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CUNA Business Lending Roundtable

January 27-28, 2022, Tempe, AZ


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Gord Baizley Gord Baizley



Gord brings a broad range of financial, legal and operational experience to JUDI.AI. He began his career in investment banking and corporate law. Subsequently, he held executive positions (CFO, CSO and COO) in two of Canada’s fastest-growing technology companies during the past two decades (which reached #1 and #5 on the Deloitte Fast 50 list). Gord enjoys the excitement and challenges that come with hypergrowth, and brings significant experience in scaling technology businesses to the JUDI.AI team, along with financial services expertise that contributes to the company’s product and go-to-market strategies. 

Gord has a BA from the University of Western Ontario and an LLB/MBA from the University of British Columbia. He is called to bar in British Columbia and is a CFA charter holder. He previously served on the Board of Directors of the Dr. Peter Aids Foundation, including serving as the chair of the foundation’s development committee. 

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John Ballantyne John Ballantyne

Chief Executive Officer

Tru Treasury

John is the Chief Executive Officer at Tru Treasury, a firm focused on enabling Credit Unions to provide business members leading treasury management solutions and advisory services. As the Chief Executive, he is responsible for the development of this company from a startup to a strategic service provider in the financial services industry.

John has spent 16 years in the financial services industry leading underwriting, treasury management, and payments organizations. Prior to joining Tru Treasury, John held multiple leadership roles at SunTrust Bank, now Truist, in the Treasury and Payments business. His roles included Vice President of Digital Money Movement, First Vice President of Liquidity Product and Commercial Card Rebate, and most recently as Head of Treasury Solutions Proposal Management. Additionally, John led an $18MM bank initiative to establish sales and product governance standards across multiple operating lines of business.

Before SunTrust, John owned, managed, and successfully exited a medical payments startup that served over one hundred providers in 12 states. He has also held roles at, Travelers Insurance, and the Vanguard Group. Outside of the financial sector, John is a Field Grade Officer in the Army Reserves and a veteran of the War in Iraq.

John earned an MBA from Johns Hopkins University, a Bachelor of Science from Shippensburg University, and two rotary-wing aviator certifications (UH-60 and CH-47) from the US Army Flight School.

Most importantly, John is a devoted husband to his wife of 13 years and a father of three spunky children.  

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Crystal Dowd Crystal Dowd

EVP / Chief Operating Officer

DFTC, Inc.

Crystal is Chief Operating Officer with DFTC, Inc. and a 20 plus year commercial lending professional. Crystal has successfully managed and directed individual commercial lending departments as well as regional commercial lending operations supporting $75MM to $250MM portfolios in both credit union and banking industries. Her expertise encompasses commercial credit underwriting, commercial loan administration and commercial lending training. Crystal’s roles throughout her career arm her with multi-faceted real-world tools needed to successfully guide commercial lending operations. Whether underwriting client complex credits, establishing logistical processes to efficaciously drive client loan production and internal portfolio monitoring, conducting independent third-party review or imparting her knowledge at professional training events, Crystal’s hands on subject matter expertise covering commercial lending from origination to payoff makes her an invaluable client partner. 

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Steve Hazan, CCUE Steve Hazan, CCUE

VP of Credit Administration

SECU Maryland

Steve Hazan has been in Commercial Banking since 1988. He currently heads up SECU’s Credit administration area focusing on lending to consumers and businesses, loan underwriting and loan servicing.

A Maryland native, Steve is a graduate of The University of Michigan and achieved his CPA designation in 1994. He holds a Graduate Certificate in Management from The University of Maryland. In 2004 he earned Six Sigma Greenbelt Certification for his work on Commercial Credit Cards. In 2018 he graduated with honors from the Certified Credit Union Executive program at The University of Wisconsin School of Business.

A speaker at industry conferences, he has written articles for and been profiled in American Banker, St. Louis Small Business Monthly, The Daily Record, The Baltimore Business Journal, Small Business Digest, Sales & Marketing Management and other publications. Steve has also trained and coached hundreds of bankers in business cash management, commercial credit underwriting and sales.

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Joe Hyatt Joe Hyatt

President / CEO


Joe is an owner of DFTC, Inc. and a senior executive and commercial lending industry expert with over 26 years’ experience encompassing commercial credit underwriting, credit training, business operations and management, public accounting, sales and research focused on generating conservative, recurring and sustainable revenue growth. Joe’s roles include chief credit officer leading, coaching and directing credit policy, procedure, credit risk assessment and mitigation for 20 plus financial institution partners; subject matter expert developing and training commercial credit for the National Credit Union Administration, Credit Union National Association, and CUSO organizations; executive consultant counseling financial institutions regarding safety and soundness issues with commercial loan portfolios ranging from $5MM to $500MM. 

