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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 40 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Head of Growth
Lucas has over three years of sales and marketing expertise. He has worked with hundreds of small businesses to help them grow their company. A core belief of his is that everyone deserves a chance at his or her dreams and aspirations. He has a passion for technology focused on improving highly regulated industries. Outside of work, Lucas enjoys going to concerts and live performances.
Vice President- Business Development
Nina has worked in the credit industry for over 20 years. During her time at CO-OP, she was instrumental in helping credit unions with their strategic plans and growth initiatives. Nina focuses on building relationships with our clients to make sure that every growth plan is tailored to his or her needs. She has a passion for helping consumers see the value of a credit union and helping credit unions succeed. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and experiencing the outdoors with her dog.
Ruthie brings over a decade of operational management and business analysis expertise to the team. As a Certified Professional Manager Ruthie is an influential leader and skilled project manager. Ruthie is also a doctoral student, pursing a PhD in Global Leadership, with a focus on Organizational Management. When she is not busy conducting research for her dissertation, Ruthie enjoys seeing the world through culturally immersive travel. Ruthie enjoys leveraging her professional and academic experiences to help credit unions identify and implement sustainable growth strategies.
Branch Strategy Consultant
Catherine has worked with financial institutions for 14 years, first contributing to delivery network decisions at a top-five national bank and then advising financial institutions across the country, as they tackle the challenges of adapting to changing technology and optimizing their delivery networks.
Branch Strategy Consultant
Her 19 years of experience with top retail organizations and big five banks give her the foundational knowledge to advise clients on how to transform their branch network with an emphasis on the customer experience and employee engagement. She has extensive experience leading implementation teams, developing employee training, driving employee execution, and rolling out new products/initiatives.
Josh has over seven years of experience in sales and account management. He takes pride in organizing, challenging, and leading his teams to exceed clients’ expectations. Josh lived in Ukraine, where his father serves as a missionary, for nineteen years before moving back to the States. He is also a talented musician and has played over 300 concerts. Josh is very excited to help our credit union clients thrive.
Sam Griswold is an experienced writer and translator with a background in literature and linguistics. He loves storytelling in all its forms and is thrilled to be able to bring this passion to CUCollaborate to help credit unions find their voice and tell their story.
Head of HR - Dog