The CUInsight Experience podcast: Jill Nowacki – Strategic impact (#148)

“Be aware of the impact your actions have and be intentional about making those a positive impact.” - Jill Nowacki

Thank you for tuning in to episode 148 of The CUInsight Experience podcast with your host, Randy Smith, co-founder of This episode is brought to you by Elan Credit Card. Elan partners with more than 250 credit unions to provide an outsourced credit card program, and offers merchant and mortgage services for credit union members and business owners.

My guest on today’s show is Jill Nowacki, the President & CEO of Humanidei + O’Rourke, who also happens to be my human. In this episode, Jill and I reflect on our trip to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro for Climb Africa to benefit The ACCOSCA Academy and dive deep into DEI. We discuss the connections made on this trip and the insightful conversations we had. One of the main takeaways from the journey that Jill mentions is how interconnected we all are. She emphasizes the significance of mindfulness and being intentional in our actions because of how it truly impacts the world. 

During our conversation, Jill discusses social context for the development of DEI in several systems in recent years. She explains how credit unions can better understand DEI to be a more inclusive system in society where every individual’s strengths are valued, seen, and heard. Jill then dives into the strategic benefits of DEI for credit unions and their communities. She  prompts teams to look at how they design an experience or a product offering and see who might be left out in order to reshape how we can reach more people. 

Jill and I chat about the economic wellbeing of consumers and financial services. We talk about all things credit union when it comes to building a career including the current workforce, environment, and taking the next steps. Jill discusses the effectiveness of DEI programs and shares the value in assessing and measuring current systems beforehand. Listen to take the first step towards improved experiences that resonate and connect with more people.

As we wrap up the show, listen in as Jill mentions a quirky, yet insightful habit, who plays her in a biopic and why, along with some of the books she is currently reading. Enjoy my conversation with Jill Nowacki!

Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher 

Books mentioned on The CUInsight Experience podcast: Book List 

How to find Jill:
Jill Nowacki, President & CEO of Humanidei + O’Rourke
Jill: LinkedIn | Instagram | Twitter | Medium
Humanidei: LinkedIn | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Show notes from this episode:
A big shout-out to our friends at Elan Credit Card, an amazing sponsor of The CUInsight Experience podcast. Thank you!
Want to hear more from Jill? Click here.
Place mentioned: Africa
Place mentioned: Kenya
Place mentioned: Tanzania
Shout-out: Climb Africa to Benefit The ACCOSCA Academy
Shout-out: Mt. Kilimanjaro
Shout-out: Caroline Willard
Shout-out: David Mategwa
Shout-out: Katy Zaleski
Shout-out: Gerry Singleton
Shout-out: CUNA
Shout-out: Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC)
Place mentioned: Serengeti
Shout-out: WhatsApp
Place mentioned: Switzerland
Shout-out: Maureen Njoroge
Shout-out: George Ombado
Historic event mentioned: MeToo Movement
Historic event mentioned: George Floyd
Movement mentioned: Black Lives Matter
Place mentioned: South Africa
Shout-out: Maps Credit Union
Shout-out: African American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC)
Shout-out: Todd Harper
Shout-out: Anna Kendrick
Movie mentioned: Up in the Air
Shout-out: George Clooney
Movie mentioned: Trolls
Book mentioned: Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson 
Book mentioned: The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks 
Book mentioned: The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap by Mehrsa Baradaran
Book mentioned: The Dip by Seth Godin
Previous guests mentioned in this episode: Caroline Willard, George Ombado, Todd Harper, Jill Nowacki (episodes 4, 18, 37, 64, 82, 101, 113, 126 & 138)

In This Episode:
[00:42] – Jill Nowacki shares her reflections about climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro for Climb Africa.
[03:38] – “Who’s your favorite heroine/hero?”
[05:45] – Jill discusses the influence of leaders on their teams and why she’s amazed when teams genuinely admire their leader.
[08:02] – What’s an example of change brought about by ACCOSCA?
[10:48] – Jill offers social context for the development of DEI in business during recent years.
[13:35] – How do we create a more inclusive system? 
[15:17] – What are the strategic benefits of DEI?
[17:27] – Are you creating an unintentional obstacle between you and your members?
[19:51] – What is Jill’s advice for aspiring CEOs?
[23:17] – If you’re moving from a smaller credit union to a larger one, be clear on the environment you want to enter.
[24:48] – What’s really going on with consumers and their finances?
[26:46] – Our current times could be the next big movement we talk about years from now.
[28:53] – There’s a difference in how generations were taught to think.
[33:18] – Jill emphasizes the importance of assessments for better decision making.
[35:35] – How do Jill and her team measure DEI impacts?
[37:24] – Jill has a habit of answering questions with book titles.
[39:38] – Be aware and intentional.

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