Skip to main content
Page Banner Image

CUNA Operations & Member Experience Council and CUNA Technology Council Conference


2023 speakers are being identified. See below for who spoke at the 2022 conference.

Speaker Image

Lamont Black Lamont Black



Professor Lamont Black is a recognized expert on cryptocurrency and blockchain who is a regularly invited speaker for conferences, board presentations, and the media. His teaching on cryptocurrency at DePaul covers aspects of money and investing and has been featured in the Chicago Tribune. In his graduate course on blockchain, he works with business and computer science students to build real-world blockchain applications. Dr. Black also teaches courses on money, banking, financial markets, and data analytics.

Prior to joining DePaul, Professor Black was an economist at the Federal Reserve in Washington D.C., where he focused on bank regulation. He served at the Board of Governors from 2005 to 2013, primarily under Chairman Ben Bernanke during the financial crisis. Dr. Black received a PhD in Finance as well as Economics from Indiana University and his undergraduate degree from Stanford University. Please visit his personal website for additional information about his research, teaching, and speaking.

View Bio
Speaker Image

Milind Borkar Milind Borkar

Founder and CEO


Dr. Milind Borkar is the Founder and CEO of Illuma, a CUSO specializing in real-time voice authentication and fraud prevention solutions for credit unions. Author of 14 technical publications and inventor on 21 patents, he launched over 50 hi-tech products during his career with Texas Instruments prior to becoming a FinTech founder. The company’s flagship Illuma Shield platform replaces traditional knowledge-based authentication with an effortless and secure voice biometric solution, delivering an elevated member experience, enhanced security, and improved operational efficiency in the contact center. Illuma Shield is frequently showcased at Finovate events and has recently won awards from VentureTech,, and NACUSO.

View Bio
Speaker Image

Adam Denbo Adam Denbo

Managing Consultant

Samaha & Associates

Adam Denbo has worked the credit union industry for over 25 years in various positions at Wescom CU, Orange County’s CU, and as CEO of California Agribusiness CU. He has worked with Samaha & Associates for over 11 years as Managing Consultant. Adam holds BS and MBA Degrees from Cal Poly, Pomona 
He is a 2002 Graduate of Western CUNA Management School and has completed the CUES Advanced CEO Leadership Institute at Harvard. He is published in the journal of International Information Management Association for his development of the CURT Model (Credit Union Return on Technology). He has served on two Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO) boards and multiple league committees. Adam has led numerous core conversions from and to various core platforms as a credit union employee and since working at Samaha. He enjoys traveling all over the U.S. helping credit unions enhance their technology.

View Bio
Speaker Image

Antonio Flores Antonio Flores

Vice President Information Systems


Antonio Flores is an accomplished vice president with more than 22 years of experience in budgeting, daily operations, and corporate strategy. He is an expert in information systems including process automation, system architecture and design and digital production with extensive experience in developing and coaching diverse teams.

View Bio
Speaker Image

Adam Foldenauer Adam Foldenauer

Account Executive

Amazon Web Services

Adam manages Credit Union customer relationships at AWS and is involved in growing alliances across the industry with AWS technology partners. With 20 years of experience across the financial services value chain, Adam is a trusted advisor to customers seeking business value from cloud technologies. Adam’s domain expertise is a medley of analytics, technology, marketing, process, and change management – giving him the unique ability to determine strategies and design initiatives for both market-facing and back-office functions.

Adam has delivered transformation solutions within some of the largest financial institutions in the US. He has also held front-office and back-office leadership positions in GE Capital’s Annuity and Insurance businesses. Adam serves on the boards of the Richmond, Virginia Technology Council, and the Richmond Triathlon Club.

View Bio
Speaker Image

Cindy Hancock Cindy Hancock

Director of the Contact Center


Cindy Hancock is the Director of the Contact Center at STCU. She joined the credit union in 2002, working a variety of roles from frontline to operations, including multiple leadership roles. Cindy has been instrumental in several credit union wide projects including a core conversion, phone system software implementation, as well as the successful creation of a new department focused on answering complex member requests. She later took over managing the entire contact center, where she reconstructed the department into specialized groups focusing solely on online banking and digital. In 2020, Cindy was promoted to Contact Center Director where she steered the credit union towards focusing on accelerating digital channels during the COVID pandemic. Her efforts in the Contact Center have brought member wait times down from an average of 13 minutes to 2 minutes. Cindy also has extensive experience in vendor management, continuous improvement, and employee mentorship and development.

View Bio
Speaker Image

Jerry Hughes Jerry Hughes

Founding Member

Compass IT Compliance, LLC

Jerry Hughes, a founding member of Compass IT Compliance, LLC, has over 35 years of experience helping companies become compliant with internal, industry and government regulations such as PCI-DSS, Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, and GLBA. Mr. Hughes, a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Qualified Security Assessor (QSA), Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), and Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer (CDPSE) has extensive IT auditing experience, especially within the financial industry and the retail sector. He carries an undergraduate degree in Applied Mathematics for Engineers and a minor in Computer Science from the University of Rhode Island. Mr. Hughes has helped develop Compass IT Compliance, LLC into one of the nation's premier consulting firms in the areas of IT governance, assurance, security, and compliance services.

