Chatter Yak! announces first equity investor

OSHKOSH, WI (April 2, 2014) —  Chatter Yak!, the Oshkosh Wisconsin-based CUSO that specializes in marketing, social media, website development and branding, announced that they have established an ownership/partnership relationship with CU*Answers, the 100% credit union-owned cooperative CUSO, based in Grand Rapids Michigan. As Chatter Yak! picks up its first investor they hope to push innovation with social media and financial literacy within the credit union industry to places it has never gone before.

Chatter Yak! is excited to have a strategic partner in CU*Answers, stated Kevin Ralofsky, Chatter Yak! Co-founder and CitizensFirst CU CEO. “We have always pushed a culture of curiosity to challenge the way credit unions should think about their relationships with members and their communities.  With this partnership we hope to drive a deeper and more meaningful understanding of how credit unions blend everyday business with social data and the member experience.”

Randy Karnes, CU*Answers CEO, described the partnership as a walk the talk investment. “We pull ourselves towards the future by committing in the present to get vested in new ideas and service requirements. We see social media, not as a tangent to member service and contact, but a core competency need for the future.” Karnes continues “Who knows where this is going – will any current, popular service exist ten years from now, who knows?  What I do know is ten years from now credit unions and CUSOs will have to understand how to roll with the evolution, integrate digital strategies into their business plans, and engage members where they choose to be active.  We hope this investment is a step towards a better understanding for everyone involved. Chatter Yak! should be fun, and I like the people who are lining up to have some fun here for years!”

The new Board of Directors includes:

  • Chris Butler, CU*Answers Board Chair and CEO of Community CU in La Crosse, WI
  • Randy Karnes, CU*Answers CEO in Grand Rapids, MI
  • Kevin Ralofsky, CitizensFirst CU CEO and Co-Founder of Chatter Yak! in Oshkosh, WI
  • Bryce Roth, Chatter Yak! Co-Founder in Oshkosh, Wisconsin
  • Karrie Drobnick, CitizensFirst CU VP of Marketing in Oshkosh, WI

Advisory Committee:

  • William Wuske, CitizensFirst CU EVP/Chief Operations Officer in Oshkosh, WI
  • Bob Matz, CitizensFirst CU Chief Financial Officer in Oshkosh, WI
  • Linda Bodie, CU*Answers Board Director and CEO of Element FCU in Charleston, WV
  • Brett Wooden, Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union SVP Marketing + Innovation in Houston, TX
  • Tammy Williams, Best Advantage CU CEO in Brillion, WI

Jim Vilker, CU*Answers VP Professional Services in Grand Rapids, MI

About Chatter Yak!
Chatter Yak! exists as a Credit Union Service Organization (CUSO) designed to assist credit unions in marketing and advertising across traditional and emerging communication channels. It is our aim to make credit unions stand out from other financial institutions. With an emphasis on member engagement both inside and outside of the branch, our products and services focus on the entire member experience. Realizing that the financial industry is extremely competitive, we focus on helping credit unions create long-lasting impressions with their members in order to establish member loyalty and retention.  For more information, visit:

About CU*Answers, Inc.
CU*Answers offers expertise in implementing technical solutions to operational needs, and is a leader in helping credit unions form strategic alliances and partnerships. CU*Answers provides a wide variety of services for credit unions including its flagship CU*BASE® processing system (online and in-house) and Internet development services featuring It’s Me 247 online and mobile banking. Additional services include web development, network design and security, and image check processing. Founded 40+ years ago, CU*Answers is a 100% credit union-owned cooperative CUSO providing services to credit unions representing nearly 1.5 million members and $12.6 billion in credit union assets. For more information, visit

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