When you ask Marnie Herrmann about similarities between banking and health care, she identifies the interactions at the very human level.
“If you don’t have a healthy banking system in your own community or the ability to access or manage your money, life can be very difficult,” Herrmann said. “Likewise, if you don’t have access to health care or a way to get care you need, life can be very difficult.
“Money and health care are two of the biggest factors that influence our quality of life.”
Herrmann, the chief banking officer of Security First Bank in Rapid City, South Dakota, knows the industry well and brings valued expertise to the Sanford Health Board of Trustees, as she’s responsible for strategic communications, facilities and investor relations, and serves on the board of directors for the $1.6 billion-asset community bank with 26 locations in two states.
She is a sixth-generation South Dakotan, from the Black Hills, and is an active civic leader in the region, including service on the Board of Directors of the Mount Rushmore Society and the Black Hills Area Community Foundation.
She was first introduced to Sanford Health after it merged with the Good Samaritan Society in 2018. Prior to her appointment to the Sanford Health Board of Trustees in January 2022, Herrmann served on the Good Samaritan Society Board of Directors since 2019.
“My job is to listen and to learn and to be that outside influence, if you will, that helps to keep us moving in what we’ve declared is our strategic direction.”
Looking to the future
Speaking of direction, Herrmann sees the “self-service” option becoming more important in health care, for example, with technology-enabled self-monitoring tools.
“In banking, so much of what customers do on a daily basis, they do for themselves,” she said. “We enable that technology but they’re moving their own money around and making decisions while doing most of the work themselves.”
This is particularly a need in rural America which makes up a large part of Sanford’s geographic area.
Herrmann joined fellow board members, policymakers, national health care leaders and industry experts for a national Summit on the Future of Rural Health Care in August.
“The brain power and experience in that room was absolutely stunning as we discussed what rural health care looks like today and what it can look like in the future,” Herrmann said.
The event, hosted by Sanford Health, included roundtable discussions and fireside chats focused on opportunities to expand access, reduce costs, close disparities and improve health outcomes in rural America.
“One of the presenters said ‘Sanford is uniquely positioned’ to figure out how to bring all the technology, knowledge, willingness and experience together to make an impact,” she said.
“That’s pretty exciting and I believe we can do it; Sanford can do it.”
The proud wife, mom of two and grandmother of two enjoys spending time with her family. In fact, when she thinks about identifying a guiding light, she often refers to a quote attributed to John Wesley she keeps both at home and at her office. It reads:
“Do all the good that you can, by all the means that you can, in all the ways that you can, in all the places that you can, at all the times that you can, to all the people that you can, for as long as you ever can.”
Under one year in with Sanford, she references the overall collegiality of the board, the interaction among board members and collaboration with leadership as a few things she most enjoys about her service.
“It’s very enjoyable to be in those rooms with these brilliant, caring people, working toward very aligned goals that are all around doing the right thing for people, patients and residents,” Herrmann said.
“It’s complicated to run such a large enterprise but doing the best by all the people who count on us, that’s the bottom line.”
About the Board of Trustees
The 13-member Sanford Health Board of Trustees oversees governance for the health system, guiding the pursuit of Sanford’s mission and providing oversight of the organization’s strategic direction and financial and operational performance.
Sanford Health trustees are elected by the full board and currently serve up to three three-year terms. The Board of Trustees Nominating and Governance Committee is responsible for identifying, evaluating and recommending potential new members based on their qualifications and experience. Trustees represent a broad range of backgrounds, with extensive experience in business and finance, health care, technology and the nonprofit sector.
- Investment banker helps steward Sanford Health’s resources
- Sanford Health’s commitment to its communities
- Sanford physician, trustee Maria Bell leads with experience