Filene Research Institute announces cohort of credit union leaders joining its i3 Program

The i3Program aims to help professionals drive innovation in their credit unions

Twenty-nine credit union leaders from across the US will embark on a two-year innovation leadership programme led by the Filene Research Institute.

In its 20th year, Filene’s i3Program aims to equip credit union professionals with “the mindset, tools, and network to lead and shape the credit union of the 21st century”.

The latest credit union professionals to join the i3Program are:

  • Brady Abbas, Central Willamette Credit Union
  • Jason Allen, Redwood Credit Union
  • Erling Amundson, Langley Federal Credit Union
  • Lindsay Beyer, Fox Communities Credit Union
  • Zenesha Boney, Chartway Credit Union
  • Dana Brock, Chartway Credit Union
  • Tyler Brooks, EFCU Financial Federal Credit Union
  • Melissa Brown, American Airlines Credit Union
  • Filip Danielewicz, Michigan State University Federal Credit Union
  • Hawk Ehnes, PSCU
  • Angela Finn, Commodore Perry Federal Credit Union
  • Kyle Gilliland, Elevations Credit Union
  • Justin Haun, Community Financial Credit Union
  • Jessi Idol, Truliant Federal Credit Union
  • Chris Kelley, Altra Federal Credit Union
  • Jeremy Maxey, Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union
  • Jamie Meyer, Heartland Credit Union
  • Maria Montoya, FirstLight Federal Credit Union
  • Karen Myers, Community Choice Credit Union
  • Meredith Nicholoff, Michigan State University Federal Credit Union
  • Armand Parvazi, New Orleans Firemen’s Federal Credit Union
  • Ryan Pederson, Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union
  • Carolyn Reou, ELGA Credit Union
  • Taci Rose, Fort Sill Federal Credit Union
  • Carrie Shaffer, State Department Federal Credit Union
  • Patricia Tomanguilla, University of Wisconsin Credit Union
  • Jenn Truxell, Community Financial Credit Union
  • Shauna Vasquez, Tucson Federal Credit Union
  • Jesse Wanning, Cobalt Credit Union

“Through the i3 program, we’re crafting a hub of innovation where emerging credit union leaders converge to solve pressing challenges with tomorrow’s solutions,” said Megan Freshour, Filene’s incubation director.

“Leveraging Filene’s comprehensive research and a network of passionate innovators, our participants are equipped to drive transformative change. As they forge ahead, creating prototypes and piloting initiatives, they’re not just participants – they’re pioneers shaping the future of financial services for communities nationwide.”

The programme focuses on three main areas – facilitating innovation (by bringing together the diverse perspectives of members, staff, stakeholders, and experts); accelerating learning (by exploring new ideas to gain insight, reduce risk, and validate solutions); and leading change (by mobilising people and resources to inspire action).

“As a credit union intern nearly two decades ago, my mentor would often hand me Filene publications, each highlighted and noted with her takeaways from the readings,” said Ryan Pederson, senior software engineer manager at Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union.

“I was captivated by the depth of knowledge and innovative ideas shared within those pages. The highlight of my year was always the unveiling of new concepts by i3 participants, ideas that promised to enhance our cooperative movement. Now, I find myself both humbled and honoured to join the ranks of these innovators as an i3 member. I am eager to build upon the legacy of innovation that has been a hallmark of the i3 program, contributing my own ideas to help propel the credit union movement forward.”

“It’s not just about being selected—it’s about being part of a community dedicated to making a real difference in the credit union industry,” said Patricia Tomanguilla, director of consumer lending systems at University of Wisconsin Credit Union. “It’s a platform where like-minded professionals come together to collaborate, share knowledge, and tackle challenges head-on. I’m excited about the opportunity to grow both personally and professionally, to lead initiatives, and to be part of something bigger than myself.”

Participants who will embark on this two-year development journey will present progress-to-date to the credit union industry at Filene’s big.bright.minds. in November. More information about the scheme is available on Filene’s website.