Chad and Nikki Strickland: Live Meaningful Lives Through Meaningful Work

Episode 88

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Hosted by
Jeff Bond

As the CEO of Chat With Leaders Media and Executive Partner of People First Elevation Team, Jeff leads media strategies for global clients, enhancing content marketing, companywide meeting experiences, conferences, and cross-cultural training. With over 20 years of experience in media, technology, and marketing, Jeff founded Chat With Leaders Media in 2021 to elevate purpose-driven businesses in the marketplace. His core values are Partnership, Inclusion, and Empowerment. Jeff also co-hosts "The People Experience Pulse," a podcast that explores leadership strategies in People, Employee, and Human Experience (PX/EX/HX). Off the clock, he is a devoted husband, father of three, and active citizen in Atlanta, GA.

Chad is the culture, and people strategist who drives business results with the power of belief, purpose, and communication. Chad began his 20-year career as a labor and employment attorney, then transitioned to a senior business executive, where he learned how the power of people can impact an organization. 

In co-founding NICH in 2016, Chad sought to develop a resource that he wished he had as a senior executive at a large enterprise. During his nearly 15-year tenure with one of the most successful specialty retailers in the country, Aaron’s Inc., Chad was responsible for the most valued aspect of the business: attracting, hiring, training, and engaging the 20,000+ (mostly millennial) associates. Building this process from scratch gave Chad invaluable experience and lessons on what’s effective for today’s millennial workforce. 

Nikki is the millennial marketing, creative director, and internal brand strategist who provides clients with counsel and a personal confidant to successfully lead their brands around the world. Nikki has developed a wide skill set thanks to a diverse background spanning a Major League Baseball team, a large enterprise, a digital advertising agency, and a technology start-up. She has developed a range of specialties from graphic design to copywriting to web coding. With a passion for purpose and a great eye for design, Nikki helps organizations tap into their younger generations by meeting them where they are. 

In co-founding NICH, Nikki sought to build a team of creatives, communicators, and designers that understand the power of effective and authentic communication. Nikki creates strategies and executes proven tactics to build strong foundations of communication and engagement across companies both locally and abroad.

Nikki and Chad live in Historic Inman Park Atlanta and have an office in the Old Fourth Ward.  When not in the office, you can find them with their two dogs, training or drinking wine at VinoTeca. Both are elite endurance athletes that travel the world competing in crazy events and run teams of like-minded individuals.  

Discussion Topics

  1. Can you walk us through your journey to starting NICH Culture – an agency that’s uniquely focused on workplace culture and purpose?
  2. What kind of problems have you seen leaders of growing companies facing with respect to unhealthy cultures? How do you guide them into a better narrative around purpose, mission, and stronger core values?
  3. Can you share an example of the impact you’ve had with helping your clients understand, define, articulate, and promote an exceptional work culture through your work at NICH?
  4. What do you see happening in the labor market right now? 
  5. What roles are leadership and culture playing for those organizations that are thriving?

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