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2023 ACUL Speakers
Preconference Luncheon Speaker
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Maurice R. Smith

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

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" 

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"  
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."

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.  

Alex Friedl

M3 Insurance Solutions, Inc. 

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

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. 

Lance Wagner

Asst. Vice President
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
"Speed: FedNow"
More information coming soon. 

Neal Fried

State of Alaska Dept. of Labor Research & Analysis
More information coming soon. 

Kris Williams

President and CEO
Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines
More information coming soon. 

Michael Dyer

Associate Regional Director - Programs
More information coming soon. 
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