CUES Emerge Announces 2021 Program Cohort Members, Masterminds

MADISON, Wis.— CUES is honored to welcome 32 up-and-coming credit union leaders into the CUES Emerge 2021 program. All were selected based on their potential to create a lasting impact within the credit union industry. 

This group will receive coaching, training and resources to build their leadership acumen and strategic thinking skillset. They will also benefit from the exclusive opportunity to collaborate with their peers during mastermind groups, where they will work to transform their ideas into a business case and compete for the chance to become the 2021 CUES Emerging Leader. 

“We are proud to provide this platform, which was designed to elevate the voices and skills of the industry’s up-and-coming leaders and help them to become changemakers in their credit unions and the industry. We are excited to see what new ideas and positive change spark from this year’s cohort,” said John Pembroke, CUES President/CEO. “In only its second year, we saw great turnout in application submissions, which grew by more than 75% over the previous year. The overwhelming interest in this program demonstrates the commitment of credit union senior leaders to develop the next generation to help move the industry forward. We are pleased to continue our long-standing partnership with Currency to recognize the work of the participants, and ultimately select the 2021 CUES Emerging Leader.”

The CUES Emerge cohort is a diverse group, hailing from 15 states and five Canadian provinces, and representing 29 different credit union roles. All are highly respected among their teams, having shown enormous growth in their development by driving change in their credit unions and the communities they serve. The 2021 CUES Emerge cohort members are: 

  • William Aguilar, Assistant Manager, Contact Center, American First Credit Union, Brea, CA, USA
  • Krista Baum, Security Architect, WSECU, Olympia, WA, USA
  • Paige Beffort, Branch Manager, Air Academy Federal Credit Union, Monument, CO, USA
  • Taylor Bittinger, Senior Learning Specialist, Members 1st Federal Credit Union, Mechanicsburg, PA, USA
  • Keli Boudreaux, Payroll and Benefits Specialist, Pelican State Credit Union, Baton Rouge, LA, USA
  • Kristi Caruso, Branch Manager, Zeal Credit Union, Livonia, MI, USA
  • Angela Castaneda-Ball, Learning & Development Manager, Justice Federal Credit Union, Chantilly, VA, USA 
  • Dave Corbett, Director, Cash Management, FirstOntario Credit Union, Stoney Creek, ON, Canada
  • Jenna Darby, People Development Specialist, Innovation Credit Union, Swift Current, SK, Canada
  • Janaye Elkin, Compliance & Risk Officer, Privacy Officer, Bow Valley Credit Union, Cochrane, AB, Canada
  • Amber Fielder, Vice President, Marketing, USE Credit Union, San Diego, CA, USA
  • Becky Freemal, VP of Brand, ValleyStar Credit Union, Martinsville, VA, USA
  • Aziza Gary, Financial Wellness Manager, MECU Credit Union, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • Katie Gray, Digital Delivery Manager, Bay Federal Credit Union, Capitola, CA, USA
  • Terry Hagio, Technical Implementation Manager, Alliant Credit Union, Chicago, IL, USA
  • Yianni Harbis, Manager, Branch and Commercial Banking, Sydney Credit Union, Sydney, NS, Canada
  • Christian Hartley, Branch Manager, Keesler Federal Credit Union, Gautier, MS, USA
  • Lori Hays, Marketing Manager, Merck Sharp & Dohme Federal Credit Union, Chalfont, PA, USA
  • Alex Hsu, Manager, Organizational Performance & Strategic Planning, Schools First Federal Credit Union, Santa Ana, CA, USA
  • Shannon Huot, Chief Experience Officer, Educators Credit Union, Mt. Pleasant, WI, USA
  • Amanda Knodel, Chief Operations Officer, Pinnacle Credit Union, Atlanta, GA, USA
  • Jessica McNier, Digital Solutions Lending Manager, Wanigas Credit Union, Saginaw, MI, USA
  • Nicole Meyer, Contact Center Manager, Central Minnesota Credit Union,  Saint Joseph, MN, USA
  • Tonya Perez-Wright, Branch Manager, USC Credit Union, Los Angeles, CA, USA
  • Kunle Popoola, Director, Commercial Credit & Special Loans, Connect First Credit Union, Calgary, AB, Canada
  • Joey Rudisill, Chief Information Officer, Central Willamette Credit Union, Albany, OR, USA
  • Amber Stutzman, Member Loyalty Manager, Oregon Community Credit Union, Eugene, OR, USA
  • Jason Swink, Member Financial Center Manager, Truliant Federal Credit Union, Shelby, NC, USA 
  • Taylor Tarras, Member Lending Supervisor, Royal Credit Union, Eau Claire, WI, USA
  • Ashley Tite, Manager, Administrative Services, Summerland Credit Union, Summerland, BC, Canada
  • Daniel Valley, Member Experience Manager, Lake Trust Credit Union, Brighton, MI, USA
  • Mark Volz, Relationship Development Officer, Corporate Central Credit Union, Muskego, WI, USA

Guiding the participants are six Masterminds, hand selected for their leadership, industry impact and drive to develop themselves and others:  

  • Geoff Bullock, EVP, Member Experience, Royal Credit Union, Eau Claire, WI, USA
  • Clark Duncan, Director, Digital Experience, Abound Credit Union, Radcliff, KY, USA
  • Alyssa Guillory, CCM, VP of Marketing, Unity One Credit Union, Fort Worth, TX, USA
  • James Hunter, CCM, Chief Lending Officer, Alternatives Federal Credit Union, Ithaca, NY, USA
  • Emily Strybosch, Brand Specialist & Coach, Libro Credit Union, London, ON, Canada
  • Lindsey Walker, CCM, Executive Assistant, Tampa Bay Federal Credit Union, Tampa, FL, USA

The CUES Emerge program evolved from the CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec (NTCUE) competition, which ran for nine years.

Follow the CUES Emerge journey and join us in celebrating the 2021 cohort at

Learn more about CUES at Learn more about Currency at

CUES is the leading Talent Development solutions provider for credit unions in North America. We educate, develop and support credit union CEOs, executives, directors, and emerging leaders through partnerships with premier business schools, live and online events, digital learning, networking, and premium content. With over 29,000 members and growing, we measure success one leader at a time.

Connect with CUES at and on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For daily insights on issues impacting credit unions visit

Currency is a credit union-focused marketing firm. Our unique programs—It’s a Money Thing and CUES Emerge—focus on helping credit unions raise awareness, build relationships and foster financial empowerment with young adults.

Connect with Currency at and on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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