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  • Writer's pictureKelsie Papenhausen

Industry Veterans Launch Startup to Transform Credit Union Member Experience 

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (JANUARY 9, 2024) — Nook (, a pioneer of niche experiences, proudly announces its official launch, poised to challenge the status quo and innovate within the credit union industry.

Nook was founded to tackle a problem every credit union faces – truly engaging members at a deeply personal level. To grow, credit unions have expanded their fields of membership and the products and services they offer. As a result, credit unions have raced to become all things to all people, offering a wide variety of products and services to diverse demographics, leading to lower engagement and member loyalty – and ultimately decreased profitability. Recognizing these challenges, Nook presents a unique solution to redefine how credit unions connect with their members by reintroducing and modernizing the focused, targeted model that originally set them apart.

"I firmly believe that Nook is at the forefront of something truly exceptional for the credit union industry," said Kirk Kordeleski, an industry veteran and now a Strategic Advisor at Nook. “Drawing from my experience as a former credit union CEO, I can attest that every credit union grapples with similar challenges related to member loyalty and engagement—precisely the issues that Nook was established to address. Over the past decade, I've had the privilege of collaborating with the founders and witnessing firsthand their unwavering commitment to innovation, excellence, and the industry. I am excited to contribute to their transformative mission and the positive change it will have in the credit union industry."

Nook’s solution to the engagement challenge takes credit unions back to their roots to empower them to leverage niche strategies. Credit unions originated the niche model, which was their core differentiator that allowed them to build trust and relationships with their members. With Nook’s Niche Experience Platform, credit unions no longer need a new brand, website, or technology stack to deliver Niche Experiences to their members. By partnering with Nook, credit unions benefit from their own niche strategies without sacrificing their existing brand. 

“The resurgence of the niche model is underway, yet almost no credit unions are developing and implementing niche brands,” stated Austin Wentzlaff, Co-Founder & CEO of Nook. “Fintechs have seized the moment, leveraging new technologies to develop effective niche strategies and are proving the model's success, just like credit unions did a century ago. People trust institutions they believe truly understand them on a personal level, and building niche experiences is an excellent way to develop that trust. Nook is committed to enabling credit unions to reclaim the niche model they once dominated and empowering them to build deep trust and loyalty, increase share of wallet and profitability, and enhance overall engagement. We are extremely excited to launch this new, game-changing platform for credit unions and look forward to accelerating industry growth for years to come.” 

About Nook 

Nook ( is a fintech offering a first-of-its-kind platform designed to empower credit unions to provide niche experiences to their members without the need for a new brand, website, or technology stack. Nook’s Niche Experience Platform leverages a niche, lifestyle content approach to build focused communities around core member groups, building deep trust and loyalty. By incorporating lifestyle topics alongside financial content, Nook offers a fresh perspective, encouraging more frequent member engagement and enabling credit unions to sell without selling by allowing members to envision the practicality, relevance and positive impact that credit union solutions have on their lives. 


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