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CUNA CEO Council Conference


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Tony Budet Tony Budet

Retired CEO

University Federal Credit Union

Austin, TX

Tony C. Budet served from 2000-2023 as President and Chief Executive  Officer of University Federal Credit Union (UFCU), Austin, Texas, a not-for-profit financial cooperative with $5 billion in assets under management serving 350,000 members.  He is a seasoned executive, strategist, and innovator who, during his 38-year tenure with UFCU held several executive-level roles, including Chief Financial Officer, and successfully guided the organization through a variety of regulatory, economic, and competitive conditions. 

In partnership with his board, Tony positioned himself and UFCU’s 800 employees to focus externally, utilizing the cooperative’s financial, human, and physical resources as conduits through which to reach into and transform communities served, particularly in the areas of financial health, post-secondary education, middle skills employment, and housing affordability.  His “relationships are all there is” approach to leadership garnered the credit union considerable influence in local business and legislative circles while producing growth multiple times that of other credit unions.   

Tony served as the 2022-2023 Chairman of the Credit Union National Association, served as the 2016 Chairman of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, was the recipient of the 2015 Credit Union National Association’s Buck Levins Political Activist award, and was designated the Credit Union Executive Society’s 2014 Outstanding Chief Executive.  He earned a BA in Economics from The University of Texas at Austin, and was active in leadership of the Credit Union National Association, CUNA Strategic Services, Inc., E3 Alliance, and Opportunity Austin.  He also has led or participated in a variety of community organizations, including Austin Bridge Builders Alliance, Austin Area Research Organization, Austin Young Chamber Advisory Council, Greater Austin Crime Commission, Athletes in Action Advisory Council, and Development Councils for the University of Texas System Chancellor, Dell Medical School, University of Texas Libraries, Concordia University, and Dell Seton Medical Center. 

Tony and his wife Nancy are blessed with two adult daughters, two sons-in-law, and three grandchildren, and are active members of Austin Ridge Bible Church.  

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Sandi Carangi Sandi Carangi

President & CEO

Mercer County Community Federal Credit Union

Hermitage, PA

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Ron Draper Ron Draper

President & CEO

Somerville Credit Union

Ron has over 40 years of work experience in financial services and real estate.  Ron started his banking career as a teller while in college and served in various capacities as a Marketing Officer, Project Manager, Loan Officer, Chief Operations Officer/Vice President, and President/CEO at several Massachusetts banks and credit unions. 

Ron has served as CEO of Somerville's Credit Union for the past 13 years. He also presently serves as the Chair and Director of the Cooperative Credit Union Association as well as CUNA's Small Credit Union Committee. 

Ron received his BS in Business Administration from Boston College, an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University, a graduate certificate in Human Resource Management from Merrimack College, and a JD from Massachusetts School of Law. 

Ron is a licensed Massachusetts attorney, auctioneer, real estate broker, certified Senior Professional in Human Resources, small business entrepreneur, and consultant.

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Juliet Funt Juliet Funt

Founder and CEO

Juliet Funt Group

Atlanta, GA

A regular feature in top global media outlets, including Forbes and Fast Company, Juliet Funt is a renowned keynote speaker and tough-love advisor to the Fortune 500. As the founder and CEO of the efficiency firm Juliet Funt Group, she is an evangelist for freeing the potential of companies by unburdening their talent from busywork. Juliet’s warm, relatable manner and actionable content earned her one of the highest ratings in the largest speaking event in the world, and she has worked with Spotify, National Geographic, Anthem, Vans, Abbott, Costco, Pepsi, Nike, Wells Fargo, Sephora, Sysco, and ESPN. You can follow her and access numerous resources at


LinkedIn -
Twitter -

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Caren Gabriel Caren Gabriel

(retired) President & CEO

Ascend Federal Credit Union

Tullahoma, TN

Caren Gabriel was president and chief executive officer of Ascend Federal Credit Union headquartered in Tullahoma, Tennessee from 2004 until her retirement in 2023 after 38 years of service with Ascend.  Under her leadership, assets grew from $960.3 million to more than $3.9 billion.  With 28 financial centers and more than 257,000 members, Ascend is the largest credit union in Middle Tennessee and one of the largest in Tennessee.

In 2006, Ms. Gabriel spearheaded a massive re-branding campaign that included a name change to set Ascend apart from its competitors.  In so doing, she launched an aggressive branching strategy that includes new and remodeled facilities, an 80,000-square-foot corporate headquarters, and an increased focus on a sales and service culture.  Over the past 18 years, she has orchestrated annual member returns totaling more than $100 million.  To help ensure the viability of credit unions nationwide, she organized an employee campaign that resulted in approximately 79 percent of Ascend employees supporting the Credit Union Legislative Action Committee via payroll deduction. 

