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Interview with our new Chief Information Technology Officer

One month into his role, Nik Khosla, SVP, Chief Information Technology Officer at NorthCountry Federal Credit Union, is working to provide secure, convenient digital solutions for members. Khosla recently interviewed with Credit Union Times to discuss his journey and goals.

CU Times: What are your key responsibilities in your current role?
Khosla: To assemble and execute a comprehensive information technology strategy encompassing the planning, development, and management of the credit union’s IT systems. This involves assessing future technology needs and collaborating with fintechs and technology based CUSOs to align with the credit union’s vision and objectives. Additionally, I lead and support a team of business analysts, developers, and other IT experts to establish and execute a consistent strategy. I also provide training, guidance, and professional development opportunities to empower employees and enhance the department’s effectiveness; formulate a centralized technology management approach that ensures coherence across various systems while equipping business units with essential tools for high-level performance; and emphasize the value of a unified organizational approach while always tailoring solutions to meet the specific needs of each business unit.

CU Times: What drew you to the credit union industry?
Nik Khosla: Specifically, as it relates to NorthCountry, its mission, value and most importantly its culture.

CU Times: What unique skills, experience and attributes do you bring to your role?
Khosla: With nearly three decades of experience in technology leadership, I’ve donned various hats, including that of a consultant. Most recently, I’ve served as an Executive Business Partner, gaining valuable perspective that uniquely equips me to lead this team. Our customers and clients take center stage, and ensuring their exceptional experience and enabling their success remains my top priority.

CU Times: Which person (or people) do you credit the most for helping and supporting you along your career journey?
Khosla: Answering this question is quite challenging, but I’ll begin by acknowledging the influential people in my life. My parents instilled in me a strong work ethic. My wife taught me the importance of perseverance and never giving up on my dreams. Early in my career, bosses like Juan Torres and Russ Davis emphasized the value of seizing opportunities. Sylvain Ardiet and Michael Cafaro guided me in becoming a professional consultant and emphasized the significance of consistently ‘showing up.’ Heather Maurer and Ernie Whittingham reminded me never to underestimate my worth. Most recently, my CREW colleagues provided me with the courage to keep pushing forward. [CREW is an exclusive networking community for business leaders co-founded by Khosla.]

CU Times: What are some of the biggest differences between working in your current executive level role and your previous, non-executive roles?
Khosla: Having a voice and the courage to implement change. I have a vision and a philosophy, and now I stand on the precipice of bringing it to fruition.

CU Times: What’s a challenge you faced when you first joined your executive team, and how did you overcome it?
Khosla: Not too many, they’ve been very welcoming. If I had to pick, I’d say it’s just learning personalities. I’m a big believer in relationships, and this is just another journey.

CU Times: How would you describe your current leadership style?
Khosla: I wholeheartedly embrace servant leadership. Positioned at the base of the organizational chart, my purpose is to empower the team’s success. I advocate for granting latitude, celebrating achievements, and willingly accepting any challenges that come our way.

CU Times: Do you approach your job any differently now compared to how you did pre-pandemic? If yes, how so?
Khosla: In the present moment, I firmly advocate for bringing work to where talent resides. The pandemic has demonstrated that remote productivity is feasible. The evolving dynamics of todays and tomorrow’s engaged workforce prioritize this flexibility. To attract and retain top talent, successful companies must wholeheartedly embrace this philosophy.

CU Times: What’s next for you on your executive career journey? Do you have any specific career goals you’re working toward?
Khosla: As I acclimate to this fresh role and industry, I admit uncertainty. However, my fervent desire remains — to persistently create value and make a meaningful impact.

CU Times: What big-picture impact do you hope to make within your credit union, as well as for your members and community?
Khosla: Our goal is to provide secure and convenient digital solutions that alleviate mundane and repetitive tasks for our members. Simultaneously, we strive to streamline our staff’s workflow, ensuring their efficiency while making it even simpler for our members to conduct business with us.

CU Times: What career advice would you give your younger self?
Khosla: Dedicate yourself to hard work, seek out wise mentors, and unwaveringly uphold your principles and integrity. Remember, culture plays a significant role! Stay humble but stand firm in your convictions.

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