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Marketing & Lending Conference

Start Date: Tue, 06/09/2020 - 9:00am
End Date: Wed, 06/10/2020 - 4:00pm

Registration Deadline: June 2

The Marketing & Lending Conference is back with more speakers, more content, and more ways to network. Join credit union marketers and lenders who come out every year for this event.

Asset size discount available, and will be reflected when you register.  

The two-day conference consists of six sessions with at least two (sometimes three) concurrent breakouts, plus several general sessions. Each breakout includes expert presentations on lending, the new member,s and marketing, technology and more. Attendees can attend any session; however, the content descriptions will cover the following: lending management, underwriting, growth, marketing, and technology.

We return to Stoney Creek Hotel and Conference Center. Get the lake/lodge feel located conveniently off I-70 and Hwy 291/ I-470. Many dining options nearby and right next to Bass Pro Shops. FREE PARKING at the meeting venue. Affordable nights stay (see hotel details below).

Thanks to our generous event sponsors:           

nCino is the worldwide leader in cloud banking. Its Bank Operating System improves employee efficiency while enhancing the customer experience for onboarding, loans and deposits across all lines of business. Transforming how financial institutions operate through innovation, reputation and speed, nCino works with more than 1,100 financial institutions globally.   SimplyFocused is a comprehensive software suite designed for credit unions to improve user experience, the employee experience, and fill their sales funnel. SimplyFocused™ equips credit unions with powerful lead generation and management solutions along with robust digital branch management tools securing credit union relevancy into the future.


June 9

8 9 a.m. Registration opens

9 – 9:20 a.m.

Welcome remarks: Setting the tone


9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

The Race to Technology is a Race to Non-Differentiation
Josh Cook
The credit union industry is highly commoditized. Financial institutions typically look to technology to help them stand out. Unfortunately, technology is typically vendor-led and as a result, vendor vanilla becomes the only flavor available. Essentially, every competitor is given the exact same solutions by a limited number of providers. This race to technology, to fight the realities of being in the commodity business – keeps you in the commodity business. The solution is rethinking technology as one of many tools, not as the tool for differentiation.
Credit Card Data to Drive Decisions
Ondine Irving
What do the best run credit union card programs have in common? Learn the most important aspects to card program profitability. Determine which products you should be offering your members. We will discuss the pros and cons of in-house versus full-service processing. From high level thinking to brass tacks, Ondine will help you improve your credit card portfolio.

10:50 – 11:50 a.m.

How Consumers Make Decisions
Laura Eblen
We are all consumers, and we all make different decisions. We buy different cars, eat different foods, and buy different clothes. So how can we construct coherent marketing strategies? This session will be a discussion on consumer behavior and the components that make up the decision making process. We will compare and contrast different perspectives that characterize the study of consumer behavior.

Shifting Futures and Impact on Lending
Joe Karlin
Credit union loan portfolios have been shaped by recent changes and are about to be rocked by advances in technology and changes in consumer behaviors and demographics. This presentation will review the impact of these changes on existing Lending portfolios and impacts to future lending practices and volumes as well as provide steps you can take to proactively prepare for the new lending environment.

How to Think About and Prepare for the Future
Robyn LaChance
Learn manageable, actionable steps to set your credit union up for success. Learn the power of focus - how to find it, use it, and cultivate it within your whole organization.

Noon – 1 p.m.

Lunch with SimplyFocused: How is my Credit Union Going to Grow?
Joe Sheridan
SimplyFocused is the answer to this question. SimplyFocused is an enabling technology that leverages the power of human perception to reduce friction in the process of selling retail credit union products. It is a robust solution that enables credit union growth by connecting marketing teams and lending teams directly to their members/perspective members to generate leads. The insights the platform provides to CU leadership allows for broader sales accountability and real time sales funnel analytics to enable better strategic decisions with leading indicators rather than lagging indicators. Credit Unions are relying too heavily on technology to sell products via lengthy applications that have a high abandonment rate rather than utilizing their best asset; their employees to build relationships with qualified leads that come through the SimplyFocused platform.

1:30 – 2:45 p.m.

