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YP Boot Camp

Feb 16 9:00 AM - Feb 16, 2023 12:00 PM
Feb 16, 2023 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
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Our first YP Boot Camp of 2023 will be a virtual event. Our speakers will present top-of-mind content in an interactive and engaging format. There will also be time for conversation and exchange of ideas with your young professional colleagues from across the state.  

Become a part of the YP Network.


9:00 am – 9:05 am         

9:05 am – 9:35 am             
Financial Well-being for All (FWBFA)  

Michelle Bonner, Senior Manager, Financial Inclusion and Impact | National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF)
What is FWBFA and how credit unions can be impactful in this mission with their members. 

9:35 am – 9:45 am

9:45 am – 10:15 am     
Tom Carlson |  
Zest AI is an AI-automated underwriting company on a mission to make fair and transparent credit accessible for everyone. Zest provides lending insights to credit unions so they have a clearer risk assessment of a borrower.  

Zest will share how it built an AI-driven lending model to expand credit access to more members and underserved communities. They are helping credit unions deliver better member experiences with faster decisions and achieve fairer, more inclusive lending outcomes.    

10:15 am – 10:25 am

10:25 am – 10:45 am   
The CU Difference 

We will take some time to share stories from your credit unions that exemplify people before profits.  

10:45 am – 12:00 pm      
Jessica Sharon, AVP of Financial Outreach | Pelican State Credit Union
This session will dig into the mission and actions of credit unions. Why they were started, what they believe in, and how they support members in living their best financial lives. 

  • The CU Principles, their meanings, and why credit unions were formed
  • Why we serve and how we serve – why we do what we do  
    • Share stories (as time allows) about how you got involved, what you did before you got to credit unions and then your journey through roles at the credit union 
  • CUDE & The Why Behind It 
  • CU Advocacy is about the mission, not politics, and how you can get involved 

12:00 pm
Wrap-up and Adjourn 


Michelle BonnerMichelle Bonner, Senior Manager, Financial Inclusion and Impact | National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF)

Originally from New Jersey, Michelle moved to Florida where she studied Health Sciences and Public Health in Tampa at the University of South Florida. She continues to serve and lead health and wellbeing initiatives after over a decade of training leaders in the implementation of education, physical, nutrition and mental health programs, for youth and adults.

Michelle transitioned to the finance industry to support banks and credit unions in improving the financial well-being of partners, clients, and communities. Currently, she works with the National Credit Union Foundation as Senior Manager of Financial Inclusion & Impact managing grants, coordinating events, and strategic planning for the financial well-being for all initiative.

Over the past year, Michelle has served as a Chair of Emerging Leaders of Tampa Bay, a young professional development group with the Tampa Bay Chamber. She also served the Project Prosper Board of Directors as Financial Literacy Chair, helping immigrants and refugees navigate the financial system. Most recently, she joined the Board of Directors at Girl Scouts of West Central Florida supporting the mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character. Her passion for sharing knowledge, talents, and time while empowering and connecting leaders are just a few of the ways she impacts her community.

Tom Carlson

Tom Carlson | Zest Al

Tom Carlson has been working in various aspects of the technology sector for over 30 years. He is proficient in providing innovative solutions to the financial sector. Tom excels at focusing on helping clients overcome their challenges through utilizing technology to achieve optimal results. He has an extensive background in customer service and relationship development. Tom currently has a role in sales with Zest AI, a CUSO that delivers powerful, compliant, explainable AI for financial institutions, enabling them to make better lending decisions.



Jessica Sharon

Jessica Sharon, AVP of Financial Outreach | Pelican State Credit Union 

Jessica Sharon has led Pelican’s financial education and outreach efforts for the past fifteen years. In her role as AVP of Financial Outreach, she orchestrates the implementation of Pelican’s adult and youth financial wellness programs including three school branches. She is a nationally certified credit counselor and leads a team of nine other counselors offering financial literacy workshops, one-on-one counseling, youth education programs and community financial outreach reaching over 30,000 individuals since 2007. 

Jessica also serves as the grant coordinator for Pelican’s CDFI grant programs and leads Pelican’s advocacy efforts as chair of the Baton Rouge Chapter Advocacy Committee, and nationally as a member of the Louisiana Credit Union League (LCUL) CULAC Committee. She is the President of Pelican’s charitable foundation, SOAR, focused on offering loans to extremely high-risk communities combating payday and other predator lenders and is a regular contributor on financial topics for Pelican’s blog Pelican State of Mind. Jessica received her BA in Marketing from Southeastern Louisiana University, MBA from Louisiana State University and is a certified Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE).      





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    Topics Covered

    • Live Webinars
    • Young Professional