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Speaker Handouts

Mike Schenk, CUNA Economist: 
Frank Diekmann, 25 Ideas Handout:
Preconference Luncheon Speaker
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Maurice R. Smith

M Smith Law, PLLC
"Leadership Lessons: What Is Your Story?"

Maurice Smith draws from his life story what makes a good leader. Smith believes each person has a personal leadership lesson to share. Your unique story equips you to meet today’s challenges in your own way. This will be a riveting talk with tales that will cause you to reflect and imagine. 

Maurice R. Smith is a retired Credit Union CEO, attorney, Superior Court Mediator, board director, and a self-proclaimed Credit Union Nerd. Possessing diverse skills to drive institutional purpose and mission, Smith offers a strategic mindset to issues of business growth, people leadership, and community engagement.  

Known for thought leadership and novel perspectives, organizations ask Smith for revelations he sees in commonplace trends. Smith helps organizations identify blind spots, uncover disruptive trends, and imagine new opportunities. Smith has been fortunate to build success through the relationships he fosters.  

Preconference Luncheon Speaker
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Susan Mitchell

Global Women's Leadership Network Founding Volunteer Chair from 2009-2021
"Stand Up! Raise Your Hand! Passion for Purpose!" 

Listening to your inner voice can build you up or take you down! What is yours saying to you? Moving was a childhood thing for me – 13 cities before I was 18 and each time, I had to adjust, make new friends, fit in or stand out. I chose to stand up, but it was a shaky go, each and every time. Where do you get the passion to keep on getting up? It’s about purpose, gratitude’s and not combing the back of my hair cause all I care about is where I’m going, not where I’ve been! 

That’s the never, say never, attitude that prevailed for me during times of trouble, moments of doubt and when people used their voices in cagey ways to take away my power. When you believe stronger, work harder and raise your hand, you will find a way. That’s how the story of my commitment to Global Women’s Leadership Network began. It was a cold winter day in Madison, Wisconsin when Brian Branch (retired CEO of WOCCU) ask me a question…  


Want to hear more? Join me at the Alaskan GWLN Sister Society session as we celebrate the impact of GWLN and preview what can happen next! 

As the CEO of Mitchell, Stankovic & Associates, Susan is a strategic advisor to Boards and CEOs, providing innovative consulting services, including strategic planning and board governance worldwide. She is a successful entrepreneur who started two companies and has forged many paths towards diversity of thought.  The Underground is one of Susan’s pioneering initiatives, driving authentic engagement and collaboration. 


And, through her volunteer efforts, she is changing lives. She is the founding Chair of Global Women’s Leadership Network where she volunteered for over 10 years with thousands of wonderful credit union people to create a premier program that now has 4,000 members from 85 countries on six continents. In 2017 GWLN received the Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor given globally for credit union service. In 2018 Susan was presented the Herb Wegner Lifetime Achievement Award by NCUF. Last September, Susan was inducted into the America’s CU Museum Hall of Fame honoring women who’ve changed the industry. 


Susan serves on the Worldwide Foundation Board connecting 297 million members globally and the national CU DEI Governing Body. She is a pioneer sponsor of CU Pride, the LBGTQ+ CU Association and in February of 2022 she worked with international leaders to establish the Polish / American Ukrainian Refugee CU to CU fund and now serves on Via Stella Foundation’s Advisory Council. Susan is grateful for her partnerships with AACUC, NLCUP, Inclusiv’, CUWLA, CU DEI Collective and WOCCU.  


Mike Schenk

CUNA Economist

"The Economy & Credit Union Operations" 

Economic performance and market interest rate movements drive credit union interactions with members – and hence overall operating results.   This session will explore these and related issues with a focus on implications of key economic developments, potential credit union responses and prospects for future success. 
Mike Schenk has over 35 years of experience in the financial services industry. In 1992 he joined the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) – the largest and most influential national trade association advocating for America's credit unions. There are over 5,000 credit unions nationwide, with a total of more than 130 million memberships and over $2 trillion in assets. Mike is Deputy Chief Advocacy Officer for Policy Analysis and Chief Economistfor CUNA and conducts economic research and supports CUNA’s public relations and advocacy efforts. His analyses regularly appear in trade publications such as Credit Union Magazine. He also is a frequent contributor to the financial media. Schenk serves on the board of the Filene Research Institute, an independent, non-profit consumer and cooperative finance think tank.He also serves on the board of Summit Credit Union in Madison, Wisconsin – a $5 billion financial cooperative with over 220,000 members. In his nearly 20 years on the Summit board Mike has served as Board Chair and has Chaired the credit union’s Asset-Liability Management and Risk Management/Internal Audit Committees.