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Whitney Nicholas Whitney Nicholas

Senior Federal Compliance Counsel

Credit Union National Association

Whitney Nicholas serves as senior federal compliance counsel at Credit Union National Association (CUNA) where she provides compliance information and advice to credit unions on a range of regulatory issues impacting the industry. Whitney’s work focuses on regulatory compliance analysis of consumer financial services laws and regulations that impact financial institutions. Whitney works closely with CUNA’s publications and web services departments to deliver important compliance information in a user-friendly format to CUNA’s members. Additionally, Whitney writes articles and assembles content for CUNA’s CompBlog and maintains key lending topics in CUNA’s online e-Guide to Federal Laws and Regulations. She also responds to compliance inquiries from leagues and credit unions.

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Patricia O'Connell Patricia O'Connell

Lead Compliance Counsel

Credit Union National Association

Patricia acts as Senior Federal Compliance Counsel with Credit Union National Association (CUNA) where she works with the compliance team to provide compliance information, education and training, and regulatory advice to credit unions and leagues. Patricia analyzes and reports on regulatory, legal and compliance issues that affect credit unions and leagues, as well as works closely with other CUNA departments to maintain and expand CUNA’s educational compliance resources, identify compliance issues impacting credit unions and suggest regulatory and legislative solutions, and assist in providing insight for articles addressing compliance developments.

Immediately prior to joining CUNA, Patricia was in-house counsel with a New York-based federal credit union where she worked closely with the various lines of business and with senior management to provide compliance and legal services to the credit union. In addition, Patricia’s previous legal practice has focused on counseling, advocating, and negotiating on behalf of financial, academic and technical not-for-profit clients via policy development, building coalitions and cooperative arrangements among interested stakeholders, participating in the legislative process, and performing complex compliance research and regulatory analysis.

Patricia holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College. She is licensed to practice law in Illinois, New York and Tennessee and is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS).

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David Ruffin David Ruffin



David’s extensive experience in the financial industry includes a long and pronounced emphasis on credit risk in a variety of roles that range from bank lender and senior credit officer to co-founder of the successful Credit Risk Management, LLC consultancy and professor at several banking schools. A prolific publisher of credit-focused articles, he is a frequent speaker at trade association forums, where he shares insights gained helping lending institutions evaluate credit risk—in both its traditional, transactional form as well as the risk associated with portfolios based on a more emergent macro strategy.

David is an expert in assessing all aspects of the credit process and culture. Over the course of decades, he has led teams providing thousands of loan reviews and performed hundreds of due diligence engagements focused on M&A and capital raising. Most recently he headed the DHG-Credit Risk Management division at the Dixon Hughes Goodman accounting firm. David holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, a M.S. from East Carolina University and multiple degrees from the American Bankers Association’s graduate lending schools.

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Omar Shute Omar Shute

Senior Vice President of Commercial Services

Development Finance Training and Consulting Inc. (DFTC)

Omar Shute is the Senior Vice President of Commercial Services at Development Finance Training and Consulting Inc. (DFTC). In this role, he oversees commercial underwriting and participates on all the related suite of services offered by DFTC. Omar has close to 20 years of commercial lending experience and his career background encompasses commercial loan origination, relationship management, commercial loan underwriting, credit administration, commercial portfolio management, policy generation, and senior leadership experience including working with boards of directors.

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Valerie Williams, CUCE Valerie Williams, CUCE

Senior Business Consultant

Commercial Alliance

Valerie Williams, is a well-respected individual with 25 years of experience in Business Lending, Commercial Real Estate, Leadership Strategy, Development and more. She has proven abilities as a passionate, motivating and effective thought-leader throughout the financial services industry. She is widely acknowledged for her professional performance and often credited for her contributions in cultivating impactful and lasting relationships.

After a successful 20 years in the Commercial Banking space, Valerie transitioned her career to the Credit Union sector. Since that time, she successfully built and implemented a business lending division for a $1.4B asset size credit union in Georgia. Throughout this process, she received accolades both internally as well as externally from governing regulatory bodies. In the past few years, she has given her efforts to more intimately serve the communities represented within this sector.

Valerie knows that the core credit union beliefs of community and service mirror her own and is fully invested in the mission to expand Business Lending expertise across the Credit Union footprint. She is committed to sharing her wealth of knowledge and experience in Business Lending to help Credit Unions develop and grow this line of business effectively, efficiently and with excellence.

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