Filene pilots loaned executive program to gain specialized talent

Program positions cooperation as a strategic advantage; potential for scale across credit union industry

MADISON, WI (February 1, 2018) — “Credit unions, nonprofits and many organizations today are challenged by adding needed talent while achieving operational efficiencies,” said Filene Research Institute CEO Mark Meyer. “For Filene, 80% of our revenues go directly to creating and delivering actionable research for credit unions. To add specialized talent while maintaining that ratio, we needed to innovate and try something new. We launched the Filene Loaned Executive program to test the viability of this solution in-house, and provide a case-study for credit unions to replicate, if successful.”

The new program matches Filene’s business needs with executives on loan from a credit union or industry provider for a focused service period of up to 24 months.

This very well could work as a model for credit unions, especially those with a focused business need or limited resources,” detailed Meyer. Under this program, a credit union sponsor or local organization would loan talent to a credit union that has specific talent needs for a project or business objective. The loaning organization gets to further develop top talent and the loaned individual builds and deepens their skills. “It’s a win-win-win.”

Filene’s launches this program with Sue Racine from CUNA Mutual Group as its first loaned executive. Racine most recently served as director, enterprise marketing and communications for the company. Her background includes leadership roles in marketing and communications, as well as serving as chair of Great Wisconsin Credit Union and a member of the Summit Credit Union board of directors. Racine steps into a new role as Filene’s Head of Play & Experience.

“As a long-time Filene supporter, it was an easy decision for CUNA Mutual Group to participate in the loaned executive program,” said Linda Nedelcoff, CUNA Mutual Group SVP/Human Resources. “It’s a natural fit with our focus on developing leadership talent.”

This program is an experiment in offering a new way for the credit union industry to tap into the power of cooperation and work collaboratively to improve people’s financial lives. With this launch, Filene is exploring how the program will align with i3, Incubator and The Cooperative Trust communities that also innovatively bring together bright, creative people passionate about credit unions with the goal of developing ideas, testing in the marketplace and creating positive change. For more information on the Filene Loaned Executive program, contact Tansley Stearns, chief impact officer, at

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.


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