Christiane Gigi Hyland

Executive Director
National Credit Union Foundation
"The Soul of Cooperation: Financial Well-Being for All"  
In nature, cooperation is the norm. Symbiotic relationships exist everywhere that foster the overall health of ecosystems. Credit unions were founded on cooperation, especially cooperation to improve the financial well-being of those they serve. If people are financially well, communities can thrive and be strong. This session will explore cooperation through credit union history and set the stage for the market share growth opportunities for credit unions now and into the future. 
Gigi serves as the Executive Director for the National Credit Union Foundation (The Foundation), the philanthropic and social responsibility leader of America's credit union movement. The Foundation’s three pillars of work are: Ignite credit unions to place employee, member, and community financial well-being at the center of their strategy; Inspire credit unions to leverage their cooperative values to reinforce an organizational culture that empowers and motivates employees; and Respond when disaster strikes and help credit unions increase their business resiliency through the cooperative value of "people helping people." 
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Edgar Hernandez

Multicultural Business Strategy Group
at CUNA Mutual

"What Matters Now: Insights from CUNA Mutual Group's 2022 multicultural and multigenerational financial needs and behaviors study."

Developing a successful multicultural business strategy (MCBS) can be challenging for credit union leaders. A deep understanding of your membership and communities through a multicultural and mutigenerational lens can help. Through an exploration of our 2022 What Matters Now research report, gain data, insights and action steps to help you understand the motivations, struggles, hopes and dreams of people across race, ethnicity and generation. The report was developed with a credit union focus and includes contributions from nearly 10,000 multicultural and multigenerational participants across the country, all with the goal of helping you advance your MCBS to better serve your members and surrounding communities. 

Alex Friedl

M3 Insurance Solutions, Inc. 

"The History & Current State of the Cyber Insurance Market"

Discover how the cyber market has evolved over the past few years and where it stands today. Learn about the cyber security risks policyholders should look for when purchasing insurance coverage.

Alex Friedl specializes in insuring cyber risk for credit unions at M3 Insurance Solutions, Inc.  He is originally from Madison, Wisconsin. Alex graduated from the University of Wisconsin Madison with a double major in Economics and History. 

Frank Diekmann

"25 ideas that are working in credit unions."
This fast-paced session covers real-world examples of things credit unions are doing in lending, savings, culture, marketing, messaging and more, and range from the serious to the humorous, to those that require a budget and those that just require imagination. Looking for a session that offers “takeaways.” This 45 minutes will send you home with plenty. 
 Frank J. Diekmann is Cooperator-in-Chief and co-founder of, a digital news and collaboration platform that is now the #1 provider of organic reporting, opinion, analysis, video and other resources to credit unions than any other provider.  
Mr. Diekmann is a frequent speaker, having addressed CU meetings from Sydney to Prague and all of the U.S., and also regularly serves as a judge in various organizations’ marketing and awards competitions. He is the only journalist to ever graduate from the National Credit Union Foundation’s Development Education program, and is now certified as an International Credit Union Development Educator.  

Neal Fried

State of Alaska Dept. of Labor Research & Analysis

"Alaska’s Economy. Strangest Ever. Duh!"

Neal will talk about the good and challenging parts of Alaska’s economy, would be contradictions, how we compare to the nations economy, and set you all straight about in and out-migration of Alaska’s population!

Neal's primary duty is to produce economic data and analysis on a variety of economic issues facing the Alaska. He is happy to present anywhere anytime. 


A primary author of articles appearing in the monthly magazine Alaska Economic Trends, published by the Alaska Department of Labor. This publication is distributed to over 5,000 subscribers. His articles cover a wide variety of the State's economic issues. Some of the topics on which he has performed economic analysis and written articles include: annual economic forecasts, the cost of living, the military, the health care industry, transportation, oil industry issues, rural economic trends, economic impact of the Prince William Sound oil spill, the Mat-Su Valley's economy, Covid and many other issues. 


