The CUInsight Experience podcast: Heather McKissick – Mission driven (#168)

“We have the ability to make a direct, tangible difference in the lives of people.” - Heather McKissick

Thank you for tuning in to episode 168 of The CUInsight Experience podcast with your host, Randy Smith, co-founder of This episode is brought to you by PSCU, the nation’s premier payments CUSO and an integrated technology solutions provider. Visit to learn more and discover PSCUTV, a new thought leadership platform hosted by PSCU Chief Growth Officer, Brian Scott. Each episode explores top-of-mind insights in the credit union industry.

My guest on today’s show is Heather McKissick, President and CEO at CUES. Heather shares her career journey comprised of mission-driven organizations which led her to where she is today. CUES is the leading talent development solutions provider to the credit union industry. Heather believes credit unions have the ultimate ability to make a tangible and intangible difference in people’s lives.

During our conversation, Heather and I talk about how credit unions can remain viable and relevant while staying member-centric. She shares the lasting impact mentors have had on her career, and the value of feedback through mentoring. Heather expresses the importance of creating a collaborative and facilitative environment for leaders to serve and guide their teams successfully. Listen as we discuss ways to remain viable in today’s economy while continuing to drive our movement forward.

As we wrap up the show, listen in as Heather talks about her insightful experience in Botswana, how she balances her personal and professional life, and her grandmother’s successful legacy. Enjoy my conversation with Heather McKissick!

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Books mentioned on The CUInsight Experience podcast: Book List 

How to find Heather:
Heather McKissick, President and CEO at CUES
Heather: LinkedIn
CUES: LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Show notes from this episode:
A big shout-out to our friends at PSCU, an amazing sponsor of The CUInsight Experience podcast. Thank you!
Want to hear more from Heather? Click here.
Shout-out: CUES
Place mentioned: Africa
Education Program mentioned: Credit Union Development Education (DE Program)
Shout-out: St. Edward’s University
Place mentioned: Austin, TX
Shout-out: Leadership Austin
Shout-out: John Pembroke
Shout-out: Jill Nowacki
Shout-out: World Credit Union Conference
Place mentioned: Botswana
Shout-out: University Federal Credit Union (UFCU)
Shout-out: Tony Budet
Shout-out: Lois Kitsch
Shout-out: CU Difference
Shout-out: Warren Buffet
Shout-out: Dale Carnegie
Shout-out: United States Navy
Shout-out: George Ombado
Shout-out: Todd Harper
Shout-out: Winona Ryder
Shout-out: Heather’s grandmother 
Album mentioned: Ghost in the Machine by The Police
Album mentioned: 1999 by Prince and The Revolution
Book mentioned: Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett
Previous guests mentioned in this episode: John Pembroke, Jill Nowacki (episodes 4, 18, 37, 64, 82, 101, 113, 126, 138, 148, & 161), Lois Kitsch, George Ombado, Todd Harper

In This Episode:
[01:03] – Heather McKissick says her career started in higher education.
[03:11] – Everything led Heather to this moment. 
[05:20] – “Everybody here is excited about building for the future.”
[07:28] – Heather emphasizes the importance of alignment as a CEO.
[10:26] – “Credit unions are doing everything they can to serve their members well.”
[13:06] – “We have the ability to make a direct, tangible difference in the lives of people.”
[15:55] – What does mentorship mean to Heather?
[18:14] – Heather describes how mentors have helped her in her career.
[20:55] – What is Heather’s best career investment?
[23:52] – What does Heather look for in her leadership team?
[26:29] – Heather describes her approach to effective leadership. PART 1
[29:29] – Heather describes her approach to effective leadership. PART 2
[32:10] – Heather talks about the future of career paths in the credit union industry.
[35:09] – What makes working at a credit union so special and unique? 
[37:03] – Heather recalls an impactful discussion she had during a trip to Africa.
[38:47] – How does Heather find balance in her professional and personal life?
[41:41] – Heather speaks fondly of her grandmother who inspired her view of success.
[44:19] – Stay tuned and engage.
[46:00] – Thank you Heather, and thank you for listening!

Randall Smith

Randall Smith

Randall Smith is the co-founder of, the host of The CUInsight Experience podcast, and a bit of a wanderlust. As one of the co-founders of CUInsight he looks ... Web: Details