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Filene Welcomes 16 Credit Union Leaders to the i3 Family
Friday, October 13, 2017 6:35 AM

Charged with attacking the industry’s most flummoxing problems, the 2017 crew will roll up sleeves; prototype new solutions

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. Each i3 member serves a two-year term that kicks off at Filene’s annual big. bright. minds., this year going down in Austin, Texas.

With 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. Under the guidance of Research Director Andrew Downin, new i3ers will experience a greater emphasis on prototype testing and implementation following concept innovation.

“Innovation is critical to the growth of our industry,” said Ryan Foss, managing director, innovation. “The i3 program tackles some of the most challenging problems and realities that credit unions face. The future leaders of our movement are some of the most important assets we have. By creating and prototyping solutions that meet our current and future members’ needs, i3 gives these leaders the tools to innovate and implement change efficiently and effectively.”

Watch for ideas you wish you had thought of first coming from our newest Filene i3 members:

  • Jillian Hansen -  Bethpage Federal Credit Union, AVP Finance
  • Megan Jackson - Central Florida Educators Federal Credit Union, Regional Director of High School Branches
  • Patrick Livingston -  Coastal Credit Union, AVP Systems Support
  • Jean-Jacques de Roover – Connexus Credit Union, Director, Digital Channel Development
  • Naveen Jain – First Tech Credit Union, VP Analytics
  • Adam Christensen – FirstOntario Credit Union, Lead, Marketing & Experience Design
  • Steve Hildebrand – Freedom First Credit Union, VP Marketing
  • David Bremner – Helena Community Credit Union, Accounting Supervisor
  • Christine Cordell – Hiway Federal Credit Union, SVP of Strategy & Transformation
  • Ryan Wing – Infinity Federal Credit Union, Director of Information, Technology & Facilities
  • Bijal Gami – Local Government Federal Credit Union, Payments Manager
  • Mallory Surprenant – NorthCountry Federal Credit Union, Support Services Supervisor
  • Ben Greiving – Public Service Credit Union, General Counsel and Chief of Staff
  • Holly Martindale – SESLOC Federal Credit Union, Business Innovation Manager
  • Doug Robinson – Vermont Federal Credit Union, Director of Innovation & Strategy
  • Jennifer Statham – Washington State Employees Credit Union, SVP/Chief Brand Technologist

Historically, Filene accepts less than 20 percent of those who apply. Filene i3 members commit to ideating, building, and testing several innovation concepts, piloting two ideas at their credit unions, attending two national meetings per year, and participating in regular group work.

“When we focus on the daily grind, it can be easy to lose sight of the importance of the credit union movement,” said Jason Dietz, i3 alumnus and CEO of Smart Financial Resources and Foundation–Smart Financial Credit Union. “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!”

What has the 2016 Filene i3 class been working on, you ask? They want to be sure credit unions are successful in 2025 and beyond and believe successful growth takes a willingness to embrace change, take strategic risks, and make wise investments in innovation. They’ve identified credit unions’ biggest challenges, dreamed up innovative solutions, and prototyped them for us. 

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. For more information, visit filene.org and @fileneresearch.