Speakers & Bios are being added on a daily basis as conference planning continues to take shape.
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Massachusetts Division of Bank
Mr. Barrett was appointed to serve as Deputy Commissioner in 2012, where he is responsible for all areas of risk management supervision for state-chartered banks and credit unions throughout the Commonwealth. Previously, he served as Field Office Supervisor responsible for overseeing the risk management examination activities of all Massachusetts chartered banks and credit unions. Mr. Barrett joined the Division in 1990 as an Assistant Bank Examiner.
Mr. Barrett holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Suffolk University. In addition, he earned a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts at Boston in 1996.
Black Belt Mindset Productions, LLC
Jim Bouchard is an internationally recognized speaker, Leadership Activist, and Founder of The SENSEI LEADER Movement ™. He has been teaching people how to access peak levels of performance and develop personal and professional mastery for more than 25 years.
He is a true master of the mindset needed for success in business, and in life. Through martial arts, Jim Bouchard transformed himself from dropout, drug abuser and failure to successful entrepreneur, Black Belt and Sensei.
He provides interactive keynotes and leadership programs for credit union audiences around the world. Recent appearances include The Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions, SCCUA, CUNA, CUES, and many others.
His articles are featured in CU Insight, CU Journal, CU Times, and he appears regularly on TV and radio, including such programs as CU Broadcast, BBC Worldview and FOX News. Jim also hosts Walking the Walk, a leadership podcast highlighting compassionate, engaged leaders from all areas of business, diverse cultures and experiences.
Jim's programs help leaders Inspire, Empower and Guide people to their very best.
RYP Granite Strategies
David G. Collins is the President of RYP Granite Strategies and also serves as the Director of Rath and Young’s Government Relations Practice Group. David assists a wide range of clients in achieving their goals through the development and implementation of successful public policy strategies before state legislative and executive branches.
A veteran lobbyist, with a wealth of front-line experience on a full range of business issues and a keen understanding of NH Government, David has the demonstrated experience and knowledge to successfully assist a client’s interactions with all elements of state government. He has considerable experience with controversial issues and crisis communications.
David’s practice has substantial experience with industries including health care, electric utilities, telecommunications, oil and gas, financial services and insurance.
Prior to his joining the firm of Rath, Young and Pignatelli, David served as Director of Government Relations for Public Service of New Hampshire. As New Hampshire moved toward electric deregulation, David played a key role in the intense and extensive negotiations that led to a settlement that reduced electric bills for New Hampshire residents while at the same time preserving the utility’s financial viability. Prior to his work with Public Service of New Hampshire, David worked as a biologist for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.
Kurt Czarnowski is currently the principal in “Czarnowski Consulting,” a retirement planning firm which in now in its 9th year of providing “Expert Answers to Your Social Security Questions.” (www.CzarnowskiConsulting.com)
Czarnowski is the former Regional Communications Director for the Social Security Administration (SSA) in New England, a position he held from December of 1991 until his retirement at the end of 2010. He began his career with SSA in 1976, and during his 34 years with the agency, he worked in several different management and staff positions in the Boston area.
As Regional Communications Director, Czarnowski was responsible for coordinating the Social Security Administration’s public affairs/public information activities in the six New England states. In this role, he was a frequent speaker at local and regional events for members of the public.
Czarnowski wrote the chapter on “Social Security and Retirement Planning,” for the book, The Six Secrets to a Happy Retirement, which was published by ATA Press in March 2013. He has been a contributor to “Retirement Weekly,” a MarketWatch publication, and his answers to readers’ Social Security questions have been seen in “Retirement Daily,” as well as the print and online editions of “USA Today.” He was also recently quoted in both The New York Times and The Boston Globe about the best time to claim Social Security retirement benefits.
He serves on the Massachusetts Money Management Project’s state-wide Advisory Council and is a Member of the New England Pension Action Center’s Advisory Board.
Director, Credit Unions
Sean joined TransUnion in 2018 and has dedicated his entire career to the credit union movement. His primary responsibilities include developing TransUnion's presence in the credit union market by helping to shape and execute TransUnion's credit union strategy.
