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Business Advocate Advisory Committee

Meet our Business Advocate Advisory Committee. The committee serves as a platform to bring our collective voices together and learn from one another.

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Tim Bruculere Tim Bruculere

Senior Vice President, Membership


As Senior Vice President, Membership, Tim Bruculere is responsible for leading Alloya’s member services and relations, marketing, consulting and lending administration ensuring the financial goals; the establishment/retention of member relationships; and the advancement of a positive marketplace image for the corporate.

Previously, Bruculere worked for M&T Bank as Administrative Vice President, leading a team of relationship professionals responsible for all customer management including product sales, implementation, and service. He brings more than 25 years of financial institution experience to Alloya, which includes cash management, capital markets, and corporate, commercial real estate and consumer lending.

Bruculere is past Chair of the University at Albany School of Business Advisory Council, past Secretary and board member of the New York State Trooper Foundation, past Treasurer and board member of the American Red Cross of Northeastern New York, and formerly served on the Investment Committee of Statewide Zone Capital Corp.

Bruculere holds his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from St. John Fisher College, Rochester, NY. 

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Bob Child Bob Child

Chief Operating Officer


Bob Child, the chief operating officer at Origence, oversees the company’s finance, marketing and communications, training, and human resources functions. He is also a member of the organization’s strategic planning team.

He has over 20+ years’ experience in the financial services industry, with expertise in developing and executing new best practice strategy functions and establishing program management offices.

Prior to joining CU Direct in 2011, Child held a number of executive positions, including:

  • Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, Aviva
  • Chief of Staff, Allstate Insurance and Allstate Bank

Child holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration in Finance from St. Xavier University.

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Justin Conrey Justin Conrey


CU Business Group

Justin is the President/CEO of CU Business Group, and an experienced banking executive with more than 18 years of commercial lending experience.  

Throughout his career Justin has worked at both credit unions and community banks.  As both a former CUBG client and a CUBG employee, he brings a unique perspective to his role as CEO.  

Justin has extensive experience in managing teams within the commercial, consumer, and mortgage areas, including the commercial team at a now $4 billion credit union.  Justin started his career with University Federal Credit Union in Austin, TX where he helped grow the credit union’s commercial lending program and eventually managed the business lending department.  In this role, Justin oversaw the credit, construction management, operations, closing, servicing, and portfolio management functions of the commercial area. 

Justin also served as Senior Vice President/Chief Credit Officer for a community bank, overseeing the entire lending department and helping to manage the overall strategic direction of the bank.  

Justin started with CUBG in 2017 as a VP/Commercial Loan Underwriter and quickly worked his way up to SVP, then EVP. As an experienced commercial lender, Justin has underwritten and managed all types of commercial credit including commercial real estate, construction and development, commercial and industrial, and lines of credit and has started, grown, and managed several SBA programs.

Justin attended the CUES School of Business Lending, served on the Board of Directors of the West Virginia Bankers Association education committee, and qualified for the Credit Risk Certification designation from RMA. Justin currently serves on CUNA’s Associate Business Membership Advisory Committee.

In his role at CU Business Group, Justin leads program and product development, manages the CUSO’s staff and teams, and consults with credit unions on business services strategies. 

Justin is a graduate of Auburn University and holds a degree in Finance.  He enjoys traveling, golf, and cooking and has volunteered as a youth sports coach with RBI Austin and with Habitat for Humanity.  In his free time, Justin enjoys spending time with his wonderful wife, son, family, and friends.

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Kris Kovacs Kris Kovacs

Founder and CEO

Constellation Digital Partners

Kris Kovacs leads Constellation Digital Partners as its Founder and CEO, bringing over 30 years of rich experience in the credit union industry. His background is marked by a robust combination of technology and operational expertise, which has been instrumental in his deep understanding of the evolving financial sector. His leadership at Constellation Digital Partners is characterized by a forward-thinking approach to how technology can significantly enhance operations and services in the financial world.

Before establishing Constellation Digital Partners, Kris dedicated 25 years to serving in credit unions. His tenure was divided between Navy Federal Credit Union in Vienna, VA, and Coastal Credit Union in Raleigh, NC. At Coastal Credit Union, he held the pivotal role of Chief Information Officer, where he was responsible for driving technological innovation and strategic operations.

