Speakers

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Tony Ferris

Tony Ferris, President & CEO

Rochdale Paragon Group
tferris@rochdaleparagon.com
913-890-8001

Have you ever uttered the phrase, ‘hindsight is 20/20’ in response to an unexpected result within your work? As a financial industry consulting expert, Tony Ferris enjoys guiding C-Suite professionals to identify the unseen, implement the difficult, and create sustainable solutions to maximize results. His clients describe him as a “revolutionist.” They appreciate that unlike other consultants, he doesn’t just offer ideas but honest (often hard to hear) truths and solutions by truly partnering with leaders and organizations alike to bring about positive disruption in the status quo, creating opportunities for competitive advantage, rather than merely reacting to what others in the industry are doing.

 

Blending over 20 years of experience working with financial institutions and his natural change-embracing skills, Tony helps leaders truly evolve in the way they think, strategize, and govern.  To that end, Tony and the Rochdale Paragon Group has led the charge on defining the business processes around governance, risk and assurance disciplines to formalize how organizations make better decisions and focus on the critical tasks. The Rochdale Paragon Group provides the culture and framework to both preserve and create organizational value by de-biasing decisions, delivering focus on the most important opportunities and obstacles, and assuring compliance while minimizing administrative expense.

Julee Fox

Julee Fox, Partner

BKD
jfox@bkd.com
816-701-0271

Julee is a partner in the assurance practice of BKD’s Kansas City office.  She is member of the financial services practice and focuses primarily on financial services including credit union, banks and other specialty lending organizations, SEC reporting, and employee benefit plans.

She has more than 26 years of experience in assurance, focusing on financial statement audits, business combinations and employee benefit planning.  Julee has been a presenter for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation on the allowance for loan and lease losses, including the new credit loss standard, as well as presenting for the American Bankers Association on audit committee responsibilities. 

Julee is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and Missouri Society of CPAs. 

She is a graduate of Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa, with a B.A. degree in accounting and finance. 

Richard Lum

Richard Lum, CEO

Vision Foresight Strategy
richard@visionforesightstrategy.com

Richard is an academically trained futurist and chief executive of Vision Foresight Strategy LLC (VFS), a foresight and strategic analysis firm based in Honolulu.  His professional interests include the futures of governance, conflict and security, and industrialism.  VFS’s current project work includes supporting foresight efforts in the US Department of Defense, a national effort to rethink health in the US, and modeling and forecasting for a $10 billion educational institution.  Richard’s current and recent work for the Department of Defense includes research and concept work for distributed warfare, the F-35 Lightning II Program Office, the SOF community, and research and foresight work in support of Strategic Capabilities Office – West, as well as speaking at the Naval War College, SOFWERX and the Association of the United States Army LANPAC Symposium. 

 

Richard has worked with a wide variety of non-profit organizations, for-profit companies, and government agencies on foresight, strategy development, and strategic thinking.  He has conducted foresight and strategy work on projects for organizations such as the European Commission, the UK government, the US Department of Defense, NASA, and PepsiCo.  He has helped organizations apply foresight and develop strategy for endeavors ranging from the restoration of ancient Hawaiian island land management divisions to crowdsourcing foresight development to helping educators in the US anticipate the long-term futures of learning. 

 

Richard is the author of 4 Steps to the Future: A Quick and Clean Guide to Creating Foresight and his contributions were featured in the book Thinking about the Future: Guidelines for Strategic Foresight (2006).  He has been published in the Journal of Futures Studies, the journal Futures, and the International Journal of System of Systems Engineering.  He is the co-creator of the Verge General Practice Framework for foresight work, a framework used by foresight practitioners throughout the UK, in Europe, Africa, and Asia for horizon scanning, scenario development, and visioning work.   

 

Richard is an Affiliated Scholar at Georgetown University.  He holds a PhD in Political Science from the futures studies program at the University of Hawai‘i.  His dissertation research focused on developing a conceptual framework for designing future governance systems.

