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Meet the WILD Innovators

Sixteen Innovators - and their credit unions - are participating in the WILD Initiative. They represent a broad cross section of credit union sizes, membership and geography (see map, right), as well as a diverse array of roles within the credit union. 

The participants  engaged in a nine-month, collaborative process to create, test and implement financial products, services and business model ideas to benefit members

Their achievements will be showcased at The League's 2019 Annual Convention & Expo. 


Melissa Parker

Melissa Parker, Data Analyst

Capital Credit Union, Green Bay

Melissa recently began her 10th year at Capital Credit Union, where she began her career as a teller.  She is involved with Capital's internal Young Professionals group and takes an active leadership role. She is a “champ” for a wellness initiative, and has a passion for running and participating in community events.  Outside of work, she has an active calendar as the mom of three little girls.

"I create reports and maintain data for the branches, departments, and management team. I also calculate and maintain the incentive program for front-line staff. As a member of WILD, I am excited to get creative and learn something new.”


Alan Bergstrom

Alan Bergstrom, Chief Marketing Officer

Community First Credit Union, Neenah

Alan became Chief Marketing Officer in April 2018. He served for three years prior to that as Chief Marketing Officer and SVP, Strategic Development at Community Choice Credit Union in metro Detroit. He is a former U.S. Air Force intelligence officer, who briefed President Ronald Reagan daily on global national security developments, then later started and ran his own brand/strategy consulting business. He also worked as Vice President/Director of brand marketing and creative services for CUNA Mutual Group in Madison, launching and growing the direct-to-consumer TruStage brand of insurance products. In 2017 he was named Marketing Executive of the Year by Credit Union Times, as well as a Credit Union Rock Star by Credit Union Magazine. Alan has degrees in political science and international affairs. He and his wife, Rebecca, have three children. He enjoys the outdoors, especially travel, camping and gardening.

"I challenge the status quo, looking for new ways to do things. I manage communications, marketing and advertising, and member experience. These things all drive new membership, strengthen relationships with existing members and enhance our credit union’s success. Doing more for more members gets me up and excited each and every day. I also want to drive awareness among those who are not yet credit union members; what they don’t know is hurting them. We can and will make a difference—this is the new dawning of the credit union Movement and I’m thrilled to be part of it.”


Mark Volz

Mark Volz, Relationship Development Officer

Corporate Central Credit Union, Muskego

Mark joined the credit union Movement in 2015. His eyes were opened when he was selected to participate in the precursor to what is now known as The League's HYPE (Helping Young Professionals Engage) program. He then was chosen to serve on The League's Young Professionals (YP) Advisory Board, joined his chapter board, and helped start a YP group for his chapter and his previous credit union. Mark has seven years of experience in financial services, including as a business lending manager of a natural person credit union. Mark enjoys attending Brewers, Bucks, Packers and Wisconsin Badger games, golfing and seeing live music. Mark is also on the board of a non-profit adoption and foster care organization and enjoys helping with the Wisconsin Cystic Fibrosis Chapter.

 

“I help Corporate Central's members with anything and everything, starting with listening to see what areas they need help with. I may recommend educational webinars, ways to lower expenses, re-aligning investment allocations to achieve goals, introducing new products and services, or something else. I've also been known to volunteer or donate to a cause that helps a credit union and their communities. When it comes to WILD, many of us share the same challenges and I’m really excited to share our solutions on solving them.”


Brittany Jordan

Brittany Jordan, Digital Marketing Specialist

Corporate Central Credit Union, Muskego

Though new to the credit union Movement, Brittany, has worked in digital marketing since 2012. She has collaborated with Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) companies, as well as local employee-owned businesses, to market their products and services through digital platforms. Brittany graduated from UW-Stout in Menomonie with Bachelor of Science degrees in digital marketing technology and cross-media graphics management, with an emphasis in sales and marketing. She also holds minors in Spanish and web technology. Brittany enjoys listening to dubstep (a subgenre of electric dance music), crafting DIY projects, and adding things to her Amazon wish list.

"My role is to develop and grow Corporate Central’s digital brand through organic search engine optimization, strategic email marketing campaign analysis, and our social media presence. I do much the same for the CUSOs Emergifi, InterLutions, and QuantyPhi. I am extremely excited to participate in WILD because I have my mind set on making a difference within my community. I am prepared to learn, create, and innovate with fellow credit union employees and truly be an advocate for the credit union Movement.”


Katie Clark

Katie Clark, Branch Manager

CoVantage Credit Union, Antigo

Katie lives in Crystal Falls, Michigan, with her husband and two daughters. Her career in member service began 16 years ago. She worked as a teller, loan processor, mortgage lender and branch manager. She was recently promoted to interim Northern Region VP. She credits a recent YP Boot Camp on innovation with inspiring her to think beyond the obvious, look past road blocks and be proactive instead of reactive. It's not a leap for Katie, who has already helped found two local boards, one which inspires youth and adults to get active in the outdoors and another which stimulates economic growth. 

