The IT Crowd

Jace Gilleshammer
Jace Gilleshammer – IT Coordinator

In the modern world, personal information is an increasingly valuable asset. It is a key target for cybercriminals and hackers, who can use this information to commit identity theft, fraud, and other cybercrimes.

With the rapid expansion of technology, most people now have access to computers in their workplaces. While these computers are essential for work-related tasks, it is important to avoid storing personal information on them. Here are some reasons why:

  • Security Risks: Work computers are usually connected to a network, and the security of this network is managed by the company’s IT department. However, this security is not always foolproof. Hackers and cybercriminals can exploit vulnerabilities in the network and gain access to the computers connected to it. If you have personal information stored on your work computer, it could be stolen and used against you.
  • Company Policies: Many companies prohibit employees from storing personal information on their work computers. These policies are designed to protect the company’s sensitive data and prevent employees from inadvertently compromising it.
  • Privacy Concerns: Even if your company allows you to store personal information on your work computer, consider the privacy implications of doing so. Other employees may have access to your computer, either physically or remotely. If it is not something you would be willing to share with your coworkers, don’t leave it on your computer.
  • Compliance Issues: Depending on your industry and the type of personal information you are storing, you may be subject to various compliance regulations. For example, if you are storing personal health information, you may be subject to HIPAA regulations. Violating these regulations can result in hefty fines and legal repercussions.
  • Professionalism: Finally, remember that your work computer is primarily a tool for work-related tasks. Using it to store personal information can give the impression that you are not taking your job seriously or are not focused on work-related tasks. Maintain a level of professionalism in the workplace. Storing personal information on your work computer can detract from that.

Avoid storing personal information on your work computer. Doing so can put you at risk for cybercrime, violate company policies, compromise your privacy, result in compliance issues, and detract from your professionalism in the workplace. If you need to store personal information, use a personal device and ensure that it is secure and protected.

Jace GilleshammerThe IT Crowd
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HTC Team News and Honors

We have celebrated two promotions this year. Jana Samek was promoted to Vice President/Director of Retirement Services. Dustin Sobolik was promoted to Vice President/Director of Investments. Congratulations Jana and Dustin!

Jana Samek
Jana Samek
Dustin Sobolik
Dustin Sobolik

HTC team members enjoyed a St. Patrick’s Day Crawl through our office to celebrate the March holiday.

We enjoyed stops at:

  • Gary’s Irish Tap
  • Amy’s 4- Leaf Trivia
  • Mary’s Pub Dublin Sliders Shop
  • Kevin’s Clovergreen Country Club
  • Jen’s Snacks O’ the Irish, and
  • Jill’s Shamrock Hoops

Heartland has some of the most creative team members in town!

Join us in July for Heartland Trust’s semi-annual Market Update webinar. For more details or to get on the invite list, give us a call at 701-235-2002 or send us an email at [email protected]. Dustin Sobolik, Director of Investments at HTC, will give a 45-minute review of the market in 2023 and what to watch for the rest of the year.

Heartland TrustHTC Team News and Honors
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Meet Maureen Jelinek

Maureen Jelinek
Maureen Jelinek

Maureen Jelinek joined Heartland in December as our Executive Vice President / Chief Operating Officer. She has already become a cherished team member. She has extensive experiences in the financial industry – and you won’t want to miss her recipe for Green Enchilada Chicken Soup.

Tell us about yourself.

I am originally from Grand Forks. I graduated from the University of North Dakota where I studied business administration and marketing. In 1997, I moved to Fargo when I was promoted to Manager of Deposit Acquisition and Operations at Gate City Bank.

I worked at Gate City Bank for 27 years. Most recently I served as Executive Vice President, overseeing information technology, information security, project management, business intelligence, deposit acquisition and operations, digital banking, call center, compliance and loan servicing.

My husband Doug and I have three kids, two grandkids, and two dogs.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love to support and cheer for my kids at their activities. I also like to relax in the boat at the lake and make memories. I love comedy whether it’s watching comedians and comedy shows or catching the latest funny movie. I love to laugh!

Tell us about your favorite life experience

My favorite life experience is being a mom. I’m amazed at how unique each child is even when they are raised in the same environment. I enjoy seeing the world through their eyes.

What is your favorite movie/play/book?

The Other Sister, a romantic comedy.

If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I would want to meet my paternal grandpa. He died prior to my parents’ engagement. My dad shared wonderful memories of him and emulated the many admirable attributes he talked about such as integrity, kindness, respectful, loving, loyal, encouraging, supportive, strong work ethic, etc.

What is your favorite part about working at Heartland Trust?

The commitment of all team members to the company mission, vision, and values. This is an amazing team of professionals and a truly enjoyable culture!

Green Enchilada Chicken Soup
(Thank you, Pinterest, with a few tweaks!)

2½ pounds of shredded boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs (I use a rotisserie chicken for great flavor and to save time!)