Jeff Owen

Jeff Owen, Chief Operating Officer

Rochdale Paragon Group
jowen@rochdaleparagon.com
913-890-8011

Jeff has worked at The Rochdale Group (Rochdale) since 2006.  He has over 17 years of experience in the financial services arena. Prior to Rochdale, Jeff worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (FRB) where he participated in and led many district and system-wide initiatives in a variety of administrative and operational areas.  Jeff currently leads and participates in various client engagements, including strategic planning, enterprise risk management implementation and support and merger-related projects.  Jeff’s broad-based experience, analytical focus and passion for credit unions allow him to bring significant value to those he works with.

 

Jeff received a Bachelor of Science degree in both Management and Marketing, as well as a Master of Business Administration degree from Northwest Missouri State University.

James L. This, PhD

James L. This, PhD, President & CEO

James L. This and Associates
jthis@jlthis.com
360-515-0733

James This is a nationally recognized consultant, facilitator and trainer in the areas of strategic planning, leadership development, interpersonal communication and marketing.  Jim is one of the principals of James L. This and Associates.  He is probably best known as a founding partner of The Paragon Group – one of the most respected consulting firms in the credit union industry.  Through these companies, Jim has helped credit unions for over twenty-five years.

 

Jim’s specialties include strategic planning, executive recruitment, leadership development and executive assessment.  He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and schools and one of the creators of the Volunteer Leadership Institute.  The Institute is the premiere source of continuing education for credit union volunteers.

 

Jim earned his BA from Wake Forest University and his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California.  He holds the title of Senior Professional in Human Resources from the Society for Human Resource Management.

 

Jim’s career has found him in three arenas—financial services, teaching and management consulting.  During his long association with the Washington State Employees Credit Union he held key positions as Marketing Manager and Executive Vice President.  He has taught at the University of Southern California, the University of Texas, Permian Basin, St. Martin’s College, South Puget Sound Community College and The Evergreen State College.

 

Jim is an avid golfer and proud grandfather.

Devon  Harris

Devon Harris, Member Jamaican Olympic Bobsled Team

Born on Christmas Day, 1964, the world should never have heard of Devon Harris. He was raised in one of the most violent slums of Kingston, Jamaica yet he graduated from the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in England and served as an officer in the Jamaica Defence Force. He started off as a barefoot boy trying to win a track race and became a member of his country's first Olympic bobsled team. Circumstances and others constantly told him it was impossible but at every step of the way he, kept on pushing and found a way to make it possible.

Encouraged by his commanding officer, Devon tried out for and was selected to the first Jamaican bobsled team which competed in the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary, Canada. Their exploits inspired the Disney blockbuster movie Cool Runnings. Devon also competed in and was captain of the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France and the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan.

The Keep On Pushing Foundation which he founded in 2006 aims to support and enhance the education of kids in disadvantaged communities by providing practical solutions to the challenges that are preventing them from getting educated. Devon's work has made a significant difference in the lives of the students attending his old elementary school as well as other schools in the communities surrounding his old neighborhood.

As an ex-serviceman, Devon understands the commitment, sense of duty and sacrifices made by those who volunteer to serve. As a private citizen he is cognizant of the fact that the freedoms he enjoys are paid for by the courage and sacrifice of these men and women. As a result he has also devoted time to visit the troops serving in the Persian Gulf and around the United States.

Devon also works with Right to Play as an athlete ambassador, supporting Right to Play's efforts in using sports and play in refugee camps around the world to enhance child development and build community capacity.

He is the author of the motivational children's book, Yes, I Can! and the semi-auto-biographical motivational book Keep On Pushing: Hot Lesson From Cool Runnings.

Rodney Hood

Rodney Hood, Board Member

National Credit Union Administration

President Donald J. Trump nominated Rodney E. Hood for the NCUA Board on January 19, 2019. The U.S. Senate confirmed him on March 14, 2019; he took the oath of office on April 8, 2019; and he was designated as the eleventh NCUA Chairman by President Trump.

As NCUA Board Chairman, Mr. Hood also serves as a voting member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council. He also represents the NCUA on the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council and the Financial and Banking Information Infrastructure Committee.

