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Keynote Session Speakers
Matt has been with ABCUL since January 2009. Matt is responsible for representing the interests of the credit union movement to Government, regulators and policy-makers generally as well as media relations and public affairs. Matt's time at ABCUL has seen many important policy developments for British credit unions, including transformational legislative reforms, wholesale regulatory reform, and Government investment in credit union central services. Matt’s team maintains a supportive cross-party political profile for the British credit union sector. This includes supporting the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Credit Unions in Westminster, one of the largest in the UK Parliament entertaining regular Ministerial speakers, and the Cross-Party Group on Credit Unions in Holyrood and the European Parliament Credit Union Interest Group. Matt holds a BA (Hons) in History from the University of Sheffield and a Post Graduate Diploma in Political Economy from the University of Manchester.
Bill Bynum is CEO of HOPE (Hope Enterprise Corporation, Hope Credit Union and Hope Policy Institute), a family of organizations that provides financial services; leverages resources; and engages in policy analysis to strengthen communities, build assets, and improve lives in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. Since 1994, HOPE has generated more than $2.5 billion in financing that has benefitted more than one million people in one of the nation’s most impoverished regions. Previously, Bynum helped establish nationally recognized programs at Self-Help and at the NC Rural Economic Development Center.
Bynum serves on the boards of the Aspen Institute, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Prosperity Now, and William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation. Bynum previously chaired the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Consumer Advisory Board and the Treasury Department’s Community Development Advisory Board. A recipient of the University of North Carolina Distinguished Alumnus Award, Bynum and HOPE have been honored by the Aspen Global Leadership Network, Opportunity Finance Network, Ernst & Young/Kauffman Foundation, National Rural Assembly, African American Credit Union Coalition, National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions and The Wall St. Journal/Met Life Foundation.
CDFI Fund Director Annie Donovan has deep roots in community development and finance. She was most recently Chief Executive Officer of CoMetrics, a social enterprise that provides high quality, affordable business intelligence tools to small businesses and nonprofits seeking to improve financial management, better measure social impact, and increase their capacity for innovation.
Prior to CoMetrics, Director Donovan was Senior Policy Advisor to the White House, working collaboratively with the Office of Social Innovation and the Council on Environmental Quality. She was part of a team focused on advancing impact investing, social enterprise and impact data as key strategies for improving the social sector. Donovan has been Chief Operating Officer of Capital Impact Partners, a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) where she was instrumental in creating the high performing teams and strategic plans that positioned Capital Impact as a market leader in the areas of education, health care, long terms care and affordable homeownership finance. She led the company’s efforts to build capacity in fundraising, policy, and innovation.
Director Donovan has also been a thought leader and a board member of many of the highest performing organizations in the community development sector, including serving as President of the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition. She has published papers and articles for the National Academy for Public Administration, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Forbes, and the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship. She has an undergraduate degree in Economics and an MBA in Finance.
Charlotte Ducksworth has been a member of DGEFCU for 15 years and is currently the Board’s Chair. Charlotte is President/CEO of BusinessBotics Consulting. Amongst her many accomplishments, she has been responsible for developing local and state policies regarding economic development and diversity inclusion.
She was formerly the Director and creator of the Prince George’s County Small Business Initiative, and Director of the Washington, D.C. Small Business Development Center. Charlotte is a current member of Maryland’s DHCD Loan Review Committee and of the Maryland Transit Authority.
Sherod Halliburton is a Community Development Finance expert currently serving as President/CEO of Manatee Community Federal Credit Union (MCFCU). Halliburton was hired by MCFCU in February 2012 as Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives where he guided the organization successfully through the process of becoming a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).
He was promoted to President in July 2013 and prior to that Halliburton served as the Executive Director of the Bradenton Central Community Redevelopment Agency for over seven years where he launched three successful economic development organizations (CareerEdge Workforce Funders Collaborative, Central Economic Development Center (CEDC), and Suncoast Community Capital (SCC).
Halliburton is a graduate of Leadership Florida Class XXXV and holds numerous state appointments including: the Florida Community Development Finance Agency (CDFA) Advisory board, Florida Policy Institute, Florida Advisory Council on Small and Minority Business Development, and the Florida Prosperity Partnership. Halliburton serves on the Innovations Committee of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions and he holds leadership positions on numerous local boards including the Treasurer of Manatee Community Action Agency, President of the Board of Directors for Manatee Educational TV, and Chairman of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce Small Business Council.
Edgar Hernandez is a Multicultural Strategy Manager dedicated to advancing the efforts of CUNA Mutual Group’s new Multicultural Center of Expertise, which includes gaining a deeper understanding of underserved consumers; partnering with internal departments to develop new strategies and products to serve consumer needs; and building coalitions that support similar efforts outside of the organization.
Prior to this role, Edgar worked as a Business Development Manager for a top-tier product innovation firm, Design Concepts, that uses design-thinking and a test-and-learn approach to help companies disrupt their industry by developing new products, services and experiences. Some of his clients included Harley Davidson, Spectrum Brands, GE Healthcare, American Family Insurance, CUNA Mutual and many more.
