Women in Technology: Pam Brodsack

By W.B. King

In what is a recurring feature, Finopotamus spotlights innovative women who are positively impacting technology applications in the credit union industry, and beyond.

For this issue, we visited with CO-OP Financial Services Senior Vice President of Technology Delivery Pam Brodsack. The Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. –based CUSO’s payments solutions, fraud mitigation services and strategic counsel are designed to help credit unions optimize member experiences.

Sometime in the early 1980s, Pam Brodsack’s father brought home a Macintosh computer. In short order, she learned how to use the interface and began sharing her newfound knowledge with the rest of the clan.

“I taught my whole family how to use it and even showed my mom how to balance her checkbook with a Mac program,” recalled Brodsack. “It was internet banking before the internet.”

CO-OP's Senior Vice President of Technology Delivery Pam Brodsack.

Years later, while an undergraduate at the University of Northern Iowa, where she would go on to earn a bachelor of arts in management information systems, Brodsack accepted an entry level position at the local branch of Equifax.

“I earned my degree in 1994 and stayed at Equifax where I worked as a help desk technician, setting up employee computers. Windows was just launching at the time, so we were beginning to transition from mainframe terminals to a computer-based network,” she said. “That process moved me into network administration and eventually network engineering and firewall programming.”

Brodsack went on to work for the Cedar Falls, Iowa-based CBE Companies where she was employed until 2013. Her last post was as vice president and security officer, IT. She next went to the Jacksonville, Fla.-based Enhanced Resource Solutions where she served for nearly two years as the company’s chief technology officer. And before assuming her current role as senior vice president of Technology Delivery at CO-OP in 2015, she earned accreditation at the University of Chicago – Booth School of Business and later a masters of business administration from Southern New Hampshire University.

“Technology is cyclical. Back in the day, everybody had a terminal that was connected to a mainframe. Then, everyone had a personal computer. But it didn’t take long before the enterprise shifted back to virtual desktop infrastructure, which is the same concept as terminals, except now computers are connected to a server,” said Brodsack. “It’s really interesting to look back at the patterns in technology and how trends come back around.”

Earned Inclusion

Along with bringing home the first personal computer to their home, Brodsack explained that her father worked for John Deere (the brand name of Deere & Company). And as a result, he introduced the family to the credit union world.

“I’m a lifelong credit union member. Our family has long been members of what is now Veridian Credit Union, one of the largest credit unions in Iowa. What I’ve always seen as a differentiator of credit unions is their ability to connect with the local communities they serve, from both a human and a technology standpoint,” she said. “They keep up with the big banks in terms of technology, and when you layer in the people and the community commitment, you can feel the difference even if the products are fundamentally the same. I have more confidence that I’m protected, safe and cared for at a credit union.”

From a professional stance, however, a feeling of inclusion wasn’t always the case