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HR & Organizational Development Council Conference

Speakers

A big thank-you to the wonderful speakers at our 2024 event. Nicely done!

HS_DownsAmy

Attending this conference is your chance to get away and come back with fresh insights and enthusiasm for the credit union industry and your role.

Amy Downs

CEO, Allegiance Credit Union

HS_DownsAmy

Keynote speakers

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Eric Bailey Eric Bailey

Bestselling Author and President

Bailey Strategic Innovation Group

Phoenix, AZ

Eric M. Bailey is the bestselling author of The Cure for Stupidity: Using Brain Science to Explain Irrational Behavior and President of Bailey Strategic Innovation Group, one of the fastest-growing human communication consulting firms in the United States. Eric has a diverse set of experiences that includes helping NFL All-Pro Larry Fitzgerald pet a rhinoceros, doing barrel rolls in an F-16, and chatting with LL Cool J on the campus of Harvard University.

Honored as Diversity Leader of the Year, Eric is the creator of the Principles of Human Understanding™, a leadership and communication methodology based in brain science and psychology. Eric’s unique style blends fact and emotion and finds ways to appeal to the analytical thinkers, the emotional feelers, and everyone in between. Eric has a unique ability to communicate seemingly complex concepts in practical, easy-to-comprehend ways, aiding in self-awareness and knowledge retention.

As a honoree of the prestigious 40 Under 40 award, Eric has been featured on CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Fox Soul, Huffington Post, Forbes, the Consciously Unbiased Podcast and has helped leaders and teams across the world see common problems from new and different perspectives. Eric works with Google Inc, the US Air Force, Los Angeles County, the City of St. Louis, MO, Phoenix Police Department and many more. Eric also runs a YouTube series of 2-minute executive lessons called The Walking Meeting (www.thewalkingmeeting.com).

Eric has a Master’s degree in Leadership and Organizational Psychology from Saint Louis University and is a lifetime learner of human and organizational behavior. When not working or researching, you can find Eric and his wife Jamie racing on their road bikes, being cheered on by their three children.

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Amy Downs Amy Downs

CEO

Allegiance Credit Union

Amy Downs began her career as a teller 35 years ago working for the Credit Union located in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. 

In 1995, she was one of the last survivors to be pulled from the rubble following the Oklahoma City bombing which killed 168 people including 18 of her 33 co-workers at the credit union.

Embracing her second chance at life, Amy launched a campaign of self-improvement and empowerment.  She went from a 355 lb couch potato to completing a Full Ironman Triathlon.  From a teller who couldn’t pass a math class to the CEO with a degree in Organizational Leadership and master’s degree in Business Administration.

Amy still works for the same credit union which also survived the bombing, now called Allegiance Credit Union, serving as the president and CEO. Amy is also the author of a book called Hope is a Verb: My Journey of Impossible Transformation which is available on Amazon. 

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Darcy Luoma Darcy Luoma

CEO

Luoma Coaching & Consulting

Darcy Luoma, author of Thoughtfully Fit® and Certified Speaking Professional, is a Master Certified Coach and inspiring speaker. She has worked as director for a U.S. Senator, trusted senior advisor to a governor, and on the national advance team for the White House and two presidential campaigns. As the CEO of Darcy Luoma Coaching & Consulting, she’s worked in forty-eight industries with more than five hundred organizations to create high-performing people and teams. Darcy balances running her thriving business with raising her two energetic teenage daughters, adventure travel, and competing in triathlons for the last 25 years. 

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General speakers

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Philippe Asselin Philippe Asselin

Chief Consultant

BalancedComp

​​Panama City Beach, FL​

​​Philippe Asselin is a professional who excels at bringing teams and processes together to achieve powerful results. He has the ability to connect with and support numerous financial institutions across the country, but his strongest suit is his ability to consult one-on-one and educate on tools that ensure his clients find success. He is passionate about empowering HR leadership with BalancedComp systems and consulting. 
 
Philippe's background brings a well-rounded approach to the conversation and helps deconstruct client obstacles. He has managed some of the world's most profitable restaurants and has served as an executive at a financial institution with assets of over a billion dollars.

