The CUInsight Experience podcast: Keith O’Neil – The choice (#171)

“Everyone has their niche.” - Keith O'Neil

Thank you for tuning in to episode 171 of The CUInsight Experience podcast with your host, Randy Smith, co-founder of This episode is brought to you by Amazon Business. With the value and convenience of Amazon, plus innovative tools and features, purchasing leaders in credit unions can reduce costs, save time, maintain control, and efficiently scale operations. Amazon Business, the most comprehensive one-stop shop for business purchasing.

My guest on today’s show is Keith O’Neil, President & CEO at Johns Hopkins FCU (JHFCU). Keith was introduced to credit unions at a young age through family and became even more involved in college. He empowers his employees and is a mental health advocate, expressing its importance in workplaces. Keith and the JHFCU team continue to focus on their members, their community, and their impact on the credit union industry.

During our conversation, Keith and I talk about finding your own path in the credit union industry and building connections. He shares the lasting impact mentors have had on his career, and gives advice to those working towards a leadership role. Keith brings attention to the need for spaces to discuss the correlation between mental and financial health. Listen as we discuss the power of mentorship, transparency in relationships, and teamwork as empathy.

As we wrap up the show, listen in as Keith talks about recent events that left him amazed through risk-taking, advice from his mother, and his love for music. Enjoy my conversation with Keith O’Neil!

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Books mentioned on The CUInsight Experience podcast: Book List 

How to find Keith:
Keith O’Neil, President & CEO at Johns Hopkins FCU
Keith: LinkedIn
JHFCU: LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Show notes from this episode:
A big shout-out to our friends at Amazon Business, an amazing sponsor of The CUInsight Experience podcast. Thank you!
Want to hear more from Keith? Click here.
Place mentioned: Maryland
Shout-out: John Pembroke
Place mentioned: Guyana
Shout-out: Jill Nowacki
Place mentioned: Detroit, MI
Place mentioned: Wappinger, NY (Hughsonville)
Shout-out: Warren Buffet
Shout-out: Dale Carnegie
Shout-out: African American Credit Union Coalition (AACUC)
Shout-out: Renée Sattiewhite
Shout-out: Keith’s sons
Shout-out: Robbie Young
Education Program mentioned: Credit Union Development Education (DE Program)
Shout-out: Keith’s wife
Shout-out: Keith’s mom
Song mentioned: Lose Yourself by Eminem
Book mentioned: Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Book mentioned: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Previous guests mentioned in this episode: John Pembroke, Jill Nowacki (episodes 4, 18, 37, 64, 82, 101, 113, 126, 138, 148, & 161), Reneé Sattiewhite

In This Episode:
[00:47] – Keith O’Neil talks about building a strong and transparent relationship with board members.
[03:15] – Proactively develop mentor relationships.
[04:59] – How does Keith build his network?
[07:15] – Keith recalls one of his first mentors while in middle school.
[08:54] – “Everyone has their niche.”
[11:20] – Keith talks about his career path starting from IT within the credit union industry. PART 1
[14:20] – Keith talks about his career path starting from IT within the credit union industry. PART 2
[16:09] – Take time for what you need to be working on.
[18:25] – Teamwork as empathy. PART 1
[21:17] – Teamwork as empathy. PART 2
[23:06] – How does Keith give his team feedback?
[24:41] – Share feedback while providing direction.
[26:21] – What does the word “empowerment” mean to Keith?
[28:53] – Keith talks about team engagement still being important in remote work.
[31:10] – Keith emphasizes the need for spaces to discuss mental health and financial health.
[33:56] – When you put yourself out there, amazing things happen.
[35:58] – Keith is taking a break from personal growth.
[38:03] – “Have a choice.”
[40:14] – Thank you Keith, 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