Ms. Gabriel holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the University of Alabama and a doctor of jurisprudence degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law.  From 1985 to 2004, she served Ascend as executive vice-president and general counsel, and in 2004 she was chosen by the board to be president and chief executive officer.  Ms. Gabriel currently serves on the CUNA Mutual Group Board of Directors, The Nature Conservancy of TN Board of Trustees, and the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt Advisory Board.  In addition, Ms. Gabriel is a former chairman of the Tennessee Credit Union League and has served on a variety of community boards, including the Red Cross and the Rotary Club.

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Susan Gruber Susan Gruber

President and CEO

University of VA Community Credit Union

Susan joined UVA Community Credit Union ($1.4B) in Charlottesville, VA in May 2022 as President and CEO.  Previously, Susan served as EVP/Chief Finance Officer for Patelco Credit Union ($9.0B) in Dublin, CA for nearly 8 years.  During that time, Patelco more than double its assets size and Susan was awarded CFO of the Year (CUNA 2016), CFO Trailblazer of the Year (CU Times 2017) and Most Influential Women of the Year (SF Business Times 2020).  Susan’s previous credit union experience was SVP/Chief Financial Officer at Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union ($2.0B) in Lowell, MA for 9 years.  Prior to joining the credit union industry, Susan spent over 15 years at multi-national banks and broker/dealers working in the accounting, finance and capital markets divisions.  Susan earned her MBA from Boston University and her BS Accounting from St. Joseph’s University (Philadelphia, PA).  Outside of work, Susan has been married for over 25 years and shares 3 college-aged children with her husband.

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Karan Kashyap Karan Kashyap

Co-Founder & CEO

POSH Technologies

Karan is Posh’s Chief Executive Officer and co-founder. His education at MIT included undergraduate and graduate degrees focused on artificial intelligence, where he was named a Siebel Scholar for his research work. He soon began AI and software consulting with enterprises across multiple industries, building a business foundation, and establishing a pathway to the beginning of Posh. Posh now has more than 50 clients across the banking and credit union space with an ever-growing client base and employee roster. Outside of work, Karan has joyfully traveled across 20+ countries, plays a variety of sports including soccer, golf, and squash, and enjoys cooking. He lives in Cambridge, MA.

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Chary Krout Chary Krout

Co-Founder & Partner


For over 25 years, Chary has dedicated her career to coming alongside employees and
leaders, helping them solve problems, and creating better workplaces for everyone.
Chary believes in leveraging data to improve culture and has helped organizations
successfully discontinue traditional performance programs and connect employees and
managers more frequently. With the belief that culture is owned by all, she finds ways to
engage employees in their experience, driving higher levels of engagement and a sense
of belonging.

A true Pacific Northwest native, Chary loves the outdoors. You can find her hiking,
enjoying a baseball game, wine tasting, or getting away to her family cabin in The

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Kent Lugrand Kent Lugrand


InTouch Credit Union

Plano, TX


  • Bachelor of Arts – Accounting – Westminster College
  • Master of Business Administration – University of Notre Dame

Professional Activities

  • Board of Trustees Member and Parliamentarian – Carver Baptist Bible College, Institute & Theological Seminary
  • Cornerstone Resources Board – Director
  • Cornerstone League
  • Audit Committee Member
  • Governmental Affairs Committee Member
  • Leadership Development Committee Member
  • CURQL Collective LLC’s Investment Committee – Advisory Board


  • Eltropy, Inc. – Client Advisory Board Member
  • CUNA’s CU System Digitization Working Group Member

Honors, Awards, and Major Accomplishments

  • Husband, Father, and Grandfather
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Dr. Jerry Nickelsburg Dr. Jerry Nickelsburg

Director, UCLA Anderson Forecast

UCLA Anderson School of Management

Jerry Nickelsburg - Director, UCLA Anderson Forecast - joined the UCLA Anderson School of Management and the UCLA Anderson Forecast in 2006. Since 2017, he has served as faculty director of the Forecast. He earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Minnesota, specializing in monetary economics and econometrics.

Nickelsburg plays a key role in the economic modeling and forecasting of the national, California and regional economic forecasts. He researches labor economics, industrial organization, statistics and international monetary economics, focusing on the development of new data and the application of economic theory and statistical methods to sector-specific policy issues. His current research encompasses transportation and environmental economics, and the relationships between highly skilled persons and their demand for social insurance. He has conducted special studies into the future of manufacturing in Los Angeles, the economic impact of the writers’ strike, the undocumented construction and manufacturing labor force, and the garment industry.

