Fifteen CUES® Next Top Credit Union Exec Applicants Advance

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 60d% 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 to 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. CUES’ 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.