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In 2014, Sam Brownell founded CUCollaborate to facilitate impactful collaboration within the industry. While working at Callahan & Associates in new product development, he identified needs in the market for new products and a new way of thinking.
Over the last few years, CUCollaborate has grown substantially, but one thing has always remained consistent, the mission of helping credit unions succeed in beating banks. The company initially started as a platform where credit unions could research vendors and leave reviews for their current products. Since then, it has transformed into a full-service credit union consulting firm.
The company focuses on three major areas: consulting, software, and marketing. These areas are where we have found most of the growth problems our clients have.
We currently work with over 100 credit unions that range in size and charter types. As we work with these credit unions, there are common pain points they experience. Those are the problems that we aim to solve. What differentiates us is how our proprietary software allows us to interpret data to provide the best possible results.
We believe in the credit union way and are here to support it in any way possible!
Jack likes data, maps, and long bike rides around the capital region. He has experience working for non-profits and government agencies from the local to federal level, serving in a range of roles including, but not limited to policy analyst, farmer, project manager, and public-school teacher. Using his MPA from the Maxwell School, Jack specializes in telling important stories through data and believes that credit unions have an important role to convey to their customers and regulators. He is also very bad at playing the guitar.
A veteran Washington reporter, David spent four years as Washington correspondent for the Credit Union Times before starting Washington Credit Union Daily. He has spent his career writing and editing for many of the capital’s leading publications, including CongressDaily, National Journal magazine and Congressional Quarterly Weekly. He was part of a team that won a 2005 National Headliner Award for a special issue of National Journal on “The State of Congress.” He holds a B.A. in political science from The George Washington University and an M.A. in journalism from Indiana University. A lifelong baseball fan, David and his wife, Kathleen, live outside Baltimore.
Founder & CEO
Sam has worked in the credit union industry for over ten years. He thinks every American should be a member of a credit union. In 2014, he founded CUCollaborate with the aim of facilitating impactful collaboration within the industry. Before launching CUCollaborate, Sam was Associate Vice President of New Product and Market Development at Callahan & Associates, a credit union consulting firm. Sam has conceived, overseen development, and had success launching multiple new growth strategies and solutions for credit unions.
Marina has worked in Human Resources for over 15 years integrating HR initiatives into business strategy. Focused on improving profitability and building top performing teams, she has extensive background in policies & procedures, learning & development, succession planning, staff engagement, and employment law.
Marina received her B.A. From Hofstra University in Psychology, and her M.A. in Psychology from New York University. She is fluent in Italian, loves traveling and spending time with her family. She is an avid tennis player and a huge fan of Formula 1.
Director of Account Management
Jordyn comes to CUCollaborate from a high-growth swag start-up where she achieved yearly revenue milestones and led a team of Customer Success Managers. She started her career at well-known companies such as Yelp and WeWork, which bred her passion for building authentic relationships with her clients and coworkers.
Jordyn is born and raised in Brooklyn, NY but currently resides in Columbus, OH (Go Buckeyes)! In her off time, Jordyn loves to try new foods and restaurants, hang out with her two dogs, and have family movie nights. She can't wait to get to know you!
Luis has specialized in credit unions, their historical and current call report data, and analyzing statistically their performance and products, since 2001. Before joining CUCollaborate, his clients included, among others, the Filene Research Institute, the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), and other research institutions, government agencies, consulting firms, and university professors.
Over the years, Luis has researched crucial credit union topics including deposit insurance, capital requirements, financial sustainability, and structuring credit unions for innovation. He is particularly interested in the complex interactions among asset size, costs, member benefits (credit union interest rates compared to bank interest rates), asset growth rates, returns on assets, and capital ratios. He regularly evaluates the performance and economic impacts of both traditional and innovative credit union products, of individual credit unions, and of subsets of credit unions, such as those for specific states and countries.
Luis received his B.A. in economics and mathematics from the University of Southern Mississippi and his PhD in economics with specializations in statistical analysis and finance from Auburn University, Alabama. His research has been published by the Filene Research Institute, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Opportunity Finance Network, the Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, the International Review of Finance, the Corporate Finance Review, Essays in Economic and Business History, and the Cooperative Business Journal.
Noor is an eternal optimist, who enjoys challenges. Having obtained her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Houston, Noor is adept at motivating others and influencing positive change. She brings with her an array of diverse experiences, including a background in crisis intervention and nonprofit management. She also brings with her a sassy Pomeranian—named Mocha—who refuses to pay rent.
Bob Fenner started his career with credit unions in 1971 as an attorney for NCUA. Bob was named NCUA General Counsel in 1985 and served in that capacity until his retirement in August 2011.
As General Counsel, Bob was the chief legal adviser to the NCUA Board and had responsibility for NCUA's rulemaking, litigation and enforcement programs. Among other awards, Bob is the recipient of the NCUA Board's Gold Medal for Meritorious Service and the Federal Bar Association Banking Law Committee's Richard Peterson Award for career contributions to financial institutions law and policy. Bob works with us on specific projects through his own firm, RMF Consulting LLC.