​This dedicated family man shares the same drive and focus in financial institution board rooms as in his personal pursuits. He organized and continues to manage a charity paddleboard race to fundraise for a low-income scholarship program and K9's for Warriors since 2010.​

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Eric Bailey Eric Bailey

Bestselling Author and President

Bailey Strategic Innovation Group

Phoenix, AZ

Eric M. Bailey is the bestselling author of The Cure for Stupidity: Using Brain Science to Explain Irrational Behavior and President of Bailey Strategic Innovation Group, one of the fastest-growing human communication consulting firms in the United States. Eric has a diverse set of experiences that includes helping NFL All-Pro Larry Fitzgerald pet a rhinoceros, doing barrel rolls in an F-16, and chatting with LL Cool J on the campus of Harvard University.

Honored as Diversity Leader of the Year, Eric is the creator of the Principles of Human Understanding™, a leadership and communication methodology based in brain science and psychology. Eric’s unique style blends fact and emotion and finds ways to appeal to the analytical thinkers, the emotional feelers, and everyone in between. Eric has a unique ability to communicate seemingly complex concepts in practical, easy-to-comprehend ways, aiding in self-awareness and knowledge retention.

As a honoree of the prestigious 40 Under 40 award, Eric has been featured on CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Fox Soul, Huffington Post, Forbes, the Consciously Unbiased Podcast and has helped leaders and teams across the world see common problems from new and different perspectives. Eric works with Google Inc, the US Air Force, Los Angeles County, the City of St. Louis, MO, Phoenix Police Department and many more. Eric also runs a YouTube series of 2-minute executive lessons called The Walking Meeting (www.thewalkingmeeting.com).

Eric has a Master’s degree in Leadership and Organizational Psychology from Saint Louis University and is a lifetime learner of human and organizational behavior. When not working or researching, you can find Eric and his wife Jamie racing on their road bikes, being cheered on by their three children.

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Lisa Baron Lisa Baron

EVP/CHRO

BCU

Vernon Hills, Illinois

​​Lisa is a leader in organizational development, and responsible for the strategic direction of the human resource and talent management functions as well as enterprise leadership for the member experience team. She is also tasked with driving high employee engagement, cultivating BCU’s unique culture and employee brand, developing staff and increasing employee retention. Lisa serves as a senior leader mentor for Baxter’s Women Leaders resource group and is a member of BCU’s Charitable Giving Committee. She is passionate about employee engagement and creating an exceptional work culture.​

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​​Ann Beecham​ ​​Ann Beecham​

​​VP of HR & Administrative Services​

​​Orlando Credit Union​

Orlando, FL

​​What credentials does Ann Beecham possess that make her qualified to speak to a group of HR professionals today? Ann has earned an MBA, completed all the PhD coursework in Organizational Psych (earning her an AbD - All but Dissertation), &, like many in this room, has a list of relevant certifications. But Ann considers her commitment to life-long learning, passion for empowering others, & ability to see the positive & often humorous side to most situations her most valuable qualifications. Her Italian heritage & large nuclear and extended family may be factors in her ongoing pursuit to understand complex multi-generational relationships & communication, but regardless of the journey that led her here today, she comes with the hope we all leave with deeper understanding, expanded knowledge and practical tools to equip us to do what we all strive to do...cultivate more positive environments that benefit both employees and members.​

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Leigh Brady Leigh Brady

CEO and President

State Employees’ Credit Union

Raleigh, NC

Leigh Brady is the President and Chief Executive Officer of State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU), the first female to hold this position at the nation’s second-largest credit union. Prior to being named to her current position in July 2023, she was Chief Operating Officer, providing oversight for retail operations, deposits and central functions, card services, human resources, training, marketing, communications, outreach, the Credit Union’s CUSO services, and the SECU Foundation. Having been at SECU for nearly 36 years, Leigh began her career as an accountant at SECU and has served in a variety of operations positions throughout the organization, helping to grow the Credit Union, which now serves nearly 2.8 million members and operates branches in all 100 North Carolina counties. Brady holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from North Carolina State University and a Master of Business Administration from Meredith College. She previously held several insurance licenses and obtained the Credit Union Development Educator designation.

