As 2023 quickly approaches, Az Business magazine sat down with some of Arizona’s most innovative and forward-thinking business leaders to discuss industry trends and potential new business development executives should be paying attention to in 2023.

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Today, we meet Nikki Badje from TruWest Credit Union.

Nikki Badje

Senior vice president and chief human resources officer

TruWest Credit Union

Badje joined TruWest in 2013 and served in several roles before becoming senior vice president and chief human resources officer. Badje does not stray from a challenge, instead she develops action plans that deliver excellent results. She has made it her mission to improve employee engagement and reduce turnover and has effectively accomplished this goal.

ATTRACTION TO FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY: “Originally, I worked in radiology and then moved into the construction field — completely different industries. Then, when I got a role at TruWest Credit Union, I loved the culture. I love their philosophy of people helping people, and I just fell in love with TruWest. I’ve just loved the credit union industry since.”

BENEFITS OF AN ECLECTIC BACKGROUND: “I think having the history of medical coding and understanding some of the medical procedures that go on is really helpful when employees are asking for family and medical leave and looking over our benefit plans.

COMPANY DIFFERENTIATOR: “The culture at TruWest is all about the family feel and it’s so different than other organizations because to me, other organizations don’t focus as much on employee engagement. Having people that you work with that you feel like family, it’s just a great feeling to have.”

LEADERSHIP STRENGTHS: “One of my strengths as a leader is my ability to look at conflicts from an objective lens. In my role, I see intense situations all the time. I have to be able to look at those roles objectively and make sound decisions. I think that’s what makes me a really strong leader.”

LEADERSHIP BACKGROUND: “I’ve always been in leadership roles. Even when I was an athlete, I always seemed to take a lead role. Then, as I’ve worked in all my roles throughout my career, it’s always just been leadership roles. It’s just something I’ve always been passionate about.”