Prior to joining TransUnion, Sean served as a consultant and account executive at Alogent, an enterprise technology provider for credit unions and banks. Before his work on the partner side of the business, he held management roles in lending and retail with various credit unions on the East Coast.
Sean earned his B.S. in Finance from the University of New Hampshire and his MBA from Norwich University, where he authored an independent research project on credit unions.
Principal Cyber Security Consultant
Pure IT Credit Union Services
Gene Fredriksen is the Principal Cyber Security Consultant for PureIT CUSO. Gene has more than thirty years of Information Technology experience, with the last twenty-five focused specifically in the area of Information Security. In this capacity, he has been heavily involved with all areas of Audit and Security.
He served as Chief Security Strategist for PSCU. He is also the founder and current Executive Director of the National Credit Union ISAO. Gene has held the positions of Global CISO for Tyco International; Principal Consultant for Security and Risk Management Strategies for Burton Group; Vice President of Technology Risk Management and Chief Security Officer for Raymond James Financial; and Information Security Manager for American Family Insurance.
He served as the Chair of the Security and Risk Assessment Steering Committee for BITS, as well as serving on the R&D committee for the Financial Services Sector Steering Committee of the Department of Homeland Security. He also served as an advisor on various cyber security steering committees for the administration of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, assisting in the preparation of the president’s Cyber Security Position Paper.
Gene is a member of the SC Magazine Editorial Advisory Board. He has published numerous papers and books, is a frequent speaker before audit and security audiences and has served as Chair of the St. Petersburg College Information Security Advisory Board. He is a member of multiple advisory boards for universities, organizations and security product companies. Gene attended the FBI Citizens Academy and maintains a close working relationship with both local and federal law enforcement agencies
Vice President of Customer Optimization
CUNA Mutual Group
Karim Habib is Vice President of Customer Optimization with CUNA Mutual Group. In this role he is responsible for providing leadership and specialized knowledge of the Lender Development Program (LDP), Risk Management, Performance Solutions, UAcademy and is responsible for a team of Sales Leaders who deliver lending expertise, coaching, sales training, consultation, risk management and financial industry insights to credit unions. Karim also ensures that CUNA Mutual Group’s lending, channel optimization and member experience expertise is fully leveraged through UAcademy to support credit unions and their members.
Prior to joining CUNA Mutual Group in 2005, Karim brought with him more than 20 years of consumer and mortgage lending, underwriting and sales and service experience from the Canadian Banking and Credit Union marketplace. He also spent 4 years as a senior account manager and is one of the architects of the Lender Development Program with CUMIS Ltd. As a senior account manager, Karim’s primary focus was to upskill credit union lending staff to utilize the Lender Development Program to close more loans, increase credit union non-interest income, increase cross-sales of credit union products and services and market effectively across all channels to strengthen member relationships. Along with his numerous years of lending experience in the financial services industry, Karim has won many sales and service awards for his commitment, dedication and passion for providing superior customer and member service.
Karim studied financial accounting at Langara College in Canada and attended Cardinal Stritch University in the United States where he achieved his Associate’s degree in Business Administration, Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Science of Business Administration.
ALM First Financial Advisors, LLC
Emily Moré Hollis has served as a principal of ALM First Financial Advisors, LLC, since the company was established in 1995. Under her leadership, the company has steadily grown to a client base of more than 200 financial institutions representing more than $220 billion in assets.
Prior to ALM First, Ms. Hollis was vice president for Kidder Peabody Asset Management; chief investment officer for a large financial institution; and an investment trader for a New York Stock Exchange Company, responsible for executing trades for the firm’s fixed-income and foreign receivable portfolios. Her experience includes managing a $6 billion fixed-income investment portfolio and investing in derivatives.
Ms. Hollis holds both a master’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in arts from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She holds a BFA from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.
SVP, Strategic Communications
Cooperative Credit Union Association, Inc.
Walter “Walt” Laskos is a communications executive excelling in building and sustaining a variety of corporate and community-related programs designed to engage audiences and optimize today’s channels of social and electronic communications.
