2021 Innovation Award Judges

The 2021 Innovation Award Judges:

Diana KotDiana Kot, Vice President of Membership Development and Advocacy, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union

Diana Kot is Vice President of Membership Development and Advocacy for SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union headquartered in Santa Ana, California. The credit union serves school employees in California and is the largest education-based credit union in the nation with more than 1.1 million members, 67 branch office locations and $23 billion in assets. 


Kathy ChicasKathy Chicas, Chief Operating Officer, Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union

Kathy Chicas currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union in Los Angeles, CA.  Her experience entails over 18 years of progressive sales, operations, customer service, and leadership development in both the digital and conventional landscapes, primarily in multi-site global organizations.  Prior to joining the Farmers family, Kathy was responsible for the business operations at ING DIRECT – the pioneer in online banking and financial innovation with over 8 million customers and one of the highest customer satisfaction scores in the nation.  She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from Loyola Marymount University in Southern California.


Lauren CulpLauren Culp, Publisher & CEO, CUInsight.com 

Lauren Culp is the Publisher & CEO at CUInsight.com, the credit union industry's leading trade publication. She leads the growing team at CUInsight, works with organizations serving credit unions to maximize their brand and exposure, connects with the credit union community through thought leadership, and represents the trade publication at credit union events across the globe. An accomplished speaker and facilitator, Lauren presents to audiences of all sizes on a variety of topics. A certified credit union development educator (CUDE) and i3 program alum, Lauren spent time at Filene Research Institute and at a credit union before making her way to CUInsight.


Mike LawsonMike Lawson, Creator and Host, CUbroadcast 

Mike is the Creator and Host of CUbroadcast. CUbroadcast is a credit union talkshow. It is a collection of informative, online video interviews discussing today’s credit union issues and trends with some of the industry’s finest innovators, ambassadors, and game changers. Previously, Mike also founded the marketing firm DML Communications that focuses on helping credit union industry organizations better market themselves. 


Jim PackJim Pack, Senior Vice President, Chief Member Service Officer, Coastal Federal Credit Union

Since joining the Coastal team in 2008, Jim has held various vice president roles. He has 18 years of financial services experience spanning the areas of sales, lending, customer service, strategy, marketing, reporting and analytics as well as operations. Jim holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from North Carolina State University, and is a Credit Union Development Educator.   Jim currently serves on the Board of MY CU Services as well as Carolina Credit Union Services.