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Faces of Nelnet: Jeff Noordhoek, President, Nelnet, Inc.

September 29, 2010

Interviewed by Dawn Knight, Western Regional Director, Nelnet Partner Solutions


Jeff Noordhoek, President, Nelnet, Inc.

What is your greatest source of pride concerning Nelnet?

Jeff Noordhoek: I am most proud of Nelnet’s culture in that both our values and our priorities are where they should be:

Customers are #1

Create an environment in which associates can do what they do best and have a great place to work

Build a diversified education services company

Maintain open, honest communication internally and externally

Give back to the communities in which we live and work

What has been your biggest work related challenge during the past 12 months?

Jeff Noordhoek: Obviously, the biggest challenge (and opportunity) over the past year has been adjusting to the elimination of student lending and replacing it with some new and exciting business, which we’ve done successfully.  Today, our three core education services are tuition payment plans and campus commerce, interactive marketing, and student loan servicing, including servicing loans on behalf of the Department of Education (“the Department”). We are very excited to be able to work with the Department to serve students, families, and schools. We are proud to have turned this industry challenge into a growth opportunity for Nelnet and its associates.

If a school were to ask you what it is you do for Nelnet that impacts them, what would you say?

Jeff Noordhoek: I think the most important thing we can do as a company is to empower our associates and give them the tools they need to do what is right for our customers.

What do you believe Nelnet’s goals to be?

Jeff Noordhoek: The primary goal of Nelnet is to make educational dreams possible, which includes ensuring that our student customers are in a position to improve their quality of life through education.  To be a cog in the wheel of education, to make sure that it’s working effectively and efficiently, is one of the most noble goals one can have—and it’s one that Nelnet feels is paramount to our success. 

We also strive to help schools empower their students in achieving their educational goals. 

Nelson Mandela says it best:

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

If you could be anywhere in the universe for New Year’s Eve, where would you be and why?

Jeff Noordhoek: I’d be wherever the NCAA championship football game is being held—as long as Nebraska is playing in it.

What is your favorite movie snack?

Jeff Noordhoek: Popcorn and Junior Mints.

Name one thing that many people do not know about you.

Jeff Noordhoek:  My greatest accomplishment in life was to become an Eagle Scout.

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