Ami Myrland , '08
Involvement, leadership and the ability to see opportunity in new responsibilities have served as the building blocks Ami Myrland ‘08 has used on her path to become the Chief Financial Officer of McFarland State Bank.
Originally from Clinton, Wisconsin, Myrland came to Madison to begin her educational career at the UW-Madison. After a year and a half, she felt that it was time to make a change.
“It was just too big for me. I love the Madison area, but I wanted smaller classes and the opportunity to be involved in other things outside of class,” Myrland said.
A friend going to Edgewood College first introduced her to the campus, and after checking it out, Myrland saw a place that would suit her needs.
“Transferring went smoothly,” Myrland said. “I think because they were smaller class sizes, you get integrated so much quicker. I wasn’t living in the dorms, so I didn’t have the on-campus experience, but it was easy to get in and get involved and figure it out.”
Within her first year at Edgewood College, Myrland was involved in Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) and then became part of a group that began the Rotaract program.
“I think it gave me the extra experience outside of class for a lot of things. It did kind of push you along to give you the ability to get specific internships or have something on your resume that shows you did something outside of your classroom experience,” Myrland said.
Taking advantage of the opportunities available is something Myrland feels is important to all students.
“Anybody in college, it doesn’t matter what they want to get into but especially if they want to get into business, should take every opportunity that they’re offered to jump in and see what they can do. The worst that can happen is they don’t like it and they stop and try something else. Every new experience gives you a new perspective on life and everyone should take advantage of that,” Myrland said.
Majoring in Accounting and Finance, Myrland sought out an internship with Wipfli in her last year at Edgewood College. The internship led to a full-time position with the company, where she stayed in various roles for four years and ended up specializing in financial institutions.
“McFarland State Bank was a client of mine at Wipfli, so I had some good exposure here. They ended up having an opening and asked if I would be interested,” Myrland said. “At the time, my husband and I were looking to start a family and I wasn’t quite ready to leave public accounting, but it seemed like a good opportunity.”
Hired on as a senior accountant after the acquisition of another institution, there was a lot of ground work to be established in the department.
“We needed to develop a lot of things at that point in time, so the CFO at the time and I worked really closely to develop the department,” Myrland said. “I became Controller and ended up having a staff that we developed over time. Early last year, our president retired, and the CFO was promoted to president and I was promoted to CFO.”
Myrland feels fortunate to have the support system she’s had throughout the years, which includes mentors she says pushed her to learn more and encouraged her to do so. Many of those connections came from her time at Edgewood College.
“I still stay in touch with some of my professors, some of my best friends are people that I went to school with at Edgewood College. The education piece is wonderful, but the relationships last forever sometimes and that is the building block for other things that can come,” Myrland said.
Being at a college where she was afforded the opportunities to take on leadership roles, to collaborate with her peers and to build connections continues to have an impact on Myrland today.
“All of those experiences have really prepared me for being here,” Myrland said. “I’ve always wanted to be sitting in this chair, but I never thought I would get here so quickly.”