Prairie Profiles: Some new faces working in the Albert Lea Finance Department

Published 8:00 pm Monday, January 1, 2018

‘The atmosphere at City Hall in general is very positive’

Albert Lea residents going in to pay their utility bills at City Hall will likely be greeted by one of the three new employees in the city’s Finance Department.

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Joan Wichmann of Albert Lea started working for the city about a year ago. In addition to helping out at the front counter, she processes payroll for city employees and assists Human Resources Director Mike Zelenak with benefits and HR-related questions.

Wichmann said she has worked in some sort of payroll capacity all of her life, and when the opportunity presented itself for the open position with the city she applied and was offered the job.

“I’m glad that I took it,” she said.

“Overall, the atmosphere at City Hall in general is very positive.”

Nadean Thoms of Glenville started working for the city a little more than a month ago, and does all of the accounts payable for the city.

She said she sought the job because it was more in line with what she went to school for.

Leslie Ignaszewski of Easton has worked for the city for about three months and handles all of the city’s more than 7,000 utility bills.

Ignaszewski said she enjoys the fun, easy-going people she works with.

The openings came with the promotion of Daphne Maras to city clerk and another employee leaving because her husband got transferred to another position.

The women are three of six employees in the Finance Department.

The women said they report to an accounting supervisor, and Finance Director Kristi Brutlag is in the office a few days a week, while working remotely on other days. There is also another part-time employee.

Wichmann, Thoms and Ignaszewski said when they are not at work, they enjoy spending time with family and friends.

Joan Wichmann

Age: 54

Address: 1118 Swanhill Drive

Family: husband, Scott; two sons, Tyler and Tanner

Livelihood: works in human relations and as a payroll technician for the city of Albert Lea

Interesting fact: Wichmann enjoys scrapbooking

Nadean Thoms

Age: 26

Address: 510 W. Main St. in Glenville

Family: husband, Trenton; dog, Nelli

Livelihood: works in accounts payable for the city of Albert Lea

Interesting fact: her favorite animal is a cow. Her parents have cows, and she grew up showing them in 4-H

Leslie Ignaszewski

Age: 35

Address: 29 Fifth St. in Easton

Family: husband, Joshua; daughter, Laila; son, Lane

Livelihood: works in utility billing for the city of Albert Lea

Interesting fact: she is remodeling a house in rural Albert Lea