Edgar also spent nearly a decade working at American Family Insurance in the Market Research team, as well as their new Customer Experience, and Innovation teams. He was responsible for understanding and improving the customer journey across the agent, call center and website channels. Edgar also led the Connected Home team within the IoT practice, where he successfully established partnerships across the electronics industry (Microsoft, Samsung, Google, etc) to run pilot programs with opt-in customers to analyze sensor data to improve predictive loss (fire, water, and theft) models.
Finally, Edgar has non-profit and start-up experience with firms that have made community development and financial education the forefront of their mission. Edgar received his bachelor’s in Finance from Iowa State, and his MBA in Marketing, Operations and Entrepreneurship from UW-Madison.
Gigi Hyland brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her role as the Executive Director at the National Credit Union Foundation. Gigi's career in the credit union system spans 27 years - as an advocate, attorney, federal regulator and now, philanthropist. She inspires credit union professionals to collaborate and incorporate consumer financial health and cooperative principles into their business strategy. She works to help credit unions make themselves part of the strategic architecture of their community's financial well-being, integrating business and benevolence so credit unions serve as a trusted resource to their members and their community.
With more than 22 years of credit union, financial and business experience, Melva McKay-Bass (Mel) is the Senior Vice President of Business Development of Suncoast Credit Union. Mrs. McKay-Bass worked in a variety of leadership roles at Suncoast Credit Union such as senior vice president of member service operations, which included Risk Management, Fraud and Loss, teller operations, and deposit services. She also served as a regional vice president, branch manager and loan officer.
Beyond her business development duties, Mrs. McKay-Bass is passionate about utilizing her dynamic skill set to improve the community and serves as a member of the Freddie Solomon Boys’ and Girls’ Club Advisory Board, Chair of Tampa Bay Black Business Investment Corp, United Way Community Partnership Development (CPD) Board, the Volunteer Income Tax Preparation program, United Way Suncoast Board, and a board member of Members’ Trust Company. She is also a graduate of Leadership Tampa Bay 2016 class. A Florida A&M University alum, Mrs. McKay-Bass earned her degree in accounting and began her career at SunTrust Bank.
J. Mark McWatters
President Donald J. Trump designated J. Mark McWatters as the tenth Chairman of the NCUA Board on June 23, 2017.
McWatters previously served as Acting NCUA Board Chairman beginning on January 23, 2017. He was nominated to the NCUA Board by then-President Barack Obama on Jan. 7, 2014. Following Senate confirmation, he took office as an NCUA Board Member on Aug. 26, 2014. McWatters served as Acting Board Chairman from January 23 to June 23, 2017.
Prior to his joining the NCUA Board, Mr. McWatters served as the Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs and as a Professor of Practice at the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, and as an Adjunct Professor at the university’s Cox School of Business. He also served on the Governing Board of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs and the Advisory Committee of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund.
Previously, Mr. McWatters served as a member of the Troubled Asset Relief Program Congressional Oversight Panel and as counsel to Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas). He also practiced law as a partner with three large cross-border law firms and as counsel to an international hedge and private equity firm where he specialized in taxation, corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. Immediately after graduating from law school, Mr. McWatters served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Walter Ely of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Los Angeles.
Mr. McWatters is licensed to practice law in Texas and New York and as a Certified Public Accountant in Texas. He earned a J.D. degree from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law and an LL.M. degree from each of Columbia University School of Law and New York University School of Law.
Jonathan Mintz is Founding President and CEO of the Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Fund, a national non-profit that supports municipal efforts to help low-income consumers achieve long-term financial stability. He also founded and co-chaired the CFE Coalition, which brings together pioneering municipal governments from across the country to advance innovative financial empowerment initiatives. Previously the longest-serving Commissioner in the history of the NYC Dept. of Consumer Affairs, Jonathan redefined the Department's regulatory enforcement powers toward a focus on consumer financial stability. While there, he launched the Office of Financial Empowerment, which has been replicated by local governments across the nation.
Winona Nava is President/CEO of Guadalupe Credit Union and has served the credit union industry in many roles, including on the board for the Credit Union National Association, CUES Rocky Mountain Council, Board Chair of the National Credit Union Foundation. She is currently a Board Member for the Network of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals. Since becoming a CDFI in 2011, Guadalupe Credit Union has received almost $4 million in grants from the CDFI Fund. Since 2000, Guadalupe Credit Union has been focused on meeting the needs of the immigrant population.
Luis Pastor is President/CEO of Latino Community Credit Union, and oversaw its expansion into one of the fastest growing credit union in the U.S. During his tenure, LCCU has become model for institutions worldwide seeking to provide financial education and services to unbanked and low-income immigrant communities. LCCU has received more than 35 awards, including the Herb Wegner Award for its community impact and the first Wachovia NEXT Award. In 2015, Pastor was selected by Credit Union Times as one of the most influential CU industry leaders for the past 25 years.
Nisha Patel is an Institute fellow and executive director of the US Partnership on Mobility from Poverty at the Urban Institute. Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the partnership is a nonpartisan group of leaders, experts, and practitioners working to identify promising interventions to make real, lasting progress against persistent poverty in America.
