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SCMS Celebrates the Class of Innov18 with Festivities and Honors
Thursday, July 19, 2018 7:00 AM

The last few days were big for Southwest CUNA Management School. Tuesday's events kicked off with the 30th annual SCMS Scholarship Golf Classic, followed by the Alumni Dinner and Scholarship Auction. Wednesday's events included the SCMSAA symposium on CECL, followed by the 46th SCMS graduation reception, dinner, and ceremonies honoring the Class of 2018, who have dubbed themselves the Class of Innov18.

Cornerstone Credit Union League congratulates the 41 graduates of the SCMS Class of Innov18, by state in alpha order:


  • Mark Hixson
  • Greg Hutchins
  • Jennifer Webb


  • Daniel Hayden


  • Brett Reynolds


  • Alisha Coleman


  • Joseph Arthur
  • Cody Buchholz
  • Laurie Burkhalter
  • Steve Gonner
  • Krysi Pierce
  • JC Reavis
  • Bryan Royse
  • Mike Shockley
  • Carisa Taylor


  • Megan Allred
  • Roger Cameron
  • Minnie Cravens
  • Brenda Davenport
  • Derek Delao
  • Cody Derouen
  • Eugenia Dupler
  • Ciro Garcia
  • Donnielle Goff
  • Arthur Gordon
  • Sherry Hellwig
  • Candice Hernandez
  • Bill Kishton
  • Tabitha Lewton
  • Mike Moseley
  • Shelly Ogle
  • Courtney Poole
  • Ann Ramos
  • Kimberly Reese
  • LeAnn Robbins
  • Laura Roberts
  • Alex Samoilov
  • Justin Sheffield
  • Lee Strickhouser
  • Dave Van Buskirk
  • Gisela Verastegui

Honors Graduates

Honors Recipients
Class of 2018 Honors recipients take center stage.

Of the 41 graduates in the Class of 2018, a record nine students received the honors designation. To receive honors, students must create a comprehensive, high quality, strategic business plan for their credit union; illustrate on a broad level the potential impact of strategic decisions across operations; display a mastery of financial management; and successfully deliver multiple oral presentations.

  • Carisa Taylor, Red River Federal Credit Union
  • Megan Allred, First Abilene Federal Credit Union
  • Sherry Hellwig, Lufkin Federal Credit Union
  • Brenda Davenport, Eastex Credit Union
  • Arthur Gordon, First Community Credit Union
  • Brett Reynolds, Neighbors Federal Credit Union
  • Courtney Poole, Brazos Valley Schools Credit Union
  • JC Reavis, Allegiance Credit Union
  • Bryan Royse, Communication Federal Credit Union

Award of Excellence

Winners of the Award of Excellence
Class of 2018 Winners of the Award of Excellence.

The Award of Excellence goes to students whose performance is considered to be the highest in all aspects of school life, from project to presentation to leadership. The Class of 2018 saw four such graduates, a record for this achievement. Award of Excellence recipients are:

  • Mark Hixson, River Valley Community Federal Credit Union
  • Lee Strickhouser, Resource One Credit Union
  • Cody Derouen, Doches Credit Union
  • Mike Moseley, First Eagle Federal Credit Union

Connect to Collaborate—c2c Winner

Josh Atkinson
Class of 2018's Josh Atkinson (center) from People's Trust FCU, winner of the c2c Award.

The winner of the Connect to Collaborate, or c2c, award went to Josh Atkinson, a second-generation young credit union leader, from People's Trust Federal Credit Union. This award is based on peer recognition for a first-year student under 40 who demonstrates the highest level of leadership while on campus. It was created to help younger professionals grow their credit union network and highlight their contributions to the credit union movement. For this achievement, Atkinson will receive a scholarship for his tuition.

This year's award is especially significant, as it was presented in memory of a special classmate, Michael Wood, who would have graduated with the Class of 2018. Wood's CEO Gary Parker, 1st University Credit Union, joined his wife Karmen on stage.

Other Notable Celebrations and Achievements

Fifty golfers took part in the golf tournament at Top Golf in Fort Worth. Awards went to the last-place team, first-place team, and the top three golfers.

  • The Class of 2018 donated $28,000 to the SCMS Scholarship Fund. Read more.
  • SCMS alumnus and 44-year credit union veteran Gary Parker was named 2018 Alumnus of the Year. Read more.
  • The "HR1151 Flag," a revered fixture at the SCMS campus for nearly 20 years and which represents the landmark 1998 legislative victory for credit unions, was honored and donated to America's Credit Union Museum, Richard L. "Dick" Ensweiler Research Library, in Manchester, N.H. Former Cornerstone Credit Union League President/CEO Dick Ensweiler and his wife Judy accepted the flag during graduation ceremonies and will see to it the HR1151 Flag finds its rightful place of honor at the museum. Read more.