Mr. Hood was previously nominated to the NCUA Board by former President George W. Bush and served from November 2005 until August 2009. He was appointed Vice Chairman, and he served as the NCUA’s representative on the Board of Directors of NeighborWorks America.

Immediately prior to rejoining the NCUA Board, Mr. Hood served as a corporate responsibility manager for JPMorgan Chase, managing national partnerships with non-profit organizations, financial regulators, and community stakeholders to promote financial inclusion and shared prosperity in underserved communities throughout the United States.

His previous experience includes serving as associate administrator of the Rural Housing Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In this role, he helped to address the housing needs in rural communities and administered the agency’s $43 billion mortgage portfolio.

Prior to his public service, Mr. Hood served as marketing director and group sales manager for the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company in Durham, North Carolina. He also served as national director of the Emerging Markets Group for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and served on the board of the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation. Earlier in his career, he worked for Bank of America as a Community Reinvestment Act officer and completed the management development program at G.E. Capital.

In addition to his public and private sector service, Mr. Hood served as a member of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Visitors and as member of the UNC School of Arts Board of Trustees. He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees for the North Carolina Museum of Art and as a member of the Board of Governors for the University of North Carolina College System.

Mr. Hood’s professional awards include being named one of the “40 Young Leaders Under the Age of 40” by the Triangle Business Journal in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is also the first recipient of the “Dream Award,” an award given by the Wells Fargo Housing Foundation to honor individuals who have exhibited an outstanding commitment to affordable housing.

A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Mr. Hood holds a bachelor’s degree in business, communications, and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dennis Tanimoto

Dennis Tanimoto, President & CEO

Hawaii Credit Union League
dennis.tanimoto@hcul.org
808-203-6400

Dennis Tanimoto has been President/CEO of Hawaii Credit Union League and its wholly-owned subsidiary, HCU Services Corporation, since July 1992. Prior to joining the League, he was an officer at two community banks in Hawaii for a combined total of 19 years.

At the League, Dennis is actively involved in advocating on legislative and regulatory matters to create a favorable environment for credit unions, educating credit union volunteers and management about topical issues facing the credit union movement, facilitating credit union strategic planning sessions, conducting research on the financial performance of Hawaii’s credit unions, and assisting credit unions in legal and regulatory compliance. He is also involved in public advocacy to raise awareness of credit unions and what differentiates not-for-profit credit unions from for-profit financial service providers.

Dennis is one of five executives in Hawaii who holds the Certified Association Executive (CAE) professional designation conferred by the American Society of Association Executives. He received his bachelor of business administration and master of business administration degrees from the University of Hawaii, and is a life member of Beta Gamma Sigma national honor society. A graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington, he also earned all three certificates then awarded by the American Institute of Banking.

Active in industry and association affairs, Dennis has represented the League as a volunteer in several industry associations, including:
• Past member of the Credit Union National Association board of directors and Corporate Governance Committee;
• Member of the American Association of Credit Union Leagues;
• Member of the Plexcity board of directors;
• Past chairman of the American Society of Association Executives’ CAE Professional Conduct Committee;
• Board secretary and past president of Aloha Society of Association Executives; and
• Member of the Trade Association Executives of Honolulu.

He is also a board or committee member of numerous community development and charitable organizations, including:
• Member of the board of directors of HEDCO Local Development Corporation;
• Member of the Community Impact Committee of Aloha United Way;
• Past president of United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawaii; and
• Past president of Susannah Wesley Community Center.

He lives in Honolulu with his wife, Dale. They have two adult children and six grandchildren.

Byron Gangnes

Byron Gangnes, UHERO Senior Research Fellow and Professor Emeritus of Economics

University of Hawaii at Manoa
bgangnes@gmail.com
808-383-6671

Byron Gangnes is UHERO Senior Research Fellow and Professor Emeritus of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He specializes in international macroeconomics and forecasting and is also a leading authority on the economy of Hawaii.

Byron earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound and a Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. He has held visiting appointments at a number of prestigious institutions and is an affiliated researcher with Project LINK, the United Nations macroeconomic forecasting program.