Formerly a professor of economics at the University of Southern California, Nickelsburg held executive positions with McDonnell Douglas, FlightSafety International and FlightSafety Boeing during a 15-year span in the aviation business. He developed forecasting tools for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and has advised banks, investors and financial institutions. From 2000 to 2006, he was the managing principal of Deep Blue Economics, a consulting firm he founded.

Nickelsburg teaches economics in UCLA Anderson’s MBA program, with a focus on business forecasting and international business economics. He travels regularly with students to Asia as professor and advisor in their global immersion courses.

Nickelsburg is cited by the national media, with frequent mentions in the Financial TimesWall Street JournalNew York TimesLos Angeles Times and Reuters. He has published more than 100 scholarly and popular articles on economic policy, monetary economics, statistics, labor economics and industrial organization, and he is the author of two books on monetary economics and exchange rates.

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Maria J. Martinez Maria J. Martinez

President & CEO

Border FCU

Del Rio, TX

Maria J. Martinez is the President/CEO of Border Federal Credit Union (Border FCU), a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), headquartered in Del Rio, TX, with over $210 million in assets and serving over 25,000 members.   Maria has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with a major in Accounting and is a proud Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE).  Her passion is making positive connections and being of service to others and she is constantly advocating for financial wellness for all within the credit union system. 

Maria serves on the Board of Directors of Credit Union National Association. She was recently appointed as an Associate Director to PSCU’s Board; is a founding member and Vice-Chairwoman of the Credit Union Women’s Leadership Alliance (CUWLA); is a founding member and the Chairwoman of the National Association of Latino Credit Unions & Professionals (NLCUP); is a member of the CU DEI Collective group formed in 2019; serves on CUNA’s CU Awareness LLC Board and the CUNA Strategic Services (CSS) Board; and volunteers in other boards and committees.

Among the recognitions Maria has received for her professional accomplishments, community contributions and leadership are the 2017 Herb Wegner Memorial Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement, the 2015 Woman of Distinction Award by the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC), the 2016 Cornerstone Credit Union League Professional of the Year Award and other recognitions.

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Jim Nussle Jim Nussle

President & CEO

Credit Union National Association

Washington, DC // Madison, WI

Jim is president and CEO of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Since his appointment in September 2014, he has worked to position credit unions as America's best financial partner. By streamlining the association's structure and operations, he has shaped CUNA into a lean, strategic and results-driven organization recognizing that credit unions demand value of membership and advocacy results.

Jim is a former nine-term congressman and director of the White House Office of Management and Budget for President George W. Bush. He served in the U.S. House from 1991-2007 as a Republican representative for Iowa’s 1st and 2nd congressional districts. From 2001-06, he served as chairman of the House Budget Committee, a key panel which oversees the federal budget process, including review of all bills and resolutions on the budget. The panel also monitors agencies and programs funded outside of the budgetary process.

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Joe Schroeder Joe Schroeder

(retired) President & CEO

Ventura County CU

Ventura, CA

Joseph Schroeder, a long-time leader in the California Credit Union movement, is the recently retired President/C EO of Ventura County Credit Union

Schroeder became a CEO of one of the 50 largest Credit Unions in California at the age of 35.  He has more than three decades of senior-level Credit Union management experience as President/CEO at three of southern California’s largest Credit Unions and as a vice president over both operational and marketing departments. Schroeder earned his bachelor’s degree in communication arts and an MBA from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.  He is active and well-regarded in the industry, having served on the Board of the CO-OP ATM Network, an FSCC audit committee and was a founding member of the Marketing Association of California (now Marketing Association of Credit Unions), and served as chairman. He has served as the representative from California on the Credit Union Legislative Action Committee, serves on the Government Affairs Committee and formally served on an advisory committee to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). He is also the former Chair of the Board of Member Business Lending (MBL) based in Salt Lake City, Utah. His community involvement includes Chairman on the Board of FOOD Share, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting hunger in Ventura County. He is also a Board Member of the Foundation of Ventura County Credit Union.

In 2013, the California and Nevada Credit Union League awarded Schroeder with the Unsung Hero Award for his leadership.  In 2014, the California Credit Union League awarded Schroeder the Distinguished Service Award which is given to recognize efforts that have significantly benefited the Credit Union community. In 2015, the Credit Union House in Washington D.C. inducted Schroeder in to the Hall of Leaders. Schroeder has been recognized by El Concilio Family Services during its 28th Annual Latino Leadership Awards for outstanding contributions to improve the quality of life of the underserved Latino Community. In 2019, he received the "HE for SHE" award from the World Council of Credit Unions' Global Women's Leadership Network. In 2020, Schroeder received the Leo Shapiro Award, which is the highest honor recognizing lifetime achievement from the California and Nevada Credit Union League.