Grow Your Credit Card Portfolio the Smart Way
Ondine Irving
Learn how you can use your data to drive better decisions for sales and marketing. Learn what works and what doesn't when it comes to marketing plastics. Ondine will show you how you can be a credit card marketing rock star.
Digital Lending A to Z
Caleb Cook
Digital lending is a buzzword but what does it actually mean? Digital lending can involve anything from pre-application through loan payoff using technology to improve the member experience. In this session, you will learn about digital lending strategies, many of which are already in your tool belt. Come learn about best practices and use cases - from automated decisioning to zero percent digital balance transfers. There will be something for everyone and you will walk away with at least one actionable idea that you can leverage at your credit union.
Is Agricultural Lending Right for our Credit Union? 
Phil Love
A look at the purpose, policies, procedures, and people needed to succeed in this line of business.

3 – 5 p.m.

Build Relationships, Rapport, Loyalty, Business
Aaron Schmookler and Adam Utley, The Yes Works
Other people are a mystery. A challenge. A wildcard. And a few simple tools can save you from the struggle. We’ll give you experience employing a selection of tools used by the best collaborators in the world so you can bring out the best in others, take inspiration and motivation from others, navigate conflict constructively, and thrive in business. This is not a “presentation” per-se. It’s a collaboration. We need your help to teach you what you already know. Knowing is one thing. It’s doing that’s THE thing.

6:15 p.m.

Networking event

June 10

8 – 9 a.m. Registration opens

9 – 10:20 a.m.

Teenage Panel
Jill Vicente, Moderator

You've been one. You may know a few. You may even be living with one. Regardless of your experience, one thing is certain; teens of every generation are an enigma to those around them. Get some insight directly from a panel of today's teenage market. Learn what they care about, what their relationship is with money, plus how to get and keep their attention when it comes to their banking options. The answers may not be what you think.
Digging Deeper in the Dirt
Phil Love
A primer to understand the agricultural producer’s finances and adequately assess management skills.


Winning the War for Talent: Paying for Performance
Mike Higgins
You’re ready to offer performance-based compensation to your credit union’s employees. Now all you need is a good plan. Get a head start on the process from Mike Higgins as he discusses how to create a Balanced Scorecard Incentive Plan. You’ll get valuable tips on establishing your plan’s objectives, structure, and time span; determining what performance should be rewarded; defining how performance will be measured; and deciding the reward amount.

10:50 – 11:50 a.m. 

Capturing the Most Powerful Market: Moms
Shari Storm
Moms control 85% of all household spending. Moms hold the biggest influence on which brands their children will chose. Moms have strong online networks and rely on referrals from other moms. Make a mom happy and you’ve got the whole family plus all of her friends as new customers. Learn what other companies have done to capture this powerful market.

What are my Loan Portfolios Truly Contributing to my Credit Union’s Bottom Line?
Joe Karlin
We put in significant effort to underwrite our loans in a prudent manner, with pricing on our loans strongly influenced by the market. This can create disparity between the risk from making those loans and the return on those loans. In this session, you'll learn how to stratify your loan products in different subsets to better understand how they are contributing - or not - to your credit union's bottom line. Specifically, this session will introduce and discuss two methodologies: Net Contribution Analysis by Sub-Portfolio and Static Pool Analysis.

Fireside Chat
Aaron Schmookler and Adam Utley, The Yes Works
Looking to help your organization become more AdEptable? (AdEptable teams create environments where people bring their best selves forward so they can do what they do exceptionally well, regardless of the circumstances.) Ask how from Aaron and Adam, The Yes Works. Bring your particular questions, your circum-stances, your concerns about communication, accountability, and problem solving at your workplace. What do world-class collaborators do about conflict? How do they approach management? Aaron and Adam will help you bring a light heart to heavy matters, and also bring some weight to what might seem frivolous.

Noon – 1 p.m.

Lunch with nCino: Freakonomics - True Drivers of Auto Loan Demand
Derrick Wiemer
While auto loans can sometimes be risky, an institution can be more profitable as they strategically navigate their underwriting based on economic trends. This discussion will review the results of several million auto loans and loan applications from institutions across the country to reveal demand sensitivity relative to interest rate and loan maturity variation. Join us as we uncover associated findings from our in-depth research, including monthly payment targeting and rapid growth in auto loan debt.

  • Learn the effects of interest rate and loan maturity on auto loan demand.
  • Understand how rate/maturity can effect monthly payment targeting.
  • Gain insight on the magnitude of growth of US auto debt.

1:20 – 2:20 p.m.

