Every year the winning solutions are examined and chosen by a committee of judges based on set benchmarks of excellence. The committee is comprised of two prominent members of the credit union media as well as three respected industry executives. Innovation Awards are exclusive to the NAFCU Services Preferred Partners.
Kathy 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 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 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 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.