Patel has nearly two decades of experience leading, developing, and implementing initiatives to increase economic opportunities for low-income families. She served in the Obama administration as director of the Office of Family Assistance within the US Department of Health and Human Services, overseeing a $17 billion annual portfolio of federal grants, including the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.
Patel was previously deputy director of Ascend at the Aspen Institute, where she led national efforts to expand two-generation approaches to improve outcomes for children and their parents. Before that, Patel was a program officer in the US Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she managed a portfolio focused on increasing postsecondary success through community partnerships and policy development, as well as special initiatives.
Patel previously held positions as director of programs at Washington Area Women’s Foundation and senior policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy. She has also been an adjunct professor at the George Washington University. Patel is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and holds an MSW with a concentration in social and economic development from Washington University in St. Louis.
José Julián Ramírez Ruiz
José Julián Ramírez Ruiz currently serves as Executive Director of the Asociación de Ejecutivos de Cooperativas de Puerto Rico (Credit Union Executives Association of Puerto Rico). He studied social sciences and holds a master's degree in communication from the University of Puerto Rico. In addition, he has done postgraduate studies in cooperative management at the University of Mondragón, País Vasco. He has founded cooperatives and taught at several universities. José Julián worked for seven years in the Liga de Cooperativas de Puerto Rico (Credit Union League of Puerto Rico) where he was responsible for Proyecto de Investigación en Responsabilidad Social Cooperativa (Credit Unions Social Responsibility Research Project), el Centro Nacional de Servicios Educativos (CENASE – National Center for Educational Services) and the Área de Desarrollo Cooperativo (Credit Union Development Area), which included facilitating technical support for cooperatives, editing the Puerto Rico Cooperativista (Credit Unions’ Membership in Puerto Rico) newspaper and leading the radio program Cooperativismo Por Puerto Rico (The Co-op Movement for Puerto Rico). For his accomplishments, José Julián received the William Hlushko Prize from the Asociación de Educadores en Cooperativismo (ACE – Association of Educators in the Co-op Movement) in 2011, and the Liga de Cooperativas (Credit Union League) merit award in 2014. haga clic aqui para bio en espanol
Evelyn Stark is the AVP Financial Inclusion for MetLife Foundation. She developed and manages the foundation’s financial inclusion strategy in order to reach low-income people with access to high-quality financial services. The Foundation has partnered with more than 170 financial inclusion partners in 40 countries across the MetLife footprint. With more than $150Million committed to to-date, the Foundation and its partners are on track to supporting more than 20 million people on their journey towards financial health.
Previously, Evelyn held senior positions in financial inclusion with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, World Bank/CGAP, USAID and for multiple international organizations while living in Uganda. Before moving into the more optimistic aspects of financial services, Evelyn managed commercial real estate special asset (bad debt) portfolios for bank and non-bank financial institutions on the East Coast.
Evelyn received a BA in International Relations and Economics from Bucknell University. In addition to serving on the board of Commonwealth, she serves on the advisory committee for the Center for Financial Inclusion at ACCION. She was a Presidio Institute Cross-Sector Leadership Fellow in 2016.
Breakout Session Speakers
Cindy Armstrong is a Senior Loan Officer who specializes in mortgage and consumer lending at Diamond Lakes Federal Credit Union headquartered in Malvern, Arkansas. She has 38 years of experience in the financial industry, eleven of those years with Diamond Lakes.
Since the credit received its CDFI certification in 2016, she has been instrumental in establishing the credit union’s secondary market mortgage lending program and works closely with CDCU Mortgage to provide financing and homeownership counseling to the credit union’s target market.
Patti Barrow is the Marketing Vice President of Suncoast Credit Union, based in Tampa, Florida. Barrow joined Suncoast as marketing vice president in August 2001. With experience that spans 34 years, Barrow has brought high-level strategic planning to Suncoast. Barrow’s business acumen and marketing expertise has been instrumental in the growth of Suncoast, the largest credit union in Florida. Barrow assisted with leading the credit union’s name change and rebranding efforts in the conversion from a federal charter to state charter. Under her leadership, the organization has entered the digital age of marketing and has significantly grown its membership base. Now with 60 branch locations, Suncoast has grown to become the eighth largest credit union in the United States based on membership and the thirteenth largest in the United States based on its $7.5 billion in assets.
Prior to joining to Suncoast, Barrow spent four years as marketing director at Riviera Finance, a commercial finance company headquartered in Redondo Beach, CA, and nine years at Chase Manhattan Mortgage, a division of Chase Manhattan Bank, as vice president of retail marketing. During her tenure at Chase, she was responsible for the development and execution of the full range of sales and marketing disciplines for the retail mortgage division of Chase Manhattan Bank. She offered corporate identity, direct marketing and sales support initiatives for more than 200 retail mortgage origination offices nationwide.
