In 1987, Bon Jovi’s hit song “Living on a Prayer” was climbing the charts, and everyone was flocking to theaters to see the latest comedy film, Beverly Hills Cop III. That same year, Lorie Hager and her young family were heading to her hometown of Great Falls, Montana, in a U-Haul from Colorado. Upon arriving back home, Lorie immediately started searching for a job. At the time, there were two available positions at Wendt — an accounting assistant and a production assistant. Lorie interviewed for both jobs and was given her choice of the two. She chose the accounting department.
That was over three decades ago! Since then, Lorie has brought an extraordinary work ethic and leadership to our organization. Her rise to leadership is an amazing story. Former Wendt President, Mary Tietjen, offered that Wendt would pay for day-time accounting classes for Lorie, a single mother of two toddlers at the time, as long as she could complete her job duties. Lorie graduated spring 1996 then soon after earned her CPA license.
As Wendt’s CFO, Lorie is a detailed-driven, diligent financial leader who always ensures that our financial department exceeds best practices. That is just one reason why we will profoundly miss Lorie when she retires this year. That, and her passion to pirate the in-office radio system to play her own music.
Reflecting on how Wendt has cultivated her leadership, Lorie shares, “Wendt’s support of my leadership role has always been without question for me. Since I began my career, the Wendt leaders have stood behind me while getting the education I needed to serve Wendt to the best of my ability. Ultimately over the years, the Wendt leaders’ reliance on my expertise and accuracy in financial reporting has given me confidence, yet always urges me to never take anything for granted.”
CEO Brenda Peterson adds, “Lorie is a true testament to the fact that if you work hard, define your goals, and never give up, you can do just about anything in life. Lorie has cultivated and defined what Wendt’s financial and operational practices and protocols look like today. We will continue to honor her passion and commitment to accuracy, timeliness, and fairness in our business practices. For me personally, I will be forever thankful that I had the opportunity to work side by side with someone who is a true partner and a dear friend.”
Though Lorie will be leaving Wendt, the sky is the limit for her. She plans to enjoy her time traveling extensively. (Visiting Europe and sunny beaches around the world are on her to-do list.) Plus, she hopes to spend time with her grandchildren in Oregon as often as possible — without wearing out her welcome. Of course, Lorie will not be too far away from the accounting sector. Once she settles into retirement, she wants to help other organizations in a financial capacity. She particularly likes to help new small businesses get their books organized and help them better understand their own financial statements.
THE SKY IS THE LIMIT
As she parts Wendt, Lorie leaves these words of wisdom to others – that the Wendt team should always believe in themselves. Never settle for second-best. And never give up. Thank you, Lorie!
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