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CUCollaborate is a challenger consultancy that champions credit union growth through disruptive innovation. We are here to help credit unions adapt, grow, and succeed long term — and we offer the innovation, insight, and know-how to help them do it.
We’re more than credit union experts. We look for creative solutions to take our clients out of their comfort zones and into a new phase of growth. We do it by building pioneering software solutions that help your business grow, now and in the long term.
We work exclusively with credit unions for the same reason that customers choose to work with them. They’re simply better. Credit unions provide greater financial access to often-overlooked markets, making the communities they serve more equitable, better places to live.
It’s a transformational power that extends far beyond a one-to-one transaction; one that can create a lasting impact for the better. We think that’s a pretty radical mission — and we’re finding new ways to help credit unions achieve it.
Different thinking brings disruptive ideas — and our people aren’t afraid to share their diverse perspectives. In fact, it’s how we create truly fresh thinking for our clients everyday. We’ve been credit union reporters, data analysts, corporate consultants, and even rocket scientists. Plus a whole lot more. That’s how you get the benefit of deep industry experience and passion without the same old ideas.
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.
Associate Account Manager
Alexandrea is a true believer in empathetic customer support. She joins CUCollaborate from a mixed background of high growth startups and fortune 100 companies, taking what she learned at each as building blocks for her customer first philosophy. She loves to refer to herself as a Customer Empowerment Officer, and seeks to provide the best possible experience always!
Outside of work, Alexandrea has a keen interest in song writing and music composition. She also loves digital illustration, animation, and PC gaming. She is based out of the Saint Louis Metro Area, and really enjoys going to Cardinal games. She cannot wait to get to know and help you!
Head of Human Resources
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.
Director of New Business
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.
Associate Account Executive
Keelin joins CUCollaborate after beginning her sales career at Braze. Her passion for sales stems from building mutually beneficial relationships and eliciting growth for meaningful organizations.
Keelin was born in Chicago and lived internationally before attending Ohio State University where she was a cross country and track & field athlete. She settled back into Chicago with her dog Koko, still loves to run and teaches Pilates in her free time. She makes a friend wherever she goes and can’t wait to meet you!
Associate Account Executive
Vanessa has more than eight years of experience in sales and customer success. Prior to joining CUCollaborate, she helped Fortune 500 companies grow their business through lead generation, data and services. She believes she is only as successful as the customers she supports and fully realizes the value of understanding each client’s needs as the foundation of any conversation. She is thrilled to help credit unions continue to grow and is excited to meet you!
Outside of work, Vanessa enjoys reading and taking long walks with her husband, toddler and three rescue dogs. She is based in Texas, loves eating chocolate and traveling to the beach.
Junior Advisory Consultant
A graduate of Michigan State University, Leslie leads by the motto "Spartans Will," embracing challenges as opportunities to find a better way.
The majority of Leslie’s career has been spent working as a Mortgage Loan Originator, assisting clients with their home loan refinance applications. Her dedication to outstanding service earned her the “Love Our Clients” Award from Rocket Mortgage in June 2019. She also has consulting experience, having supported the Department of Transportation’s Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Program. She is thrilled to bring her talents and experience to CUCollaborate.
In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, cooking and cheering on the Tottenham Hotspurs.
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.
Maren recently obtained her B.A. in PPE (Philosophy, Politics, and Economics) from Denison University with a Minor in Psychology. She is a vast believer in the importance of interdisciplinary considerations within all aspects of life and is bringing this to CUCollaborate.
She has experience within the defense government relations sphere and is excited to expand this to credit unions. Outside of work she enjoys a variety of sports, reading, and connecting to her home country, the Netherlands.
Entrepreneur in Residence
Paul comes to CUCollaborate with nearly 30 years of experience supporting mission-oriented organizations, bringing with him deep expertise in data analytics, SaaS products, research, and operations.
Most recently, he served as Chief Strategy Officer and Chief of Staff at Socially Determined, a software and analytics company focused on elevating health equity and outcomes through the quantification and stratification of social risk. Paul is also the founder and Principal of The Antigrav Group, a product development consultancy focused on supporting emerging mission-oriented companies in the healthcare, financial services, and education industries.
Previously, Paul spent 19 years at the Advisory Board Company serving as Executive Director of its data analytics research and technology business, where he was accountable for developing a software ecosystem aimed at the firm's 2,000+ hospital and health system clients.
Earlier in his career, Paul spent six years as an equity research analyst, covering a wide range of companies in the biotechnology, medical device, and medical technology supply sectors on behalf of Smith Barney Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and US Bancorp Piper Jaffray.
Beginning his career as a bench scientist, Paul worked in labs at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at MIT and Harvard Medical School. He holds an AB degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Harvard University.
Dom Patacsil believes in the power of stories. Whether that's data analysis or a work of fiction, he contends that stories help us make sense of the world and act toward greater growth. He has experience in administrative and operational consulting, with a focus on performance assessment.
At CUCollaborate, Dom aspires to help credit unions empower the communities they serve through data-informed decision-making and long-term strategy.
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.
Leo has been helping credit unions grow since 1983.
He believes that the cooperative ownership model and the personal relationship between credit unions and their members is vital to the growth of communities—especially when those communities are underserved and at-risk.
After earning degrees in Chemistry and Computer Science, as well as an MBA, Leo started building core software customized exclusively for credit unions. He is the founder of CU*SOUTH, a CUSO that gives credit unions the chance to own shares in their core data processing, and also a co-founder of the SiteFour DataCenter, a CUSO designed to run mirrored operations with better than 99.9% uptime for core, online banking, and debit/credit card processing.
Since stepping away from both companies, he started a non-profit foundation for economic development—continuing to focus on the cooperative model as the best way to mobilize resources to address local needs.
In 2022, he enrolled in MIT’s program for Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning—where he could apply the latest research methods to addressing the economic and financial challenges of this decade.
As a long-term fan of the work of CUCollaborate, Leo is thrilled to join the team and contribute both his experience in CU software development, as well as the leading-edge tools in AI and Big Data, to use technology to help credit unions continue to develop new products and services to help their members and communities.
Leo lives on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay with his wife and an assortment of animals, including several dozen raccoons.