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​​Cynthia Campbell​ ​​Cynthia Campbell​

​​Chief Operating Officer​

​​BALANCE​

​​Tulsa, OK​

​​Cynthia Campbell is BALANCE's Chief Operating Officer (COO), a national non-profit that delivers consumer financial education and counseling. Cynthia is a strategist, corporate communicator, and project executor. She oversees BALANCE's Financial and Housing Coaching teams, Training, HR, Marketing, and Business Intelligence departments. Cynthia previously served as a VP of Innovation and Strategy at Oklahoma Central Credit Union, Director of Innovation Labs at the Filene Research Institute, and VP of Financial Empowerment at Tinker Federal Credit Union. Her entire career has been focused on financial health, with a particular focus on the under-resourced.  
 
Cynthia holds a BS in Business Administration and an MBA from Elmhurst College in Illinois; she also holds a master’s degree in Adult Education from the University of Central Oklahoma. She has her Senior Certified Professional Human Resources designation, too.​

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Sathya Chackravarthy Sathya Chackravarthy

​​Sr Director, Data Architecture​

Trellance

Tampa, FL

​​Sathya Chackravarthy is Senior Director of Professional Services at Trellance. He is a Trusted Advisor to the CEO / Board of directors of top credit unions in the US on data management strategy. Sathya has over 25 years of experience leading information technology consulting services including the development of strategies, implementing and integrating software, and managing complex technology projects applying external and global perspectives to meet local and global needs. He has a proven track record of identifying technological and business opportunities that provide sustainable growth, profitability, and dominant market share.​

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Emily Chase-Sosnoff Emily Chase-Sosnoff

Attorney

FordHarrison LLP

Tampa, FL

Emily Chase-Sosnoff is a partner at FordHarrison, LLP, a national labor and employment law firm. She has represented employers in a host of employment law matters, including cases involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, disability accommodation and FMLA issues and wage and hour issues. In addition to her litigation experience, Emily is committed to helping her clients avoid litigation when possible by providing day-to-day guidance on maintaining positive employee relations through sound workplace policies, procedures, and trainings. Emily lives in Tampa, Florida but regularly assists multistate clients with the unique challenges of complying with the laws in multiple jurisdictions.​

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​​Kriss Davis​ ​​Kriss Davis​

​​Learning and Development Manager​

​​Deseret First Credit Union​

​​WVC, UT​

​​Kriss Davis serves as the Learning and Development Manager overseeing the day-to-day training and progression of employees at Deseret First Credit Union. 

With over 15 years of experience in leadership, Kriss has a passion for elevating those around her and creating moments that matter. She has developed sales, leadership, mentor, and continuing education programs for all organizational levels from new hires to executive council. Kriss is engaged in lifelong learning and breaking through boundaries. She is committed to improving the experience of others by mentoring with local and national organizations, like Hire Heroes USA. She sits on the ChamberWest Leadership Board of Trustees and strives to live by two core values: Adventure and Wholeheartedness.​

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Lauren DeAngelis Lauren DeAngelis

Chief Learning Officer

Carolinas Credit Union League

Raleigh, NC

​Lauren serves on the League’s executive management team where she plans and directs the delivery of innovative professional development services to member credit unions in the Carolinas. Signature League programs launched under her leadership include the Leadership Development Institute, TalentGuided Professional Coaching Services, and LAUNCH Conference. Internally, she supervises the association’s HR function and helps to develop company culture, learning, and development opportunities for League employees.  

​Lauren has more than 30 years of experience in financial services and extensive know-how in training, event and project management, customer service, and sales. Her experiences prior to the League include the development of more than 250 sales executives at Sallie Mae and leading large teams in several financial institutions in Boston, MA. With keen insight into staffing, operations, and development, Lauren is well positioned to help credit unions address challenges and find solutions to ensure success within today's competitive culture.​

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Robyn Dietrich Robyn Dietrich

​​VP of Organizational Development and Learning​

​​West Community Credit Union​

​​O’Fallon, MO​

​​Robyn Dietrich, AVP of Organizational Development and Learning at West Community Credit Union. Armed with a Bachelor's degree from Saint Louis University and a DEI Certification from Cornell, Robyn boasts a 14-year credit union career marked by diverse roles and significant achievements.

