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By Missy Klatt
Katie Swenby joined the Thrivent office of Joan Bartz in December of 2021 as an insurance associate but it wasn’t until this past August 1st that she became a fully licensed financial advisor with the ability to sell all of Thrivent’s products. The path that got her to this spot had many twists and turns but she made it and couldn’t be happier.
Katie (nee Thompson) who is a hometown girl graduated from Glenwood City High School in 2000. She went on to marry another local, Justin Swenby and together they have two children, Ava who is 11 and Bryn, nine. The girls are continuing in their parents’ footsteps and attend Glenwood City Elementary.
Prior to joining Thrivent, Katie worked at 3M in the sales and marketing department. She has an associate degree in Marketing from WITC, and her Bachelor and Masters degrees from Concordia in St. Paul. While at 3M she was part of a corporate restructuring and her job was eliminated and she was thrown into the job market, not finding what she was looking for, at least not what she thought she was looking for. She actually heard about the position at Thrivent via a Thrivent recruiter who saw on LinkedIn that Katie was looking for a job.
The recruiter called and left a message for Katie and her thought was “Okay, I’ll call you back but there is no way I’m going to do this.” But before that happened she reached out to Joan and said can I come in and talk to you about this. What sold Katie on the job was a two minute, why you should work at Thrivent video that Joan showed her. Two things in that video stuck out to her. The first being that money is a tool not a goal, “which was really eye opening to me as well as if you have the mind of a capitalist and the heart of a socialist this is a good fit for you. So those two things stuck out.”
Long story short, Katie thought she would try something new and if it didn’t work out she still had time to figure out a plan B. She does admit that the licensing was a hurdle but everyone at Thrivent was so supportive and encouraging. Another draw to working at Thrivent was to work in her home town and be a bigger part of the community.
Now that Katie is fully licensed she is able to sell all products and services that Thrivent sells which includes: insurance, annuities, IRAs, education funding, investments and mutual funds, and financial services. Both Katie and Joan stress that it’s not just about selling products but about building relationships and helping people plan for their future. Beside the aforementioned products Thrivent also offers financial planning services which includes Goal planning, Risk management, Investment planning, Income tax planning, Retirement planning, and Estate planning.
What’s nice right now is that when a new client comes on board they are getting two perspectives as Joan and Katie continue to work together while Katie gains more experience. This partnership also has the benefit of them working with more efficiency, providing a more stream lined experience for their clients.
The financial planning part of Thrivent has really grown in recent years and Joan stated that many of their existing clients didn’t realize all that Thrivent has to offer. Joan and Katie comment that they are there to help people figure out their financial goals and help them clarify how to get to their end goal.
The difference in the age between Joan and Katie also works well in their partnership where Joan works more with people interested in retiring and Katie is more focused on younger clients in need of life insurance and long term financial goals.
Spreading the generosity is a goal of Thrivent which also gives back to the community via Action Teams that provide financial help for fundraisers and different events in the community.
If anyone is interested in finding out more about the services that Thrivent provides they can call the office at 715-265-4453 to set up an appointment with Joan and/or Katie. The office is conveniently located on the corner of Oak and 1st Streets in downtown Glenwood City.