 

He has written extensively on economic policy issues affecting the U.S. and Asian economies. Recent articles study the impact of aging on global patterns of trade and finance, the effect of COVID-19 on trade and the economy, and the implications of global value chain production arrangements.

 

For his numerous outreach activities, Byron was awarded the Hung Wo and Elizabeth Lau Ching Award for Faculty Service to the Community. He is the recipient of a College of Social Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award, and he is an alumni member of Phi Beta Kappa. In Honolulu, he served in volunteer leadership positions with St. Francis School, the Parish of St. Clement, and the Friends of the Library of Hawaii.

 

Byron and his wife, Hilary, now live in New Mexico. They have two adult daughters living on the US East Coast.

Dennis Holthaus

Dennis Holthaus, Managing Director

Skyway Capital Markets
dennis.holthaus@skywaycapitalmarkets.com
813-955-8955

Dennis is the Managing Director of Skyway Capital Markets, a privately held investment banking firm headquartered in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the firm’s Financial Institution practice, Dennis specializes in credit union/bank and credit union acquisitions, bank mergers and acquisitions and credit union/bank issuance of secondary capital.

 

Prior to joining Skyway, Dennis was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Achieva Credit Union (“Achieva”) in Dunedin, Florida, the first credit union to acquire a community bank via merger and the first credit union to acquire a second community bank.

 

Prior to joining Achieva, Dennis spent thirty-seven years in the banking industry as a C-suite executive, primarily as CFO, with publicly traded banks, privately held banks and a mutual savings bank. During this time he was involved in multiple mergers and acquisitions on both the buy and sell side, including the first Florida based financial institution to acquire out-of-state financial institutions, as well as the use of subordinated debt for regulatory capital management purposes.

 

Dennis was the Tampa Bay Business Journal CFO of the year in 2015, former board member and board chair of Lighthouse CU of Pinellas in Pinellas County, Florida and former board member of Corporate America Credit Union. He is a frequent speaker on the subject of credit union/bank mergers and credit union issuance of sub debt at numerous conferences, webinars and board strategic planning meetings.

 

While with Skyway, Dennis has worked with credit unions on completed transactions and he is working with a number of credit unions on transactions in process but not yet publicly announced.

 

Dennis has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from St. Louis University and is married with three children.

Ronaldo Hardy

Ronaldo Hardy, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer & Owner

CU Strategic Planning
ronaldo@creditunionstrategicplanning.com
253-200-0418
Ronaldo is a highly sought after speaker on Diversity Equity and Inclusion. His experience in raising awareness of and knowledge about the practicum has led him to be a keynote speaker at CUNA Management School, SW CUNA Management School, the Cornerstone Credit Union League, and numerous credit unions, Associations and Leagues. He Is published in The Credit Union Journal, The CU Times, CU Insight, Credit Union Magazine and CUToday. Dozens of peer CEOs receive his counsel annually including in recovering from, responding to and establishing new processes in the wake of the industry's most significant, headline-making racial crises in 2018 and 2019.
James Stickley

James Stickley, CEO

Stickley on Security
rick@stickleyonsecurity.com
619-749-5309

Jim Stickley has stolen credit cards, hacked Social Security numbers, robbed banks, and created fake ATMs. He has broken into armed government facilities and has stolen from teenagers. He is an identity thief, but he is no criminal. Fortunately for all victims involved, Stickley is a cybersecurity expert with over 20 years in the industry who was hired to perform these attacks by corporations testing their security, news agencies investigating security concerns, and other media outlets interested in knowing just how easy it is to commit identity theft. His job is to find security flaws before the real criminals and warn people and organizations about what they can do to protect themselves.

 

Stickley is a published author and has been featured in numerous magazines and newspapers including Time Magazine, Business Week, Fortune Magazine and New York Times. He has also been showcased on numerous television shows including NBC's "Nightly News", CNN's "NewsNight", CNBC's "The Big Idea", Anderson Cooper's "Anderson" and is a frequent guest on NBC's "Today Show.” You can also see Stickley almost any night of the week as the featured cybersecurity expert for LifeLock infomercials.

