Meet Sheryl Bernier

Sheryl has been with Heartland Trust Company since the doors opened 30 years ago. She started out as
the original operations department. Now the executive vice president and a director on the board, she is
also the manager of the compliance and operations department.

Tell us about yourself.
I was born in Colorado and lived there until I was about seven years old when my family moved to the
family farm near Barnesville, Minnesota. After high school I moved to Moorhead and attended what is
now M State and graduated with a legal secretarial degree. After working at MSUM for about 13
months, I found my forever job in the trust services area – eight years at American Bank and Trust
Company and 30-plus years at HTC. My husband, Spencer, and I raised our family (four sons) in
Moorhead and after becoming empty nesters, we built a home on Star Lake. One Minnesota winter
commute was enough, so we now also rent a townhome in Fargo.


What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love reading, spending time with family, traveling, and hanging out on the pontoon on the lake. One of
my favorite things to do when I travel is to visit wineries (even though I’m definitely not a wine

What is your favorite part about working at Heartland Trust Company?
I wear many hats (human relations, compliance, operations, and corporate roles). Other than getting to
work with our awesome staff, I would say it’s the variety of my job that I love most.
You’ve been at HTC since the beginning. What are your favorite memories over the last 30 years?
When we first opened, it was two employees – Steve and me, and Steve was out of the office most of
the time building his business. I was in the office alone most days and at first the only people who
walked through the front door were Steve’s family. I had the pleasure of getting to know and visit with
his parents, uncle and aunt, siblings, and, of course, his wife, Kay, and their three children: Mark, Heidi,
and Brian. With every company growth point, my job changed and I had fewer opportunities to visit with
those wonderful people. But those visits remain as one of my fondest memories.

What do you think has been the key to HTC’s success?
I believe our success stems from Steve and his strategy to surround himself with people who had
knowledge and experience in areas he did not. Those he hired believed in his vision and worked hard to
make the vision become a reality. Also, while it was not our official mission statement 30 years ago, our
current mission statement, “ . . . to provide a lifelong commitment to the well-being of those we serve”
felt very much a part of Steve’s vision from the start.

What do you think the next 30-plus years are going to look like for HTC?

We started slow, steady, and strong and through the years never drifted far from that mantra. I believe
that under Brian’s leadership the foundation of steady and strong will remain, but he will put his own
stamp on it and the slow may pick up speed just a little. He and many of our younger staff are a part of
the technology era and already we see faster movement towards technological changes. The lifelong
commitment to the well-being of those we serve will never waiver.

Below, Sheryl shares one of her favorite recipes.
Blueberry Bread Pudding
1 recipe Golden Dessert Sauce (see below)
3 tablespoons butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3-½ cups milk
8 cups bread cubes (New Orleans-style poor boy rolls, hoagie buns, or sourdough loaf)
1-¾ cups fresh blueberries
3 tablespoons sugar (white or brown)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Prepare Golden Dessert Sauce; cover with plastic wrap and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl beat butter and the ¾ cup sugar with an electric mixer on medium to high speed
until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla; beat 2 to 3 minutes or until fluffy. Slowly stir in the milk. Place
bread cubes in a large bowl; pour milk mixture over the bread. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir blueberries into
bread mixture; transfer to an ungreased 3-quart rectangular baking dish.
Combine the 3 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over bread mixture. Drizzle 1/3 cup of
the Golden Dessert Sauce over bread mixture. Bake about 35 minutes or until knife inserted near the
center comes out clean. Serve warm with remaining Golden Dessert sauce . Makes 12 servings.

Golden Dessert Sauce:
3 tablespoons butter
½ cup sugar
1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons brandy (optional)
In medium saucepan combine butter and sugar; cook and stir over low heat until butter is melted. Stir in
whipping cream and brandy, if desired. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Boil gently, uncovered, for 5 to 10
minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened. Refrigerate sauce if not using within 2 hours. Reheat to
serve. Makes about 1-¼ cups.
I usually prepared 1-½ times or double the sauce recipe as my family likes to add extra sauce to their

Heartland TrustMeet Sheryl Bernier

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