As a respected voice in the industry, Kris is a frequent speaker on topics relating to technology and innovation. He combines his extensive industry experience with thought leadership in his role as the host of the Fintech Combine Podcast. Further highlighting his commitment to innovation, Kris is a CUES Certified Innovation Executive (CIE), a testament to his expertise and dedication to the field of credit union technology and innovation.

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Jeff Merry Jeff Merry

President & Chief Executive Officer


Jeff has served in the credit union movement since joining Volunteer Corporate Credit Union in 2004.  He has served VolCorp in the capacity of Chief Investment Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and, since January 2016, as President & Chief Executive Officer. While employed at VolCorp, Mr. Merry received his MBA from Vanderbilt University, Owen Graduate School of Management where he received the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence.  Graduating Summa Cum Laude with honors, his undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from Belmont University. He was named the CFO of the Year winning the Credit Union Times Trailblazer Award in 2014.  And, his proudest accomplishment is his wife of 15+ years, Tami, and his precious little girls.

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Julie Nielsen Julie Nielsen

VP, Channel Partnerships

Open Lending

As VP of Channel Partnerships at Open Lending, Julie Nielsen brings growth to existing partners and clients by creating business development strategies through partnership. She furthers sales and marketing efforts by expanding upon partnership capabilities and channel opportunities. Julie’s areas of expertise include lending, insurance, compliance and loan protection products within the industry. She brings a background of understanding the commercial and consumer lending marketplace and collaborates to unite client and market demands.

Julie holds a 25-year tenure in the financial sector, providing a deep understanding of its nuances and challenges. With a keen insight into the obstacles credit unions face and their potential for member empowerment, Julie maintains a thoughtful perspective. Her collaboration with product providers has honed her ability to identify needs and craft tailored solutions. She emphasizes consistent communication as vital for nurturing lasting partnerships and addressing subtle shifts without major disruptions.

Julie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in both Music and Mathematics from St. Olaf College as well as a Master’s Degree in Education. A MI native, Julie currently resides in Austin, TX with her husband and enjoys hiking, music, yoga and travel.

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Merry Pateuk Merry Pateuk

SVP, Industry Engagement


Merry Pateuk, SVP, Industry Engagement, fulfills Velera’s strategic objective of leveraging the cooperative’s scale to advocate on behalf of the credit union industry. She cultivates relationships between Velera and local, state and national organizations that support credit unions and works collaboratively with industry partners to ensure there is alignment on key topics and a cohesive voice to ultimately strengthen credit unions’ position in the market.

During her tenure at Velera, Merry has served in a wide range of senior leadership roles to include Account Management, Sales, Corporate Relations, Marketing, Corporate Communications and Public Relations and played a large part in taking the company from a start-up with a single line of business to an industry leader, serving hundreds of credit unions nationwide with multiple product lines.

She is on the Board of Directors of America’s Credit Union Museum and the Community Impact Fund. Merry champions PSCU’s efforts with numerous other system partners, actively engaged in committee participation with America’s Credit Unions, Children’s Miracle Network, Filene Research Institute, Credit Union Miracle Day and Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run, the African American Credit Union Coalition and CUES. Before joining PSCU, Merry worked for KPMG in the Financial Services practice as a Manager of Management Consulting.

She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina. Merry also earned the Credit Union Development Educators (CUDE) and Africa Development Educators distinction from the National Credit Union Foundation.

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David A. Savoie David A. Savoie

President & CEO

Louisiana Corporate Credit Union

David Savoie has served as President/CEO of Louisiana Corporate Credit Union since 1998.  From 1987 to 1998, David served as an NCUA Principal and Corporate Examiner.  During his tenure at Louisiana Corporate, David has served as Chair of the Board of Corporate Network Brokerage Services, and as a Director on the Boards of CU Business Group, and Core Network Systems.

David is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Master of Science in Banking and Financial Services from Boston University and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of New Orleans, where he currently serves as a member of the College of Business Dean’s Advisory Board.

In April 2020, David retired from the U.S. Navy Reserve as a Master Chief Intelligence Specialist after a 24-year reserve career that included extended active duty assignments on the Pentagon’s staff of the Joint Chiefs and at Task Force Guantanamo.

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