Julee Fox

Julee Fox, Partner

BKD
jfox@bkd.com
816-701-0271

Julee is a partner in the assurance practice of BKD’s Kansas City office.  She is member of the financial services practice and focuses primarily on financial services including credit union, banks and other specialty lending organizations, SEC reporting, and employee benefit plans.

She has more than 26 years of experience in assurance, focusing on financial statement audits, business combinations and employee benefit planning.  Julee has been a presenter for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation on the allowance for loan and lease losses, including the new credit loss standard, as well as presenting for the American Bankers Association on audit committee responsibilities. 

Julee is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and Missouri Society of CPAs. 

She is a graduate of Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa, with a B.A. degree in accounting and finance. 

Byron Gangnes

Byron Gangnes, UHERO Senior Research Fellow and Professor Emeritus of Economics

University of Hawaii at Manoa
bgangnes@gmail.com
808-383-6671

Byron Gangnes is UHERO Senior Research Fellow and Professor Emeritus of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He specializes in international macroeconomics and forecasting and is also a leading authority on the economy of Hawaii.

Byron earned his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound and a Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. He has held visiting appointments at a number of prestigious institutions and is an affiliated researcher with Project LINK, the United Nations macroeconomic forecasting program.

 

He has written extensively on economic policy issues affecting the U.S. and Asian economies. Recent articles study the impact of aging on global patterns of trade and finance, the effect of COVID-19 on trade and the economy, and the implications of global value chain production arrangements.

 

For his numerous outreach activities, Byron was awarded the Hung Wo and Elizabeth Lau Ching Award for Faculty Service to the Community. He is the recipient of a College of Social Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award, and he is an alumni member of Phi Beta Kappa. In Honolulu, he served in volunteer leadership positions with St. Francis School, the Parish of St. Clement, and the Friends of the Library of Hawaii.

 

Byron and his wife, Hilary, now live in New Mexico. They have two adult daughters living on the US East Coast.

Dennis Holthaus

Dennis Holthaus, Managing Director

Skyway Capital Markets
dennis.holthaus@skywaycapitalmarkets.com
813-955-8955

Dennis is the Managing Director of Skyway Capital Markets, a privately held investment banking firm headquartered in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the firm’s Financial Institution practice, Dennis specializes in credit union/bank and credit union acquisitions, bank mergers and acquisitions and credit union/bank issuance of secondary capital.

 

Prior to joining Skyway, Dennis was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Achieva Credit Union (“Achieva”) in Dunedin, Florida, the first credit union to acquire a community bank via merger and the first credit union to acquire a second community bank.

 

Prior to joining Achieva, Dennis spent thirty-seven years in the banking industry as a C-suite executive, primarily as CFO, with publicly traded banks, privately held banks and a mutual savings bank. During this time he was involved in multiple mergers and acquisitions on both the buy and sell side, including the first Florida based financial institution to acquire out-of-state financial institutions, as well as the use of subordinated debt for regulatory capital management purposes.

 

Dennis was the Tampa Bay Business Journal CFO of the year in 2015, former board member and board chair of Lighthouse CU of Pinellas in Pinellas County, Florida and former board member of Corporate America Credit Union. He is a frequent speaker on the subject of credit union/bank mergers and credit union issuance of sub debt at numerous conferences, webinars and board strategic planning meetings.

 

While with Skyway, Dennis has worked with credit unions on completed transactions and he is working with a number of credit unions on transactions in process but not yet publicly announced.

 

Dennis has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from St. Louis University and is married with three children.

Nick Evens

Nick Evens, President

The Veridian Group, Inc.
nickae@veridiancu.org
319-833-1496

As President of The Veridian Group, Inc. (TVG), the wholly-owned CUSO holding company of Veridian Credit Union, Nick leads investment strategy and direction for the $5.2B institution. Based in Waterloo, Iowa, TVG’s holdings include Veridian Insurance and Veridian Fiscal Solutions with total staff over 45 strong. A key accomplishment during his tenure with TVG includes management of over 10 direct minority investments in Fintech CUSO’s or former CUSO companies. Under Nick’s direction, Veridian Credit Union holds direct equity stakes in Fintechs Alkami Technology and Moov Financial and nearly $10MM in commitments in 6 venture or seed capital funds.