Coquise comes to CUCollaborate from Challenger, the B2B sales and marketing transformation organization. During her time at Challenger, she partnered with startup organizations to embed the Challenger methodology in their revenue-generating teams. She is excited to bring her experience in sales to CUCollaborate to enable Credit Unions to better serve their communities. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, reading, and going to art museums.
Lara brings a diverse work history to the team, initially starting her career in international development and nonprofits. After completing a Fulbright grant in Rwanda, she earned her MPA from the Maxwell School and most recently worked in budget analysis at the Executive Office of US Attorneys.
Lara's goal is to find creative solutions to problems and build strong collaborative relationships. When she's not working, she's spending time with her dog, Benny, playing violin, or trying very hard to keep her houseplants alive.
With a master’s degree from the O'Neill School of Public & Environmental Affairs, Emily has experience working in local governments, with non-profit and community partners, and large federal agencies. Prior to joining CUCollaborate, Emily built managerial cost accounting models and oversaw increasing adoption of data modeling to improve transparency and business processes in federal budgeting. Emily strives to make her clients feel heard and aims to foster collaborative adoption and application of data and technology that enable credit unions to better serve local communities and achieve their missions.
Tripp has been a trusted advisor to financial organizations throughout North America by leveraging his more than 28 years of business/technology experience as a CIO/CTO for three of the largest financial institutions in the world, consulting for hundreds of mid-size community banks and credit unions; in addition to, working for two of the largest FinTech providers in the US. He advises Boards, Senior Business Executives, CIOs/CTOs and other senior technology executives on strategic issues such as business/technology planning, organizational governance, program/project management structure, methodologies and delivery, optimization of their resources, and the strategic use of technology resources to achieve business and growth objectives.
Tripp’s most recent role was Developing a 3-5-year Strategic Technology Plan for OTS a Technology CUSO supporting 3 credit unions and a CUSO.
Prior to OTS, he was Head, Program Management, Financial Solutions and Global Technology at Finastra and Vice President – Client Partner Executive responsible for Fiserv’s overall credit union core platforms.
Tripp was responsible for defining RBC Royal Bank's enterprise-wide eBusiness architecture and CIBC's Retail Technology blueprint. While working with one the world's largest financial institutions, he was awarded the CIO Canada ITX Business Value Award for the implementation of the Viewfinder eBusiness platform which services Global Institutional and Investment Services customers.
Before founding Johnson Advisory Services, LLC, which provides technology advisory services to credit unions and mid-size community banks, Tripp was a Senior Consultant with Cornerstone Advisors, Inc./Gonzobanker. He held the position of Chief Technology Officer, Retail Markets & Products Technology for Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). He served as Senior Vice President eBusiness Technology, eBusiness Group for RBC Royal Bank. Before joining RBC, Tripp served as Senior Vice President, Electronic Commerce Group for Crestar Financial Corporation (now SunTrust Bank), one of the leading financial institutions in customer-focused, online banking services. Tripp was also Manager of New Technologies for First Tennessee Bank in Memphis, Tennessee.
He earned his undergraduate degree in English and Political Science from the University of Mississippi and his graduate degree from Columbia University.
Tripp’s favorite quote is “It’s the people who no one imagines anything of, who do the things that no one can imagine.” He has two daughters; one has graduated from University of Edinburgh, Scotland and the other has graduated Summa Cum Laude from School of Medicine at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. His favorite movie is Patton and he is an avid Liverpool fan. On the weekends or in the evenings you will find him on his mountain bike or playing Xbox. He currently lives in Madison, MS and his favorite passion is reading anything he can get his hands on and writing.
Jason has over 12 years of experience in consulting, with a focus on financial and performance management, data analytics, business process improvement, and organizational change management. Before joining CUCollaborate, Jason helped clients develop analytical tools and strengthen program management practices to improve operations and better manage resources at Booz Allen Hamilton and Grant Thornton. He is excited to bring his varied consulting experience to CUCollaborate to help credit unions grow and better serve their communities.
Chief Technology Officer
Over sixteen years of experience in application development, cloud technologies and cybersecurity. Over eight years of technology leadership experience on Wall Street within the financial services industry. He is excited to leverage this expertise to help Credit Unions collaborate and consumers to find the best financial products.
Moriah is a graduate of Duke University with a degree in statistical science and a passion for all things data. In her free time, she enjoys making data visualizations and producing content on Twitter and Twitch. She is excited to visualize credit union data and help CUCollaborate discover insights that will lead to data-driven decisions.
Chief Operating Officer
Chris has more than 11 years of experience in consulting with a focus on data analytics, managerial cost accounting, workload modeling, performance and financial management. Before joining CUCollaborate, Chris helped clients develop and mature analytical capabilities to inform strategic business decisions at Grant Thornton, Deloitte and Callahan & Associates.