The CUInsight Experience podcast: Lisa Pesta – Passion filled (#165)

“Be that person who is in a constant state of learning.” - Lisa Pesta

Thank you for tuning in to episode 165 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 Lisa Pesta, President & CEO of Meriwest Credit Union. Lisa has been a part of the Meriwest family for over two decades, having grown through its ranks to recently becoming the President & CEO. Coming from a background in HR, Lisa has a unique perspective on the power of collaboration and building company culture. She is excited for the future of the industry and believes credit unions must collaborate to continue driving forward.

During our conversation, Lisa and I talk about continuously learning and developing passionate credit union teams. She shares the lasting impact mentors have had on her career and life, and how she pays it forward to the next generation. Lisa is deeply invested in understanding the dynamics of a positive working environment that encourages collaboration and excellence from all team and board members. Listen as we discuss ways to keep the credit union industry collaborative and inclusive.

As we wrap up the show, listen in as Lisa talks about her four successful kids, her favorite album, and her dad’s inspiring story. Enjoy my conversation with Lisa Pesta!

Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher 

Books mentioned on The CUInsight Experience podcast: Book List 

How to find Lisa:
Lisa Pesta, President & CEO of Meriwest Credit Union
Lisa: LinkedIn
Meriwest: LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram | 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!
Want to hear more from Lisa? Click here.
Place mentioned: San Jose, CA
Shout-out: Christopher Owen
Shout-out: Julie Kirsch
Shout-out: Silicon Valley Bank
Shout-out: First Republic Bank
Shout-out: Diana Dykstra
Shout-out: Warren Buffet
Shout-out: Dale Carnegie
Shout-out: Lisa’s kids
Shout-out: Lisa’s husband
Shout-out: Lisa’s parents
Shout-out: Lisa’s sister and her family
Shout-out: Calm App
Shout-out: Insight Timer
Shout-out: Leo Ardine
Shout-out: Todd Harper
Shout-out: Reese Witherspoon
Album mentioned: Escape Studio by Journey
Artist mentioned: The Carpenters
Book mentioned: How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Book mentioned: Lead Right: Every Leader’s Straight Talk Guide to Job Success by Steve Ventura
Book mentioned: The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M. R. Covey
Previous guests mentioned in this episode: Diana DykstraLeo Ardine (episodes 21, 150), Todd Harper

In This Episode:
[01:03] – Lisa Pesta explains the coincidence that helped her get a job in the credit union industry. PART 1
[03:47] – Lisa explains the coincidence that helped her get a job in the credit union industry. PART 2
[05:55] – “Involve yourself in everything.”
[08:54] – Lisa shares how she engages board members to keep the company collaborative and inclusive.
[10:20] – Lisa talks about focusing on retention strategies for credit unions.
[13:01] – What are Lisa’s thoughts on smaller credit unions collaborating?
[14:37] – Lisa says she’s built relationships inside and outside the industry for mentorship.
[17:04] – Lisa listens for this particular word when interviewing potential team members.
[19:40] – Lisa lists traits she seeks in potential team members that she believes will add value.
[22:26] – What’s Lisa’s approach to feedback?
[24:52] – How would Lisa describe a great leader?
[27:39] – “Asking questions is the best way to get to a really good resolution.”
[29:39] – Lisa reflects on how her startup background influences her approach to creating a company culture. 
[32:25] – What are Lisa’s thoughts about the culture of work changing?
[34:57] – Lisa shares what amazed her recently.
[36:43] – Does Lisa have any hacks for work-life balance?
[39:09] – Lisa describes herself as a country-music girl, but chooses this as her favorite album.
[40:49] – Lisa shares why her dad’s story inspires her.
[43:32] – “We should be filled with passion for our industry.”

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