Creating Brand Ambassadors Online and IRL
Matt Monge
Consumer Credit Markets & Modeling Credit Risk
Derrick Wiemer
Consumer credit markets are an important part of the US economy because they fuel consumer spending, which represents roughly 70% of GDP. Thus, understanding the economics driving consumer credit markets is vital for professionals working in the financial industry. Join us in this session to see how the care you take in modeling and mitigating credit risk can impact the trajectory for your financial institution’s profitability, risk, and financial security



2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Amy Downs - Resisting Complacency


Caleb Cook, Vice President of Consumer Lending, Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU)

Caleb Cook joined DCU in August 2014 and has overseen the day to day operation of mortgage and home equity loan production and servicing for the last 5 years. He recently transitioned over to the consumer lending area and is responsible for vehicle, credit card, personal, student, and solar lending. Caleb has 17 years of experience in the credit union industry and previously served as the Vice President of Lending at Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union in Seattle, Washington, Vice President of Lending at Qualstar Credit Union in Redmond, Washington and as the Lending & Collections Manager at Sound Credit Union in Tacoma, Washington.

Caleb attended Western CUNA Management School and graduated in 2008, and he completed the CUES CEO Institute in 2019. He is the past chair of the Washington Credit Union Real Estate Network (CUREN), and currently serves on Freddie Mac’s Lender Advisory Board.Caleb volunteers on the Worcester Community Housing Resources (WCHR) Board of Directors and Loan Committee where he advises the organization on their revolving loan fund and receivership lending program.

Josh Cook, CEO, Community Choice Credit Union and Choice Creative Solutions

Josh Cook is considered a visionary leader and creative thinker. Josh started with Community Choice CU (CCCU) in 2002 as the Marketing Manager and has expanded his role to include everything from marketing to branch operations with plenty in between. During his 17 years at CCCU, he has gained considerable attention for his creative work amassing over forty national marketing awards.

Josh’s marketing success is attributable to his ability to view challenges and opportunities with consumer behavior in mind. This success led to his creation of Choice Creative Solutions (CCS) in 2012. CCS is credit union service organization operating under CCCU specializing in marketing. Under Josh’s leadership and vision, CCS has expanded its capabilities and grown sales year over year utilizing tactics uncommon within the industry.

Perception thinking is cornerstone to Josh’s approach to sales success no matter the organization he’s serving. Josh believes that successful product sales most often exist due perception not reality. This lead importance approach led to the development of a software as a service (SaaS) product created by Josh and developed by CCS in 2014.

Amy Downs, President, CEO, Allegiance Credit Union

Amy Downs began working as a teller in 1988 at Federal Employees Credit Union, now called Allegiance Credit Union. In 1995, the credit union was nearly destroyed when the Alfred P. Murrah building was bombed and 18 of its 33 employees killed. Amy and the other surviving employees not only rebuilt the credit union but grew the assets from $74M to $284M over the following 25 years. She worked throughout the organization building knowledge and experience before joining the executive team in 1999, which has given her a deeper understanding and perspective of the credit union business as a whole.

Amy considers her management philosophy to be a combination of open book management and servant leadership. Providing a culture where employees feel valued and enjoy coming to work is a priority for Amy. Under her leadership the credit union has been named a Best Place to Work in Oklahoma City for 4 years in a row.

Amy loves cycling in her spare time and spends one week each year riding her bicycle from the Texas border to the Kansas border with her husband.

Laura Eblen, Director of Growth, Mazuma Credit Union

Laura Eblen began her career with credit unions in 2001 working in multiple leadership roles, and in 2017 was declared by CUNA as an official CU Rockstar. Always willing to take a chance on something new and unafraid of failure, in 2010 Laura was one of the first to join The Cooperative Trust and helped to build the program with the Filene Research Institute. She is currently assisting with the pilot of the Filene Young Professional Mentorship Program. In 2015, Laura was selected as a collaborating innovator for the prestigious Filene i3 program (Ideas, Innovation and Implementation), working on concepts and prototypes that tackled industry problems. Laura is a high honors graduate of CUNA Management School, earning her Certified Credit Union Executive (CCUE) designation in 2009. She returned to the program in 2018 as a Graduate Advisor. In 2012, she was named a semi-finalist in the CUES Next Top Credit Union Executive Competition. Most recently she earned her Credit Union Development Educator certification.

She is an active member of the Global Women’s Leadership Network, the International Association of Business Communicators, and serves as advisor for both CUNA Mutual and PSCU. Laura’s previous speaking opportunities have included Jack Henry, CUNA, the CUNA Councils, Filene, CU Watercooler, and ProfitStars. Described by her fellow Mazumans as “a little bit diva who probably drinks too much Starbucks” Laura accepts challenges head-on, unless you ask her to kill a spider.

