One of Us

Kay Nichols

Posted

Can you please briefly tell us about your background?

I am a British national and U.S. citizen with 30 years of global financial technology experience. It has been an exciting time to be in Fintech and ride the digital transformation wave! I have spent my career building major portfolio businesses for Fortune 500 companies, FIS and IBM, which have helped banks navigate the transition from cash and checks to eBanking and digital payments. I have recently parlayed that experience into corporate board participation and advisory work. I currently serve on the board of directors for a digital payments company, a cybersecurity firm and an artificial intelligence business. I was also one of founding investors in JaxAngels, a group of local executives and subject matter experts who invest in and nurture startups and growth companies here in NE Florida. It really exciting to be part Jacksonville’s transition into an East Coast technology hub.  

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I enjoy being involved with bleeding edge technologies that disrupt how we currently do things. My work serving on boards and with JaxAngels gives me a lot of exposure to digital commerce and the entrepreneurs driving it.

What are some of the challenges that your industry/company is facing?

Cybercrime is a major issue — and opportunity — in today’s business environment. In Northeast Florida, we have seen a major uptick in cyber crime involving threats like ransomware — especially in the last year — as COVID has heightened the urgency to move many business operations to the cloud. From large-to-small organizations, everyone is at risk and needs to have a robust cybersecurity strategy and plan to manage the challenge. 

What are your primary roles/responsibilities?

I am a big picture thinker and, as board director, I play a strategic function in supporting the vision, mission and goals of the organization. In contrast, my role as advisor allows me to roll up my sleeves and work shoulder-to-shoulder with the CEO and leadership team to solve today’s pressing issue. I love brainstorming new ways of doing things with the team and then work out how technology can help get us there. 

What do you enjoy most about living in the Northeast Florida area?

I have lived in 15 cities around the world and have done business in over 50 countries; I could not be more pleased to call NE Florida my home! We should be proud of our beautiful beaches, our breathtaking downtown and our generous, involved community.  

What do you like to do in your free time?

I am an avid contemporary art collector and very much enjoy my involvement with MOCA Jacksonville, where I sit on the board. I love real estate and have just indulged this passion with my seventh renovation project (along with the rest of the COVID world)! Anyone for croquet? I remember playing with my grandad as a girl in the U.K. and am just taking it up again. I am absolutely rubbish, but it’s fun to get out there and what-ho. As a Brit, any sport involving wickets must be good, right?

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