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Home Office Employees Celebrate Team Builder Recognition

American Federal Home Office employees celebrated “Team Builder” at a special screening at the historic Fargo Theater.

Team Builder is a group recognition program introduced at American Federal Bank in 2008.  The program recognizes the team achievements of Sales Office and Home Office employees.

Employees enjoyed the 30-minute documentary film “The Mission of Herman Stern.”   Director and Producer Art Philips of Fargo introduced the film about Stern, who came to American from Germany at age 16 and saved 125 people form the Holocaust in Germany while he was running the Straus clothing business in North Dakota.

The historic Fargo Theater marque welcomed the American Federal Home Office Team Builders, from left, in the photo, Chief Financial Officer Dean McCleary, Senior Credit Officer Gary Hoots, Payroll Specialist Connie Poehls Hoffman, Director of Human Resources and Marketing Marlene Daniels, American Federal Investments Operations Manager Patty Roers. Human Resources Manager Matt Heinzen, Controller Kathy Schmitt, Credit Officer Aaron Haroldson, Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis Bryan Larson, Operations Analyst Angela Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer Steve Worwa, Operations Specialist Becky Klein, Loan Processor Tiffany Ness, Information Technology System Network and Security Administrator Jeff Baumann and Accounting Associate Mary Jones.

The Fargo-based documentary features never-before-seen interviews with individuals who were rescued from Nazi Germany. It is the story of how the actions of one individual can make a difference for generations to come. The documentary is important because it is a study of history, ethics, character, leadership, empathy, selflessness and citizenship. It is a unique and compelling story of a North Dakota businessman who left his mark on the world.

In 1903, M. G. Straus recruited his cousin Herman Stern from Germany to come to Casselton, ND and help run the Straus clothing store, founded in 1879 in Sanborn, ND. Businessman Stern went on to open several Straus clothing store locations around the state, including Fargo, which the third, fourth and fifth generations operated until the business closed in 2016.   The documentary was originally scheduled for only a few showings, but its popularity has required the addition of many repeat screenings around the region to accommodate theater-goers who want to see the film.

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