Mariel Beasley is a Principal at the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University and Director of the Common Cents Lab - a sub center committed to improving the financial behavior of low- to moderate-income households in the United States. Working directly with credit unions, non-profits, and local governments, Mariel incorporates findings from the behavioral sciences to help members, clients, and residents lead happier, healthier, and wealthier lives. Mariel and her team use quantitative methods to design and rigorously test ideas in the field, exploring what is needed, what works, and how to move forward. Focused on behavior-change related to reducing expenses, increasing short- and long-term savings, smoothing cash flow, and decreasing debt, the Common Cents Lab has launched over 50 field experiments with over 40 financial service providers in two short years. Read more about the Common Cents Lab at commoncentslab.org.
Deborah Boatright is a national non-profit corporate executive and senior government administrator offering a wealth of leadership and expertise in organizational management, strategic alliances and community relations attained over decades in affordable housing and community development.
Boatright recently retired after a ten year tenure at NeighborWorks America, a national non-profit created by Congress to support affordable housing and community development. At the time of her retirement, Boatright was the regional vice president, Northeast Region, overseeing operations across 11 states from Maine to Maryland, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
From 2003-2006, Boatright served as an Assistant Commissioner at New York State Homes and Community Renewal (NYSHCR), the state’s housing agency. There she developed statewide programs and policies, and supervised the housing and community and economic development activities of the department’s four regional offices. Boatright also worked for the city of New York in its Department of Housing, Preservation and Development for 14 years.
Kathy joined the staff of The New Orleans Firemen’s Federal Credit Union in May of 2001; however, her credit union journey started in 1989. She started her career with NOFFCU as a Branch Manager, which led to Financial Services Manager and most recently was appointed Consumer Lending Director.
Kathy earned her designation as Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor (CCUFC) in May of 2013. She worked diligently to help build NOFFCU’s counseling program by assisting in writing a grant which was awarded by Pathways in 2015. Kathy learned the system of Sales Force and was conducive in implementing what is one of our most valued benefits we offer our members, which she continues to oversee. Kathy earned her Certified Compliance Officer (NCCO) in March 2018.
Scott is the Principal of Your Credit Union Partner, PLLC. Your Credit Union Partner (YCUP) is a trusted advisor to the leaders of more than 100 credit unions located throughout the United States. The YCUP team passionately believes that the credit union movement remains relevant today – especially in thousands of emerging, overlooked and underserved markets. The core of YCUP’s business practice is strategic planning and business plan development for existing and emerging markets. The YCUP team delivers more than up-to-date best practices. The team’s experience is hands on working in credit unions of all sizes developing successful growth, revenue and member impact strategies. Many of YCUP’s clients are nationally recognized and among the fastest growing and most profitable in the credit union movement.
Victor Miguel Corro
With more than 20 years’ experience working with credit unions on a global scale, Victor has a proven history of finding solutions to industry challenges through collaboration. As Client Relations Director for Coopera, Victor works closely with Coopera’s client organizations in implementing Hispanic growth strategies, assists in sales and business development efforts and manages the delivery of products and services in collaboration with the client relations team.
Victor, a certified Credit Union Development Educator, has consulted with the Credit Union National Association, as well as Coopera, on product strategy and culturally relevant translation of materials for new markets.
Monica Hughes Davy is the Director of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion. As director, Davy oversees the requirements of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 involving diversity, civil rights and the promotion of minority and women hiring and contracting practices throughout the credit union industry and at NCUA.
Prior to joining NCUA, Davy served as executive director of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at the Internal Revenue Service. She also served as acting director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Management as acting director, and as a senior trial attorney at the Department of Health and Human Services. Davy holds degrees from the Howard University School of Law and George Mason University.
Pablo DeFilippi leads the Federation’s membership development and engagement strategies and manages CU Breakthrough, a network of community development finance practitioners that provide valuable consulting services to CDCUs. Mr. DeFilippi has more than 20 years of experience in community finance, working with regulated financial institutions both in the domestic and international arena. Originally from Chile, DeFilippi came to the US in the early 90s and almost immediately became involved in credit unions.
After working at MCU, a large credit union serving New York City employees, he joined the Lower East Side People’s FCU (LESPFCU) a credit union serving Hispanics and other underserved populations in the New York City area and acted as its CEO until early 2004. From then and until the end of 2005, Mr. DeFilippi managed the World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU)‘s International Remittance Program (IRnet), a world-wide initiative to provide alternative remittance services to consumers both in the US and in recipient countries through the credit union system.
Mr. DeFilippi holds a B.A. in Social Studies from Universidad de Chile, as well as a Professional Accounting Certificates from Baruch College and New York University. He has a Masters of Business Administration from Pace University, and is a graduate of CUNA’s Management School and NCUF’s Social Impact Management Institute. He is also a Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE) and a UK Credit Union Development Educator.
As Senior Vice President, Chief Experience Officer (CXO), Scott is directly responsible for the planning and operation of GTE’s 22 Community Financial Centers, Member Care Call Center, Investments and Insurance Groups, GTE’s Student Powered Strategy, Community Development, Grant Writing, Facilities and Administration in support of its more than 250,000 members and 500 employees. Since arriving to GTE, Scott has led the successful implementation of GTE’s Integrated Teller Machine (ITM) conversions at 15 community financial centers, EMV Card replacement of over 200,000 GTE cards and raising customer satisfaction levels above 70% on the industry’s Net Promoter (NPS) Scale.
