Choosing Slave Lake over Calgary, at the drop of a hat

Servus Credit Union has a new manager

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Here’s a fun fact about the new manager at Slave Lake’s Servus Credit Union: given a choice between banking jobs in Calgary and Slave Lake, he didn’t choose Cowtown.
“I picked Slave Lake at the drop of a hat,” says Mike Parsons.
Tell us why, Mr. Parsons.
“My dad and grandfather were both outfitters. It’s in my blood and this is like coming back to it.”
Born and raised in Regina, Parsons had a career in the Royal Canadian Navy, in the HMCS Queen naval reserve division. His service there included the acquisition of a master’s degree in cultural anthropology (something related to naval intelligence) through the University of Manitoba. He was deployed to many locations around the country and around the world, he says. What led him to try out the totally unrelated field of financial services was a desire to not be on the road so much.
“I was away from home for six to eight months at a time,” he says.
His first banking job was for CIBC, starting in Regina. Working in the commercial credit department, ironically enough, led him to travel all over Canada, including in Alberta, where he became acquainted with oil and gas people in the Slave Lake area. His most recent post, though, was with a credit union in the hamlet of Morse, Saskatchewan, 30 minutes east of Swift Current, where he served as business development manager. That only lasted eight months, when the Slave Lake opportunity arose.
And how’s it going so far?
“I love it!” he says. “It’s very different, but it’s a lot of fun.”
Both Parsons and his wife Keira say they love the landscape, the lake and the trees in their new home. It’s obviously a lot different than southern Saskatchewan.
“Driving in Saskatchewan is kind of like driving on a treadmill,” Parsons says.
Keira is a competitive wheelchair racer (she came within a split second of a bronze medal at the 2012 Paralympics), about whom we hope to have a separate story in an upcoming issue of The Leader.
Outside of work, Parsons says he loves hunting and fishing, loves the sport of boxing and hopes to get involved with the local Legion. He’s still in the naval reserves as well.
“Work keeps me pretty busy,” he says.

Mike Parsons and Keira Frie. She’s a Paralympic athlete; he’s a in the naval reserve.



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