CUES® Emerge Five Finalists Named

MADISON, Wis.— The 2021 CUES Emerge program is one step closer to identifying the top emerging leaders in the credit union industry.  

Thirty-two up-and-coming professionals were selected to take part in the program; 24 self-selected into the competition phase to have their submitted business cases reviewed by a panel of judges. The four judges reviewed all entries and identified the top five finalists to participate 
in the online pitch show, hosted by our partner, Currency. 

We are proud to introduce the five finalists:

  • William Aguilar, Assistant Manager, Contact Center, America First CU, Brea, CA
  • Krista Baum, Security Architect, WSECU, Olympia, WA 
  • Yianni Harbis, Manager, Branch and Commercial Banking, Sydney CU, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada  
  • Alex Hsu, VP, Planning & Change Management, SchoolsFirst FCU, Santa Ana, CA 
  • Daniel Valley, Member Experience Manager, Lake Trust CU, Brighton, MI

John Pembroke, CUES President/CEO said, “After the incredible success of the CUES Emerge program last year, we were excited to see such a broad cross-section of applicants again this year. The five finalists chosen have a wide range of business cases that address challenges and bring new ideas that many credit unions share.”

“Once again, with CUES Emerge being purposely designed to have a large online component, we were able to have our 32-member cohort learn from world-renowned educators, and seasoned credit union leaders, along with each other. The business cases show how each person has been able to incorporate that learning into their work,” said Tim McAlpine, Currency President.

 The five Finalists will take the virtual stage and present their business cases during a live online pitch show, on October 6. Tune in to hear from these talented leaders and support their journey. Following the live show, the judges will select the Top Three, and the ultimate 2021 CUES Emerging Leader will be named. 
All members of the Top Three will receive a tiered educational and coaching package to support continued development and growth within the industry. 
To follow along with the next stage of the competition, visit

To learn more about CUES, visit To learn more about Currency, visit

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

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 36,000 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

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