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The Cooperative Trust reveals big.bright.minds Crashers

Friday, August 30, 2013  
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Madison, Wis. – This October, Filene Research Institute is gathering the biggest and brightest minds from the credit union system in Princeton, N.J. for big.bright.minds 2013. This event is invitation-only and usually exclusive to the Filene board, research council, fellows, current i3 members and benefactors. But this year, big.bright.minds is getting Crashed.

"With support from Filene, we’re offering our Crashers the chance to be on the inside at this event,” said James Marshall, Leader at The Cooperative Trust. "For four days, our members will rub shoulders with some of the most illustrious people in our industry. Along with them, we’ll also attend a masterclass on behavioral economics with ideas42 and workshop on optimizing channels for member experience with Harvard Business School’s Dennis Campbell.”

The Cooperative Trust stems from more than 10 years of Filene research examining the young adult issues that credit unions and cooperatives face. In 2010, Filene organized a group of 25 young credit union professionals called The Crash Network to crash CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference. With a three-year funding commitment from CUNA Mutual Group, The Crash Network became The Cooperative Trust in 2012.

As Crash the GAC, the Trust’s flagship event, enters its fifth year, Crashers now attend conferences and meet-ups all over the credit union and cooperative systems. It has become the premier network for young people working in credit unions and cooperatives with on-going support from CUNA’s Center for Professional Development and PSCU Financial Services. The Trust provides hundreds of young adults with opportunities to attend events, for mentorship and to network with like-minded individuals from across the country.

This year’s big.bright.minds Crashers include:
  • Amanda McMeans, Vice President of Client Management, MarketMatch (Columbus, OH)
  • Blake Woods, Public Relations & New Media Manager, Lake Trust Credit Union (Lansing, Mich.)
  • Danielle Frawley, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Fort Community Credit Union (Fort Atkinson, Wis.)
  • Francesca McFadden, Marketing Specialist, Gates Chili Federal Credit Union (Rochester, N.Y.)
  • Heather Ristow, Operations Director, Heritage Credit Union (Madison, Wis.)
  • Ken Gardner, Marketing and HR Intern, Greater TEXAS FCU (Austin, Texas)
  • Maia Graham-Derham, Manager, Financial Access Program, Assiniboine Credit Union (Winnipeg, Canada)
  • Michael Molaka, Vice President of Operations, BrightStar Credit Union (Sunrise, Fla.)
  • Nilsa Gebert, Branch Manager, FOCUS Credit Union (Wauwatosa, Wis.)
  • Stephanie Sievers, CEO, ANECA Federal Credit Union (Shreveport, La.)
Learn more about these Crashers at

About The Cooperative Trust:The Cooperative Trust is a grassroots community of young people who work in credit unions and cooperatives. Founded by the Filene Research Institute and made possible by CUNA Mutual Group, the Trust connects and enables several hundred young people fighting for the future of socially responsible finance through meet-ups, mentorships and collective action.

About Filene: Filene Research Institute is an independent, consumer finance think and do tank dedicated to scientific and thoughtful analysis about issues affecting the future of credit unions, retail banking and cooperative finance. Filene is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Nearly 1,000 members make the Institute’s research, innovation and impact programs possible.