Fifteen CUES® Next Top Credit Union Exec applicants advance

MADISON, WI (July 15, 2016) — Public voting has ended and CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec has announced its Top 15 applicants for 2016. CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec (NTCUE) competition–held in partnership with DDJ Myers and powered by Currency–searches for emerging leaders age 35 and under from within the credit union industry.

“We were pleased to have had well over 200 worthy young credit union leaders nominated for this, our seventh year of competition. Of those nominated, 25 people from Canada and the U.S. applied by submitting an entry video,” said John Pembroke, CUES’ president/CEO. “After putting the twenty-five applicants to a public vote, we were delighted to see the votes flood in; we had well over 5,700 votes this year, a nearly 60% increase over last year’s vote tally.”

The top 10 vote-getters automatically advanced to the Top 15 phase, and five additional applicants were chosen by a special judging panel of former NTCUE finalists to round out the Top 15.

Named to the Top 15 in the CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec competition are:

Lindsey Benson, 29, Loan Officer, Soo Co-op Credit Union, Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., USA

Shannon Cahoon, 27, Community Outreach Coordinator, Fibre Federal Credit Union, Longview, Wash., USA

Caire Chambers, 35, Training Manager, Smart Financial Credit Union, Houston, USA

Dustin Cole, 33, Vice President of Indirect Lending, Arkansas Federal Credit Union, Jacksonville, Ark., USA

Chris Conway, 34, Branch Manager, Smart Financial Credit Union, Houston, USA

Ali Fett, 35, AVP of Talent Development, Verve a Credit Union, Oshkosh, Wis., USA

Rachel Guyselman, 29, Operations/Marketing Manager, Tongass Federal Credit Union, Ketchikan, Alaska, USA

Nicole Haverly, 30, Senior Portfolio Manager, Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, St. Paul, Minn., USA

Ben Hering, 32, Business Development Specialist, Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, St. Paul, Minn., USA

Mario Mejia, 34, Business Development Director, Department of Interior Federal Credit Union, Washington, D.C., USA

Michael Murdoch, 34, Marketing Specialist, NW Priority Credit Union, Portland, Ore., USA

David O’Dell, 33, Branch Manager, America’s First Federal Credit Union, Birmingham, Ala., USA

Colleen Tilton, 34, Director of Staff Development, Blackhawk Community Credit Union, Janesville, Wis., USA

Raffo Wimsett, 31, Campus Relations Partner, Commonwealth Credit Union, Frankfort, Ky., USA

Stephanie Zulegar, 32, VP/Chief Lending Officer, Y-12 Federal Credit Union, Oak Ridge, Tenn., USA

The Top 15 will now submit a blog post update about their project here. And to provide additional value to the competition experience, they’ll each receive an executive coaching session from DDJ Myers, a CUES Supplier member and strategic provider. A judging panel of two CUES members and Deedee Myers of DDJ Myers will then score the Top 15’s applications and blog posts, narrowing the competition to the Final Five, who will move on to the finals.

The five Finalists will receive additional coaching, airfare, accommodation and registration to CUES’ CEO/Executive Team Network™, October 22-25 in Savannah, Ga., where they will give their final presentations. The winner will receive further coaching, airfare, accommodation and registration for two CUES’ CEO Institutes, a total prize package valued at $20,000.

To follow along with the next stages of the competition, go to

CUES is a Madison, Wisconsin-based, independent, not-for-profit, international membership association for credit union executives. Its mission is to educate and develop credit union CEOs, directors and future leaders.

Based in Phoenix, Ariz., DDJ Myers offers executive recruitment, strategic organization, and customized leadership programs.

Currency, based in Chilliwack, B.C., is a leading integrated marketing agency for credit unions and is featuring its latest financial education concept – It’s a Money Thing.

CUES-NTCUE 2016 Top-15-photo

About CUES

CUES is the leading talent development solutions provider for credit unions in North America. We educate, develop and support credit union CEOs, executives, directors, and emerging leaders through partnerships with premier business schools, live and online events, digital learning, networking, and premium content. With nearly 50,000 members and growing, we measure success one leader at a time.

Connect with CUES at and on LinkedInFacebookX, and Instagram. For daily insights on issues impacting credit unions visit


Tony Hill, SVP/Chief Marketing Officer
800.252.2664 or 608.271.2664, ext. 321

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