 

 Key facts:

  • Leads a board of 9 directors who govern TVG
  • Serves or has served on the boards of all Fintech CUSOs in which TVG has ownership positions
  • Experienced in managing CUSOs with expertise in insurance, payroll services, commercial lending, mortgage lending, auto lending, loan technology, digital payments, credit cards, marketing, voice recognition, and a mobile wallet
  • Co-founded VentureTech, a leading industry Fintech forum

 

Noteworthy accomplishments:

  • Sits on the Investment Committee of Next Level Ventures, Iowa’s first approved Innovation Tax Credit venture capital fund
  • Helps support investment in over 30 start-up technology/Fintech companies with over $50MM of capital put to work over the previous 8 years
  • Started a seed capital fund in northeast Iowa that is invested in 5 start-ups
  • Serves on the board of a co-working space offering acceleration programming to start-ups
  • Mentors at two Fintech accelerators
  • Led the Veridian initiative to invest $5MM in Curql Fund, the credit union’s Fintech fund, and was named to the Investment Committee upon its inception
Matt Fullbrook

Matt Fullbrook, Manager

David & Sharon Johnston Centre for Corporate Governance Innovation at Rotman School of Management
Matt.Fullbrook@Rotman.Utoronto.Ca
416-988-4930

Matt Fullbrook is a board effectiveness researcher and consultant, and is the Manager of the David & Sharon Johnston Centre for Corporate Governance Innovation at the Rotman School of Management. Under his direction, the Rotman School has evolved into the central hub of governance research in Canada. Matt has overseen the development and execution of all of the Centre’s projects, including the Globe & Mail's Board Games governance ratings, various Pay/Performance studies, credit union board research, and an ongoing study of the governance of family firms. As an independent consultant, Matt has advised dozens of boards of directors as an educator, facilitator and researcher, helping them to maximize their effectiveness through the development and implementation of valuable governance processes, policies and structures.

 

In 2020, Matt launched his podcast One Minute Governance, where he explores complex governance issues one minute at a time.

 

Matt is the Co-Academic Director of the Board Dynamics for Executives Program offered by Rotman and the Institute of Corporate Directors.

 

Matt is also a professional musician and is the bass player for KC Roberts & the Live Revolution, an original touring 7-piece funk band based in Toronto.  The band’s 7th studio LP, Grit, will be available in spring 2021.

 

Dennis Tanimoto

Dennis Tanimoto, President & CEO

Hawaii Credit Union League
dennis.tanimoto@hcul.org
808-203-6400

Dennis Tanimoto has been President/CEO of Hawaii Credit Union League and its wholly-owned subsidiary, HCU Services Corporation, since July 1992. Prior to joining the League, he was an officer at two community banks in Hawaii for a combined total of 19 years.

At the League, Dennis is actively involved in advocating on legislative and regulatory matters to create a favorable environment for credit unions, educating credit union volunteers and management about topical issues facing the credit union movement, facilitating credit union strategic planning sessions, conducting research on the financial performance of Hawaii’s credit unions, and assisting credit unions in legal and regulatory compliance. He is also involved in public advocacy to raise awareness of credit unions and what differentiates not-for-profit credit unions from for-profit financial service providers.

Dennis is one of five executives in Hawaii who holds the Certified Association Executive (CAE) professional designation conferred by the American Society of Association Executives. He received his bachelor of business administration and master of business administration degrees from the University of Hawaii, and is a life member of Beta Gamma Sigma national honor society. A graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School at the University of Washington, he also earned all three certificates then awarded by the American Institute of Banking.

Active in industry and association affairs, Dennis has represented the League as a volunteer in several industry associations, including:
• Past member of the Credit Union National Association board of directors and Corporate Governance Committee;
• Member of the American Association of Credit Union Leagues;
• Member of the Plexcity board of directors;
• Past chairman of the American Society of Association Executives’ CAE Professional Conduct Committee;
• Board secretary and past president of Aloha Society of Association Executives; and
• Member of the Trade Association Executives of Honolulu.