​Guided by curiosity and a fervor for learning, she envisions a culture rooted in guiding individuals to discover and maximize their full potential. Robyn's journey reflects a blend of expertise, passion, and a genuine commitment to creating positive organizational change.​

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​​Jack Gottlieb​ ​​Jack Gottlieb​

CEO

​​Total Solutions Group​

​​Manchester Township, NJ​

​​Jack Gottlieb, a seasoned senior executive, brings 20+ years of experience in organizational transformation as CEO of Total Solutions Group. Known for aligning culture, strategy, and capability to meet short- and long-term objectives, TSG has driven $3.25 billion in ROI for clients across various industries, including life sciences, credit unions, and manufacturing. 
 
Jack's executive roles have included Chief Culture Officer, Chief Strategy Officer, and then Chief Executive Officer at two credit unions, emphasizing organizational health and performance through employee experience. Jack's intrinsic motivation to improve financial literacy from SEGS to low-income communities, where people understand that money is not the most important thing in life but the most important things in life require money, has fueled his commitment to credit unions. He's a notable thought leader including hosting the successful "L&D Transformation Podcast," now in its third season with more than 100 episodes.​

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Kris Hackbarth-Horn Kris Hackbarth-Horn

Chief People Officer

Fox Communities Credit Union

Appleton, WI

​​Kris Hackbarth-Horn’s people-centric leadership philosophy is the driving force behind her approach to helping organizations steward their intentional culture. Starting from inside an organization, Kris fosters an inspiring and caring atmosphere where the needs of team members are considered first. She champions providing opportunity, access to resources, development coaching, and transparent communication. When the most trustworthy and inclusive environment is created, Kris believes team members feel wholistically supported and can be inspired to achieve their dreams and fulfill their purpose.

Through focusing on organizational culture and its impact on people and business, Kris challenges others to think differently. Her expertise includes organizational development, career coaching, conflict resolution, change management, vision setting, and strategic planning.  

​Currently, Kris is the Chief People Officer at Fox Communities Credit Union. Prior to this role, she has led people-centered work in manufacturing, retail, consulting, and non-profits over the last 30 years.​

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​​Dr. Troy Hall​ ​​Dr. Troy Hall​

President

Dr. Troy Hall LLC

​​Mt. Pleasant, SC​

​​Recognized as one of the Top 20 Business Leaders by Valiant CEO Magazine, a Brainz Global 500 Award recipient, and featured on The Today Show, ABC, the Global BV-TV Network, Beyond the Business Radio Show, and CEO World, Dr. Troy Hall is an award-winning talent retention consultant, international speaker and author of multiple bestselling books.  
 
Dr. Troy is distinguished as an International Credit Union Development Educator and recipient of the South Carolina State House Resolution for his Global Leadership Exchange program, an international mentoring program.  
 
As the founder of Cohesion Culture, Dr. Troy has dedicated his career to establishing a cycle of culture wellness in the corporate and professional sphere. His consulting and executive coaching engagements are built on the strategic framework of Cohesion Culture™, making the concepts of belonging, value, and shared commitment easy for organizations to adopt and implement.​

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Rhonda Hazlewood Rhonda Hazlewood

Director of Human Resources

Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union (ACFCU)

​​Kingsport, TN​

​​With more than 30 years of human resources experience, Rhonda Hazlewood, SPRH|SHRM-SCP, joined Appalachian Community Federal Credit Union in September 2022. In addition to serving on the Executive Team at ACFCU, she has served on executive teams of companies in the nuclear, medical and hospitality service industries. She holds a M.S. in Human Resources Management from Liberty University and a B.B.A. in Accounting from East Tennessee State University. Rhonda serves as Vice Chair of the Community Business Division of the United Way of Greater Kingsport and is a Facilities Resource Director and on a Foundation Committee for Alpha Delta Pi International Sorority. She serves on the 2024 HR/OD Council Conference Committee, as well. Rhonda's professional mission statement is 'Serving Someone Who is Serving a Member".​

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Tara Neal Tara Neal

​​Chief Human Resources Officer​

​​ Texoma Community CU​

Wichita Falls, TX​

​​Tara Neal has served in many positions in her 20-year tenure at Texoma Community Credit Union which has provided her experience in many different capacities in the credit union industry. Her passion is training and education as she leads her team of human resources and training professionals, serving as the Chief Human Resources Officer.  