Walt currently serves as senior vice president of Strategic Communications at the Cooperative Credit Union Association. He has responsibility for engaging members and consumers across several states through a variety of media assets: a videoconference network; daily and quarterly publications; weekly podcasts; news media relations; the planning and simulcasting of events and conferences; a multimedia consumer advocacy campaign, Better Values – Better Banking; and a web-based video series, Better Banking, discussing financial literacy topics geared for consumers.
A veteran credit union communicator, Walt’s experience with financial cooperatives began in the year 2000 at Western Corporate Federal Credit Union (WesCorp) in San Dimas, California. Serving as director of public relations, he functioned as the corporate credit union’s chief liaison to the news media.
In 2004, Walt conceived Operation Best Wishes, an annual campaign offered on behalf of America’s credit unions by WesCorp and the Defense Credit Union Council. Operation Best Wishes provided free webcasting sessions to the military and their families during the holiday season, giving them, in an era preceding Skype and Facebook, the ability to send greetings to loved ones deployed overseas and to other family members. Through OBW, thousands of military family members and friends were united with their deployed loved ones. The program generated extensive media exposure for WesCorp and credit unions alike, attracting coverage not only from trade publications but also from radio, television and the newspapers of many major US markets, including syndicated bloggers and social media sites.
Three years later, Walt introduced credit unions to WesCorp’s award-winning podcast series, OnDeck with Dwight Johnston, a weekly commentary and review of the economy and market activity featuring the popular market analyst, Dwight Johnston.
In collaboration with the World Council of Credit Unions and the National Credit Union Foundation’s Development Educators, Walt created and produced an annual Web-TV program marking International Credit Union Day, designed to foster awareness of credit unions and the impact of their work throughout the world. Episodes featured Washington, D.C., TV celebrity Paul Berry hosting a panel of CEOs from the World Council, CUNA, the Filene Institute, and the National Cooperative Business Association.
Walt’s career also includes positions of responsibility at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Calif.; The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Marina del Rey, Calif.; KeyCorp in Cleveland, OH; and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, NY.
Walt is a Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE) with a Master of Divinity degree from the Washington Theological Union in Silver Spring, MD, and a Bachelor of Arts from Siena College in Loudonville, NY.
PHEPLE Federal Credit Union
Maria A. LaVelle has been the Chief Executive Officer of PHEPLE Federal Credit Union, FNA Westmoreland Community Federal Credit Union for the past eighteen years. The credit union, headquartered in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, currently serves more than 15,000 members with $86 million in assets.
She currently serves on the Board of Director for the Credit Union National Association and the National Credit Union Foundation. She served as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Foundation and as a member of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Credit Union Advisory Council. Maria is a past Chairman of the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association from 2013-2015 and Vice-Chairman from 2011-2013. She has also served as the President of the Greensburg Chapter of Credit Unions.
Maria received her master’s degree in Business Administration and a bachelor's degree in Science in Business Management, both from Point Park University in Pittsburgh.
New Hampshire Banking Department
Gerald H. “Jerry” Little was sworn in as New Hampshire Bank Commissioner by Governor Maggie Hassan on June 3, 2016.
He previously served in the New Hampshire Senate where he was Vice Chairman of the Finance and Energy & Natural Resources committees. Jerry also served on the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee and on the Legislative Performance Audit Oversight Committee and was assigned to represent the Senate on the Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Energy Board of the Public Utilities Commission and the State Parks System Advisory and Oversight Commission within the Department of Resources and Economic Development.
Prior to serving in the Senate, Commissioner Little served for more than two decades as President and CEO of the New Hampshire Bankers Association and as Executive Director of the New Hampshire Bankers Association Insurance Trust. He has served on the boards of numerous schools of banking and as a director of a variety of non-profit organizations, including New Hampshire Bar Foundation and an affiliate of the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation Network.
Since moving to Weare in 2005 he has held several elected and appointed volunteer roles in local government, including town moderator and school district moderator and as a member of the town Finance and Capital Improvement Projects committees. He was also founding chairman of the Weare Public Library Foundation.
A life-long New Hampshire native born in Concord, Commissioner Little graduated from the University of New Hampshire.
LTI Business Solutions
Isaiah Moskowitz is the founder and CEO of LTI Business Solutions, a creatively driven marketing and advertising agency based in Boston. Isaiah has 30 years of experience telling stories for his clients to a wide range of audiences.