He is also a board or committee member of numerous community development and charitable organizations, including:
• Member of the board of directors of HEDCO Local Development Corporation;
• Member of the Community Impact Committee of Aloha United Way;
• Past president of United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawaii; and
• Past president of Susannah Wesley Community Center.

He lives in Honolulu with his wife, Dale. They have two adult children and six grandchildren.

Matt Fullbrook

Matt Fullbrook, Manager

David & Sharon Johnston Centre for Corporate Governance Innovation at Rotman School of Management
Matt.Fullbrook@Rotman.Utoronto.Ca
416-988-4930

Matt Fullbrook is a board effectiveness researcher and consultant, and is the Manager of the David & Sharon Johnston Centre for Corporate Governance Innovation at the Rotman School of Management. Under his direction, the Rotman School has evolved into the central hub of governance research in Canada. Matt has overseen the development and execution of all of the Centre’s projects, including the Globe & Mail's Board Games governance ratings, various Pay/Performance studies, credit union board research, and an ongoing study of the governance of family firms. As an independent consultant, Matt has advised dozens of boards of directors as an educator, facilitator and researcher, helping them to maximize their effectiveness through the development and implementation of valuable governance processes, policies and structures.

 

In 2020, Matt launched his podcast One Minute Governance, where he explores complex governance issues one minute at a time.

 

Matt is the Co-Academic Director of the Board Dynamics for Executives Program offered by Rotman and the Institute of Corporate Directors.

 

Matt is also a professional musician and is the bass player for KC Roberts & the Live Revolution, an original touring 7-piece funk band based in Toronto.  The band’s 7th studio LP, Grit, will be available in spring 2021.

 

Y. Sekou Bermiss, PhD

Y. Sekou Bermiss, PhD, Associate Professor of Strategy & Entrepreneurship

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
ysb@unc.edu
979-202-1906

Dr. Sekou Bermissis is an Associate Professor of Strategy & Entrepreneurship at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to his position at UNC he was an Associate Professor of Management at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.  He received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (NY), and a M.S. and Ph.D in Management and Organizations from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Dr. Bermiss’ research is in the area of strategic management and organizational theory. Specifically, he investigates how institutional factors shape the perception of firms by critical stakeholders. His research also explores the antecedents and consequences of human capital mobility and how different forms of employee movement impact a firm’s ability to compete with rivals.  He is a Fellow at the Filene Institute where he leads the research efforts of the ‘War for Talent’ Center of Excellence.  His award-winning research has been published in the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, Strategic Management Journal, and Research in Organizational Behavior. His research has also been highlighted by Harvard Business Review and National Public Radio.  Before entering academia, Dr. Bermiss worked for Deloitte Consulting in New York City.

Nick Evens

Nick Evens, President

The Veridian Group, Inc.
nickae@veridiancu.org
319-833-1496

As President of The Veridian Group, Inc. (TVG), the wholly-owned CUSO holding company of Veridian Credit Union, Nick leads investment strategy and direction for the $5.2B institution. Based in Waterloo, Iowa, TVG’s holdings include Veridian Insurance and Veridian Fiscal Solutions with total staff over 45 strong. A key accomplishment during his tenure with TVG includes management of over 10 direct minority investments in Fintech CUSO’s or former CUSO companies. Under Nick’s direction, Veridian Credit Union holds direct equity stakes in Fintechs Alkami Technology and Moov Financial and nearly $10MM in commitments in 6 venture or seed capital funds.