Additionally, he currently sits on the Greater Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors and the American Heart Association Metro Board of Directors. Scott previously served as the Wing Commander, Chief Executive Officer, 6th Air Mobility Wing, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida where he was responsible for more than $2.8 billion in base property and capital assets, controlling an annual budget in excess of $249 million in support of MacDill’s community of 80,000 members.
Scott has a B.S. in Management from the United States Air Force Academy and is nearing completion of his MBA at USF. He also holds advanced degrees in Management, Military Operations, Strategy and National Security as well as a Master’s Certificate in Lean Six Sigma from Villanova University.
Cheryl Fatnassi is the CEO and President of Opportunities Credit Union in Winooski, Vermont. Fatnassi was the COO for Opportunities until March of 2008, assuming her role as CEO after the retirement of Opportunities’ founder, Caryl Stewart. Fatnassi has over 38 years of experience working in financial services and was formerly Senior VP for IT Systems & Planning at Banknorth Group, where she managed technology, retail banking, CRA and compliance.
She serves on a number of local and national boards advocating for low-income and under-served members of her community, promoting fair housing, job creation and access to affordable financial services. She has led successful capital campaigns and attracted social investments to effect change in the community she serves. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a bachelor’s degree in French and Economics and the New England School of Banking at Williams College.
Graham is the Director of Community Programs and Outreach for Alternatives Federal Credit Union, located in Ithaca, NY. Alternatives ($108M in assets) is a low income designated, community development credit union and is a certified CDFI.
Alternatives’ Community Programs Department provides financial and credit counseling, matched savings accounts, free tax preparation, business development and consulting services, school credit union branches and youth and adult financial education.
Karl joined Alternatives staff in March 1985.
David Harris is the Marketing and Development Officer at Pennine Community Credit Union in the UK. David has been a member of the credit union since childhood, recently serving account holders as a member services officer through to his current role.
During David’s tenure as Marketing and Development Officer the credit union has completely re-wrote online content, with a new website focused on use-ability and conversion. The credit union has re-evaluated the best forms of marketing to maximize awareness of its services to the community via digital, in branch signage and promotional literature. PCCU have seen promising growth when harnessing credit union knowledge with digital marketing skills. Part of David’s role is building partnerships with social enterprises, schools and similar organizations to co-promote and share mutual goals.
Jake Hill began his credit union career in 2008 as the Marketing Director for Service First Federal Credit Union in Sioux Falls, SD (currently 18,547 members and $158M in assets). There, he served as the sole Marketing employee and was responsible for a number of tasks including graphic design, commercial production, media and digital strategy, and promotional development. While at Service First, Jake established CU Marketing Group, an advertising Credit Union Service Organization, in 2014. This CUSO provided media planning and creative design assistance to other credit unions in addition to acting as an in-house agency for Service First FCU.
By 2015, the brutal South Dakota winters lost their charm and Jake relocated his family to Tampa, FL. During his first year in Tampa, he worked as Marketing Coordinator/Video Animator for Ademero Inc, a software company in Lakeland, FL. In addition, Jake took on a multitude of freelance opportunities ranging from copywriting to social media management. In 2016, he accepted a position as the Assistant Vice President of Marketing for GTE Financial in Tampa, FL (currently 249,945 members and $2B in assets). There, he serves as the day-to-day manager of a department of 10 marketers as they work together to brand GTE as a vibrant, innovative, and community-focused financial institution.
Bob Ibanez is a senior manager in Novogradac’s public policy group in Washington, D.C. Mr. Ibanez works with new markets tax credit (NMTC) clients and is part of the NMTC Working Group. He is focused on expanding Novogradac’s work with community development financial institutions (CDFIs) around the country.
Mr. Ibanez spent 13 years at the CDFI Fund, the final six as program manager of the NMTC and Bank Enterprise Award programs. Before that, Mr. Ibanez had a private consulting practice. He has also worked in the financial and community development industries.
Mr. Ibanez has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a master’s degree from The American College of Financial Services.
Amber Kuchar-Bell is the CDFI Program and NACA Program Manager at the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.
Prior to joining the CDFI Fund, Amber was an investment officer for the Calvert Foundation, a CDFI, where she managed a $68 million investment portfolio of CDFIs including Native CDFIs, CDEs, and social enterprise organizations. Before joining Calvert Foundation, Amber worked at NCB Capital Impact, also a CDFI, as a commercial loan underwriter where she underwrote loans for healthcare centers, affordable housing cooperatives, and charter schools. Early in her career, Amber was an Export and Marketing Associate for a coffee cooperative in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, and Sr. Consumer Lending Loan Officer at Bay Federal Credit Union. She has a Master of Public Policy from Duke University located in Durham, North Carolina and a Bachelor of Science in International Development from the University of California Los Angeles.
Patrick La Pine serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates, a leading trade association representing the interests of 245 credit unions in Alabama and Florida and their 7.5 million credit union members. LSCU & Affiliates was formed in 2009 through the consolidation of the Alabama and Florida Credit Union Leagues. It provides advocacy, compliance support, education, and information with other relevant services and business solutions to support credit unions. Before joining the LSCU & Affiliates in 2009 as its first President and CEO, Patrick worked for the Michigan Credit Union League for more than 10 years, rising to the level of Executive Vice President of Association Services. Prior to that, he worked for both the Michigan House of Representatives and the United States Senate.
