The CUInsight Experience podcast: Rhonda Hotard – Find your why (#58)

“Help people so they can focus on life.” - Rhonda Hotard

Welcome to episode 58 of The CUInsight Experience podcast with your host Randy Smith, co-founder of This episode is brought to you by our friends at CO-OP Financial Services. CO-OP is your trusted payments processing partner whose mission is to drive the credit union movement forward.

What is your ‘Why’? Listen as Randy and his guest Rhonda Hotard discuss how asking this question can change the member service at your credit union. Rhonda is the President and CEO of the Louisiana Federal Credit Union, and her innovative approach has brought growth and pride to her credit union. She shares how telling members stories helps employees to connect with them and how helping everyone find their ‘why’ brought the focus back to the members.

Rhonda shares some of the challenges her small town has faced over the last decade and the impact the credit unions’ response had on the community. They changed their mission statement to read “To help people so that they can focus on life first,” and this above all else has had the most positive effect on the employees and members. Rhonda believes that making it easy for members to do business with credit unions is the only way to grow and keep members happy.

Listen in as Rhonda shares how she ended up in the credit unions, talks about her leadership style, and the mistakes she sees young leaders make today. Rhonda speaks about advice she was given early on in her career, mentors that have helped her over the years, and what she likes to do when she has a day off. She says quality relationships are most important to her at this time in her life, and her dad is her measure of success.

Rhonda takes us on a compelling journey from the military to her life now. She is a role model not only for women in leadership but also for young girls who want to grow up to be like her. You don’t want to miss a word of this conversation, so sit back and enjoy.

Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher  

Books mentioned on The CUInsight Experience podcast: Book List 

How to find Rhonda:
Rhonda Hotard, President and CEO of the Louisiana Federal Credit Union
LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram 

Show notes from this episode:
Shout-out: to our friends at CO-OP Financial Services, our first sponsor of The CUInsight Experience podcast. Also checkout and register now for TH!NK20.
Check out all the great work Rhonda and her team are doing in Louisiana here.
Make sure to follow Louisiana Federal Credit Union on Facebook and Instagram too. A lot of amazing content.
Shout-out: Erin Schwartz
Book mentioned: Start With Why by Simon Sinek
Shout-out: Gary Vaynerchuck
Book mentioned: Find Your Why by Simon Sinek
Shout-out: Samantha Paxson
Shout-out: Are you a CUDE yet? You should be. Find out more here.
Book mentioned: The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek
Book mentioned: Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard
Shout-out: Rachel Pross
Shout-out: Blue Star Mothers of America
Shout-out: Jill Nowacki (we’re going to need another bookshelf in our house)
Album mentioned: Purple Rain by Prince and Off the Wall by Michael Jackson
Book mentioned: Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish
Ted Talk: How Great Leaders Inspire by Simon Sinek
Previous guests mentioned in this episode: Samantha Paxson, Rachel Pross, Jill Nowacki (episodes 4, 18 & 37)
You can find all past episodes of The CUInsight Experience here

In This Episode:
[01:52] – Rhonda, it’s a pleasure to have you on the show.
[03:12] – Rhonda shares about a conference that got them thinking about what credit members are looking for and how to connect with them.
[06:30] – After reading the book ‘Start With Why’ by Simon Sinek, they started to focus on finding the ‘why.’
[07:41] – Rhonda speaks about all of the challenges their small town has faced over the last ten years and how the credit union responded and impacted lives.
[09:11] – “To help people so they can focus on life first” is the Louisiana Federal Credit Union’s new mission statement and ‘why.’
[13:40] – Rhonda talks about all the things she feels need to be changed to keep credit unions relevant in the financial market.
[15:57] – In a year, what will be the thing you are most proud to have accomplished?
[18:14] – Rhonda chats about how she ended up in the credit union industry.
[21:25] – She tells us that the inspiration has not changed in all the years she has been in charge of her credit union.
[24:15] – Rhonda, how would you describe your leadership style?
[25:13] – Rhonda tells us what her team has heard her say over and over through the years.
[27:14] – Making the tough decisions aren’t easy, but you have to keep your eyes on the long term goals.
[29:22] – She shares two mistakes that she sees young leaders make all the time.
[30:43] – Rhonda chats about a piece of advice she hasn’t forgotten over the years.
[31:49] – Did you have mentors as you were coming up in your career?
[33:29] – She describes her typical workday.
[34:32] – Rhonda shares what she does when she isn’t at work.
[36:48] – What did you want to be when you grew up?
[37:46] – Rhonda says that drinking her coffee in bed and scanning the news is her morning routine.
[38:32] – Her favorite app is Outlook and she also relies on Notes.
[39:13] – What is your favorite album of all time?
[39:47] – What book do you think everyone should read?
[40:29] – Quality relationships and time are important, and people who don’t give you joy are less important.
[41:36] – When Rhonda hears the word success, her dad is the first person that comes to mind.
[42:47] – Rhonda, do you have any final thoughts or asks for our listeners?

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