Iowa Credit Union League seeks 15 credit union innovators

DES MOINES, IA (January 20, 2014) — The Iowa Credit Union League is looking for 15 credit union leaders to join its 2014 Iowa Innovation Group (IIG). Launched last year with Filene Research Institute, the Iowa Innovation Group fosters the development of new ideas and innovations for credit unions. Applications are due February 5.

“There is no better time for the Iowa system to make this investment,” said Jim Niederhauser, VP of Member Services at ICUL. “The formation of the Iowa Innovation Group is a significant step in creating a blueprint for innovation within the Iowa credit union system. Beyond this, it has opened doors for credit union professionals who represent the next generation of leaders for the movement.”

Modeled after Filene’s i3 (Ideas, Innovation, Implementation) program, the Iowa Innovation Group leverages the Filene Method innovation curriculum to bring an innovation competency to Iowa credit unions. With coaching from Filene and ICUL, participants create, test and implement financial products, services and business model ideas.

In its inaugural year, 15 leaders helped Iowa credit unions improve the way they provide financial guidance to their members. The participants unveiled their ideas at the 2013 Iowa Credit Union Annual Convention.

“The financial services industry is undergoing a period of significant disruption with new competitors attempting to capture the attention and wallets of consumers,” said Andrew Downin, Innovation Director at Filene. “There’s never been a greater need for credit unions to expand their innovation capabilities to more effectively serve their members. We’re excited to partner with the Iowa Credit Union League to identify the next generation of credit union leaders and help them innovate for the benefit of consumers across Iowa.”

Candidates must have demonstrated leadership, passion and a collaborative spirit to be considered. Only 15 candidates will be selected to participate in 2014.

“In addition to learning a new problem-solving process that can be utilized in my credit union, IIG was a great opportunity to work with employees of other credit unions with varying job titles,” said Jennifer Tebbe, 2013 Iowa Innovation Group participant and Greater Iowa Credit Union employee. “It opened my eyes to the different challenges we all face and allowed us to find ways to work together to find solutions that will benefit all sizes of credit unions and their members.”

Applications will be accepted until February 5 with interviews and selections to take place by February 28.  Visit or click here to learn more and apply for the program.

About the Iowa Credit Union League:
The Iowa Credit Union League is the trade association that represents the interests of Iowa credit unions and their more than one million members. Credit unions are not-for-profit, financial cooperatives owned and operated by their members. Iowans use their credit union membership to receive higher interest rates on savings and lower interest rates on loans. For more information on ICUL and Iowa credit unions, visit Follow ICUL on Twitter at or on Facebook at To learn more about credit unions, visit

About Filene:
Filene Research Institute is an independent, consumer finance think and do tank dedicated to scientific and thoughtful analysis about issues affecting the future of credit unions, retail banking and cooperative finance. Filene is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Nearly 1,000 members make the nonprofit’s research, innovation and impact programs possible.

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