Patrick holds a master’s degree from the University of Michigan in Public Administration, and a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University in Political Science. He earned Certified Chief Executive (CCE) designation from the Credit Union Executives Society and also earned Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE) distinction from the National Credit Union Foundation.
Pia Longarini is the Manager of Business Services and Program Development at TruFund Financial Services, Inc. headquartered in New York. Pia is responsible for designing and managing all of TruFund’s business development services in the New York market, including hosting workshops and panels, coordinating peer networking events, and coordinating one to one consultations with small business owners.
Prior to TruFund, Ms. Longarini was the Senior Account Manager at the NYC Business Solutions Center in Upper Manhattan, where she was responsible for counseling micro entrepreneurs in different business areas. She holds a B.A. in Architecture from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City and a M.S. in Urban Design from Pratt Institute. Pia also serves on the Board of the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union since 2013.
Melissa Marquez is the Chief Executive Officer of Genesee Co-op Federal Credit Union in Rochester, NY, a 36 year-old low-income community development credit union with $21 million in assets and 4000 members.
Melissa has served on the Board of Directors of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions and the Institute for Community Economics. She is the Board Treasurer of OWN Rochester, working on worker coop development and on the board of City Roots Community Land Trust. Melissa has an MS in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University and a BS in Political Science from Santa Clara University.
Mia Mendoza is the daughter of a Cuban mother and Puerto Rican father, and grew up in Latin America, between Panama, Colombia and Puerto Rico. Mia formally entered the broadcasting field on August 4, 1975, when she joined WTOG-TV44 (St. Petersburg, Florida) as the host of “Tertulia,” the first Spanish-language talk show in Tampa Bay. She relocated to Philadelphia in 1983 to work for TV29 Fox Network until she decided to enter the Hispanic marketing industry by accepting a position with Telemundo Network as their Director of Programming and Sales Development. Realizing that there was an overwhelming need to help her U.S. clients even further in their marketing strategies to reach the Latino consumers, Mendoza founded the first full-service advertising and marketing agency in the tri-state area in March, 1995.
Mendoza Group, Inc. employs a team of international, bi-cultural and bilingual experts in marketing, advertising, public relations and creative. Mia Mendoza, President and CEO of Mendoza Group, Inc., was named one of Pennsylvania’s 50 Best Women in Business by former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge and was officially recognized one of Pennsylvania’s Most Influential Latinos by the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs.
Included among Mia’s most coveted awards are Girl Scouts: Take the Lead Award, U.S. Hispanic Businesswoman of the Year by the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Women of Distinction Award, by the Philadelphia Business Journal. Mendoza also earned national recognition by Business Week Magazine as the “marketing whiz” of the 21st century. Mia’s currently serves on the Boards of the Catholic Partnership Schools and America’s First Fair Trade Town Committee.
Jacqueline Y. Moore started her career in Mt. Sinai Baptist Church Credit Union in 1985 as a Data Entry Clerk. In 2017, after years of dedicated service in the industry and the community, she was named the President and CEO of Faith Community United Credit Union.
Jacqueline is a member of the African-American Credit Union Coalition; she serves on the Ohio Credit Union League’s Haynes Circle Committee, and the Black Executive Network. As an active member of Mt. Hermon Baptist Church, Jacqueline volunteers as a director of the Youth Ministry and serves in the Music Ministry.
Jacqueline graduated Magna Cum Laude holding a degree in Business Administration and Business Management from Indiana Wesleyan University.
Terry Ratigan leads the Federation’s fundraising efforts and plays an important role in program development, training, technical assistance, managing the Federation’s Housing Counseling Network and the Federation’s advocacy work. He is also a member of the CU Breakthrough consulting services team, providing expertise on CDFI certification, recertification, grant writing, strategic planning CDCUs around the country.
In 2008, Mr. Ratigan developed the Emerging Markets Review (EMR), an analytical tool that helps credit unions to grow by expanding services throughout their field of membership. In 2009 he developed a statistical random sampling methodology for target market analysis that has helped to double the number of CDFI certified credit unions. This breakthrough methodology also served as the basis for NCUA’s 2011 revision of the Final Rule on Low Income Designation and the 2012 CDFI Fund guidance on target market analysis for CDFI certification.
Prior to joining the Federation, Terry worked in community development overseas as a senior manager for CARE in Bangladesh and Mozambique and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia and Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government.
Teri Robinson is the CEO of Ironworkers USA Federal Credit Union, previously known as Pacific Northwest Ironworkers Federal Credit Union, a $32 million credit union in Portland, Oregon. She has worked in credit unions for more than 29 years, starting as a teller and working her way up. Teri graduated from Western CUNA Management School in 2008. She was awarded the Credit Union Women’s Association Anna Reed Award in 2000. In 2010, she was given the Northwest Credit Union Association’s Heidemann Scholar Award for continually utilizing educational opportunities then using those skills to benefit the credit union movement. Teri currently sits on the CUNA Small Credit Union Board helping lead decisions and discussions for the future of all small credit unions. And in October 2013, was named by the CUNA’s Credit Union Magazine as a credit union “Rock Star”, someone who demonstrates outstanding innovation and creativity in the credit union movement to make it a better, more interesting place. Most recently, in 2018, Teri was the recipient of the Dr. James Liken’s Alumni “Head & Heart” recognition award, for outstanding achievements in an individual’s career and service to the credit union community after graduation.