28 ounces green enchilada sauce

24 ounces chicken stock

1 cup half-and-half

2 cups monterey jack cheese shredded

4 ounces cream cheese cubed and softened

4 ounces green salsa verde

4 ounces diced green chiles

1 bunch of chopped cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a large stockpot, add chicken and chicken stock. Simmer until chicken is done and can easily be pulled apart. Remove chicken and shred. (Skip this step if using rotisserie chicken.)

  2. To chicken stock, add shredded chicken (or diced rotisserie chicken) and remaining ingredients. Stir and heat soup until it is warm, and the cheese is melted.

  3. You can make this as mild or spicy as you prefer by using various heat options in the ingredients (mild to hot), adding more green salsa, adding green chili hot sauce or adding diced jalapenos.

  4. Serve with additional green salsa, hot sauce and sour cream on the side. We prefer diced green onions. Enjoy!
Heartland TrustMeet Maureen Jelinek
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Roth vs. Pre-Tax Contributions

Roth in Retirement Accounts

Tim Rensch, Retirement Services Relationship Manager

“What’s the difference between pre-tax and Roth?”

This is one of the most common questions I receive when working with employees enrolling in a 401(k) plan. The decision to make either type of contribution to your retirement account (whether it is an IRA, 401(k), 403(b), etc.) is a complex decision that can have important tax implications now and in the future.

This article will cover some benefits of Roth contributions and how they compare to pre-tax contributions. It is not intended as a recommendation to contribute to Roth account. A qualified tax professional can help you make a decision that is right for your situation.

Often the question of whether to contribute to pre-tax or Roth is simplified by asking if you prefer to pay taxes now (when you earn your income) or later (when you take the money from your account). This question alludes to a big difference between pre-tax and Roth contributions, but it only scratches the surface of the complexity of the decision.

The best-known difference between Roth and pre-tax is the treatment of contributions and withdrawals for tax purposes. Pre-tax contributions reduce earned income in the year of the contribution, so the IRS does not impose a tax on money that goes into the retirement plan. Roth contributions do not reduce earned income in the year of the contribution, so your tax liability doesn’t change.

When you start taking withdrawals from your retirement account, any withdrawals that come from pre-tax contributions will be taxed as income in that year. This includes investment earnings related to the contributions. Roth contributions have already been taxed so withdrawals that come from Roth contributions are not taxed. Also, if the Roth withdrawal is a “qualified distribution,” any investment gains/earnings are tax free as well. A Roth withdrawal is considered a qualified distribution if your first Roth contribution was at least 5 years prior to the distribution and you’re at least age 59½.

All things being equal, the actuarial difference between Roth and pre-tax contributions is zero. But we know that all things do not remain equal over time.

It’s impossible to know whether your effective tax rate will be higher when you retire compared to today – and yet that is a big determining factor in which contribution type is best for you. You may be able to estimate the tax bracket you will be in during retirement, but Congress may change the tax code between now and then.

Another benefit of Roth contributions is that you may have more flexibility during distribution. Currently, Roth IRAs are not subject to Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) rules, but Roth 401(k) accounts are. Starting on January 1, 2024, Roth 401(k) accounts will no longer be subject to RMD rules. The absence of RMDs on your Roth contributions is important because depending on your financial situation in retirement, you may not need to take a distribution every year.

With pre-tax contributions, you’ll be required to take out RMDs every year after you reach a certain age regardless of your financial need. The exclusion of RMDs for Roth contributions will give you the potential to better preserve your retirement balance by only taking money out when you have a financial need to do so.

The chart below illustrates some basic comparisons of pre-tax and Roth contributions. As mentioned earlier, I recommend consulting a qualified tax professional.

 PRE-TAX ContributionROTH Contribution
When do I pay taxes on my contribution:At Retirement

Withdrawals taken from your account are taxed **


Taxes calculated through current payroll

When do I pay taxes on the earnings: At Retirement

Withdrawals taken from your account are taxed **

If specific requirements are met *
Will distributions affect my taxable income during my retirement years:Yes

Withdrawals increase taxable income


Qualified withdrawals do not increase taxable income

Pre-tax contributions may be right for you, if:

  • You are looking for a tax break today.
  • You expect your income taxes to be lower when you retire.
  • You want to save with a smaller reduction to your current take-home pay.

Roth contributions may be right for you, if:

  • You prefer to receive a tax break during retirement rather than today.
  • You expect your income taxes to be higher when you retire.
  • You have many years to save before retirement.
  • You like the thought of never having to pay taxes on investment earnings.*

Since it is hard to predict tax laws in the future, you may be able to make both pre-tax and Roth contributions and not have all of your eggs in the same basket. For an IRA, you would need a traditional IRA for pre-tax and a Roth IRA for Roth contributions. For employer-sponsored retirement plans, you can do this within the same account. It is important to note that employer contributions to employer sponsored retirement plans goes in as pre-tax. As always, consult your accountant or tax professional to see how each option affects your personal tax situation.

*Qualified Roth distributions are tax free if your first Roth contribution was made five years prior and you are at least 59 ½ years of age

**Early withdrawals may incur additional taxes unless exceptions apply. (See Special Tax Notice for specific details)

Tim Rensch - Retirement Services Relationship ManagerRoth vs. Pre-Tax Contributions
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