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Thought Leadership

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What’s your corporate culture?
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The CUInsight Network - Episode #64 Tracie Kenyon - Executive Development Partner at Humanidei
The CUInsight Network podcast: Executive coaching – Humanidei (#64)
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Is the cover letter dead?
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Self-awareness and how to get it: The key to flourishing
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DEI commitment at stake: Does the SCOTUS decision impact your DEI efforts?
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Revamping credit union governance: Addressing barriers and embracing equity
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How “parenting out loud” can improve your workplace
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Making an impact with DEI: A guide to report your progress
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Succession planning *IS* strategic planning
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How high performing is your board?
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Diversity in recruiting
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Pay equity winds are blowing – is your credit union ready?
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Sonya Watkins
Meet Sonya Watkins
Director of Recruiting

With 28 years of experience working in retail banking and focusing on delivering exceptional member service, Sonya understands that the best results are achieved by creating an atmosphere of trust where diversity is encouraged. Sonya advocated for greater department synergies and additional training and development to enhance member service delivery. She also offered members Financial Literacy services to improve their financial well-being.

Sonya worked within branches and corporate offices, gaining insight and extensive knowledge of the overall vision and long-term strategy for the organization. This knowledge assisted Sonya in promoting into roles with increasing responsibility within Alaska USA Federal Credit Union.

Most recently, Sonya served as Vice President of Branch Administration, in the Alaska Region where she was responsible for branch operations, market trends, product development, banking strategies, service delivery, coaching, and development.

Sonya is a performance-driven business professional with high integrity, strong work ethic, and exceptional leadership skills. She is a meticulous and resourceful business leader with proven success leading productive branch teams throughout the Alaska region. Sonya has demonstrated effective communication through networking with other business lines and collaborating with colleagues throughout the organization.

Sonya is enthusiastic about “People Helping People” and believes this begins with ensuring a more inclusive workforce within the credit union sector.

Sonya holds a Diploma from Western CUNA Management School for strategic management and financial planning, Certified Diversity Recruiter’s Certification (CDR), and Harrison Assessments Debriefing & Coaching Accreditation.

Jaime Marks
Meet Jaime Marks
Director of Recruiting

A seasoned executor with an entrepreneurial spirit, Jaime brings over two decades of financial institution experience. She honed her skills in the heart of the credit union movement, gaining rich and invaluable experience in her various leadership roles within retail branch networks, operations, commercial and consumer lending, strategy, and people operations. She thrives on forging genuine connections, improving processes and empowering individuals through effective mentorship and coaching to ensure talent has the skills and support needed to be the best in the industry.

Jaime has been instrumental in enhancing operational efficiencies and profitability of numerous financial institutions. Her deep understanding and care for employee development and member experience has enabled her to significantly improve both the member and team-member journey.

Jaime is an unwavering champion of Diversity, Equality, Inclusion and Belonging (DEI&B) and believes that a thriving credit union should reflect the vibrant tapestry of its community. Giving a voice to those who have no voice is her personal mission.

Having served as Board Chairwoman, Vice-Chair and Board member with various organizations, Jaime continues to dedicate her time, talent and treasure within her community of San Diego, California.

Tracie Kenyon
Meet Tracie Kenyon
Executive Development Partner

Tracie delights in helping people find their true potential and she’s passionate about credit unions. Her 38-year career has spanned four states, four credit unions, and two leagues; she recently retired after 22 years as the CEO of the Montana Credit Union League. She’s made long-term contributions to each organization she served: building a self-funded health insurance trust, launching a 501(c)3 aimed at financial wellness, developing a training department, creating a secondary mortgage program, starting a marketing department, rebranding, and rebuilding cultures.

During her tenure at the Montana League, she was recognized by her peers with the two highest awards, the Eagle Award, and the Eugene Farley Leadership Award.

Her commitment to continuous improvement led her to become a certified professional coach with the desire to employ the “starfish principle” – helping one credit union executive at a time be the best they can be.

An engaged professional, her previous board commitments include Filene Research Institute chairman, American Association of Credit Union Leagues chairman, Western CUNA Management School (WCMS) board treasurer, and National Credit Union Foundation board member. She continues to serve on the faculty of WCMS.

Tracie has a master’s degree in professional communication (MPC), bachelor’s degree in psychology, Certified Professional Coach certification, PCC (Professional Certified Coach) designation, CAE (Certified Association Executive) designation, and CUDE (Credit Union Development Educator) designation.

Ciara LaVelle
Meet Ciara LaVelle
Project Manager

Ciara LaVelle started her career in the credit union industry in 2012. She recognizes the credit union movement’s impact on the financial wellbeing of its members, particularly those that are traditionally underrepresented. She is an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion and primarily focuses on embedding those core values at the heart and soul of the credit union movement. Her passion for serving the underserved has led Ciara to join Humanidei as a Project Manager.