Served on the Alaska Public Media Board, the King Career Center’s Business Industries Advisory Committee, UAA’s Advisory board as well as the Pacific Northwest Economic Conference board. 


He received the Governors Denali Peak Performance award. Alumnus of the Year Award, 2019-UAF.


Kris Williams

President and CEO
Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines
"More than Membership: Partners for the Future" 
Any person you can help into a home creates a win/win for them and their community, but challenges in housing availability and affordability have created barriers for Alaskan families. Join Kris Williams, FHLB Des Moines President and CEO, as she discusses programs and products available to members of the FHLB Des Moines cooperative, that will move you toward the goal of ensuring everyone in your community is able to afford safe, stable housing. Kris will also provide her take on the regulatory review organized by the Federal Housing Finance Agency and other current issues impacting the FHLBank System.  

Kristina “Kris” Williams is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines. Kris joined FHLB Des Moines in January 2020. She began her association with the Federal Home Loan Bank System in 2004. 


Prior to her current role, she served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh, a position she held from 2011-2019. In that role, Kris had responsibility for all member-facing departments, including community investment, communications, bank operations, MPF, member services and information technology. In her 15 years with FHLB Pittsburgh she also held the positions of Chief Accounting Officer, Chief Financial Officer and acting Chief Risk Officer. 


Prior to working for FHLB Pittsburgh, Kris spent 12 years with PNC Financial Services in its wholesale bank and six years in public accounting. 


Kris is passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion. She routinely speaks on these topics.  Her background also includes several financial advisory assignments on behalf of the FHLBanks. She is serving on the boards of Great Des Moines Habitat of Humanity and the Great Des Moines Partnership. She previously served as the vice chair of the West Liberty University (WLU) Board of Governors. She was the development committee chair of the board of directors for Strong Women Strong Girls of Pittsburgh. 


Kris has an undergraduate degree from WLU and Masters of Professional Accountancy from West Virginia University. She also has an inactive Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from WLU in 2015. 

Mike Dyer

Associate Regional Director - Programs
National Credit Union Administration – Western Region
"NCUA Update" 
A discussion of NCUA’s 2023 supervisory priorities and other hot topics, as well as time for audience questions.
Mike joined NCUA in 1993 as an examiner in Chicago, Illinois.  He has a wealth of experience in resolving problem credit unions.  During his NCUA career, Mike was a problem case officer for six years in the former Region 4 (Chicago) and the Director of Special Actions for five years in Region 5 (Tempe).  For the last 13 years, Mike has served as an Associate Regional Director in the Western Region (formerly Region 5).  Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and mathematics from Saint Mary's University of Winona, Minnesota, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. 
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Lance Wagner

Asst. Vice President
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
"The FedNow Launch is here – Are You Ready?"
FedNow – the newest instant payment service, is at the front door.  This session will help prepare you with both a background on instant payments and next steps to prepare your institution for your FedNow launch. 

Lance Wagner, AAP, Federal Reserve Bank.  A Nebraska native, Lance is an Assistant Vice President in Customer Relations with responsibility for a team of 14 Relationship Managers handling over 8,500 financial institutions.  Lance’s team works closely with these institutions in a consultative manner discussing/reviewing Federal Reserve Financial Services and industry practices.  During his tenure at the Fed, Lance has also worked as a Senior Account Executive in FRFS as well as a Senior Supervisor in the Customer Contact Center, with responsibility for service set up, credentials, and customer support.


Lance has been with the Federal Reserve Bank for 27 years.  He has a Bachelor's degree in Finance & Economics from Doane College in Crete, NE, and is also an Accredited ACH Professional (AAP).

Edgar is a Senior Manager with the Multicultural Business Strategy (MCBS) group at CUNA Mutual Group. His passion is helping people and organizations achieve their financial goals using innovation, behavioral science and data analytics. 

Prior to this role, Edgar worked for Delve, a top-tier innovation firm that uses design-thinking and engineering to help Fortune 500 firms and start-ups launch new products.  He also spent a decade at American Family Insurance helping their Market Research, Customer Experience, and Innovation teams. 

Edgar received his bachelor’s in Finance from Iowa State; his MBA in from University of Wisconsin-Madison; and a Certificate in Strategic Decision and Risk Management from Stanford University.  In his spare time Edgar enjoys spending time with his family and church; volunteering as a bilingual financial coach; and dancing to Latin/Tango music.  

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