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American Airlines FCU's Christopher Danvers Joins Filene i3 Execs Team
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 7:00 AM

Christopher Danvers

Filene Research recently announced the newest class of 20 participants in its distinguished i3 innovation program, which includes two credit union executives from the Cornerstone region:  Jason Deitz from Smart Financial Credit Union in Houston and Christopher Danvers from American Airline Federal Credit Union in Fort Worth.

The i3 is a two-year program that unites some of the industry's most creative thinkers and gives them a chance to collaborate and solve its most challenging problems. Ideas developed in the i3 program during its first decade have gone on to change state laws, improve the financial lives of millions of consumers, and save countless millions of dollars for credit unions.

With 12 years of credit union experience, Christopher Danvers, who joined American Airlines FCU in June 2013, had in interest in being an i3'er long before he'd been selected. "When I found out Filene was accepting applications for their 2014 wave, I submitted my application and completed their assessment tests," Danvers said. "I think there were around 100 applicants this year, and I am fortunate enough to be one of 20 selected for the 2014 wave."

"I've had the pleasure of working with Filene through other programs and roles," Danvers explains, "and they are a great organization to be affiliated with. Their focus on moving the credit union movement forward through the development of innovative ideas and practical concepts is really important. I think there could be some real opportunities to do something great, since I work in two of the most dynamic and changing areas for credit unions—payments and digital banking—and since American Airlines Federal Credit Union is a pretty innovative organization."

How will he juggle his valuable time between Filene and the credit union? Danvers says, "Our commitment as participants in the i3 program is to engage our assigned innovation teams weekly, and to actively participate in a number of events through the two years. The ultimate objective is for participating credit unions to pilot ideas generated through the program that are a good fit for their organization. It will ultimately be up to me to put in the hours to take care of both my credit union and Filene responsibilities, but I'm up for the challenge."

"I'm really honored and humbled to have been selected as an i3'er," Danvers said. "It's a great opportunity to contribute ideas and create something that could help keep credit unions differentiated in a hyper-competitive marketplace."

Andrew Downin, innovation director at Filene said this crop of executives was by far the strongest group of applicants they'd had in recent memory. "They join i³ at a point in our movement's history when innovation is critical. Credit unions face non-traditional competitors, disruptive technologies, and increasing demands from consumers. This perfect storm of impacts requires that our industry adopt innovative thinking like never before. These i3'ers are going to lead the way."

For a list of all current i³ members, please visit filene.org/innovate/i3-community.