​She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Midwestern State University in 2006. She majored in Spanish and lived in Mexico while attending college there.  Tara has a distinguished credit union designation as a CUDE (Credit Union Development Educator), which provides critical lessons in cooperative principles, credit union philosophy, and international development issues while incorporating the challenges credit unions face today. She also holds the designation of Credit Union HR Compliance Professional (CUHRCP) from CUNA.   She is a 2021 graduate of Southwest Credit Union Management School and currently serves on the Southwest Credit Union Management School Alumni Association Board. She also serves as a SCMS Student Ambassador for the school and will have served in that capacity for 5 years after her final 3-year term. She is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management from Midwestern State University. 

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Andria McCollough Andria McCollough

​​Senior Vice President, People Development​

Truity Credit Union

Bartlesville, OK

​Andria is the Senior Vice President, People Development for Truity Credit Union's corporate training, human resources, recruiting, payroll, benefits, performance management and talent development programs as well as corporate project team liaison. Since joining Truity in 2007, she has led the organization's cultural development teams, internal communications teams, and created the Talent Development Program which leads employees through a career discovery journey to explore their personal and professional growth opportunities while they serve members of the Credit Union. She is the ongoing senior sponsor of the “Culture Crew” which leads the focused efforts of culture building throughout the organization.  
 
Andria has a nearly 30 year history in the people focused field and enjoys a balanced focus of people and business. Some of her favorite HR experiences include her project management work developing team leads and team members through achieving corporate strategies.​

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JD McPherson JD McPherson

Master Trainer and Senior Consultant

The Center for Leadership Studies (CLS)

JD McPherson has been with The Center for Leadership Studies (CLS) as a Master Trainer and senior consultant since 2015. He has 15 years of experience as a learning professional and has been teaching Situational Leadership® for 12 years. JD’s high-energy style, as well as his passion and enthusiasm for the model, make him a highly engaging facilitator. 

During his tenure as a learning professional, JD has served as a Franchise Training Manager supporting multiple franchisees to manage their learning functions and consult with them regarding leadership development. Additionally, as a Senior Manager of Learning and Development, JD led a team of training managers who were responsible for managing the hourly and management training curriculum for more than 300 restaurants nationwide, with combined revenues exceeding $600 million.

Since joining The Center for Leadership Studies, JD has had the opportunity to deliver not only our flagship Situational Leadership®: Building Leaders workshop, but also our Influence Curriculum over 250 times around the globe. The bulk of his time overseas has been spent in Southeast Asia, including Australia, Vietnam, Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong.

His experience includes many Fortune 500 companies across multiple industries such as: healthcare, insurance, financial, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, sales, engineering and retail.

In addition to delivery of CLS’ curriculum for clients and public workshops, JD is also one of our select Master Trainers, who conduct three-day “Train the Trainer” workshops to certify client trainers in Situational Leadership®: Building Leaders, as well as Leading With Emotional Intelligence. He is also certified by Multi-Health Systems Inc. to administer and interpret the EQi-2.0 instrument.

Combined with his Situational Leadership® certifications, JD also holds certifications in the following: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People®, The Five Choices to Extraordinary Productivity®, Project Management for the Non Project Manager™, Leading at the Speed of Trust® and Fierce Conversations.