Teri guided Pacific NW Ironworkers FCU out of the most difficult financial times that most of us will experience in our lifetime. The credit union’s assets were at $7.9 million and capital at 4.8 percent, when she stepped in. Through perseverance and commitment to a clear vision that the credit union existed to serve Ironworkers, Teri led the credit union not only to a recovery, but beyond that, to success with assets over $31 million and capital of 10.3 percent. She helped the credit union receive their NCUA Low Income Designation and US Treasury CDFI Certification, she also obtained secondary capital to ensure her credit union’s viability in today’s market place. She recently obtained approval for a nationwide charter to serve Ironworkers as Ironworkers USA Federal Credit Union. Beyond her credit union, Teri is actively involved in the credit union movement both locally and with CUNA on the national level.
Richard Romero is the President and CEO of Seattle Credit Union, which has been serving the Seattle community since 1933. Since joining Seattle Credit Union in 2012, he has reinvented the organization’s culture, rebranded the Credit Union and focused resources on helping people Prosper. With over 30 years in the financial industry, Richard rose through the ranks at financial institutions all along the West Coast including Great Western Bank, Washington Mutual, and Telesis Community Credit Union and Firefighters First Credit Union in Los Angeles. It was along this path he cemented his understanding of retail banking, finance, customer service, and technology. He serves on several local committees and boards including, Filene’s War for Talent Research Council, The Federation of Community Development Credit Unions Board of Directors, United Way King County Board of Directors and YWCA King & Snohomish County Board of Directors. In 2015 he received the Desjardin’s Youth and Adult Financial Education Award and in 2016 he received the Crosscut Courage in Business Award, for his work with immigrant communities. In 2018 he received the Credit Union Times Trailblazer CEO of Year Award for his work in underserved communities. He enjoys giving back by mentoring and providing career guidance, having worked his way through the ranks.
Stewart Sarkozy-Banoczy is presently Senior Advisor and the Director for the Island Resilience Initiative at the Global Island Partnership. Stewart also acts at Senior Advisor at 100 Resilience Cities, concentrating on Latin America and the Caribbean. He is the founder and principal of Precovery Labs, a hub for resilience, sustainability and precovery action at the intersection of community, creativity and impact.
Stewart served as Managing Director and Partner at Context Partners. Before Context Partners, Stewart was Director of the Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation, at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), where he also served on detail to the President’s Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force as the Partnerships Director, assisting with the alignment of activities, networks and stakeholders in the recovery area.
Prior to HUD, Stewart was Vice President and COO at Oweesta, a national Native community development financial institution (CDFI) intermediary. Before Oweesta, he was the founding executive director of Four Bands Community Fund, Inc., an award winning Native CDFI on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation. In an earlier career phase Stewart was deeply immersed in global marketing and advertising projects with BSB International in New York City and as co-founder of the BSB Moscow office in Russia. Stewart sits on the board of directors for the LaPointe Financial, an emerging Native CDFI and on the grants committee for the Takoma Foundation.
Mike Schenk has 35 years of experience in the financial services industry. In 1992 he joined the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) – the largest and most influential national trade association advocating for America's credit unions. There are nearly 5,600 credit unions nationwide, with over 115 million memberships and $1.5 trillion in assets
Mike currently is Deputy Chief Advocacy Officer for Policy Analysis and Chief Economist for CUNA and conducts economic research and supports CUNA’s public relations and advocacy efforts. His analyses regularly appear in trade publications such as Credit Union Magazine. He also is a frequent contributor to the financial media.
Schenk serves on the board of Summit Credit Union in Madison, Wisconsin – a $3 billion financial cooperative with over 160,000 members. He serves as Board Chair and also has Chaired the credit union’s Asset-Liability Management and Risk Management/Internal Audit Committees.
Paul Schwabe is a Finance Analysis Team Lead at NREL. Mr. Schwabe provides comprehensive solar technical and financial assistance to tribes, municipalities and electric utilities both domestically and internationally. Mr. Schwabe conducts in-depth analyses on the economics of renewable energy technologies and develops business cases to attract public and private investment. He is an alumnus of the University California Santa Cruz and proud to call himself a Banana Slug.
Alejandra Seluja has worked with credit unions of all asset sizes throughout the United States. Her work is focused on developing programs and services to support credit unions in their outreach to immigrant communities. This includes Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) certifications, recertifications, grant management and compliance and grant writing, as well as organizational assessments and strategic review of operations to ensure readiness of credit unions for serving immigrant communities.
Prior to focusing on consulting, Alejandra led a full-service bilingual branch concentrated on providing mainstream and alternative financial services to new immigrants. Through her vision and leadership, this branch continues to be the fastest-growing branch in the credit union.
