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Get to know Paul Bakkum, Chief Risk Officer

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What is your role at Choice and what do you do?

Chief Risk Officer, which is a newer position to Choice.  The position oversees Loan Review, Audit, Compliance and BSA.  I participate in the Executive Team, Senior Credit Committee and Asset Liability Committee.

Who is your personal hero and why?

Harry Eisenbeis.  He was the President and my mentor at the first bank I worked at.  He taught me banking and how to treat customers, but also taught me many life lessons I use to this day about both work and family.  And if the last name looks familiar he was (Choice team member) Jane Eisenbeis’s grandfather.

If you could pass wisdom onto your childhood self, what would it be?

I would have told myself that English, spelling and speech class is important.  Also to encourage yourself to get out of your comfort zone and experience new things.

If you stumbled across a time machine, where would you go?

I would go back to November 1975.  It was when I first dated my wife, Diane.  It would be great to have the chance to repeat the past 40 years.

Are you a night owl or an early bird?

I have been an early bird because early morning is the most productive time of day at work.

If you could live in the world of a book, tv show or movie, in what world would you chose to live and why?

It would be great to live the summer in the 1960’s from the movie Sandlot, playing baseball everyday with Squints and Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez.

What is the #1 thing on your bucket list that you have yet to accomplish?

Watching grandkids grow up, but a close second is to attend a baseball game at every major league stadium.

When you have an hour of free-time, what are you doing?

I enjoy being outside, yard work, gardening, biking, hiking in summer, cross country skiing in winter.

If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality, skill or ability, what would it be?

The ability to sing.

If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I would like to have dinner with my dad, he passed away 17 years ago and I would like the chance to share with him all the things that have occurred in our families lives.