“Every day I get to make a difference in people’s lives, both members and staff. I interact with members often and assist them with their financial goals by providing deposit information and loans as needed. Having a positive impact on those I work with and getting to understand them on a very personal level is imperative to our continued growth as a team. Working collaboratively with other, un-like and like-minded people is something that challenges me. I appreciate the end result when in a progressive group working towards and meeting a shared goal."


Bryan Davis

Bryan Davis, Regional Director of Branch Operations

Educators Credit Union, Racine

Bryan Davis joined Educators Credit Union in 2005 as a teller and was promoted to a member finance representative floating to various Milwaukee area branches. In 2010, he was accepted into Educators' Staff Development Program promoting leadership skills while learning branch operations. In 2012, Bryan became branch manager of the Prospect Ave. location. He then helped develop and implement a Teller Operated Machine (TOM) structure and helped develop and manage the Center Street and Appleton Ave. locations. Currently, Bryan is the Regional Director of Branch Operations overseeing 10 branches in southeastern Wisconsin and he is a member of the CUNA Operations & Member Experience Council. Bryan is a proud alumnus of Cardinal Stritch University, holding a degree in Business Management and Certificate in Human Resources. 

 

“I oversee northern branches and drive strategic initiatives, with a heavy focus on staff development. I am excited to participate in the WILD initiative because of the opportunity to make an impact within the credit union Movement, drive innovation, and solve industry challenges.


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Emily Olsen, Marketing Manager

Educators Credit Union, Racine

Emily is the Marketing Manager at Educators Credit Union. Her love of all things marketing started before college in the Mac Lab of Brookfield Central High School. This led her down the path to the University of Wisconsin - Superior where she received her Bachelor’s degree in both Marketing and Speech Communications. She joined Educators in January of 2017, and has been responsible for the growth and development of their digital channels including the website, email, and text messaging. She was able to join the Crashers team at the Big.Bright.Minds. conference in December of that year and in 2018 received a nomination to be the Next Top Credit Union Executive. With the expansion of her role into management, she now leads a team of four creatives who keep her sharp and motivated.

 

“I manage the day-to-day operations of the Marketing Team and help implement new marketing technologies to assist with current credit union programs. This includes developing the website, text-messaging program, email program, as well as automating communications through all channels, assisting with NPS development, and developing/executing marketing campaigns. I also manage various vendors as well as a graphic designer, social media coordinator, content marketer and marketing specialist. I am excited to participate in the WILD program because it aims to challenge current product offerings or processes that have become the norm and look at them from a new perspective."

 


Robyn Newcomb

Robyn Newcomb, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives

Fort Community Credit Union, Fort Atkinson

Robyn is responsible for identifying, developing and implementing new products and services that enhance FCCU's member experience and drive efficiencies for their internal teams. She has extensive experience in marketing and operations with the ability to build vision and blend strategic priorities with operational execution. Robyn holds degrees in communication disorders and psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. She and her husband and three children live in Fort Atkinson. Robyn enjoys traveling, refinishing furniture and chasing around her three rambunctious boys.

“On a daily basis I leverage relationships to break down barriers, decrease friction and improve the overall member experience. This could mean meeting with a prospective business partner, visiting with an indirect dealer, participating in a status call for our latest mobile enhancement, indulging in the processes of our operational support teams, or assisting a member with a credit card inquiry.  I'm passionate about helping our members and organization move forward through collaboration.I'm excited to participate in WILD because I will not only have the opportunity to grow my credit union network, but also work with some of the brightest minds in our Movement. Time to spark innovation - who wouldn’t be excited to be a part of this team?!”


Jackson Burgau

Jackson Burgau, Commercial Credit Analyst

Heartland Credit Union, Madison

Jackson is a credit union enthusiast in the twilight years of Young Professional status. He started his credit union journey with Co-op Credit Union in Black River Falls and upon moving to Madison, joined the team at Heartland Credit Union, focusing on member business lending. Prior to his credit union career, he served in the Wisconsin Army National Guard, for which he spent a year in the Middle East. He holds a degree from Winona State University. He enjoys crashing his mountain bike, dumping his kayak, stumbling over roots on a trail run, getting lost while backpacking, and fawning over his black lab, Mikko.  

“I analyze and interpret financial information to determine the risk associated with a member business lending relationship. I also help to ensure regulatory compliance with our member business loan files. I am excited to explore innovative ways to enhance the credit union experience for members across the state through collaboration with my peers." 


Anne Zickus

Anne Zickus, Underwriter/Indirect Buyer

Heartland Credit Union, Madison

After 10 years of working in banks, Anne made the leap to the credit union Movement and hasn’t looked back. In her 13 years in the financial industry, she has worked her way through a variety of roles including branch manager, retail banking manager, and sales & service trainer. Anne and her husband have two young boys and enjoy boating, camping, and spending time in the great Wisconsin Northwoods.