He also provides executive coaching for director-level and senior-level managers. His practice focuses on developing potential, improving relationships and enhancing performance

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Kathy Menditto Kathy Menditto

VP-Human Resources

​​Buckeye State Credit Union​

​​Akron, OH​

​​Kathy Menditto has over 15 years experience in HR, with 8 years of that being in the Credit Union space. She has her SHRM-CP, CUHRCP, and SHRM-PASC certifications. Kathy has a passion for credit unions and people management, and has used that to help take Buckeye State Credit Union to be winners of the Top Workplaces Awards 5 years in a row!​

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Christine Messer Christine Messer

​​EVP/CFO​

Heritage Family Federal Credit Union

Rutland, VT

Christine the Executive Vice President/ CFO at Heritage Family CU. In her role, she works with a variety of areas, but special focuses on Accounting, Finance, ERM, and Compliance. She is an avid volunteer with Councils through speaking opportunities or participating in webinars, live chats, and white papers. She is currently on the Councils Executive Committee, the Vice Chair of the Finance Council, and Chair of the Finance Council Conference Planning Committee. All of these opportunities have helped fuel her passion for credit union and education while also furthering her in her career.

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Lorene Meyer Lorene Meyer

​​VP - Organizational Strategy and Performance​

​​West Community Credit Union​

​​O’Fallon, MO​

​​Lorene Meyer, Vice President of Organizational Strategy and Performance at West Community Credit Union and a seasoned professional with a diverse HR and Development background in major organizations like SSM Healthcare, BJC Healthcare, and Mercy. Transitioning into the credit union sector in 2019, Lorene brings rich insights to her role. Armed with a bachelor's and master's degree in healthcare administration, she holds PHR and SHRM-CP certifications, reflecting her commitment to professional excellence. 
 
Lorene is excited to share her wealth of experience, discussing HR Performance and operational excellence. Her dynamic journey, from healthcare to credit unions, provides a unique perspective on navigating process improvement.​

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​​John-Paul O’Connor​ ​​John-Paul O’Connor​

​​Executive Compensation Consultant​

​​DDJ Myers, an ALM First Company​

​​Monroe, NC​

​​John-Paul is a dual-certified executive compensation consultant specializing in the credit union industry. He has a background in psychology and neuroscience and utilizes his understanding of human motivation to structure effective compensation packages. By providing strategic guidance on compensation and performance-based decisions to boards and executive teams, John-Paul has been recognized for his ability to enhance employee engagement and retention through aligning organizations' cultures and compensation strategies. John-Paul is committed to empowering organizations to optimize their compensation philosophies, fostering a culture of fairness and trust within the credit union industry. Through his collaborative approach and deep understanding of compensation dynamics and the unique needs of credit unions, he helps organizations navigate complex challenges and retain their most valuable employees.​

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Christopher Ortega Christopher Ortega

VP of Enterprise Applications

Suncoast Credit Union

Tampa, FL

Christopher Ortega is an IT Executive with over 20 years of experience in IT transformation, IT strategy, a 'technology and business change agent and partner,' and successful in 'organization and leadership development.' He is a passionate, trusted leader delivering innovative solutions with strong credibility across business and technology groups. Extensive experience building high-performance domestic and global teams and delivering strategic results. Chris has an ability to build great teams and grow future leaders as he believes in growing the future.

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Spencer Park Spencer Park

VP, Chief People & Administrative Officer

Deseret First Credit Union

​​Salt Lake City, UT​

Spencer Park has worked at Deseret First Credit Union for 12 years. He currently holds the title of Chief People & Administrative Officer. He has responsibility for Human Resources, Learning & Development, Projects, and Facilities. He received a master's in human resources degree from Utah State University and holds the SPHR Certification. Spencer currently serves on the Executive Committee of the CUNA HR & OD Council. This past year, he has worked on the Conference Committee and the Sponsorship Committee. He considers himself extremely blessed to work in such a great industry. He enjoys working with credit union HR and OD professionals across the country and appreciates the friendships he has made while doing so.

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Mia Perez Mia Perez

​​Chief Administrative Officer​

Coastal​ Credit Union

​​Raleigh, NC​

​​Mia Perez is the Chief Administrative Officer at Coastal Credit Union where she leads people operations, marketing, PR, and learning + development. She is the past Chair of the Credit Union National Association’s Marketing & Business Development Council Executive Committee. In 2016, Mia was named as a Woman to Watch by the Credit Union Times and as a Credit Union Rock Star by Credit Union Magazine. She received her bachelor’s degree in public relations from Tulane University, a master’s degree in Leadership + Human Resource Development from LSU and is a graduate of CUNA Marketing +BD School where she is currently an instructor. She is a certified Senior Professional by the Society of HR Management (SHRM-SCP) and earned her PMP certification from PMI. 

