The CUInsight Experience podcast: Joanne Todd – Creating Community (#85)

“Education is really the most powerful thing behind change.” - Joanne Todd

Thank you for tuning in to episode 85 of The CUInsight Experience podcast with your host, Randy Smith, co-founder of This episode is brought to you by our friends at PSCU. As the nation’s premier payments CUSO, PSCU proudly supports the success of more than 1,500 credit unions.

Credit union leaders can learn a lot about navigating difficulty from the amazing work being done at the international level for our movement. On this week’s episode, I’m sitting down with Joanne Todd, President and CEO of the Northeast Family Federal Credit Union in Connecticut, to learn more about the importance of development work and how it has benefitted her credit union and the community they serve.

During the episode, Joanne tells us about her time working with credit unions and nonprofits in Trinidad and Tobago, Uzbekistan, Kenya, and more. We also talk about how those experiences helped to inform the work she and her team are doing to ensure their small credit union survives and thrives in this new “normal”. We also learn about the work her credit union is doing to deepen their outreach efforts to underserved communities. 

Joanne and I also talk about how she got her start in credit unions at a very young age. Joanne shares what inspired her to take the position at Northeast Family Credit Union, how she learned to make hard decisions, and why it’s important to have the courage to change the things that need to be changed. We also learn that Joanne loves to travel and go to flea markets when she has a day off and wants to recharge.

In the rapid-fire section of the show, we find out that Joanne wanted to be an engineer before she began her career with credit unions. She shares that she got into memorable trouble in high school by skipping school with her then boyfriend, now husband. She also shares that her mother and grandmother are the two people she thinks of when she hears the word success. I thoroughly enjoyed this conversation with Joanne! 

Find the full show notes on

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Books mentioned on The CUInsight Experience podcast: Book List 

How to find Joanne:
Joanne Todd, President and CEO of Northeast Family Credit Union
Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn 

Show notes from this episode:
A big shout-out to our friends at PSCU, an amazing sponsor of The CUInsight Experience podcast. Thank you! 
Check out all the outstanding work that Joanne and her team at Northeast Family Federal Credit Union are doing here. 
Shout-out: The Credit Union League of Connecticut
Learn more about the Co-operative Credit Union League of Trinidad and Tobago here
Shout-out: Lois Kitsch
Shout-out: George Ombado
Shout-out: Mary Beth Spuck
Shout-out: ACCOSCA
Shout-out: American Friends of Kenya, Inc.
Shout-out: Jill Nowacki
Learn more about the Juntos Avanzamos designation here
Shout-out: Willimantic, Connecticut
Shout-out: University of Connecticut
Shout-out: Haiti
Shout-out: Joanne’s husband
Shout-out: Kathy Chartier, President and CEO at Members Credit Union
Artists mentioned: 30 Greatest Hits by Aretha Franklin
Artists mentioned: Greatest Hits by Al Green
Artists mentioned: The Ultimate Collection by Ray Charles
Artists mentioned: The Essential “Weird Al” Yankovic by Weird Al Yankovic
Book mentioned: Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg 
Book mentioned: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers 
Shout-out: Nairobi, Kenya
Shout-out: Joanne’s Mom and Grandmother 
Previous guests mentioned in this episode: Lois Kitsch, George Ombado, Mary Beth Spuck, Jill Nowacki (episodes 4, 18, 37, 64 & 82

In This Episode:
[01:46] – Welcome to the show, Joanne!
[02:25] – Joanne shares the benefits her work around the world brings to her credit union.
[05:54] – Joanne discusses the American Friends of Kenya Inc.
[08:51] – Joanne speaks about a book discussion group she was a part of in Kenya.
[10:30] – Do you think the pandemic will change how the members interact with credit unions?
[12:49] – Joanne shares how the pandemic has changed the way her credit union works.
[15:29] – Joanne discusses what she thinks small credit unions need to do to stay relevant.
[17:14] – Listen as Joanne tells us what she will be the proudest to have accomplished in the next year.
[18:42] – Joanne shares what inspired her to take the position at Northeast Family Federal Credit Union.
[21:20] – Joanne speaks about what her team has heard her say over and over.
[22:02] – Making hard decisions is still hard for her.
[24:32] – Joanne debunks a common myth about being a leader.
[25:34] – The serenity prayer is something that Joanne goes back to time and time again.
[27:02] – When Joanne has a day off, she loves to travel and go to flea markets.
[29:47] – Joanne shares how she was in high school, and the first time she got into memorable trouble.
[30:44] – When Joanne was young, she wanted to be an engineer.
[33:31] – What is the best album of all time?
[34:26] – What book do you think everyone should read?
[35:22] – Joanne says that stuff has become less important, and the people she surrounds herself with have become more important.
[37:09] – Joanne’s mother and grandmother are who she thinks about when she hears the word success.
[38:54] – Joanne shares her final thoughts.
[39:54] – Thank you so much for being on the show!

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