Ventura County Credit Union is the largest Credit Union headquartered in Ventura County, with eight offices, nearly 80,000 members and over $1 billion in total assets. VCCU has been selected as the Best Financial Institution in the county for ten straight years by the readers of the Ventura County Star.

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Dr. David L Tuyo-II, DBA, MBA Dr. David L Tuyo-II, DBA, MBA

President and CEO

University Credit Union

Los Angeles, CA

Dr. David L Tuyo II, DBA, MBA serves as the President and CEO of University Credit Union. He is a veteran of the financial services industry where he has served financial institutions in a multitude of roles including COO, CFO, and Chief Investment Officer. His career in the financial services industry spans over 20 years, with the majority dedicated to serving credit unions.

Dr. Tuyo is extensively involved in industry initiatives and furthering credit union causes in the community. He is a constant advocate for the credit union movement to ensure those in the community have access to financial services, as well as financial education, that in tandem lead to members building financial mobility.

In addition to serving on the CUNA CEO Council’s Executive Committee, he is on the Board of Advisors for UCLA Anderson School Forecast, is a Board member of Members Development Company, Allied Solutions, Chair of the California Credit Union Leagues Regulatory Advocacy Committee, and committee member of NAFCU, Visa, CUNA Mutual, and other industry groups. He co-founded the Advanced Lending Institute and the Certified Lending Expert designation.

Dr. Tuyo has been recognized by industry leaders including the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions’ Professional of the Year, Credit Union Times Trailblazer and Northwest Florida's Top 40 Executives Under 40. He was also the recipient of the first ever award for Innovation from PSCU, the largest credit union service organization in the US.

Dr. Tuyo holds several degrees, designations and certificates which include a BS in Finance, an MBA and a DBA. Others include work in financial mathematics, personal financial planning, leadership, organizational behavior, consumer behavior, investments, and strategic planning. Universities include UCLA, UC Berkley, Wharton, Mississippi State, California Southern, and University of Mobile.

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Brian Waldron Brian Waldron

President & CEO

Dort Financial CU

Dort Financial CU - Grand Blanc, MI

Brian Waldron is the President/CEO of Dort Financial Credit Union, a $1.6 billion credit union in Grand Blanc, Michigan.  Mr. Waldron joined Dort Financial in March of 2022 from Hudson Valley Credit Union, a $6.5B institution located in Poughkeepsie, New York,  where he was serving as the Senior Vice President of Lending (CLO).  Previous to Hudson Valley, Mr. Waldron was the Chief Lending Officer for Scott Credit union ($1.2B) in Edwardsville, IL.

He has more than 20 years of professional lending and operational experience in the credit union industry and has dedicated his career to the credit union mission of “people helping people”.  He is passionate about the fueling growth of the credit union movement by investing in employees!  Waldron has been a panelist and speaker at several conferences and podcasts, including NAFCU, CULYtics, ACUMA and the Mortgage Coach.

Brian is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, OH.  He currently resides in Clarkston, Michigan with his wife Alicia, three boys (Bryce, Cody and Ethan), and four dogs (Lucky, Oliver, Charlotte, and Penny).  In his spare time he enjoys boating, spending time on Lake Michigan, and traveling!

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Steve Williams Steve Williams

President and Partner

Cornerstone Advisors

As a co-founder of Cornerstone Advisors, Steve Williams serves as President and Partner with Cornerstone where he leads firm growth and thought leadership efforts while remaining actively involved with major clients in the areas of strategy, technology and performance improvement.

Steve has assisted hundreds of banks and credit unions in their efforts to become highly efficient, top-performing financial institutions. An experienced private banker with a commercial and consumer credit background, Steve’s more than 25 years of experience in the financial services and consulting industries have provided him with a deep working knowledge of bank operations and delivery systems, particularly in lending processes. He is an experienced facilitator for management retreats and board planning sessions and is in great demand as a speaker at industry conferences and seminars.

Steve is among the authors of The Cornerstone Performance Report, an annual benchmarking study for mid-size banks and credit unions. He writes regularly for GonzoBanker, Cornerstone’s blog, and has been published in numerous industry periodicals, including American Banker, Bank Director, BAI Banking Strategies, and CU Management.

Steve serves as a faculty member at the American Bankers Association Stonier Graduate School of Banking and the Management Institute of the Credit Union Executives Society. He taught at the National School of Banking in Fairfield, Conn., and the CUES School of Product and Channel Management.

Steve holds a master’s degree in finance, summa cum laude, from Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz., and a bachelor’s degree in business journalism from Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Ariz.

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