LaVelle has experience in leadership, branch operations, lending, and DEI. Throughout her eleven-year career, she has led enterprise initiatives that positively impacted the organization, its membership, and the community. Ciara is at her best when she is making a difference.

Ciara is actively engaged in her local credit union league chapter and serves as a board member for a community-based diversity coalition. She capitalizes on opportunities to use her voice for inclusion, as she believes that our strengths lie in our differences.

Ciara is a certified Sales Consultant and has also received a certification from Georgetown University in Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace.

Frieda Afandi
Meet Frieda Afandi
Vice President- Administrative Services

Frieda was hired as the Corporate Services Manager at O’Rourke & Associates in 2010, and has continued to grow her career with Humanidei, becoming the entity’s Vice President-Administrative Services in 2023. During her time with the organization, she has been an invaluable resource providing support in all operational aspects of the firm.

She provides crucial project management oversight, including marketing administration, vendor management, and working with financial institutions nationwide on executive search and benefits consulting projects. Her particular areas of expertise include market data analysis and candidate development.

Since O’Rourke’s partnership with Humanidei, Frieda has become the firm’s Certified Diversity Recruiter, responsible for coordinating and recommending processes to ensure equitable practices in candidate sourcing and screening. Her expertise in effective communication with candidates and her years of experience in executive recruiting position her to be an ideal resource for candidates and credit unions seeking to expand their diversity recruiting processes.

Frieda holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a minor in Criminal Justice from San Francisco State University.

Carl Clark
Meet Carl Clark
Senior Consultant, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Carl Clark began working in the credit union industry in 2008. Working primarily in marketing and public relations, Carl is an excellent public speaker that enjoys spreading the word about the virtues of credit unions to all who will listen. He is well-versed in Board governance and has created trainings and programs that help connect communities and businesses with resources that help them thrive. He has experience in community outreach and facilitating discussions around strategic planning.

Carl believes that credit unions are a reflection of the communities they serve and the people who lead those institutions should also reflect that community. This belief is what led him to Humanidei and a career of matching diverse talent with inclusive organizations.

Carl is actively engaged in his local credit union league chapter and served as the chapter president for several years. Carl also devotes time to mentoring youth in the greater Charlotte (NC) area.

At every phase of his career, Carl has worked to be a connector and liaison. Carl has a passion for credit unions and a belief in what they can accomplish in local communities. Carl holds a master’s in business administration from Pfeiffer University and a bachelor’s degree from Murray State University. Carl is a certified Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE) and a Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor (CCUFC).

Oscar Porras
Meet Oscar Porras
Senior Consultant, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Oscar Porras started his career in the credit union industry in 2001. He has primarily worked with community members of modest needs, credit union professionals of diverse backgrounds, and immerging markets with a focus on the Hispanic community in Oregon and California. That experience has led Oscar to Humanidei as a Senior Consultant for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Porras has experience in branch operations, lending, and community outreach. In each of his roles he has helped create, develop, and implement products and services that have helped guide immigrant community members and those of modest means into mainstream financial services.

From working with youth, professionals, and board members, Oscar is driven by the belief that everyone deserves an opportunity. The credit union industry will serve as a catalyst for diversity, equity and inclusion by purposely and intently providing opportunities for different ideas, opinions, and lived experiences. Credit unions will continue to grow and stay relevant by becoming a reflection of the communities they serve. Oscar is a certified International Credit Union Development Educator and has also received a certification from Georgetown University in Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace.

Jill Nowacki headshot
Meet Jill Nowacki
President/Chief Executive Officer

Jill Nowacki started her career with credit unions in 2001. She has taken on leadership roles at credit unions and state and national trade associations. Now, she is using her experience and passion to lead Humanidei, a human capital strategies firm committed to making credit unions the workplaces and volunteer causes of choice for today’s workforce.

Nowacki has practical experience in politics and communication; human resources and strategic planning; community development and marketing. With each role, her purpose remained the same: Help credit unions realize their full potential to expand the economic capacity of members and communities.

Jill has deeply engaged with credit unions across the country, working with Boards of Directors and executive teams to foster growth. They need products, services, and technology to meet member needs, but the true differentiator is in credit unions that leverage the value of human capital to make their systems work best.

As the President/CEO of Humanidei, Jill helps credit unions increase relevance and win the war for talent at all levels, from front-line staffing through the Board of Directors. By strategically addressing the value of human capital, credit unions can create environments where people bring their best, authentic selves to work; resulting in diversity in thought, increased innovation, stronger succession planning, and ultimately: Relevant, growing credit unions that expand the economic capacity of the members and communities they serve.