Communicating openly and honestly Creating an awesome work environment By Susie McCormick March 15, 2024

Nelnet Bank Celebrates Women in Leadership

We Talk with the Majority Women Leadership Team

Women’s History Month celebrates the women who have fought for equality, justice, and opportunity in our country. It also serves as a reminder to commit to advancing the rights of girls and women here in the United States and around the world.

On November 2, 2020, Nelnet Bank (Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender) became the first industrial bank to begin operating in 12 years, opening from a home office in Salt Lake City. Nelnet was founded to serve our customers and make their educational dreams possible. Nelnet Bank was founded to help families achieve their dreams with financial knowledge and access to education. Backed by Nelnet Inc., their list of products includes Private Student Loans, Student Loan Refinance, Home Improvement Loans, Business CDs, and High-Yield Savings Accounts – and they’re just getting started.

In November of 2023, Nelnet Bank exited the de novo period. Today, the bank has just over $1 billion in assets, and is focused on originating high-quality student and consumer loans while building out a strong deposit strategy.

Nelnet is proud of Nelnet Bank’s commitment to helping borrowers dream bigger with better loan solutions. We’re also proud that Nelnet Bank has a majority women leadership team, led by Andrea Moss, Nelnet Bank Chief Executive Officer and President. Moss has led the team since the bank application was first submitted in 2019.

The executive leadership team consists of five women and two men. Moss is joined by Chief Operations Officer/Community Reinvestment Act Officer Julie Buchholz; Chief Financial Officer Cindy Fulton-Serrano; Chief Compliance Officer Lauren Whicker; Chief Technology Officer Heath Roehr; Chief Credit Officer Rob Pedersen; and Chief Risk Officer Jennifer Mackintosh.

We reached out to these women to ask what it means to be part of this leadership team. Here’s what they had to say.

Operating a bank with a majority of women leaders is unique and something that I am proud to be part of. We are not just colleagues but friends and that makes it easier to face the challenges of starting and growing a new bank. The women at the bank bring both technical expertise from their field but also the softer skills of leadership, communication, collaboration, hard work, and integrity.

Andrea Moss

Chief Executive Officer/President/Board Member, Nelnet Bank

Being part of a majority women leadership team at Nelnet Bank is a source of pride and empowerment for me. It signifies breaking barriers, fostering diversity, and reshaping the narrative in the financial sector. It means contributing to a collaborative and inclusive environment where diverse perspectives thrive. Together, we’re not just leaders; we’re architects of positive change, challenging stereotypes, and paving the way for a more inclusive future in banking.

Lauren Whicker

Chief Compliance Officer, Nelnet Bank

Being on the Nelnet Bank (almost all women) leadership team is the first time in my career where I feel like I've found my people. It's a special responsibility to be an officer of an FDIC-insured institution and I would not want to do it without the smart, experienced women (and men) on this team. What I appreciate is that we also understand the many responsibilities outside the office that sometimes pull us from the bank. Because of that mutual understanding, coupled with a lot of trust, we are a high-performing team. A highlight of my career will be hearing that sentiment directly from the regulators at the bank's closing exam meeting with our Board for the three-year de novo period!

Julie Buchholz

Chief Operations Officer/Community Reinvestment Act Officer, Nelnet Bank

Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, ‘Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.’ At Nelnet Bank, women are not the exception. Most of the senior leadership roles are filled by women from various backgrounds and experiences that collectively have been key to successfully launching the bank and exiting the de novo period. I believe strong women in leadership inspire others to dream bigger, learn and do more, and ultimately become more

Jennifer Mackintosh

Chief Risk Officer, Nelnet Bank

We agree with Mackintosh and Bader Ginsburg that women belong anywhere. By their logic, it shouldn’t be at all notable that a majority of Nelnet Bank’s officers are women. At Nelnet, we’re proud of the fact that these women are having an impact, not just for the tremendous work that they do, but for challenging stereotypes and inspiring others.

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Susie McCormick

Senior Corporate Communications Writer