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CFO·Crash·Crash Event·CUNA·CUNA Councils·Filene·Gen Y·Ideas·Innovation·Leadership·Meetups·Mentorship·News Release

Future CFO’s Heading to New Orleans!

Once again, we are working with the CUNA CFO Council and Twenty Twenty Analytics to bring you Crash the CUNA CFO Council Conference.

Last year, we took a bright group to Las Vegas, this year we’re taking a bright group to New Orleans. Our Crashers this year will be put through their paces using business model generation theory to help build something, something that will help in developing a whole new generation of credit union CFO’s.

After scouring the country, we found a group of 10 incredible young credit union professional. And here they are:

Alyssa LaLonde, Limestone Federal Credit Union

Amber Ball, St. Lawrence Federal Credit Union

AnnMarie Buglione, Community Choice Credit Union

Ibrahim Fall, New York University Federal Credit Union

Jordan Kowalkowski, Filer Credit Union

Lindsey McMillen, ORNL Federal Credit Union

Luke Soper, San Diego County Credit Union

Matt Fuller, Affinity Plus FCU

Patrick Gross, Sioux Empire Federal Credit Union

Ricky Hasan, West Community Credit Union

CFO·Cooperative Economy·Crash·Crash Event·Ideas·Leadership·Meetups·Mentorship·Professional Development

Recap of Crash the CUNA CFO Council 2014

By great Odin’s beard, was #CrashtheCFO14 and incredible experience!! I’m going to try and do the best I can to recap this for you with a couple of takeaways that we experienced.

Check out the Storify:

And continue below….

Day 1 – Saturday, 17th May.

“I had an amazing experience at crash the CFO. I made connections that will last a lifetime. I gained new insights and ideas that I can now bring back to my credit union. But most of all, I gained a sense of confidence that will help me in years to come and help me follow my dream of becoming a credit union CFO.”

All but one of our Crashers arrived the day before our conference. We had dinner and had planned to take them to the hotel ‘party and dance establishment’. However, this establishment had requested 90 of your fine American Dollars, per male, to enter. At which point, we took the gang to town and found a place we could enjoy. We danced the night away and had a great time getting to know each other before we really kicked things off on the Sunday!

Day 2 – Sunday, 18th May.

After a morning gathering pool side, we kicked off at about 1pm. We had our own room just off the main conference area and we gave the Crashers a simple task of introducing themselves before we asked them to set their own standards of what success would look like for them that week. So, what would make Crash the CFO a success for our group? They wanted to: learn new ideas, network, be heard. We also asked the group to set their own standards; how would they represent themselves, their credit unions and The Cooperative Trust. Following all the great discussion, the CFO Council Executive Committee came to spend 30 minutes with us, where we asked each one for their horoscope sign, their current position and an embarrassing story. I won’t repeat the things we heard… We always had our group sit in a circle with our speakers. No presentations. We had conversations, on the same level.

Straight away, you could tell that our Crashers were accepted.

We then had first time attendees orientation where we played a version of ‘people bingo’, where we had to meet others with certain attributes, the first 10 to complete their sheet would win a Target (ironic following their problems?) gift card. Three of our Crashers won!

After orientation, we stayed around with the rest of the conference attendees for the first reception of the week. A short 90 minute vendor reception. We let our Crashers go off and do their own thing and meet with vendors.

Following the evening festivities, we walked ALL THE WAY down the strip in Vegas to find food, we didn’t sit down until 10.30pm to eat! I, at least, was hungry!

Day 3 – Monday, 19th May

Early Monday morning breakfast followed by the Keynote Speech! This was incredible. John Foley, former lead solo pilot of the Blue Angels took us through the ‘framework’ of what he and his fellow demonstration pilots used to become high performers. He called this the Diamond Performance framework. Now, John himself admitted that this wasn’t an inherently new framework, but one which had been adapted in order to help people take their performance to the next level. This talk was engaging and inspiring and I’d advise you to check John out at: The Blue Angels motto is “Glad to be here”. Each member of the team would remind themselves of that each day. At the end of the talk, we could tell that our Crashers were #gladtobehere

Then the breakouts began. The Crashers had been tasked for the week to make sure they have one key point / one key theme they can takeaway with them from breakouts.

At lunch we were recognised in front of the entire conference delegation by the CFO Council Exec Committee.

Between the breakout sessions, we had our own sessions… Our first Crasher session was with Texans CU CEO; Kevin Durrance and his young CFO, Andrew Swoger. Kevin’s passion and energy about hiring the right person for the job, regardless of age – was inspiring. Each Crasher walked away from that believing they could ‘make it’ too. Kevin backed up his words by bringing his CFO, Andrew, with him.

Following more conference breakouts, we closed the day with 4 guests:

  • Suzanne Weinstein, CFO at Orlando FCU (AND I3er! WOO!)
  • Jay Scrugio, CFO at Freedom CU.
  • MJ Coon, CFO at Ent Federal CU.
  • Peg Lamb, CFO at Co-Op Services CU.

