MADISON, Wis. (9/1/11)--The Filene Research Institute has selected 16 credit union executives to join its i3 (Ideas, Innovation, Implementation) program, which fosters the development of new ideas and innovations for credit unions. Each member will serve a two-year term and participate in semi-annual meetings arranged by Filene. The next meeting will be held October 12-14 in Kansas City, Mo. “I’m always extremely impressed by the candidates, but this year was so promising because we’re seeing more and more institutional support from the candidates’ credit unions,” says Denise Gabel, Filene’s chief innovation officer. “I think CEOs are realizing that i3 puts not just the participant, but the organization at the forefront of credit union innovation work.” Filene received more than 50 applications from qualified credit union executives. With the help of Professor Murray Barrick of Texas A&M University, each applicant was evaluated based on motivation, leadership, creativity and innovation, teamwork, and other factors, including present position, geography and type of credit union. i3 has helped launch programs such as Save to Win (prize-based savings accounts), nationwide Savings Challenges (reality TV meets wallet improvement), and Debt in Focus (an anonymous, online financial assessment tool), which has improved the way credit unions provide financial guidance to their fields of membership, said Filene. Executives have been named to the i3 team are:
* Dana Clark, assistant vice president, frontline operations, Connex CU, North Haven, Conn.; * Joline Epple, director of marketing, Target Corp. CU, Minneapolis; * Betsy Guerrero, chief financial officer, Westerra CU, Denver; * Jean Hughes, senior vice president, CommunityAmerica CU, Kansas City, Mo.; * Jennifer Kulkoski, marketing director, First Financial CU, Skokie, Ill.; * Adam Marlowe, assistant vice president, distribution channels, Georgia’s Own CU, Atlanta; * Josh McAfee, marketing eirector, Leaders CU, Jackson, Tenn.; * Michelle Merkley, director, marketing and business development, Keystone FCU, West Chester, Pa. * Sandra Sagehorn-Elliot, senior vice president/ chief operations officer, Bellco CU, Greenwood Village, Colo.; * Soma Sarkar, executive vice president/chief operations officer, Credit Union of New Jersey, Ewing, N.J.; * James Simon, senior vice president, loss and risk mitigation, Suncoast Schools CU, Tampa, Fla.; * Michael Spink, communications manager, North Carolina Local Government FCU, Raleigh, N.C.; * Ray Springsteen, senior vice president, Fort Knox CU, Radcliff, Ky.; * Steve Webb, chief operations officer, Neighbors CU, Baton Rouge, La.; * Jason Werts, vice president, member services, Unitus Community CU, Portland, Ore.; and * Linda Young, director, research and products, Coast Capital Savings, Vancouver, B.C.