National Credit Union Conference for Directors and Senior Management

May 18 – 21, 2023 | Royal Sonesta New Orleans |

New Orleans, Louisiana

Join credit union board of directors, board chairs, supervisory committee members, CEOs, senior management, committee members, branch managers & other credit union leaders from across the country for an exploration of today’s biggest challenges facing credit unions. Return to your credit union revitalized with fresh ideas & innovative solutions for taking your credit union to the next level. 

Earn 12 CPE credits while attending this conference.

Registration & Hotel Information

Conference Registration

We offer an excellent educational return on your conference investment. Register early for greatest savings. 

Guest Program

Our Guest Program, available at just $269 per guest, enables your registered guest(s) to join you during the following conference events:

Hotel Reservation

Book your room online or call the Royal Sonesta New Orleans at 855-463-3092. Be sure to mention CU Conferences to receive rates starting at $259.

Rates are based on availability. If you are unable to book a room, call CU Conferences at 888-465-6010 for assistance.

Ground Transportation*

■   Taxi ride is approximately $36 from the airport to the hotel

■   Uber and Lyft are also available

■   Daily valet only parking available from $8-$45. Overnight guest cars $49 per night plus tax

*Rates are only estimates


The weather in New Orleans during the month of May is generally high 80s during the day to mid 70s at night.

Speaker Information

Don Arkell
Owner, CU Lending Advice

Ancin Cooley
Founder and Principal, Synergy CU Consulting, Inc.

Bill Farley
President/CEO, aCUmen America, LLC

Nicolette, Lemmon
President, LemmonTree Marketing Group

Denny , Koepke
Vice President, LemmonTree Marketing Group

Conference Agenda

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

Thursday, May 18, 2023

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

Conference Registration

1:00 – 1:15 p.m.

Opening Remarks

1:15 – 2:15 p.m. 

U.S. Economic Outlook and Its Impact on CUs

Bill Farley, President/CEO, aCUmen America, LLC

GDP, interest rates, unemployment, housing, inflation, recession…all of these are top of mind when navigating our credit unions into the future. More than ever, as credit union leaders, we must solve how we maintain safety and stability, execute strategy, and help members help themselves.


In this session, we’ll review key economic indicators as well as an analysis of the credit union marketplace to help you make better strategic decisions through 2023 and beyond.

2:15 – 2:25 p.m. 

Credit Union Compensation Philosophy

Rewarding & Retaining Key Executives

OM Financial

2:25 – 2:40 p.m. 

Networking and Refreshment Break

2:40 – 3:40 p.m.

Succession Planning for Boards and Management Teams

Ancin Cooley, Founder and Principal, Synergy Credit Union Consulting, Inc. 

Your favorite football team knows exactly whom they will put in the game if their star quarterback gets hurt. Likewise, your favorite basketball team knows exactly who’s coming off the bench if the star player is out. So why don’t most credit unions know exactly how they would handle a vacant board or CEO position BEFORE the need arises? Most credit unions have an incomplete plan or no plan at all when it comes to board and management succession planning. This lack of planning can cost their organization greatly in the long term. Managing the succession of talent is a vital strategic process that minimizes gaps in leadership and enables your best people to develop the skills necessary for continuity and success.

This session provides real-world examples of how to design and implement an effective and flexible board or CEO succession plan that will help your organization develop a culture centered around talented management, rather than talented individuals.

3:40 – 4:00 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, May 19, 2023

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. 


9:15 – 10:15 a.m. 

Leadership, Culture, Strategy

Bill Farley, President/CEO, aCUmen America, LLC

Quality products and services just don’t cut it anymore. Equally or more important is how products and services are delivered, and how fast. We will take a deep dive into the basics of what makes your credit union special in a way that creates loyal, raving fans. You will be able to return to your next planning session, starting from a completely different perspective.

10:15 – 10:30 a.m. 

Networking and Refreshment Break

10:30 – 11:30 a.m. 

What Your Board Packet Is Really Telling You

Ancin Cooley, Founder and Principal, Synergy Credit Union Consulting, Inc. 