 

 Key facts:

  • Leads a board of 9 directors who govern TVG
  • Serves or has served on the boards of all Fintech CUSOs in which TVG has ownership positions
  • Experienced in managing CUSOs with expertise in insurance, payroll services, commercial lending, mortgage lending, auto lending, loan technology, digital payments, credit cards, marketing, voice recognition, and a mobile wallet
  • Co-founded VentureTech, a leading industry Fintech forum

 

Noteworthy accomplishments:

  • Sits on the Investment Committee of Next Level Ventures, Iowa’s first approved Innovation Tax Credit venture capital fund
  • Helps support investment in over 30 start-up technology/Fintech companies with over $50MM of capital put to work over the previous 8 years
  • Started a seed capital fund in northeast Iowa that is invested in 5 start-ups
  • Serves on the board of a co-working space offering acceleration programming to start-ups
  • Mentors at two Fintech accelerators
  • Led the Veridian initiative to invest $5MM in Curql Fund, the credit union’s Fintech fund, and was named to the Investment Committee upon its inception
Alix Patterson

Alix Patterson, Chief Experience Officer

Callahan & Associates
alix@callahan.com
202-223-3920 x 213

As the Chief Experience Officer at Callahan & Associates, Alix Patterson continually pushes the firm’s technology, marketing and media, and advisory services teams to consider how to create a better client experience.

Alix has dedicated more than 20 years to helping Callahan support credit unions and supplier organizations, and she has had a strong hand in shaping the industry-leading resources the firm offers today. She helped launched Callahan’s Executive Roundtables program in 2011 and continues to ensure the discussion, networking, and camaraderie opportunities they offer make them among the best events offered in the industry.

Coursework completed while earning an MBA from Oxford highlighted for Alix the link between social entrepreneurship and credit unions, which she sees as the original drivers for community-based solutions to social, cultural, and environmental issues. When she’s not leading the charge for a better client experience or moderating roundtable discussions, Alix can be found speaking at credit union conferences, facilitating strategic planning sessions, and hosting webinars. The relationships she’s cultivated with credit union leaders allow her to identify common challenges, which Callahan then addresses through data, research, articles, and more.

Alix is a recognized leader in the credit union industry, but her desire to improve the lives of others doesn’t end with the cooperative movement. As president of the Wilson Crew Boosters, she helps athletes in the D.C. Public School system compete at the highest level of youth rowing. In her time away from credit unions and crew, Alix enjoys reading, photography, and exploring the world with her two sons and husband of 19 years.

Frank Diekmann

Frank Diekmann, Publisher

CUToday.info
frank@cutoday.info
561-714-2827

Frank J. Diekmann is Publisher and co-founder of CUToday.info, a digital news and collaboration platform that is now the #1 provider of organic reporting, opinion, analysis, video and other resources to credit unions than any other provider.  Mr. Diekmann has an extensive background in credit union industry reporting and editing. Prior to founding CUToday.info, Mr. Diekmann founded Credit Union Journal, and prior to that cofounded Credit Union Times.

 

Before covering credit unions, Mr. Diekmann covered the nation’s banking industry. He began his editorial career working as a sports reporter with the Cincinnati Post, before making the natural segue into credit unions.  Mr. Diekmann is a frequent speaker, having addressed CU meetings from Sydney to Prague and all of the U.S., and also regularly serves as a judge in various organizations’ marketing and awards competitions. He is the only journalist to ever graduate from the National Credit Union Foundation’s Development Education program, and is now certified as an International Credit Union Development Educator.

 

A graduate of the University of Cincinnati, Diekmann is also the author of three books: Cathode Ray’s, The Bawl Game and The Flip Flop.

Ramsay Taum

Ramsay Taum, Founder and President

Life Enhancement Institute of the Pacific LLC
ramsay@leiofthepacific.com

Ramsay Taum is the founder and president of the Hawaii-based Life Enhancement Institute (LEI) of the Pacific LLC, Cultural Sustainability Planner at PBR HAWAII & Associates landscape architects, and Director and Program Coordinator of the Pacific Islands Leadership Institute (PILI) at Hawaii Pacific University.  His work in promoting sustainable, place-based, and Hawaiian cultural stewardship principles and practices is acknowledged locally, nationally, and internationally. Kumu Ramsay is a recognized cultural resource and sought-after keynote speaker, lecturer, trainer, and facilitator. He serves on numerous community and corporate boards and advisories including Sustain Hawaii, where he recently resumed his role as President and board chair.  He believes his most important roles and titles, however, are son, husband, dad, and trusted friend.