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Danae Klimes, relationship manager, Zions Bank, Twin Falls

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Danae Klimes is a Magic Valley girl, through and through.

Danae Klimes. Photo by Pete Grady.

Danae Klimes. Photo by Pete Grady.

When she talks to her agricultural clients about their concerns, she knows what she’s talking about. She grew up on a farm in Wendell, watching her veterinarian father and helping raise the animals. Today, she enjoys being on the front line with her clients, particularly with the farmers.

“I get to be out in the field more with them, shipping lambs, working cows, going on farm inspections and digging potatoes,” Klimes says. “I strive to be a hands-on banker and do my best to get to know all of my customers’ business operations.”

At first, Klimes thought she wanted to be a physical therapist, and she went to the University of Idaho with the intent of studying medicine. Northern Idaho wasn’t for her, though; she decided that she’d never finish college if she couldn’t do it closer to home. She transferred to Boise State University and, upon admitting she wasn’t in love with science, studied business management.

One fateful day in class, Luanne Kruger of First Security Bank came to speak about her career and the internship she’d served for the bank straight out of college. Kruger encouraged Klimes to submit an application. Klimes was hired to be a management trainee at First Security Bank in Boise, and the rest is history.

Soon thereafter, rumblings about a merger changed everything.

“I kind of freaked out and started being really vocal about going back to Twin Falls,” Klimes says with a laugh.

While waiting to hear if she’d get to keep her job, Klimes reviewed loan files at a branch in Nampa and, during the ample dead time, learned as much as she could about the computer systems. And then, the offer came: would she be willing to accept a different pay scale and relocate to Twin Falls? The answer was an unreserved yes. In January 2000, she became the assistant relationship manager at the Twin Falls First Security Bank branch, which became Wells Fargo six months later. She was soon promoted to be the relationship manager and loan officer, and in 2007, Zions Bank came calling for her to bring her experience to their team.

Today, Klimes is making an impact with Zions in Twin Falls, and the customers can prove it.

“The best compliment a customer ever gave me was when they told a competitor they would never leave me because anytime they called me, they felt like they were my only customer,” says Klimes. “They appreciated that I knew so much about, and was interested in, their business.”

Klimes also enjoys mentoring other women through her work. She’s the chairwoman of the Central Idaho committee of Zions Bank’s Women’s Business Forum, which supports women employees through mentoring, skill set development and networking. Klimes had the opportunity to speak at one of the forum’s functions in Idaho Falls and says many came to her afterward to say she’d inspired them to go for a goal they had previously been hesitant to reach for.

In addition, Klimes has worked with the Twin Falls Optimist Club for a dozen years, finding particular joy in helping provide more than 800 winter coats to local children through Coats for Kids.

Klimes, her husband and two sons, 11 and 9, call Kimberly home but have a small cattle herd and a farm in Filer that they’re building with her father.

“My roots are here in the Magic Valley, and my major goal in life is to provide for my family and enjoy life,” she says.

About Elizabeth Kasper