View Bio
Speaker Image

Murali Mahalingam Murali Mahalingam

SVP, AI Business Unit

Eltropy, Inc.

Murali Mahalingam is an accomplished CIO and seasoned technology executive with extensive industry experience. He serves as a senior vice president for the AI Business Unit of Eltropy. Prior to founding, an AI company that was acquired by Eltropy, Murali was GM/CIO for ICICI Bank, the largest private bank in India where he led IT strategy, infrastructure, and technology investments. He has held leadership positions at Razorthink, NetApp, Aruba Networks and Juniper Networks. In 2017, the NLP based tech company, Drastin he co-founded was acquired by Splunk. Murali holds a master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Bridgeport in the U.S. and a BS degree in Engineering from BITS Pilani, India.

View Bio
Speaker Image

Sarah Martin Sarah Martin



Sarah Martin is CEO of Pulsate, a mobile-first marketing engagement platform used by over 200 Credit Unions to optimize engagement, drive conversions, and accelerate revenue growth. Pulsate leverages data driven, personal, behavioral and location based insights to deliver the right offer to the right member, at the right time and in the right place.

View Bio
Speaker Image

Michael Parks Michael Parks


Suncoast Credit Union

Tampa, FL

Michael Parks has been the SVP CIO of Suncoast Credit Union since 2020. Suncoast is headquartered in Tampa, Florida and is the largest credit union in the state of Florida with more than $14 billion in assets, more than 1.1M members and 75 branch locations throughout Florida. Over his 18-year-career at Suncoast, Parks most recently served as VP of Information Technology where he provided organizational leadership for the credit union’s technology.

View Bio
Speaker Image

Theresa Payton Theresa Payton

First Female White House CIO, CEO Fortalice Solutions, Reality TV Star, Author and 2019 Woman Cybersecurity Leader of the Year

Fortalice Solutions LLC

Theresa Payton, a globally renowned expert on secured digital transformation is a visionary leading the way as an inventor of new security designs and has an approved US patent.

Cyber Security Experts named her one of the 100 Most Influential People in Cyber Security; Business Insider named her as a top 50 Cybersecurity Leader. Security Magazine named her one of the “Top 25 Most Influential People in Security” Payton is featured in the book 100 Fascinating Women Fighting Cybercrime. She authored several books, including Manipulated: Inside the Cyberwar to Hijack Elections and Distort the Truth

View Bio
Speaker Image

Jim Phillips Jim Phillips

SVP/Chief Information Officer

SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union

Santa Ana, CA

Jim Phillips is the EVP and Chief Information Officer. For over 25 years, he has worked in financial services technology responsible for defining and executing on transformation strategies to realize the potential of today’s rapidly changing technology landscape. He has worked with the smallest startups to the largest national financial services organizations in deploying new capabilities and emerging technologies. Jim believes that his hands-on experience and strategic view help to deliver real solutions that have measurable impact for the organizations he serves.

Jim serves on the board for the Bonifii credit union CUSO, national advisory board for Jack Henry-Symitar, the Executive Committee for the CUNA Technology Council, the UCI Paul Merage CIO Roundtable group and the Orange County CIO forum. Prior to joining SchoolsFirst, he served as CIO at Stanford and Arizona Federal credit unions and worked in consulting for the financial services and the U.S. Department of Education with Accenture. 

View Bio
Speaker Image

Steve Rick Steve Rick

Director and Chief Economist

CUNA Mutual Group

Madison, WI

Steven Rick is a director and the chief economist for CUNA Mutual Group in Madison, Wisconsin. His primary responsibilities include conducting strategic research, analysis, and forecasting of the financial services industry with special emphasis on the consumer and credit union markets. His forecasts serve as a starting point for the strategic planning process and help to create a clear understanding of the underlying trends and links between the general economy, the financial services industry, and CUNA Mutual Group’s policy owners.

Rick has a B.A. in Economics from Moorhead State University; a B.S. in Finance from Moorhead University; and a M.S. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He has also obtained a Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

View Bio
Speaker Image

Sabeh Samaha Sabeh Samaha


Samaha & Associates, Inc.

Sabeh Samaha is President/CEO of Samaha & Associates, Inc. In 1998, realizing the strong demand for dependable technology consulting services, Sabeh established Samaha & Associates, Inc. Asked why he is so passionate about credit unions, Sabeh says: “The Credit Union movement has always inspired me to work and advocate relentlessly for their noble cause. I truly love being a part of this family and contributing to its very best interest is a fundamental necessity for me.”  He shares his expertise by writing industry-specific white papers, conducting workshops, and is a featured speaker at regional and national Credit Union conferences. His name is frequently cited as a technology and payment systems expert in leading Credit Union publications nationwide. In the three years preceding the formation of Samaha, Sabeh transformed the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region from the lowest into the highest growth rate for MasterCard International Debit Products. 

