Conference Agenda

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The Annual CUSO Conference is full of timely sessions packed with fresh ideas and innovative solutions to the issues facing today’s credit unions.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Schedule subject to change. Registered guests are welcome during these (GP) credit union conference events.

Earn 12 CPE credits while attending this conference.

11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Conference Registration

1:00 – 1:15 p.m.

Opening Remarks

1:15 – 2:15 p.m.

Digital Transformation Unleashed: Driving Business Impact. Delighting Your Member and Serving Communities

Ignacio Blanco, CEO, Open Banking Solutions
Peter Maher, Chief Commercial Officer, North America, Open Banking Solutions

The market is rapidly growing, digital technologies are reshaping the entire finance industry, new entrants are disrupting the financial space and members have increasingly higher expectations regarding experience, personal financial insights, and service. These trends are showcasing the digital experience gap and market need for credit unions, community based, and medium-size financial institutions and how they engage with their members and customers.

A growing number of institutions are adopting and adapting their business models towards a more open, collaborative platform approach with digital banking playing a crucial role in elevating competitiveness, improving member experience, increasing customer retention, and as positive force for digital and financial inclusion.


Hear from the leaders at Open Banking Solutions about these market changes and the company’s mission to democratize innovative technology empowering financial institutions to better serve their communities everywhere.

2:15 – 2:30 p.m.

Networking and Refreshment Break

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

The Role of CUSOs in Achieving Your Future Goals

Walt Agius, CEO, CU Lending Edge

CUSO’s and the CUSO structure provides the opportunity for credit unions to solve virtually every problem and issue now and into the future. Congress has provided us a special gift that we should use more and more into the future. In this session we’ll cover some basic CUSO 101 overview information as well as taking a deep dive into several specific CUSO opportunities. The objective of this session is to open everyone’s eyes to the why and how every credit union can, and should be including the CUSO discussion in their strategic planning.

3:30 – 3:45 p.m.

Daily Wrap Up

5:00 – 6:00 p.m. (GP)

Welcome Reception

Join us for cocktails, light dining, and great conversation. Registered guests are welcome to attend.

CU Conferences is grateful for the support of its sponsor, OM Financial, and would like to thank them for co-sponsoring the reception. Learn more about OM Financial.

Friday, December 2, 2022

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. (GP)

Sit-Down Breakfast

Join us for a hearty sit-down breakfast. Registered guests are welcome to attend.

9:00 – 9:15 a.m.

Opening Remarks

9:15 – 10:15 a.m.

Open Banking Solutions CUSO Overview: The Future of CUSO - Beyond the Investment


Ignacio Blanco, CEO, Open Banking Solutions
Peter Maher, Chief Commercial Officer, North America, Open Banking Solutions

Join this engaging conversation to dive deeper into the topic: The Future of CUSO – Beyond the Investment. The dialogue will explore what to consider in a CUSO beyond just the investment. It will explore how the right CUSO partners can help drive credit unions to better serve their members and communities while also acting as innovation labs for the credit union CUSO members. The discussions will offer different perspectives from two experts in the space on how credit unions can stay ahead in a highly competitive environment covering topics such as: CUSO challenges, benefits, successful cases and credit union experiences.

10:15 – 10:30 a.m.

Networking and Refreshment Break

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

CUSOs: The Best Kept "Growth Vehicle" Secret for Credit Unions

John Dearing, Partner, Managing Director, Capstone
Our industry is evolving, and credit unions must innovate and adapt to succeed. Embracing the collaborative mentality of the credit union world, leaders are more open than ever to partnerships and investing in CUSOs. Planning conversations and cycles are now including them because CUSOs can help credit unions save substantial operational costs but more importantly can accelerate the growth trajectory of a credit union. CUSOs are enabling credit union leaders to open new growth pathways and more folks are seeking investment returns in ‘fintech-like’ investments. Owners’ of CUSOs are credit unions, so it is in their best interest to do what is best for credit unions. Join John Dearing for this enlightening session on this 'Growth Vehicle' and set your credit union up for successful growth.


  • Considering your growth strategy and the evolving market

  • How to take your credit union to the next level through partnerships

  • Leveraging CUSOs to accelerate growth

  • Learn how to add alternative income, new members and non-interest income

  • Understanding different partnering structures and best practices

11:35 a.m. – 12:35 p.m.

Getting Serious About Supervision: Current Business Lending Risks and Rewards Part I

Bill Beardsley, President/CEO, Michigan Business Connection, LLC
In this session we will discuss the risks of the current lending environment, expectations of regulators and the responsibilities of credit union executives and board members, both in managing their lending programs and third-party partners, such as CUSOs.

12:35 – 1:35 p.m. (GP)

Group Luncheon

Join us for lunch. Registered guests are welcome to attend.

1:35 – 2:20 p.m.

Getting Serious About Supervision: Current Business Lending Risks and Rewards Part II

Bill Beardsley, President/CEO, Michigan Business Connection, LLC

Continuing the discussion that began before lunch, Bill Beardsley will review typical credit union-CUSO relationships in lending and use historical CUSO failures and NCUA material loss reviews to highlight best and worst supervisory risk management practices.

2:20 – 3:20 p.m.

Panel Discussion

Ask questions. Share ideas. Leave with valuable information.

3:20 – 3:30 p.m.

Daily Wrap-Up

Saturday, December 3, 2022

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. (GP)

Sit-Down Breakfast

Join us for a hearty sit-down breakfast. Registered guests are welcome to attend.

9:00 – 9:05 a.m.

Opening Remarks

9:05 – 10:05 a.m.

Bias - Conscious and Unconscious Bias in the Workplace

Nancy Lewis, President, Progressive Techniques, Inc.

Bias, whether conscious or unconscious, is a reality that occurs in every workplace. Everyone has biases. The problem occurs when your biases stop others from having access to growth and development opportunities in their careers, special projects & boards.

Simply defined, bias is a strong inclination of mind or a preconceived opinion about something or someone. A bias may be favorable or unfavorable. We also have unconscious bias, which adversely affects diversity within the organization and the benefits of a diverse workforce. Unconscious bias may have an impact on recruitment, mentoring and promotions if actions to recognize and reduce it goes unnoticed and unchallenged. It can impact decisions concerning future board members, colleagues and leadership that could add value to your organization.

Gain insights and raise the awareness why this topic is so relevant and important in today’s world of work.

    • Increase your general awareness of bias

    • Understand the impact bias has on others

    • Discuss ways to reduce unconscious bias

    • Understand your personal biases and how to manage them

10:05 – 10:20 a.m.

Networking and Refreshment Break

10:20 – 11:20 a.m.

Just Say No - To Mergers

Walt Agius, CEO, CU Lending Edge

A discussion proposing alternative strategy – By the numbers. Why do we lose 200+ credit union charters a year? Is it good for the movement? Is it the right thing to do when there really is an alternative?


Most mergers in the last 30 years have not been necessary and have not provided any real credit union scale or long-term net gain for the merger or mergee. We are cannibalizing our own industry, losing about one credit union charter every working day. And we’ve been doing this for the last 30 years. No one is proposing any alternatives, until now. Let’s explore, with the numbers, how we can, and why we should, save as many charters as possible, versus merging as many possible over the next 10+ years.

11:25 a.m. – 12:25 p.m.

Topic and Presenter TBD

12:25 – 12:45 p.m.

Daily Wrap-Up

Take the Afternoon & Evening to Enjoy the Sites, Sounds & Flavors of St. Petersburg!

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Travel Day. Have a safe trip home!