Q&A With SPIRE Federal Credit Union CEO Dan Stoltz

by Mark Remme
Web Editor

Q&A With SPIRE Federal Credit Union CEO Dan Stoltz

SPIRE Federal Credit Union CEO Dan Stoltz, second from right, helps honor Life Rebuilders during a game at Target Center this month. (Photo Credit: David Sherman & Jordan Johnson/NBAE/Getty Images)

Editors Note: The FastBreak Foundation is a proud partner with SPIRE Federal Credit Union during the Season of Giving, a time when the two organizations focus on taking care of kids in need during the holiday season. Timberwolves.com sat down with Stoltz and discussed what the partnership and what it means to SPIRE to be able to help facilitate this month's opportunities for local youth.

Now in your second season, how has this partnership grown in the last two years?
Dan Stoltz:
I just think there is great synergy and great commitment between both organizations, and the Timberwolves and SPIRE both combined are really committed to improving our communities, so the Season of Giving emphasis during the month of December is just a great partnership, and I think both of our philosophies are about giving back as part of our mission. I think every year it’s gotten stronger and we just appreciate the partnership and the opportunity.

There are many ways you can go with a partnership to help the community out, but how special is it to be part of this part of the year helping kids out around the holidays.

Dan Stoltz: It’s funny in banking we’re about banking but we talk about improving lives and a part of improving lives is about giving back, so we talk about that. Honestly I’ve got to tell you the shopping spree that we had at Target with the 21 kids, I have to tell you one of the kids said this is the greatest day ever. As I heard about that, how many of us take our own homes and gifts under our tree with our names for granted? We have that every year. These kids, this was their day brightener—actually their life brightener if you want to call it that. It was such a big day for them. It’s just so great if you can impact them in a small way. I just think it’s one of the greatest give-backs that we do. I think also the kids coming in there and having the Timberwolves players being five times the size, getting on their knees and shopping with these kids. It’s just a great thrill for these kids, the Timberwolves they see on TV, to have them get down on their knees and be eye to eye with them and shop with them. I think the other thing, too, is we think of that shopping spree but those kids literally have needs and wants. It’s not just about getting fun stuff—they are out there shopping for necessities. They look for coats, for shoes, and then they have wants. They’ve never had that opportunity. I guess just to make their holiday season just a little brighter, it’s just a great event.

For me, the shock factor and then knowing they have $500 to spend on whatever they want, but some are buying groceries and clothes. It just shows how thoughtful these kids are about how they spend that money.
Dan Stoltz:
It does, and you know the thing about giving—we talk a lot about this at SPIRE—the big thing about giving is you give a lot back. That being said, the Timberwolves are getting a lot back from these kids just from their enthusiasm and making their day. My team comes back from that feeling like they were really rewarded through this event. That’s the part about giving back. It’s really about giving back, but you get just as much. I think that’s really cool.

It’s not just that, though, because you guys get to be here at Target Center and sponsor families on the court. For you, is that another unique part of this and what do you take away from it?
Dan Stoltz:
Yeah, the component about Season of Giving I very much enjoy is that Chris Wright and myself present checks to non-profits that make a difference. The non-profits, when I hear their stories, they’re giving back, they’re volunteers, and they are really the unsung heroes. For me to take the opportunity and be a small part of highlighting their organizations and giving back some funds to move their mission forward, but also to give them a special night to give them recognition on the court and be up in their suite with their volunteers. For many of them it’s their greatest night ever. So it’s great to showcase people who are making a difference that aren’t always highlighted.

You hear about negatives in the news a lot, but when you’re seeing so many great stories of people doing good for others is it an eye-opening experience?
Dan Stoltz:
It is, and as you said every time I do these events I come back feeling blessed and fortunate, but also just to really see the people in our communities that really care is great. And we don’t talk about that a lot, as you say, but people really care and are giving of themselves and are giving of themselves sacrificially to make us a better community, a better state. When you hear those stories from those people, what a difference you’re making. All these kids are looking for a permanent home. I can’t imagine how difficult that is. Those kids are just excited to be part of the event, and the real thing in this whole thing is they find a permanent home and we bring some exposure to bringing permanent homes to these kids.

You’ve worked with the Wolves for two years, what have you learned about this organization?

Dan Stoltz: Uniquely, we work with many organizations but with the Timberwolves there’s a real family and a real passion about really the court presence but also outside the court presence. That’s the thing we like about it, because we’re all about making our communities better. We’re all about helping those who are less fortunate. It’s just about making our communities better, and I know the Wolves are committed to that.

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