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Faces of Nelnet: Randy Bretz, Corporate Communications and Nelnet Business Solutions

June 6, 2011

Randy Bretz, Nelnet Director

Dawn Knight: What is your favorite thing about what you do at Nelnet? 

Randy Bretz: The people.  I love my coworkers, working with them, and I absolutely love our customers.  I am very much a people person and find myself getting energized by interacting with all groups of people – especially when I visit one of the colleges or universities we serve.

Dawn: Please describe a typical day for you.

Randy: I have my fingers in a lot of things.  Have you heard of the term “Plate spinning”? 

Dawn: No, I haven’t heard that term before but I can visualize it I think.

Randy: Well, that’s a typical day for me in that I have lots of projects going at the same time – as well as keeping them all going at once.  That is “plate spinning”.  The problem is that, many times, I have trouble closing out a problem.  I can keep the plate thing going for a long time.

Dawn:  What has been your biggest challenge work-wise over the past 12 months?

Randy:  Working in corporate communications is hectic and challenging – all in a good way.  I work on our all-company meetings and coach our top executives about what they say and how they say it.  It has been a big challenge for me, but I truly enjoy it.  I have to think about how I would like them to come across to the associates, while also making sure the messaging that they are trying to communicate is easy to hear and is clear to everyone.

It’s a huge responsibility. 

Dawn: If a school asks you what you do for Nelnet that impacts them, what would you say?

Randy: I make sure our people are well informed and happy so, when a school needs something, they have a positive person to work with. 

Dawn: If you could rewrite your high school year book quote, what would you say?

Randy: I didn’t have one but today I would say “Look down at your feet and take one step at a time.  Sometimes when you look at the top of the hill it makes the task seem overwhelming. “

When I was in the army, we had terrible long hills we had to march on, and my sergeant would say that quote to us all the time.  It stuck with me even to this day.

Dawn: What is one habit you have that actually annoys even you?

Randy: Hmmm, I don’t know. 

Dawn:  You must have something…I’m quite sure of it, Randy.

Randy: Well, I have a habit of teasing people.  And then I feel bad about how I teased them and I have to go back and apologize.  They always say it’s OK but I still feel bad. 

Dawn: What super-power would you like to have?

 Randy: I’ve thought about this.  I don’t want to be able to see through walls, or be able to hear in a super hero type way.  I think it might be fun to be able to fly.  It looks like fun – I was watching my ducks in the backyard this morning and I realized that would be pretty fun to do.

Dawn Knight, Western Regional Director: AZ, WA, OR, ID, NV, CA, WY and ND

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