believe in two major truths. 1) If the community succeeds, we will succeed, and 2) it takes a village. We sit in a unique position in the community – almost an ocular vantage point of what public and private organizations are doing. We believe it takes government, nonprofit, private company and individual support to raise a great community. We can’t move the needle like government and nonprofits can, but we firmly believe we can help be a connector, a conduit for idea generating and at the least a communicator.
What do you enjoy most about Minnesota?
Summer. I love the heat, and I love when the kids are out of school. I truly enjoy coming home on a Friday night, barbecuing and connecting up with neighbors to share the goings-on of the week.
What’s your favorite pastime/hobby?
So this is probably cliché as well … between running the bank, marriage, two active children and a high maintenance dog, there is little time for much else. I enjoy a good yoga class and Sunday dinners with my family.
How does your company benefit from your Minnesota Chamber membership?
Honestly, we are pretty new to the Minnesota Chamber and I frequently ask myself what took us so long to join. We have benefited greatly from having staff participating in leadership development opportunities. I enjoy attending the Women in Business luncheons and we’ve made some great business connections.