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Business Development·Change·Creativity·Ideas·Innovation·Technology

Our Crashers can THiNK!

Hi Team Cooperative Trust.

Have you heard about THIS?! It’s kinda cool – and this year, not one BUT TWO of our awesome family are finalists.

Brett Wooden with “Where’s my Allowance?”, a cool app which will help to teach young users financial literacy.  

And Chris Whalen with “MobileOne”, a complete mobile banking platform solution for credit unions.

This is all really exciting! Please support out community and vote for your favourite Crasher!

Click here to vote now. Voting closes on May 2nd, 2014.




Finovate Europe, Day 5 (minus 4)

Don’t know about Finovate? Never heard of it? For shame!

This is an awesome place where some of the coolest people come together to talk all about their brand new ideas and technologies for financial services. The awesome format of this event keeps it fresh and interesting all the way through with each presenter only getting a 7 minute slot before a rather loud gong ushers them from the stage. I have a feeling that I should have a gong for other things in life to indicate their time is up… Anyway, I digress….

Here are my top 3 favourites from today, expect more tomorrow:

“Too many graphs!”

Yseop is a clever little piece of software, so clever I’m convinced that there must be a wizard hiding in it somewhere. Alas, I have been assured there isn’t. So, what is it? Yseop is a piece of software which will analyse your data and essentially write your exec summary / monthly report for you in a quick and digestible fashion. Ever had your boss tell you that you have too many graphs?! Well, a thing of a past with Yseop. The ability of this software to simplify and deliver information in bite-sized chunks means that you can provide information and data to your organisation that everyone can understand as well as ensure that your busy ‘on the go CEO’ can still digest everything you want to tell them. More than this, Yseop also allows tellers to run similar reports on members, meaning that your teller (at the click of a button) can have a complete summary of the member in front of them without trawling through data. Now, that’s cool. Right?

“Another budgeting and money management app, joy.”

Joy indeed! Toshl finance provide us with nothing completely revolutionary, however, what they do provide us with is entertainment and engagement. This cool little app from the genuinely hilarious people at Toshl makes budgeting and expense tracking slick, easy and actually – fun. And isn’t that what we need? Some fun in our financial lives? So why is this important for you? Well – imagine credit union members who enjoy managing their money! Members who did this on the go. Members who cared. Would this lead to higher engaged members, members who were better ‘up’ on their money, members who were more in control… And ultimately, lower risk members? Who knows. But pretty groovy nonetheless, check it out!

“Cloudy, cloudy, cloud, cloud.”

Cloud core banking system from Five Degrees. I like clouds. I don’t like rain. But clouds are fun. This one especially. Demonstrating their ‘Matrix’ platform, Five Degrees brought with them a clean, crisp and ultimately user friendly core processing system. This 360 system shows both the member and credit union (or ‘b’ word) the same information, the same view. That’s fun, right? Both member and financial institution on the same page. But this is not what was most impressive… The ability to seamlessly change, edit, adjust the front end, the member experience with simple click or plug and play options in the administration system demonstrated the ease in which every organisation should be able to manage their core processing systems. Bravo Five Degrees, bravo.

So, that was great. Thanks for joining in! Want some more? You mean, that wasn’t enough? Ok then, click here for Ben Rogers’ favourites from today.

Careers·Change·Community Development·Crash the GAC·Innovation·Leadership

Hi Chris!

§ a note from james §

Hi everyone,

This is some really exciting news! I would like to welcome Chris Fraenza into The Cooperative Trust family!!!

As many of you know, at the end of 2013 Theresa Hilinski moved on from The Trust. We wish her nothing but success for her future and thank her for everything she’s done over the years.

But change brings new challenges and lots of excitement. Chris is a young credit union guy through and through. We’re so so excited to have him as he brings a wealth of experience. He’s great with people, children and pets too! We couldn’t ask for anyone better than Chris to join us on our journey as we take The Cooperative Trust forward.

Party time!!

§ a note from chris §

Hi everyone!

I couldn’t be more excited to begin working with The Cooperative Trust and all of you great young people! I am no stranger to credit unions, young adults, and the issues that we face personally and industry wide. As young adults, we play a very important role in shaping the future of credit unions—what we can accomplish is limitless.

Like many of you 2014 brought many changes to my life, I started a new role at Filene Research Institute as the Research and Innovation Catalyst. One of my main responsibilities will be to assist the Trust’s leader, James, in all the cool stuff that we plan to make happen. My new role also allows me to help credit unions create “Impact” and engage with our valued membership. I cover a lot of ground and move fast, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I can’t wait to see many of you at Crash the GAC ’14. Please reach out and say “hi” and keep on doing what you’re doing. Ya’ll are awesome! (I’m not from the south but I think it sounds better!)



Twitter: @cfraenza

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/christopher-fraenza/39/279/9a9/

Crash the GAC

Your 2014 GAC Crashers!

It’s finally here! It’s finally here!!!!!!!!!

Your 2014 GAC Crashers! Check them out!


Filene Survey: What Are Your Opportunities and Challenges?

Filene Survey: What Are Your Opportunities and Challenges?

Filene Research Institute, in partnership with the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), seeks to shed light on the challenges and opportunities faced by employees and volunteers at credit unions around the world. Respond today to be entered for a chance to win one of ten $50 Amazon gift cards.

This survey, designed by Melissa Thomas-Hunt, PhD, a management professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, seeks to understand the challenges and opportunities for credit union leaders in North America and internationally. We seek responses from employees and volunteers at natural-person credit unions.

