Announcing the 2018 Filene i3 class

With research on current issues and an eye on the future, these leaders get to work

MADISON, WI (October 23, 2018) — Twenty-one credit union executives have been accepted to Filene i3, a program with a legacy of fostering the development of new ideas and innovations for credit unions. Each Filene i3 member serves a two-year term that kicks off at Filene’s annual big.bright.minds, taking place this December in San Diego.

Tasked with solving issues credit union members face today, participants leverage Filene’s research and develop solutions that address the trends of tomorrow. Fourteen prototype concepts surfaced from the past years’ work within the Filene i3 community, from addressing artificial intelligence and virtual reality, to aiding credit unions’ understanding of their communities with a futurist mindset, to supporting credit unions’ role and engagement in their communities.

“The methodology and hands on experiences I’ll gain from Filene i3 will provide opportunities for me to positively influence Suncoast Credit Union’s culture of innovation,” said Dohnia Dorman, Suncoast’s VP of Account Relationship Operations and 2018 Filene i3 community member. “Adopting this mindset will transform my way of thinking and problem-solving abilities, making me a more effective credit union leader and more impactful volunteer in my local nonprofit community.”

Joining the ranks of more than 260 credit union leaders within the Filene i3 community over the past decade are:

  • Ben Bauer, Simplicity Credit Union, VP of Awesomeness (Marketing)
  • Colleen Boccia, Columbia Community Credit Union, SVP Chief Marketing Officer
  • Katherine Chicas, Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union, Chief Operating Officer
  • Nicole DeAngelis, Seasons Federal Credit Union, AVP Retail Banking
  • Dohnia Dorman, Suncoast Credit Union, VP of Account Relationship Operations
  • Aoife Dowling, Vancity, Manager – Digital Strategy Programs
  • Lesia Gojan Klein, Carpathia Credit Union, Branch Manager
  • Brad Hickey, American Airlines Federal Credit Union, Manager – Application Development
  • Paul Jockisch, Stanford Federal Credit Union, VP of Finance/Interim Chief Financial Officer
  • Chad Knott, Credit Union ONE, VP Market Intelligence, Product Design and Growth
  • Andrew Martin, Canvas Credit Union, Mortgage Sales Manager
  • Jorge Ortiz, North Side Community Federal Credit Union, Business Development Manager
  • Elizabeth Seelbach, Resource One Credit Union, Marketing and Website Manager
  • Brian Sharapata, Alliant Credit Union, Consumer Lending Product Manager
  • James Shore, Connect First Credit Union, Director – Commercial Credit and Special Loans
  • Josh Smith, SchoolsFirst FCU, Executive Director of Legislative Advocacy
  • Mallory Snader, Chartway Federal Credit Union, Director of Consumer Lending
  • Diane Sokolik, TwinStar Credit Union, AVP Consumer Lending
  • Aubrey Ward, TMG Financial Services, Senior Credit and Risk Analyst
  • Tobi Weingart, Educators Credit Union, Manager – Organizational Development
  • Wilson Wizalamu, Cent Cent Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Limited, Head of Secretariat

Filene i3 members commit to ideating, building, and testing several innovation concepts, prototyping ideas at their credit unions, attending two national meetings per year, and participating in regular group work. This year’s class will finalize their tenure in December 2020.

“I’m excited to participate in Filene’s i3 program as it’s an opportunity to create, innovate, and really put some new ideas to the test with some of the credit union industry’s greatest movers and shakers,” said Kathy Chicas, Chief Operating Officer at Farmers Insurance FCU. “I know I will walk away with a more open mindset and a core of support that will help propel our credit union forward.”

About Filene Research Institute

Filene Research Institute strengthens organizations through innovative research and incubation to improve consumer financial well-being. As an independent cooperative finance think tank, Filene’s membership network connects a community of leaders and bright minds to change lives through innovation, truth and cooperation. In addition to delivering cutting-edge, actionable academic research, Filene also provides incubators to test and scale solutions, events to spark organizations into action and advisory services to help accelerate and implement innovation. For more information, visit and @fileneresearch.


Holly Fearing
608.661.3758 |

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