Alejandra also led the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions’s national initiative to create financial inclusion for immigrant members, and was the field researcher for the study “BEYOND FINANCIAL ACCESS: Striving for Deeper Immigrant Financial Inclusion,” a study to better understand how to reach immigrants and how to help them use financial products and services at the credit union to build greater financial stability.
A keen observer of human nature, Brenda is perpetually fascinated by why people make the decisions they do. She’s spent years in the deep end of Financial Services, Pharma, Healthcare, Professional Services and Education (to name a few), helping her clients navigate complex and dynamic industries, and bring to life innovative, sticky and iconic brands.
Equal parts creative thinker and P&L manager, she has advised leaders across a wide range of categories on their brand, marketing and business strategies. Through working at firms like Goldman Sachs, IBM and Ernst & Young, and with clients such as Navigant, Morgan Stanley, Allstate, Kroll, Meredith, AT&T, The NYSE, Harvard University, S&P, United Rentals, Citibank, Zippo, Maidenform and Aetna, she has developed strategies that have built and sustained successful brands, customer relationships and organizational cultures.
Brenda Smith + Associates has been going strong for more than 15 years. Before starting the firm, Brenda was a Managing Partner at Prophet, a leading global brand strategy boutique, where she was a member of the firm’s 5-person executive committee. Brenda studied International Relations at Tufts University, and has an MBA from NYU.
Helen Steblecki has been with Citi Community Development (CCD) since 2006 where she helps to ensure that Citi fulfills its commitment to the economic empowerment and financial inclusion of low- and moderate-income individuals and families in the communities where the bank has operations. As part of the CCD New York Tri-State team, Helen brings to communities Citi’s vast array of resources. Most notably, she has been instrumental in helping nonprofits develop and implement financial education programs where a critical need exists.
Helen joined Citi in 1997 as a Senior Public Affairs Officer in the U.S. Consumer Bank managing client and media relations for the residential mortgage and small business operations, along with the Community Relations group. After three years, she was appointed Director of Communications for Citi Global Community Relations. During that time, she led Citi in becoming one of the first financial institutions in the world to produce a Global Corporate Citizenship Report. Presently, Helen serves on the Board of Directors of the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ, on the City of New York’s NYC Service Leadership Council Planning Committee, and on the National Federation of Community Development Credit Union’s Harlem Advisory Council.
Prior to joining Citi, Helen held management positions in communications and government affairs at Viacom and the McGraw-Hill Companies. She began her professional career in public relations in positions with the New York City Opera and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Helen holds a Bachelor’s Degree from New Jersey City University and a Master’s Degree from the New York Institute of Technology.
Rachel Van Noord
Serving as Director, Community Outreach, Rachel joined BECU in May 2014. She is responsible for the team that manages BECU’s financial health programs, financial education, community engagement, and philanthropic giving. Rachel is also Executive Director of the BECU Foundation.
Prior to joining BECU, Rachel worked in non-profit organizations and cooperatives, building capacity, engaging communities, and measuring impact.
She holds an MBA from the University of Washington, an MLIS from San Jose State University, and a BS in Biology from Calvin College.
Jeff Wells is the Vice President and New Markets Fund Director of a nationally-recognized CDFI, Opportunity Fund. Opportunity Fund has received ten New Markets Tax Credit Allocations totaling $348 million. Opportunity Fund’s NMTC program focuses on non-profit community facilities. As a consultant, he has helped other CDFIs receive an additional $331 million in NMTC allocations. Jeff has worked for more than forty years in the community development finance field, including serving as Opportunity Fund’s Director of Lending, the chief commercial loan officer for a community bank, Executive Director of a housing non-profit,and Enterprise Zone Coordinator. He was also a co-founder and Vice President of Community Development of the Santa Cruz Community Credit Union. He was a member of the Board of the NFCDCU (and the Capitalization Committee) for 25 years combined.
Jeff serves on the Self Help NMTC Advisory Board. He has consulted for many CDCUs throughout the nation, the National Credit Union Administration, and testified before the U.S House of Representatives and California legislature on the importance of economic development projects in low-income communities.
Fabian Yépez became the Regional Vice President of Prospera for the West Coast of Florida in June 2016. Prospera is a non-profit, economic development organization that provides bilingual assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs who wish to establish or grow their businesses in Florida.
A past business owner himself, Fabian is a Multicultural Marketing Strategist with over 20 years of experience. With a background in Advertising and Marketing, he developed proprietary strategies that helped companies here and abroad to effectively connect with the diverse Hispanic market.
Gina Perez McNeal
Andrea Heller is the Money $ense Program Manager at Opportunities Credit Union. She has a bachelor’s degree in Italian and Sociology from the University of Georgia. She began her financial counseling during the height of the foreclosure crisis, and developed a passion for financial literacy and empowering clients. She became certified in social studies with the idea of teaching financial literacy at the high school level, and worked for a high school completion program. She returned to Opportunities Credit Union to manage the Money $ense Program because of her specific passion for financial literacy, and because of the direct and visible impact that financial counseling has in her community.