Your participation in this activity is voluntary. If you agree to participate, you will be asked to complete the survey.The survey takes approximately 15 minutes.  You may refuse to participate or withdraw from participation in the study without penalty at any time. Completion of this form implies consent to be included in this project.

We encourage you to answer these questions honestly and with integrity. All responses to this survey will be kept confidential by the researchers, and will not be shared with anybody else in your organization.

Respondents who complete the survey and share a valid email address will be entered for the chance to win one of ten $50 Amazon.com gift cards. This email will only be used to contact you if you win and will not be connected to your responses or used in any other way.

Crash the 1·Lending·Professional Development·Updates

Crashed the ’13 CUNA Lending Conference

Our version of how the West was won!



I’m home now relaxing on my couch, and mentally reviewing the 2013 CUNA Lending Conference.  I’m sure everyone’s expecting this article to be a little gushy, incredibly biased, and a little “Hooray, Crashers”, and that is exactly what you are going to get.  What a blast it was!

Day One

I met up with the Crash team (Mike London, Ellen Kohout, Allison Kretovic, Stacey Johnson and Brittney Wensley)    early Sunday morning for breakfast, introductions and to receive our volunteer T-shirts and ball caps.  We boarded the bus with other conference attendees and vendors, and made our way to the ICM Food & Clothing Bank.  “ICM” formerly “Interfaith Cooperative Ministries” currently serves 150 families six days a week.  We had individuals from cooperatively-owned credit unions from across the nation converging in a single spot to help out another cooperative.  This stuck with me as I am a big fan of the cooperative movement – not just the credit union movement.  Cooperative Principle #6 was in full effect, y’all!

After the volunteer event we made it back to the resort and Mike London instructed us “rookie” Crashers to prepare for the orientation that evening.  I took “prepare” to mean “nap it up,” and that’s exactly what I did.

Orientation arrived and everyone was well-rested and still buzzing from the feel-good vibes the volunteer event created.  We were introduced to a roomful of CEO’s, vice presidents and other upper management credit unionists, and then played a little Human Bingo – a fun break-the-ice game.  The festivities spilled into the adjacent ballroom where dinner and drinks were served, and the mingling continued.

Day Two & Three

Breakfast was served at 7am each morning promptly followed by keynote addresses from Josh Linkner who shared five ideas to drive creativity (Day Two), Mike Schenk who provided an economic forecast (Day Three) and J.B. Orrechia of SavvyMoney who provided insight into household financial management and how it relates to credit unions.  The breakout sessions commenced, and everyone would scatter to sessions ranging from MBL’s to mortgage lending to becoming a Jedi master in Excel (props to Mike!).  Day two wrapped with a western-themed casino night which brought out a number of interesting cowboy and cowgirl costumes and photo opps (see above)!  Day three wrapped with an evening on our own which meant a very nice dinner with the management team behind SavvyMoney.

From left: Ellen Kohout, Stacey Johnson, Brittney Wensley, Dan Roam, Zac Jones and Michael London.

Day Four

Breakfast kicked the day off and then we were treated to a rather engaging General Session held by West Region Director Edwin Chow of the CFPB.  He fielded a number of questions from the audience, and took questions after his presentation.  This included my inquiry about the CFPB’s stand on Bitcoin to which he responded his agency is in “wait and see” mode.

After a brief break, Dan Roam, best-selling author and speaker, discussed solving problems visually, and using pictures to sell your solutions.  Dan’s session, the final session of the conference, was captivating and enlightening.

The conference was adjourned, handshakes, hugs and smiles were exchanged and even a few photobombs were witnessed.  All in all, this opportunity granted all attendees a few days of education, new experiences and most of all, ample occasions for networking.

Crash the GAC

Crash the GAC 2014!

Welcome, welcome!

Today, we have some seriously amazing news for you and I hope you have your party hats on because you are NOT going to want to miss this!

We are ever so delighted to announce that The Cooperative Trust, CUNA and your state leagues/associations are joining forces to launch the search for our Crashers for the CUNA GAC 2014!

This year, we are attempting to get 1 crasher from each state and the District of Columbia represented at this year’s GAC.  That’s right, 51 Crashers in D.C.  Applications are now open, click here to go and fill one out!

Applications close on December 17th 2013.

Every Crasher will receive a full conference registration from CUNA. If the chosen Crasher’s credit union can’t cover all of their travel expenses their league may be providing some funding to help too!  More details about available sponsorship can be found on the Crash the GAC site.

With more Crashers than ever before, a deeper dive into the world of credit union advocacy, and support from state leagues, Crash the GAC is going to help arm our young professionals with ideas to stay involved when they return home.

Crash the GAC will bring young credit union professionals together, running a tailored program alongside the main event and allowing for mentor sessions with key individuals from the likes of National Credit Union Foundation, Credit Union National Association, National Credit Union Administration, Filene Research Institute and CUNA Mutual Group.

We also got a cool little quote from Jill Tomalin, EVP and COO of Credit Union National Association:

I believe we need to develop next generation leaders to grow, promote and sustain the credit union movement. The CUNA GAC is the premier, annual, must-attend program for engaged credit union staff.  We look forward to working with The Cooperative Trust to expand the presence of young professionals in the 2014 Crash the GAC.

Head over to www.crashthegac.com right now to find out more and complete an application form.

Seriously, why have you not gone to www.crashthegac.com yet?

REALLY?! You’ve still not clicked and visited? You really need to hurry up!

Good luck with your application. If you have any questions, email us at: trust@trust.coop

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