Notable Women in Human Resources: Ann Knutson

Senior Vice President, HR Director / Bank Five Nine

  • Category: Notable Women in Human Resources
  • Number of years working in your current industry: 12
  • Undergrad degree/university: Bachelor of Science, UW La Crosse
  • Graduate degree/university: Master of Science, Cardinal Stritch University

Ann Knutson, senior vice president and human resources director of Bank Five Nine, exudes the mission of the organization — “Make Lives Better,” according to her colleagues.

Her actions lead the company’s efforts to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on its employees.

Since Knutson joined Bank Five Nine 12 years ago, she has implemented an online HR self-service portal for employees that provides them with 24/7 access to the resources they need to manage their careers and benefits. She and her team redesigned the performance evaluation process and has continued to offer new resources to employees while consistently seeking ways to reduce expenses through technology and aggressive contract negotiations with vendors saving the company hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Understanding that the banking industry is constantly evolving, Knutson oversees training and development programs to address the future needs of the company’s workforce. The talent team designed customized leadership development programs for aspiring and existing managers and developed an annual training camp program, a week of free classes to educate and engage employees in topics of interest.

Outside of Bank Five Nine, Knutson is an advisory council member for BankWork$, helping adults from low-income communities build meaningful careers in banking through free, eight-week career training, placement assistance and ongoing coaching programs. She served as board president of the Oconomowoc Area Chamber of Commerce in 2018-’19.

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