Mia is host of the Leadership Experiment with Royce and Mia podcast. Listen on iTunes or anywhere else you get your podcasts or visit www.royceandmia.com.

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Lecia Roundtree Lecia Roundtree

SVP, Chief People Officer

Stanford Federal Credit Union

​​Palo Alto, CA​

Lecia has over 22 years of executive level experience managing all aspects of Human Resource management, including Employee Relations, Recruitment, Benefits, Compensation, Staff Development and Payroll. This experience has allowed her to promote an environment intended to keep all level of employees engaged and growing across changing environments.  

​Lecia has presented information on a variety of topics both locally and internationally related to the disciplines of Staff Development and Human Resources. She created an internal mentorship program, as well as a number of employee development programs designed to advance the organization’s next level of leaders or enhance skills for growth. A recent program received​.

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Cynthia Ryan CUDE, CCUE Cynthia Ryan CUDE, CCUE

EVP/Chief Experience Officer

Connect Credit Union

Fort Lauderdale, FL

​​For over 25 years in the Credit Union industry, Cynthia has been helping members & employees in various ways. For the past 10 years, she has served as the EVP/Chief Operations Officer at Connect Credit Union in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Cynthia leads the branch operations, lending, collections, card services, marketing, & training functions in her role. She holds the professional designations of Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE), Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor (CCUFC), Certified Credit Union Executive (CCUE), and is an Executive Committee member of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Operations and Member Experience Council.​

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​​William Thena​ ​​William Thena​

​​Learning & Development Manager​

​​Financial Plus Credit Union​

​​Flint, MI​

​​With over 30 years in the financial industry, Bill has a deep well of experience in leadership development, management, facilitation, and training.

​He is passionate about helping adults learn, develop, and grow in their personal and professional lives.  

​Bill has had the opportunity to guide over 200 FPCU employees through coaching and leadership courses, resulting in nearly 100 promotions, and has received universal praise for the personal impact and effectiveness of his programs.​

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​​Barb Utrup​ ​​Barb Utrup​

​​Sr. Management Consultant​

​​PRADCO​

​​Columbus, OH​

Barb Utrup has been leading human resources departments and doing business consulting for many years. She partners with leaders to support their strategic goals in the areas of talent management, organizational development, and human resources. Her experience in public, private, and non-profit organizations spans from strategy and operations to leadership and team development. Through this work, and as a former Chief of Human Resources, she is an experienced and knowledgeable partner. 
 
At PRADCO, Barb is an executive coach, working with leaders to refine their leadership skills and enhance their effectiveness on the job. She also develops and facilitates training programs to assist teams and organizations in becoming high-performing units that operate more effectively.  
 
Barb’s strengths include outstanding communication and the ability to build relationships. With a professional, yet relatable communication style and ability to connect with individuals at all levels, she is very passionate about people.

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​​Virginia Whitham​ ​​Virginia Whitham​

Chief of Human Resources

​​Rally Credit Union​

​​Corpus Christi, TX​

Virginia Whitham has 30-years of progressive experience in Human Resources and has been a Senior Leader for nearly 20-years. She is the Chief of HR and Training for Rally Credit Union in South Texas. Virginia's multifaceted experience and leadership significantly contribute to the field of Human Resources. She is a go-to professional, offering valuable insights and guidance to both seasoned professionals and aspiring HR practitioners. 
 
Virginia collaborates with Executives and Board of Directors, leading the way in organizational development, executive compensation, and culture. She is a Certified Senior Professional with both HRCI and SHRM, a graduate of Southwest CUNA Management School, and has a BS degree in Business Administration from Columbia College, Missouri. Virginia has been recognized as the 2023 CUNA HR and Organizational Professional of the Year. She is a part of the Southwest CUNA Management School faculty developing emerging leaders in Human Resources.

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