“I see my role as approving members' dreams. I am excited to learn the process of innovating because it is something you can always use in so many aspects of life, personally and professionally."


Justine Stephens

Justine Stephens, Accounting/Plastic Card Clerk

Indianhead Credit Union, Spooner

Justine has worked for the credit union for six years. Accounting, IT, employee training and compliance are some of the many hats she wears at the credit union. She has a passion to learn and likes to know how the credit union works. Last year she earned the AAP (Accredited ACH Professional) designation and is currently working to obtain the CUCE (Credit Union Compliance Expert) designation. Community outreach is important to her. She enjoys coming up with fun creative community service projects to have the credit union participate in. Away from the office, she is busy with her family and raising beef cattle on her farm.

“I am the backup person for the ACH and Share Draft postings and exceptions. I handle members and employees who experience IT problems. I monitor fraud for both debit cards and ACH. I train staff on new procedures and new services we are offering. I am in the process of learning compliance rules for state chartered credit unions. I am excited to participate in WILD due to my passion to learn new things and to push myself out of my comfort zone.”

 


Matt Gerber

Matt Gerber, VP Mortgage Lending

Royal Credit Union, Eau Claire

Matt has been making mortgages for 21 years, the first 13 with a large, nationwide lender and the last eight with Royal Credit Union. He has a passion for continuous process improvement and enjoys exploring new ways to improve the mortgage experience. He says that with the growing presence of online lenders, innovation is no longer a growth strategy but a necessity for relevance.

"I manage all phases of the mortgage process including origination, processing, underwriting, closing, compliance and systems. Our team of 50 offers both first mortgage and home equity products. Half of us are on the origination side while half are in operations. My role is to be a strategic planner - what do we need to think about and do today to stay relevant in five years. As a WILD innovator, I'm looking forward to working with other credit union leaders around the state to find innovative ways to gain market share." 

 


Suzanne Campbell

Sue Campbell, Communicator of Awesomeness

Simplicity Credit Union, Marshfield

Suzanne Campbell joined the Simplicity CU team as a part-time teller/bookkeeper/whatever-needed-doing-er 19 years ago. Since then she’s had the chance to work with teams, large and small, in marketing, training, frontline supervision, human resources, and branch experience management. She holds a Six-Sigma Green Belt, and CUNA Creating Member Loyalty Trainer Certification. Currently, she is responsible for strategic messaging as a member of the marketing team. She earned her Associates degree from UW/Wood County with a Communications focus and lives in Wisconsin Rapids. When she’s not at work, she enjoys time with her family hiking, traveling, and practicing her newest hobby, photography. 

"My primary responsibility is to craft text for marketing, member, and internal employee communications. I’m the co-creator and zealous evangelist for our brand voice and spend most of my time making sure it’s heard loud and clear. I’m looking forward to WILD because of the amazing endorphin rush that comes from having an idea, making it work, and then being able to see how it makes the world better, even if it’s just a little part of the world."


Harmony Paulley

Harmony Paulley, Electronic Records Manager

Co-op Credit Union, Black River Falls

Harmony found her career path after completing a two-year finance apprenticeship. During the last 23 years she has held roles as a teller, in member services, the loan department, communications center, and accounting. One highlight of her career was visiting Coopmedica in the Dominican Republic as part of the World Council of Credit Unions' International Credit Union Leadership Program. She appreciates the important role credit unions play strengthening communities one member at time here in Wisconsin and around the world.

“I manage our records management program and review documents for quality assurance, with primary focus on consumer loans through their life cycle. As part of WILD, I am excited to brainstorm and create solutions that exemplify the credit union motto of “people helping people.”


Jessica Wagner

Jessica Wagner, Loss Prevention Specialist II

UW Credit Union, Madison

Jessica Wagner is a life enthusiast, fueled by curiosity, competitiveness and the overall discovery of why. Growing up, she wanted to be a police detective or agent in the FBI. She found her fit in the Loss Prevention Department for UW Credit Union, where she provides risk assistance, tests, identifies issues and presents recommendations on numerous projects. Her people-passion aids her work with law enforcement, scam victim education, and team member training. When not fighting fraud you can find her ohm’ing in a hot vinyasa class or listening to music. She loves travel, mingling over craft beer or tacos, and is always looking forward to her next adventure.  

“I monitor suspicious activity pertaining to new account fraud, deposit fraud and identity theft. My focus requires analyzing fraud trends and initiating actions for the prevention of losses to both members and our organization. I work with departments to identify risk and opportunities for improvement concerning new or existing products, programs and policies. I also offer presentations for students and staff at UW System Schools and trainings for internal staff to share knowledge, resources and red flags for scams. I got excited about the WILD opportunity after attending an event at VISA in 2017 and seeing some of the innovative approaches that were used to reach solutions.”