After graduating from The New England School of Broadcasting in 1991, Isaiah began his career as a radio on-air personality on Steven King’s rock radio station in Bangor, Maine. From late 1991 through 2005, Isaiah worked for what is today iHeart Media in Portsmouth, NH, continuing as a radio personality and creative service director. His ability to tell stories grew from radio shows to creating client campaigns, writing, voicing, and producing award-winning ads and commercials.
From 2005 until 2016, Isaiah worked directly with hundreds of clients as a media salesperson for WJRR and others in Orlando, Florida; Sports Radio WEEI; The Red Sox Radio Network; WAAF; and WRKO in Boston.
In 2016, Isaiah founded the marketing and advertising agency, LTI Business Solutions. The storytelling he provides for his clients such as Applebee’s, Circle K, the Department of Veteran Affairs, the Cooperative Credit Union Association, and more, is built on 30-years of real-life experience, attracting attention and achieving lasting results. What’s your story?
Fox Rothschild, LLP
Chris is chair of the firm's Financial Services Industry Practice and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He practices in the areas of banking, corporate and real estate law. He represents financial institutions, including credit unions, local and regional banks and mezzanine and mortgage lenders in business, regulatory, commercial and consumer lending and workout issues. He routinely guides financial institutions through delicate corporate governance issues.
Additionally, Chris has advised credit union management and boards on the proper handling of various inquiries from NCUA, state regulators and other government agencies. He also advises credit unions on mergers, acquisitions and conversions; including the groundwork, procedures, and due diligence which are a necessity for successfully completing such transactions. Chris also advises state and federal credit unions on the structuring and documentation and enforcement of construction and business loan facilities as well as other asset-based lending transactions and participations.
Chris has experience counseling financial institution clients on the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and other federal and state privacy and data security laws, including TILA, FCRA and FDCPA. His advice includes creating and implementing relevant safeguards as well as overseeing prompt corrective action in responding to state and federal inquiries.
Chris speaks regularly on the topics of corporate governance, internal fraud and member business lending at conferences sponsored by various national and state credit union associations and leagues and has been called upon to serve as an expert witness in corporate governance matters.
A dynamic, multidisciplinary business leader, Matt Purvis drives organizational profit by creating charismatic brands and organizations that bring their brands to life. Creator of Animation Systems™, Matt is a frequent industry speaker, business thought-leader, and marketing innovator.
Named a top-twenty rising business leader by Oregon Business Magazine, Matt’s career covers wide-ranging territory. He has managed presidential political campaigns, worked as a fully licensed securities agent, led Northwest Community Credit Union’s marketing, sales and branch operations as Chief Experience Officer and is the former President & CEO of Burley Design Cooperative, an award-winning, worker-owned sporting goods manufacturer.
Fascinated by the intersection of leadership, branding, and motivation, Matt is passionate about helping organizations differentiate themselves in hyper-competitive markets. These interests led Matt to launch his own business to help organizations innovate through strategic planning, leadership development and management training, target market and marketing assessment, and brand-based sales training.
Lee Rubin Speaks
Lee Rubin is an emerging voice. His unique ability to understand and articulate winning principles with tremendous clarity and practical application makes him a highly sought-after speaker and teacher. Lee is a frequent speaker and panelist at corporations and professional association conferences throughout the country.
Professionally, Lee has been a Human Resources professional with Fortune 500 companies across a variety of industries for nearly 15 years.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communications, with a minor in Business from Penn State University. Rubin received a full athletic scholarship to play football for the Nittany Lions under the leadership of legendary coach, Joe Paterno.
Lee not only emerged as a three-year starting free safety; he also became a captain of the team. His academic and athletic success has provided a tremendous opportunity to understand and communicate winning strategies and principles.
Schillios Consulting Group
Carol has more than 30-years-experience in the cooperative credit field. Her firm, Schillios Consulting Group celebrated 19 years of consulting services to credit institutions world-wide. She is an experienced consultant to micro-credit programs in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. Her clients include, Freedom from Hunger, The World Bank, World Education and World Council of Credit Unions in micro-credit development, strategic planning, board of directors and management training.