When not in the office, Laura can usually be found on the credit union stage sharing the messages about the necessity of positive collaboration, leadership development, and building a culture of innovation. You can also find her facilitating workshops, planning sessions, enjoying cheese curds, and living her best credit union life. 

Mike Higgins, Jr., Partner, Mike Higgins & Associates (MHA)

Mike Higgins, Jr.'s primary areas of focus are performance management, performance-based compensation, board education and strategic planning to maximize member value. Since 1998, Mike has worked with over 300 community-sized credit unions and banks. Mike has presented his contemporary approach to managing performance to numerous state and national associations. He coauthored the book Performance Compensation for Stakeholders: 14 Prerequisites for Success.

Mike is also a Filene Applied Research Advisor. He has presented at numerous Filene events and participated in the inaugural Center for Performance and Operational Excellence Research Colloquium at Stanford University.

Prior to joining MHA, Mike was a consultant at Deloitte. His areas of focus were business process design and information technology. During his tenure at Deloitte, Mike worked with clients in the financial services, retail, manufacturing, logistics, aerospace and defense, and state government sectors.

Mike received his MBA from the University of Kansas and an undergraduate degree in finance from Nebraska Wesleyan University (NWU). While at NWU, Mike was an Academic All-American and was inducted into the NWU Athletic Hall of Fame.

Ondine Irving, Owner/Founder of GoCUCards

Ondine Irving has been part of the credit union community since 1985 as her first job as a teller at Baxter Credit Union (Vernon Hills, Illinois) and was hired by Lending Solutions founder, Rex Johnson ( Her credit union background includes all areas of credit union operations, statistical analysis, branch operations, accounting, card services (Credit/Debit/ATM operations) and marketing.

Ondine expanded her passion for credit unions and credit cards and worked as a Business Consultant for one of the industry’s premier credit card processors, Certegy Card Services (now FIS). Her role at FIS included working with Certegy’s largest credit union clients in portfolio development and marketing. She also had a short stint at Raddon Financial Group assisting in creating and enhancing the credit card program analysis, before venturing out on her own in 2003 to try her hand at running her own business, Card Analysis GoCUCards...and 15 years later is still going strong.

Ondine is an Australian citizen by birth and moved to the United States during her childhood. She currently lives in the northern suburbs of Chicago.

Joe Karlin, CEO, Karlin Consulting LLC

Joe Karlin has worked with or at credit unions his entire career. Starting as a CPA with Deloitte, he audited in the financial services industry, including credit unions, corporates, leagues, and banks. Joe spent nearly 15 years in the corporate system, working in operations and at executive levels. For the last 14 years, he has consulted with credit unions and CUSOs.

Joe’s specialties include strategy and execution, all aspects of commercial and consumer lending, delivery channel optimization, and CUSO operations and management. His experience in strategy and execution includes strategic planning, management succession, and regulatory issue resolution. Joe’s experience in commercial lending ranges from assisting credit unions in evaluating the launch of new commercial lending programs, implementing commercial lending programs, evaluating CUSOs for underwriting and servicing, reviewing existing programs, to conducting loan reviews. His consumer lending experience includes emphasis in indirect auto lending, unsecured lending, and private student loans.

Robyn LaChance

Robyn LaChance has been living, breathing and building credit union culture for 20 years –  and she has the rap sheet to prove it. She is a big picture thinker who blends her experience with strategic planning, enterprise project management and member experience to vision for the future and chart courses leaders and teams can get excited about and follow. When she isn't developing strong teams and brand experiences, she can be found shouting from the sidelines at her daughter's volleyball tournaments or crafting sassy t-shirt slogans with her Cricut.


Phil Love, President/CEO, Pactola

Phil Love stepped into the role of President/CEO in May of 2012. He is a native Missourian. He has a BA in Economics from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri and a Graduate Degree in Banking from the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin.

He has over 30 years of banking experience, with over 21 of those years focusing on lending to businesses and farmers. He worked for the regional banks of Regions and Zions. He also holds the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation from the National Association of Realtors.


Shari Storm, Category6  Consulting

Shari Storm spent 16 years as an executive at a credit union and is now the CEO of a consulting company called Category 6, which specializes in developing strategy with a strong focus on marketing and fintech.. Her book, "Motherhood is the New MBA: Using Your Parenting Skills to be a Better Boss", was published by St. Martin’s Press. With almost 20,000 copies sold, it has been translated and published in China and was purchased for publication in Brazil. She has been featured in Time and Redbook magazine as well as "The Metro News New York" and Martha Stewart’s radio show. She speaks around the country on a variety of topics. You can also see her TEDx talk on her website:

Aaron Schmookler, The Yes Works

Aaron Schmookler works with business leaders who believe that their people are their greatest assets. He supports them to build structure, habits, and mindsets that support an enduring collaboration culture, so their companies profit and attract top talent, and so their people find fulfillment and reasons to stay. 

