MEMBERS Development Company’s 2017 Innovation Council is off and running as top-tier credit unions research new product and initiative ideas
MINNEAPOLIS, MN (May 23, 2017) — At its recent owner meeting, MEMBERS Development Company’s newest Innovation Council (IC) presented the results of research, testing and trials of the CUSO’s latest projects. Among the IC’s newest initiatives are cloud-based bill pay, instant auto-loan approval, retirement readiness tracking, and a platform for automated account switching.
According to Jeff Kline, MDC’s Chief Executive Officer, the Innovation Council members are selected from among owner credit unions for their commitment to the collaborative model, areas of expertise, and demonstrated skills.
“Our IC members are hard workers, willing to rethink old processes and imagine better ways to serve the end users – credit union members,” Kline said. “Key goals include improving the member experience, new products and services, and shared opportunities.”
This Innovation Council currently has four Idea Teams – Account Switching, Auto Loan, Bill Pay and Retirement – which are working with project consultants from Baker Tilly, as well as Kent Zimmer, Director of Finance; and Krista Boyum, Digital Marketing & Communications Strategist, for MDC.
The Idea Teams include the following credit union professionals:
Meaghan Elpers, Evansville Teachers FCU
Keith Riddle, Corporate One FCU
Beth Rodgers, Farmers Insurance FCU
Ray Wade, American Airlines FCU
Dale Watkins, Five Star Credit Union
Kim Stanford, Baxter Credit Union (BCU)
John Prince, Community First Credit Union David Faleski, Coastal FCU
Jeff Benefiel, Teachers CU (South Bend, Ind.)
Robert Lockett, Workers Credit Union
Michelle James, Pen Air FCU
Blake Woods, Lake Trust Credit Union
Brandon Yoder, Interra Credit Union
Kathy Palmer, Vantage Credit Union
David Pierce, Public Service Credit Union
Devin Calef, Congressional FCU
Brent Anderson, Wings Financial CU
Wade Bruendl, Meritrust Credit Union
MDC holds two Owner Meetings each year in August and February. Each August, a new IC team begins work by ideating and then analyzing a slate of 8-12 possible projects for consideration. The team uses market research to select 4-5 initiatives, which are then brought to MDC’s owner credit unions for approval.
In the following months, IC participants will study various banking-related processes and consumer solutions in the marketplace. Following more study, which includes both primary and secondary research, team members evaluate available options, test them and conduct trials among those most viable. The results are presented at the following February Owner Meeting. The audience then completes a survey, offering their thoughts about which projects warrant further action.
“Seeking new ways to collaborate to conserve resources gives credit unions the ability to effectively compete with large banks, retailers moving into fin-tech, and digital startups,” said Kline. “Our number-one goal is helping credit unions grow their business by through cost-effective solutions, enhanced member experiences, and best-practice marketing methods.”
Past Innovation Council projects have included research into improving the member experience during the mortgage origination process and providing valuable financial education to credit union members. Through these initiatives, MDC owner credit unions have seen benefits like decreased costs, innovative products and services, research into the latest technology, and shared expertise from peers and industry experts.
“We’re excited about these projects and the efforts of our previous councils,” Kline said. “We’re also looking forward to the engagement and results from the Innovation Council 2018, which will be forming soon.”
Kline says credit unions interested in becoming involved should contact MDC for more information. To learn more, visit membersdevelopment.com or click on the links below.
About MEMBERS Development Company
MEMBERS Development Company is an interactive network of industry leaders serving as a catalyst for success in the credit union industry by identifying and connecting disruptors in financial services. MDC’s owners pool resources to enable relevant research, develop innovative products and services, create valuable vendor relationships, share knowledge, provide economies of scale and keep a consistent focus on the horizon. Combined,
our owners serve 14.5 million members, hold nearly $206 billion in assets, maintain over 1,800 branch locations across the nation and employ more than 37,000 employees. More information is available at