Top Priorities for Nelnet Leaders in the New Year
Even if you’re not a firm believer in New Year’s resolutions, it’s virtually impossible to live in our society now without encountering blogs, social media posts, documentaries, and other media programming that provide summaries of the year’s happenings. These can help us reflect on past events, think about what we’ve accomplished and what we’ve learned from it, and discover how we can plan ahead to effectively accomplish our goals.
We reached out to four Nelnet leaders to see which priorities they hope to drive forward while they’re at the office—and which personal endeavors will have their greatest attention in 2024. Here’s what they had to say.
Tahner Pinkman, Sales Manager, BenefitEd
Tahner’s Professional Goals
My top professional priority is to continue growing BenefitEd sales substantially by strengthening efficiencies, adding new sales streams, and enhancing current business lines. We feel like our product is in a really strong position in the market, so we want to expand our revenue opportunities through key partnerships. Adding these channels is incredibly important to continue growing our business. I also want to continue improving upon our close rate to make sure we’re getting new deals over the finish line.
Tahner’s Personal Goals
Rather than talking about a New Year’s resolution, I prefer to talk about a focus for the year. For me, it’s to be present. I want to spend more of my free time being present with my wife and my family by keeping distractions away. Having young kids is a bit of a whirlwind, and I really just want to focus on them and making sure they know they are loved.
Jodi Spethman, Managing Director–Marketing, Nelnet Business Services
Jodi’s Professional Goals
My top professional priority for 2024 is to explore and expand the ways in which we grow community engagement and empower connection among our K-12 and higher education customers and associates. We launched FACTS, an online community for our K-12 customers, a couple of years ago and plan to do the same for our higher education customers in 2024. I want to spend time learning how other organizations have seen success building their customer communities.
Jodi’s Personal Goals
My personal New Year’s resolution for 2024 is to return to English horse riding on a regular basis and improve my skill level. I naturally love animals, and growing up, I spent time doing a lot of trail riding. During COVID, I began taking English riding lessons and really enjoyed it. There are many physical and mental benefits from horse riding. Mainly for me, it is a time to clear the mind and a great core workout!
Marc Thorson, IT Accessibility Team Lead
Marc’s Professional Goals
My top professional priority for 2024 is to ensure all teams in all business units are proactively accountable for the accessibility of their products and digital content. Our dedicated accessibility team excels at helping others complete a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) or Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR) for their product, address a monitored log of accessibility issues and improvements, implement accessibility best practices, and more. We’re committed to helping other teams improve experiences for all of their users. In the process, we help them fulfill their corporate accessibility policy. Reach out to me if we can help you.
Marc’s Personal Goals
My personal New Year’s resolution for 2024 is to watch as many Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, and Marvel Universe shows and spin-offs as humanly possible. This is the way. (Fun fact: The Jedi Council is Nelnet’s community of practice dedicated to ensuring that Nelnet products and services are state-of-the-art and accessible to everyone. I have no idea where that name came from.)
Nycci Jones, Director of Training and Development/Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Nycci’s Professional Goals
I have two key professional goals, as I am responsible for Training and Development, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI):
Training and Development:
Explore and implement AI-based tools to personalize learning experiences for Nelnet’s associates.
Better Together (Nelnet’s DEI initiative):
Develop AI-driven training programs focused on promoting inclusivity and diversity awareness.
Nycci’s Personal Goals
My personal New Year’s resolution is to foster connections, create meaningful experiences, and prioritize the people I love and care about.