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Daggs, Halfon Among 16 CU Execs Chosen for Filene i3 Innovation
Thursday, September 1, 2016 6:50 AM

Sixteen credit union executives have been accepted to Filene i3, a program with a legacy of fostering the development of new ideas and innovations for credit unions. Two of the executives are from the Cornerstone region: Jeremy Daggs and Tiffany Halfon.

Each i3 member serves a two-year term that kicks off at Filene’s big.bright.minds event this October at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Boasting more than 200 innovative concepts in its first decade, Filene i3 has helped save consumers millions of dollars, brought new efficiency to credit unions, and even changed a few laws.

Jeremy Daggs“I am excited to be able to work with an organization like Filene and be a part of the i3 program," said Jeremy Daggs, vice president of marketing at Red Crown Federal Credit Union in Tulsa, Okla. "This has been a goal of mine for over five years. Knowing how prestigious i3 is, I have tried to learn as much as possible about the industry to feel comfortable to even apply. Now that I am on the team, I am ready to learn and help the industry get better for all credit union members.”

Tiffany Halton“I am beyond excited to have been chosen as one of the new members of Filene’s i3," said Tiffany Halfon, director of foundations at Smart Financial Credit Union in Houston, Texas. "I am fortunate to work as the director of the Smart Financial Foundation at Smart Financial Credit Union. Not only has this credit union been a supporter of Filene, it saw the importance of creating a position dedicated to philanthropy. I am looking forward to the i3 experience, learning from some of the best individuals around the country, and showing other credit union’s the importance of philanthropy within this movement.”

Under the guidance of Andrew Downin, managing director of innovation for Filene, new i3ers will experience a greater emphasis on prototype testing and implementation following concept innovation.

“Constant innovation is critical for credit unions to meet the needs of today’s consumers,” said Downin. “Testing prototypes for desirability and scalability are equally critical steps in the innovation process. Added rigor around our new build cycle to allow further prototype testing will help ensure new innovations can be successfully implemented to solve the problems they were designed to address.”

Filene i3 members commit to ideating, building, and testing several innovation concepts, piloting two ideas in their credit unions, attending two national meetings per year, and participating in regular group work. Expect big things from the newest Filene i3 members:

  • Michael Atkinson - G&F Financial Group, Vice President Wealth Management  
  • Amanda Basel – Christian Financial Credit Union, Deposit Operations Manager
  • Nicole Bowen – Fairfax County Federal Credit Union, Vice President - Information Technology, Compliance, and Facilities
  • David Cic – Westerra Credit Union, VP ERM & Compliance
  • Lauren Culp – True North Federal Credit Union, Business Lending Associate
  • Chris Cummins – Redwood Credit Union, Remote Delivery Manager
  • Jeremy Daggs – Red Crown Federal Credit Union, VP of Marketing (Tulsa, OK)
  • Tiffany Halfon – Smart Financial Credit Union, Director of Foundations (Houston, TX)
  • Justin Kautz – PSCU, VP of Accounting and Finance
  • Tara McQuillen – Discovery Federal Credit Union, Director of Marketing
  • Michael Mikkelson – Educators Credit Union, Chief Information Officer
  • Josh Sidell – Verity Credit Union, Sales Manager
  • Gabe Ulloa – Kern Federal Credit Union, Marketing Specialist
  • Melissa Vigil – Northwest Community Credit Union, Chief Administrative Officer
  • Kelly Wagner-Grull – Credit Union of Colorado, Director of Operations
  • Polina Yakusheva – Fitzsimons Federal Credit Union, VP Marketing & Business Development

Tiffany Halfon follows in the footsteps of her colleague Jason Dietz, a current i3 innovator and VP SFR/Foundation for Smart Financial Credit Union.

“When we focus on the daily grind, it can be easy to lose sight of the importance of the credit union movement” said Dietz. “Working with the talented and passionate people involved with i3 has re-energized me to continue my journey of being a champion for credit unions. Filene i3 is important to the credit union movement, and I look forward to what the future classes create.”

For more information on Filene i3, watch this short video and be sure to visit to view concepts and current and past i3 members.

About Filene:
Filene Research Institute is U.S.-based, independent, consumer finance think and do tank dedicated to scientific and thoughtful analysis about issues affecting the future of credit unions, retail banking, and cooperative finance. Founded more than 25 years ago, Filene is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Nearly 1,000 members make the nonprofit’s research, innovation, and impact programs possible. For more information, visit and @fileneresearch.