The CUInsight Experience podcast: Keith Monson – Navigating risk (#72)

“You can’t manage what you can’t monitor.” - Keith Monson

Graphic of The CUInsight Experience featuring CSI employee Keith Monson

Thank you for tuning in to episode 72 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.

As credit unions grapple with the impact of COVID-19, navigating the complexities surrounding risk and compliance has been a perpetual sticking point for many executives. To learn more about some of the most pressing issues credit unions are facing and what we can expect to see in the future, I sat down with Keith Monson, Chief Risk Officer of CSI. Keith has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to rules and regulations, the Bank Secrecy Act, and scams. 

During the episode, Keith and I talk in depth about how credit unions are handling potential fraud issues, like members wearing masks into the branch; best practices for ensuring member security; and regulatory relief. We also chat about the significant increase in digital service usage due to COVID-19, and how credit unions will need to adjust their digital footprint to accommodate demand going forward. 

Additionally, in the leadership and life hacks section, Keith and I spend some time talking about the collaborative leadership style he learned from his first mentor, his approach to decision making, and why he thinks it’s important to always be learning. Keith also shares an important piece of advice he learned early in his career and how his mentors have helped guide him through his daily work. 

Of course, we finish up the episode with the rapid-fire questions, where we learn that Keith was once a basketball referee, one of his favorite albums is by Def Leppard, and who he thinks of when he hears the word success. This is a great episode that you don’t want to miss, especially when you hear Keith’s final thoughts for the listeners.

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Books mentioned on The CUInsight Experience podcast: Book List 

How to find Keith:
Keith Monson, Chief Risk Officer of CSI
Facebook | Twitter

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 Keith and his team are doing at CSI here
Shout-out: National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)
Shout-out: Credit Union National Association (CUNA)
Shout-out: President Donald Trump
Shout-out: Lisa Brown
Shout-out: EF Hutton 
Shout-out: Keith’s wife
Shout-out: Mike Anderson
Shout-out: Steve Powless
Shout-out: John Spence
Shout-out: Keith’s sons 
Shout-out: Jill Nowacki
Album mentioned: Hysteria by Def Leppard
Album mentioned: Greatest Hits by Queen
Album mentioned: Greatest Hits by Journey
Book mentioned: Life Would Be Easy If It Weren’t For Other People by Connie Podesta
Previous guests mentioned in this episode: Lisa Brown, John Spence, Jill Nowacki (episodes 4, 18, 37 & 64)
You can find all past episodes of The CUInsight Experience here

In This Episode:
[02:01] – Keith, welcome to the show!
[02:55] – Keith speaks about fraud and how credit unions are dealing with people coming in with masks.
[05:58] – What are the best practices if you feel something is not right with a member?
[06:51] – Keith shares his insights on how this pandemic will change credit unions from now on.
[07:56] – Are there recent compliance issues popping up?
[09:39] – Keith believes that business continuity planning will be one thing that is updated and changed.
[11:09] – Keith speaks about what he feels needs to change to keep credit unions relevant.
[13:13] – Keith chats about his hopes for a year from now.
[14:12] – What inspired you to take the position as the Chief Risk Officer at CSI?
[15:36] – Keith shares how the inspiration has changed over the years.
[16:23] – Keith says that his leadership style is collaborative; he likes to allow people to spread their wings.
[17:38] – Keith speaks about what his team members have heard him say so many times they can finish his sentence.
[18:21] – He shares how he learned to make tough decisions.
[19:18] – Keith says that always having to be right is something that he says is a myth.
[20:26] – Was there a mistake you made when you were younger or one that you see junior leaders make today?
[21:43] – Keith speaks about what he was told years ago that he still uses today.
[22:48] – Keith shares about his mentors and what he has learned from them.
[25:15] – Keith chats about what a regular workday looks like and what a perfect day would be for him.
[27:45] – What do you do when you have a day off to recharge?
[28:20] – Keith discusses what he was like in high school, and the first time he got into memorable trouble.
[29:48] – What did you want to be when you grew up?
[30:53] – Keith shares his daily routines and how frazzled he gets if he can’t do them.
[31:38] – What’s the best album of all time?
[32:30] – Is there a book you have gifted or feel like everyone should read?
[33:57] – For Keith, golf has become less important and family has become more.
[35:18] – Keith says that his wife is the first person who comes to mind when he hears the word success.
[36:50] – Keith shares his final thoughts for the listeners.
[38:25] – Keith, thank you so much for being on the show today.

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