She is founder of The Trainer's Institute & Schillios Development Foundation in Seattle. She authored the 6-module CU Professional Development, employee sales and service training manuals used by credit unions across the U.S. and co-authored Credit and Financial Management Training Modules for the African Confederation of Cooperative Credit Unions. Carol is known as a master trainer of trainers and has taught at the Australia CU Directors' Institute.
Carol is a three-time Silver Award winner from the World Council of Credit Unions for her work in developing countries. She represented credit unions at international forums in Latin America, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and China. The NW Cooperative Federation honored her with the DiMarcello Cooperative Spirit Award in 1998. In 2003, she received the Anna Read Award from the CU Women's Association of Oregon and the Ambassador Award from the Washington Credit Union League. Carol attended the International School in Geneva, Switzerland.
Sievewright & Associates
With more than 30 years of financial services experience, Mark is a highly respected industry thought leader and a renowned public speaker. He is the founder and CEO of Sievewright & Associates, offering research, consulting and speaking services designed to help credit unions design and execute successful business growth strategies.
In April 2017, Sievewright & Associates launched the Strategic Leadership Series, an annual membership service providing clients with monthly information and actionable insights relating to the most relevant and impactful industry developments, innovations and trends. Sievewright also offers consulting and facilitation support to credit unions’ Strategic Planning processes and meetings.
During his career, Mark has held senior leadership positions at HSBC in London, MasterCard International in Brussels, Payments Systems, Inc. (where he served as CEO), TowerGroup (where he served as CEO), and Fiserv (where he served as Vice Chairman and, previously, president of the company’s Credit Union Solutions division). At Fiserv, Mark and his team of 1,500 associates supported the technology needs of more than one-third of America’s credit unions.
Since 1999, Mark has worked with numerous credit unions in the successful formulation and execution of their strategic plans. He has spoken at more than 250 financial services and client events and is the recipient of many industry awards. In 2010, he was merited the Ambassador Award by the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) for helping credit unions better understand and capitalize on their market strengths; and, in 2015, he finished runner-up in Credit Union Times’ 25th anniversary contest to find the most influential leader in the credit union movement since 1990.
A native of Wales, U.K., Mark emigrated to the United States in 1997 and is a U.S. Citizen.
CUNA Mutual Group
Robert (Bob) Trunzo became the eighth president and chief executive officer of CUNA Mutual Group in 2014. The company is the leading provider of insurance and financial services to credit unions and their members. The company is also a leader in the small business retirement plan services market.
Trunzo joined CUNA Mutual Group in 2005 and held several roles before accepting his current position as president/CEO, including chief operating officer and executive vice president of Sales & Marketing.
Prior to CUNA Mutual Group, he was one of three executive vice presidents at Frank F. Haack and Associates, which is now part of Willis Group Holdings. Before this, he served as secretary of commerce under Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson, where he directed the state’s economic development efforts. As chairman of the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park Board of Directors, he oversaw the design, financing and construction of Miller Park, home of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Trunzo is an active member of the business community and insurance industry. He was recognized as a 2018 Best of Madison Business honoree for the positive impact both he and CUNA Mutual Group made in the Madison community.
Trunzo earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky and a law degree from Marquette University in 1981. He completed the Kellogg School of Management Executive Program at the Kellogg Management Institute at Northwestern University in 2011.
Managing Director of Investments
Oppenheimer and Co., Inc.
Mark B. Wickard is the Managing Director of Investments for the Credit Union Investment Strategy Group of Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. Since 1986, Mark has been consulting and educating credit unions nationwide. With education as the core foundation of everything he does – his clients become forward thinkers, informed buyers and sellers, and they better comprehend the nuances of investment strategies employed – and therefore able to keep their boards more informed, educated and prepared for regulatory reviews and audits.
Mark’s team of Fixed-Income professionals brings a unique understanding of the regulatory environment credit unions work in and a comprehensive understanding of the National Credit Union Association’s (NCUA) regulations.
Mark is the founder and author of the 1st Investment School for Credit Unions, providing a forum for credit unions to discuss regulatory issues, investment products, as well as founder of the Credit Union Investment Boot Camp.