They all had inspiring stories and each had a different perspective which gave our Crashers something to think about! Amazing session and really, we probably didn’t have enough time with these great people.

The evening took us to a reception in The Shark Reef at the hotel. Cool reception at the aquarium. Following that, Crashers had time to do their own thing. Some went to the strip, some stayed to network.

Day 4 – Tuesday, 20th May

Well, breakouts continued! Our Crashers excited as the returned from each one that they had gained some great insights. We also had some great guest speakers on Tuesday – including:

  • Steve Rick from CUNA
  • Scott Knapp from CUNA Mutual Group
  • Richard Reed from National Cooperative Bank

All three made an incredible effort to welcome our Crashers, and all three were highly highly intelligent.

This day flew by with not a minute to spare. And before we knew it, it was night time again. We made an active decision that the Crashers needed a ‘real Vegas experience’, I’ll leave the rest of the story there….

Day 5 and final day – Wednesday, 21st May.

So, final day. What felt like a slow start to the morning quickly turned around with Mick Schenk from CUNA presenting on risk-based capital. The group took a tremendous amount away from the session. Our keynote who also became our last minute guest Crash speaker for the day was Jon Wolske, Culture Evangelist at Zappos Insights. I don’t want to ruin Jon’s great keynote, so instead - here’s him presenting at TEDx. Also – my fingers are a little tired from typing this post!

Mike Schenk was supposed to be our guest speaker but had to run as duty called, so Jon stepped up to the plate and gave our Crashers a great closing session with 15 minutes just talking about culture. He gave some great advice on managing up, on creating a culture and also on keep culture when you’re on the road.

Finally, we closed our day by asking our Crashers: So, was this a success? We got a resounding YES! And tied back to day 1 where we discussed how our week would be successful. We touched upon our new connections, our new ideas and whether we thought we had been heard by the industry. Chris gave some great closing words, before handing over to me who ruined it by finishing with a card trick… Well… When in Vegas, right?


CFO·Crash·Crash Event·Finance·Leadership·News Release

Crash the CUNA CFO Council Conference!

The Cooperative Trust and the CUNA CFO Council are co-hosting the first ever Crash the CFO Council Conference. The conference is to be held May 18-21 in Las Vegas, NV.

The Cooperative Trust and the CUNA CFO Council are excited to announce their Crashers for the CFO Council Conference in May of this year. They are:

  • Thomas Igartua, Seasons Federal Credit Union, The Credit Union League of Connecticut
  • Joseph King, Interra Credit Union, Indiana Credit Union League
  • Bonita  Knatterud, North Star Community Credit Union, Credit Union Association of the Dakotas
  • Alicia Kortus, Dover Federal Credit Union, Delaware Credit Union League
  • Chelsea Paynter, Fort Community Credit Union, Wisconsin Credit Union League
  • Jennifer Smith, Maps Credit Union, Northwest Credit Union Association
  • Camille Stephenson, Mazuma Credit Union, Missouri Credit Union Association
  • Benjamin Teske, America’s First Federal Credit Union, League of Southeastern Credit Unions
  • Grace  Webster, Nottingham Credit Union, Association of British Credit Unions Ltd.
  • Kyle Zagunis, Co-op Services Credit Union, Michigan Credit Union League

You can find out more about them here:

Every Crasher will receive a full conference registration from the CFO Council, as well as a years membership to the council and up to $1000 in travel expenses. The Cooperative Trust, most well known for partnering with Credit Union National Association for Crash the GAC, is the credit union systems foremost young professional network, arranging local, state and national events to help inspire and challenge young credit union professionals.

With a focus on the future of finances, within credit unions, the Crash the CFO program will give young professionals the opportunity to meet with industry leaders and existing CFO’s to give them a deeper insight in to the world of credit union finance and planning. The Cooperative Trust will run a tailored program alongside the main event and allowing for mentor sessions with key individuals. Previous sessions have included guests from the likes of National Credit Union Foundation, Credit Union National Association, National Credit Union Administration, Filene Research Institute and CUNA Mutual Group

“We are excited to partner with the CFO Council” says Cooperative Trust representative James Marshall, “this is an exciting opportunity for our crashers to dive deeper into credit union function and functionality as opposed to mission, as with our Crash the GAC event. Having worked with the Lending Council, we are now excited to work with the CFO Council to develop and run their Crash program.”

Crash the CFO Council brings another stage of partnership between The Cooperative Trust and Credit Union National Association, as our two organisation work to bring you the best in events for young credit union professionals.

“We’re thrilled with the opportunity to provide young credit union professionals the chance to be a part this event that brings together 400-500 credit union financial experts,” said Council Vice Chair Suzanne Weinstein, CFO of Orlando Federal Credit Union, “and we’re pleased to work with the Cooperative Trust to help make this happen.”

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