August 30, 2012
Mary Beth Spuck, vice president of organizational development for TwinStar Credit Union, is one of 18 credit union executives selected by the Filene Research Institute to join the institute's i3 (Ideas, Innovation, Implementation) program, which fosters the development of new ideas and innovations for credit unions.
Each member serves a two-year term, with half the membership turning over annually. Members participate in semi-annual meetings arranged by Filene and are responsible for piloting new ideas at their credit unions. Filene received more than 70 applications from credit union executives.
“I am looking forward to working with others from around North America to develop and implement new ideas that will benefit credit union members,” Spuck said, adding that she was specifically looking forward to working with and learning from i3 members coming from the Canadian credit union movement.
"Mary Beth brings to our i3 program the unique combination of leadership, grit, and intellectual curiosity that makes innovation work for credit unions," said Filene Research Institute innovation director Matt Davis. "Her track record at TwinStar and The Paragon Group clearly reveals her gifts of building teams, identifying problems, and creating solutions, which is exactly what we are trying to accomplish."
Spuck sees innovation as being more important now than ever, as credit unions must stay on the cutting edge in order to keep up with an unprecedented variety of competitors.
“In this environment, we no longer have typical competitors where we would look at banks [alone],” Spuck said. “We’re now looking at Google Wallet as a competitor, Wal-Mart is a competitor. It’s across the board. Costco offers financial services, so we now have to go up against those kinds of competitors.”
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 have improved the way credit unions provide financial guidance to their membership. Credit unions can learn more about all these ideas by e-mailing email@example.com.
"While the struggles of consumers and financial institutions are all too real, this environment is perfect for innovation," said George Hofheimer, Filene's chief research and innovation officer. "We're confident that this new group of i3ers has the skills, passion, and grit to transform the lives of consumers through credit unions."
The i3 team will meet for the first time in its new form in October.
The newest i³ members are:
- Megan Armstrong, manager, member services, Saratoga's Community Federal Credit Union, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.;
- William Azaroff, director, business and community development, Vancity, Vancouver, B.C., Canada ;
- Brad Barnes, vice president and chief financial officer, Air Academy Federal Credit Union, Colorado Springs, Colo.;
- Kayce Bel, chief operating officer, Alabama Credit Union, Tuscaloosa, Ala.;
- Marquis Boochee, vice president, eStrategy and innovation, Xceed Financial Federal Credit Union, El Segundo, Calif.;
- Danielle Brehmer, vice president, marketing, Lake Trust Credit Union, Lansing, Mich.;
- Cindy Brucato, assistant vice president, application development, GTE Financial, Tampa, Fla.;
- Taylor Carstens, vice president of sales and lending, People's Trust Federal Credit Union, Houston;
- Robert Christiansen, district manager, Servus Credit Union, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada;
- Andrew Downin, manager of product development, Schools First Federal Credit Union, Santa Ana, Calif.;
- Damian Jakubczyk, vice president of information technology, Elevations Credit Union, Boulder, Colo.;
- David Klavitter, senior vice president, marketing and public relations, Dupaco Community Credit Union, Dubuque, Iowa;
- Matt Monge, chief culture officer, Mazuma Credit Union, Kansas City, Mo.;
- Andea Mosher, vice president of lending, University of Michigan Credit Union, Ann Arbor, Mich.;
- Michael Salerno, e-services manager, America First Federal Credit Union, Riverdale, Utah;
- Andrew Spirrison, assistant vice president, retail delivery, FORUM Credit Union, Indianapolis;
- Mary Beth Spuck, vice president of organizational development, TwinStar Credit Union, Lacey, Wash.; and
- Denise Wymore, vice president, member loyalty, Del Norte Credit Union, Los Alamos, N.M.
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