Char Brekke loves her Scandinavian heritage so much she’s designed a business around it. She is co-owner of Brekke Tours, a company that serves as tour operator and destination travel specialist to Scandinavia—and as a travel planner for Scandinavian groups visiting the United States.
Based on personal travel experiences, Brekke Tours designs their own escorted tour packages. If the pre-designed packages do not suit a client’s needs, Brekke will customize itineraries for individuals or groups. Her favorites are the heritage tours through which genealogy buffs can reconnect with their Scandinavian roots.
Brekke Tours also offers the full range of travel agency services such as cruise packages, airfare and hotels.
As leader of a service-oriented business, Char knows how important it is to keep product offerings fresh and align them with what customers want. There’s another philosophy to which she attributes her success: flexibility. It’s one she shares with her bank, Alerus Financial.
“Flexibility is key when you travel,” Char notes. “You need to be prepared for any situation—any climate—and quickly adapt.” She needs a bank that does the same.
“With Alerus, I don’t get that feeling of rigidity you get with most other banks, and other industries. Kathy (Mohn) looks at all the surrounding circumstances before making decisions. She fully understands the nature of our business.”
Part of the nature of Char’s company is that the business is seasonal. “We have distinct time periods when we have more funds available than other times,” she says. “Alerus adjusts our lines of credit accordingly.
“We also deal with foreign currency and international money transfer. Alerus makes it seamless.
“As a small business owner, I appreciate a bank that provides guidance, even when it doesn’t benefit their bottom line,” Char says. “Kathy helps with clarification of buy-sell agreements, long-term investments and some of our business arrangements. She’s been helpful—very helpful.”
Char has been with Alerus “since before they were Alerus. There’s absolutely no reason to look at another bank. None.”
Grand Forks, ND
Professional Services, Travel
Business Line of Credit
Online Banking and Bill Pay