116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
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Jamie Henderson tries to be the type of person who shows up big time in her professional work, as a community member and for her family.
Henderson manages the Marion branch office of NXT Bank. She has been with the financial institution for 10 years and has worked in a variety of roles, including in operations, with commercial clients and in electronic banking.
'You get to wear a lot of hats, and for someone with my personality type it's perfect,” she said. 'I love working with people, and I love building relationships.”
She said one of her favorite things about being a manager is getting to know her employees and learning what drives them to succeed.
'I want to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to work at their fullest potential,” she said.
'When it comes to the client side, I love being able to have a hand in making something great happen for someone, whether that be a mortgage or a car loan. ...
I can kind of forecast their needs. They place their trust with me and in the bank.”
Henderson, who came to Iowa for college and didn't have plans to stay post-graduation, has become involved in the community through her professional work and as a volunteer, in advocating for families facing lengthy medical challenges.
It's a cause that is near and dear to her whole family, as Henderson's first child was born with a congenital heart defect. She needed special care soon after birth, which had the Hendersons turning to the Ronald McDonald House of Iowa City while their daughter was treated at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
'Ronald McDonald House has all these great amenities that they provide to families going through tough medical journeys with their child. It's a beautiful thing. It was a pillar for us going through those early days.”
Henderson's daughter since has undergone several surgeries, both here and in California, and their family has relied on the Ronald McDonald House time and again.
A few years ago, in an effort to give back to the organization, Henderson and her husband, Cale, came up with a quirky fundraising idea.
'My husband had grown a beard for the first time in our relationship and even though he has sandy blonde hair, the beard came in red and brown …
, it was like calico and pretty awful,” she recalled.
When the couple discussed him shaving it off, they jokingly wondered if anyone might pay a little bit of money to see Cale do it. As it turned out, the Hendersons were on to something.
They raised $1,000 that first year and since have made the beard shaving extravaganza an annual fundraising event.
'We had vowed to donate some money to the Ronald McDonald House as we wanted to pay it forward someday,” said Henderson. 'And now we have gone from making $1,000 to $5,000 to $20,000 to $28,000, I think, was our highest.”
Since then, Henderson also has become even more involved with Ronald McDonald House - first through its Development Committee and then joining the board of directors, which she now chairs.
'I'm so blessed to be a part of that organization, and being a member of the board is like a dream come true,” she said.
Jamie and Cale also have created their own not-for-profit, called Kiss Your Kids Foundation, through which all their fundraising efforts for the Ronald McDonald House are channeled.
This year was different because of the pandemic, but the Hendersons hosted their event virtually and still managed to raise $20,000.
'It has been an incredible year, despite all of the challenges,” she said. 'We plan to just continue to reach out into our community through our nonprofit and try to serve area families and their children.
'We want to try to pay it forward for families that we have so much in common with.”
Henderson said she feels especially proud of the legacy they are creating, not only to the community but with what they are teaching their children - now 9 and 4 years old - especially their daughter.
'I want to show her that the sky is the limit,” Henderson said. 'I want her to know that when you find your passion and what fuels your fire, you go with it.
'And your passion might be 100 things, and it might be something very small that grows into be something so great. The important part is to listen to yourself and to follow your heart, whatever fuels that fire.”
Business 380 spotlights some of HER Magazine's Women of Achievement, published by The Gazette. The awards were sponsored by Farmers State Bank.