While his career appears anything but linear - ranging from outdoor leadership to corporate contributor to theatre director and founder to teacher of theatre and business communication - one thread ties everything together. For over 20 years, Aaron has been striving to help people find their own intrinsic motivation, their capacity to collaborate, and the fulfillment that comes from harnessing the creative impulse in us all to serve others.

In 2014 Aaron and business partner, Adam Utley, co-founded The Yes Works and developed the Adeptability Model of collaboration and leadership training and the Adeptable Culture Audit. Aaron and The Yes Works serve clients across the country and across industries including Microsoft, MOD Pizza, DiscoverOrg, Burkhart Dental Supply, SOG Knives, 9th Gear, and Textainer to make work good for people and people good for work.

"Every team has genius at work. Only the best encourage and inspire the genius to emerge."

Joe Sheridan, SimplyFocused

Adam Utley, The Yes Works

Adam Utley has been working for five years to help build habits that lead to higher accountability, more fulfillment, and work cultures that inspire people. He does this by training people to practice a language he loves... The language of improvisation. What he's found in working with leaders at every level of the businesses he serves, is that this language resonates with people of all personality types, and it helps connect people with their teammates and paves the way for greater results with less effort.

Adam and his business partner, Aaron Schmookler, co-founded The Yes Works in 2014 and developed the Adeptability Model of collaboration and leadership training and the Adeptable Culture Audit that supports a collaborative culture of accountability.

The Yes Works serve clients across the country and across industries including Microsoft, MOD Pizza, DiscoverOrg, Burkhart Dental Supply, SOG Knives, 9th Gear, and Textainer to make work good for people and people good for work.

Adam is Wenatchee, WA raised, and Pacific Lutheran University educated. He's got 15 years under his belt making his passion his life's work and plans to amplify the genius of others through this work for many more fulfilling years to come.

"It's never about the thing. It's always about the relationship."

Jill Vicente, Category6 Consulting

Jill’ Vicente's love for credit unions reaches back into her teens when her grandmother helped her open an account at Hawaiian Tel Federal Credit Union for her first car loan. Jill went on to build a career in the industry that ranged in roles from front line operations, to executive management in marketing, IT, and strategic planning.  She is currently the Chief Strategy Officer at Category 6 Consulting and works with credit unions to identify growth opportunities in their business plans, internal operations and marketing initiatives.

When Jill isn’t working with credit unions, she volunteers her time at vocational non-profits that provide real solutions to poverty through training in job and life skills. Jill holds an undergraduate degree in Marketing and an MBA from the University of Washington. She lives in Seattle with her husband and two dogs. If you ask her what she’s doing next, chances are she’s on the hunt for a good book to read or planning her next travel adventure.

Derrick Wiemer, Solution Architect of Portfolio Analytics, nCino

Derrick Wiemer was one of the original founders of Visible Equity prior to its acquisition by nCino, and he had the opportunity to implement the first few hundred clients back in the early days of the company.  He followed up his BS in Computer Information Systems with an MBA with an Emphasis in Operations Management from Regis University.  He is also High School baseball coach and he spends a lot of his free time at his off-grid cabin hiking, biking, dirt biking, skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, fishing, archery hunting, and anything else outdoors with his family and friends.




Scholarship assistance is available for credit unions under $100M in assets.

We offer tiered pricing for eligible affiliated credit unions. Lunch is included.

Membership Discount One Day Both Days
Affiliated credit unions $0M - $49.99M 40% off $138 $239
Affiliated credit unions $50M+  -  $230 $399
Non-affiliated credit unions  -  $400 $800


Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center
18011 Bass Pro Drive
Independence, MO 64055

Room rate: $105/night plus tax

Reservation Deadline:  June 2, 2020

Book your hotel room. Drop down menu to change DISCOUNT CODE to GROUP ATTENDEE. Then enter Group Code: 2006MARKET. Or call 1-800-659-2220 and reference group name Heartland Credit Union Association.

Parking: Free parking


Clint Armistead, 800.392.3074, x1321.
For registration questions or dietary and special assistance: Sharon Bahr, 800.392.3074, x1342.