Harkley named 2015 CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec

Jimese Harkley, philanthropy and community relations manager with $1.3B America’s First Federal Credit Union in Birmingham, Alabama, United States, was named the 2015 CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec (NTCUE) this morning.

Harkley’s project idea about a “Community First Campaign” was chosen from a group of international applicants, all age 35 or under, who had been selected by a team of judges as Finalists in September. As one of five Finalists, Harkley’s blog and video updates over the past few months provided the industry with an insight into the project’s progress, and culminated with a final presentation Monday at CUES’ CEO/Executive Team Network™. Harkley emerged the winner after a four-part scoring process that included judging panel results, a measurement of her social media engagement, plus audience and online voting.

Watch the live winner presentation

Harkley is a frequent volunteer in her community, and has won awards for her philanthropic efforts in Birmingham. Her project idea combines fundraising with a financial literacy initiative that impacts the lives of not only credit union members, but non-members as well. In her presentation, Harkley provided suggestions for how credit unions of any size could implement similar programs of their own.

From left to right: Jimese Harkley, John Pembroke, Joe Hearn and Deedee Myers

From left to right: Jimese Harkley, John Pembroke, Joe Hearn and Deedee Myers

CUES president/CEO John Pembroke said, “Attendees at our CEO/Executive Team Network conference were excited that Jimese Harkley and the rest of this year’s NTCUE Finalists demonstrated the future of the credit union movement is strong and the plans and ideas coming from the next generation of leaders are solid and achievable.”

The other four Finalists were:

  • Danielle Buscher of $160M West Community Credit Union, O’Fallon, Missouri, United States;
  • Garrick Throckmorton of $1B Allegacy Federal Credit Union, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States; 
  • Hayley Badeaux of $29M Shell Geismar Federal Credit Union, Geismar, Louisiana, United States; and 
  • Kris Wanner of $6B Conexus Credit Union, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

Harkley wins a $20,000 educational prize package that includes registration, accommodation and economy airfare to any two of CUES’ coveted CEO Institutes—one in 2016 and one in 2017—and two remote coaching sessions from CUES Supplier member, strategic partner and challenge sponsor DDJ Myers Ltd. of Phoenix. Watch for further updates on Harkley’s project at www.NextTopCreditUnionExec.com.