View Bio
Speaker Image

Chris Saneda Chris Saneda

Senior EVP/COO

Virginia Credit Union

Richmond, VA

Chris Saneda is Sr. Executive Vice President and COO at Virginia Credit Union. In this role Chris guides commercial business, marketing, technology, back-office operations, and enterprise risk. He serves on several key vendor advisory boards in addition to supporting credit union industry initiatives such as CULedger and CUFX. Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland and a Master's degree in Information and Telecommunications from The Johns Hopkins University. He also holds a certificate in Project Management, is a certified Six Sigma Green Belt, and is a CUES Certified Innovation Executive.

View Bio
Speaker Image

Mike Saylor Mike Saylor

Executive Leader

Black Swan Cyber Security, LLC

Mike Saylor is an Executive Leader in the Technology Advisory and Risk practice at Black Swan Cyber Security, LLC. He has over 29 years of experience in cybersecurity, information technology (IT) operations, audit & risk management, and incident response and investigations. Mike is a respected and resourceful leader, educator, and speaker in the areas of cybersecurity, incident response, and cybercrime. He has assisted a variety of public and privately held companies, as well as government, not-for-profit and educational institutions. Prior to Black Swan, Mike served in senior executive positions as CEO, CIO, CISO, Director and National Practice leader for organizations, including Cyber Defense Labs, Pricewaterhouse, Cornerstone Credit Union League, and VarTec Telecom. He is also in his 23rd year as a college professor, currently serving as CyberSecurity and Digital Forensics Professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

View Bio
Speaker Image

Arleen Scavonne Arleen Scavonne


Newbold Advisors, LLC

Arleen Scavone founded and was CEO of her former company Operational Excellence, a mortgage consultancy, for nearly a decade. She continues to lead a consultancy practice with Newbold Advisors applying a 30-year successful track record of operations, sales, and service in both corporate and entrepreneurial roles.  Arlene’s expertise includes enabling operational excellence through executing transformation in both large and small Credit Unions. 

Arleen is also a passionate, life-long baker at heart, achieving an unprecedented three-peat win on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. She speaks nationally at business, women, and youth foundations, in addition to her speaking engagements for CUNA Conferences.

View Bio
Speaker Image

Kirsten Simmons Kirsten Simmons

Vice President of Organizational Development

Oregon Community Credit Unions

As Oregon Community Credit Unions Vice President of Organizational Development Kirsten Simmons is a leader in learning and development, change management and career growth. Over the last few years, she has utilized these skills to support OCCU in enhancing their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program. By establishing a DEI task force, driving DEI initiatives, and creating learning programs OCCU has seen success in creating a culture of inclusion. Kirsten is excited to share her experiences and provide you tools to help introduce DEI to your organization.

View Bio
Speaker Image

Toby Thomas Toby Thomas

Product Market Strategist

Corporate One

As a Product Market Strategist, Toby is responsible for creating a competitive advantage for Corporate One and its national field of membership by designing, supporting, and orchestrating growth-oriented Go-To-Market strategies for new products and services and analyzing and adjusting existing product market strategies. With nearly 20 years of experience in the credit union industry he has gained in-depth knowledge of the many complex aspects needed for successful cooperation among cooperatives through leadership positions in areas of national sales, investment and portfolio strategies, and successful correspondent financial products development.

View Bio
Speaker Image

Glenn Tresemer Glenn Tresemer

Vice President, Regional Manager


Glenn Tresemer has more than 20 years of experience in key leadership roles in the financial services industry. As Vice President, Regional Manager for Marquis, he leads company efforts in the Central US and Rocky Mountain regions. As an advocate for financial institutions, Glenn aids in interpreting strategic initiatives while increasing institution performance and engagement. Earlier in his career, Glenn served in leadership roles with Fiserv, CUNA Mutual Group, and Lake Michigan Credit Union. Glenn has spent his entire career in the financial services space and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our industry. He is passionate about partnering with financial institutions to assist them in increasing performance, developing and executing on strategies that increase member engagement while providing sustainable and profitable growth to the financial institution.

View Bio
Speaker Image

Caroline Vahrenkamp Caroline Vahrenkamp

Program Manager

Raddon Research Insights

Caroline Vahrenkamp is responsible for Raddon Research Insights, the Raddon national consumer research program, and has authored more than 20 research studies since 2016. A former credit union CFO and SVP of Marketing, she uses her nearly 25 years of experience to find trends and patterns in consumer behavior and to develop solutions for institutions, particularly in their strategic planning, product development and marketing strategy. Caroline earned her bachelor’s degree from Emory University and her Master of Business Administration from Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business.

View Bio
Speaker Image

Candy Valadez Candy Valadez

Customer Success Manager


Candy Valadez joined the credit union world in 2007 when she began working for Generations Federal Credit Union in San Antonio, TX. She began her career as a Teller and left the credit union as the Digital Services Manager, having held a variety of roles along the way. After obtaining her BSBA from the University of Incarnate word, she was ready for the next step in her career. In 2019, she joined TekChoice as a Customer Success Manager. This position has allowed her to leverage all the industry knowledge, member service skills and overall understanding of the credit union culture that she has gained, to help credit unions meet their member’s needs and accomplish strategic goals.

View Bio