She’s Head Of The Welcome Wagon

August 25, 2017

She tells newcomers to IU Health that she’s an introvert. But make no mistake about it. Nicole Norwood is not shy. In fact, she’s very much a people person.

She came to IU Health 16 years ago and moved into education 14 years ago. Since January she has been at the helm of the daylong orientation program for all new hires. Talking to team members about everything from employee benefits to proper hand washing techniques is a whole lot of information to pack into a single day. But Norwood says it’s all in the approach.

“Every other week I strive to make it a memorable first day and it is confirmed by the number of people I see in the hallways or in passing that say, ‘hey you did my orientation.’ That brings a huge smile to my face.

“Being the first line of contact with new employees is exciting and fulfilling. I’m getting to meet these people starting their careers at IU Health and to show them there’s so much more to this organization other than work – it’s about passion and great people – a lot to be proud of,” said Norwood.

She gets her energy from her alone time. No music. No noise - just time to reflect and sit still.

“That doesn’t mean I’m shy. I’m not shy at all. My family life is kind of private. I have intimate close relationships and that’s where the private side of me lives, but publicly I’m extroverted. I call myself an ‘extroverted introvert.’”

But she recently took a few minutes to open up about that private side.

She’s been married for 12 years to Glenn Norwood, who works as a train dispatcher for the railroad. Together they have seven children – six boys and a girl, who is the youngest. The children range in age from 29 to 16. Three are still living at home. All the boys played sports and one graduated from Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio with a four-year basketball scholarship. She also has two grandchildren.

Birthdays and holidays are big for the family of nine. One of Norwood’s favorite family memories was a trip to New Jersey to visit her father.

“We all got in a van and drove 13 hours and we gave all the kids energy drinks ahead of time so they’d expend all the energy before the trip,” said Norwood. “We all slept in the basement of my dad’s condo. We went to beach, we shopped, we cooked, we toured the Statue of Liberty and we just had a fun time. You have to be creative when you have seven kids.”

Now that the children are older, Norwood is filling the quiet time with professional development and hobbies. She recently completed certification as a career holistic life coach and is pursuing certification in human resources. Her hobbies include hip-hop and line dancing and Zumba.

Here are four more things about Norwood:

  • She is a self-proclaimed “Coupon Queen.”
  • She collects Coach purses and wristlets (she owns 22 wristlets and 40 purses)
  • She wanted to be a teacher growing up.
  • Her most commonly used hash tag (After #WeAreIUHealth) #DoWhatYouLove.

-- By T.J. Banes, Associate Senior Journalist at IU Health.
Reach Banes via email at
T.J. Banes or on Twitter @tjbanes.

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