Directors’ roles and responsibilities continue to broaden as evolving regulations and increasing demands for risk oversight turn up the heat on credit union boards. Board reports should help directors assess their credit union ’s condition and determine if the level of risk taken by the credit union conforms to the board’s policies and risk appetite. To use board reports effectively, directors should look at the trend and level of individual measures and the interrelationships among capital, asset quality, earnings, liquidity, market risk, and balance sheet growth. Understanding the true picture starts with asking the right questions, and to ask the right questions, you must understand the board reports. This session will focus on important accounting, risk, and regulatory issues facing credit union boards.


After attending of this session, you will be able to:

11:35 a.m. – 12:35 p.m.

Living Broke: The New America Dream for Millennials & Centennials

Don Arkell, Owner, CU Lending Advice, LLC

Millennial/Gen Z generation surpassed the Boomers as the single largest block of consumers in the US. The average age of credit union members in the US is increasing. Straddled with student loan debt, this generation is entering peak borrowing years. This generation of borrowers has different expectations than previous generations. Learn why you aren’t attracting and maintaining a relationship with these new borrowers.


The Expectation Gap between your Board and Millennials

12:35 – 1:35 p.m. (GP)

Group Luncheon

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

1:35 – 2:35 p.m. 

Credit Union Survival in a Crowded Market Starts with Asking the Right Questions

Nicolette Lemmon, President, LemmonTree Marketing Group

Across the financial industry, the last few years have turned business upside down as digital competitors have appeared with 60-second online lender decisions. These fintechs have shifted the expectation of consumers to fast service and the ease of using online applications. With credit unions encumbered with maintaining legacy systems, staffing branches, and low loan margins, asking the right questions help make better decisions.

While credit unions have the potential to capture their members’ financial services for a lifetime relationship, the Millennial/Gen Y segment is not acting the same as their Gen X and Baby Boom parents. Boomers have moved into their senior years, so it’s key to capture new younger members, gaining more of their financial services, and keeping the existing member business which requires a cohesive growth strategy.

Takeaway 3 key factors for surviving in a crowded banking marketplace:

Having sat through many board meetings as a consultant and director, Nicolette has the unique perspective on the types of questions that achieve the best discussions when planning for your credit union’s success.

2:40 – 3:40 p.m. 

Knowing Your Members: Market Research Strategy for CU Success

Dennis Koepke, Vice President, LemmonTree Marketing Group

What can you get from market research? Do you know what your members (and prospective members) want, and what they need?  Are you REALLY sure? Why do some credit unions conduct a lot of market research? Why do some of those same credit unions spend a lot on market research?


The answers are varied and need to be explored to understand how to best meet member needs. It is key to gain the most value from a variety of market research tools, techniques, and results. From the board and senior management, there are often questions they want answers to guide strategic decisions for your credit union such as:

Research tools that provide useful information for the credit union can be confusing whether market research or member research:


This session will provide insights about how these tools can provide actionable information and serve as a foundation for marketing to your members and to your prospective members.

3:40 – 3:50 p.m. 

Daily Wrap-Up

Saturday, May 20, 2023

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.

Decision Making Success - How to Use 3 Key Questions

Nicolette Lemmon, President, LemmonTree Marketing Group

As a director, executive, or manager, the changing financial services industry requires a focus on making the best decisions to achieve goals. With the groundwork of 3 questions, the credit union team can build the foundation for a successful brand story and culture that attracts member business.


Nicolette, will review the 3 key questions to discuss with your management team and board, especially during the strategic planning process. With these questions, the key is there are no firm answers. It’s about the ability to discuss with your team how to drive success in this overly competitive and crowded marketplace.

10:05 – 10:20 a.m.

Networking and Refreshment Break

10:20 – 11:20 a.m.

The Robots are Coming! Machine Learning/AI in Consumer Lending

Don Arkell, Owner, CU Lending Advice, LLC

AI is taking over more loan decisions as human beings gradually cede control. What does this mean for your credit union? What is the impact to your lending portfolio? And how might it affect your delivery channels? In this impactful session, Don Arkell from CU Lending Advice will discuss how AI is taking over lending decisions and the challenges presented to credit unions.


We will cover:

11:25 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Optional Roundtable Discussion

Exchange ideas with fellow participants during a lively discussion. The first part of the roundtable will allow time for discussion on key topics. The second part will consist of representatives from tables sharing thoughts and ideas.

12:15 – 12:30 p.m.

Daily Wrap-Up

Take the Afternoon & Evening to Enjoy the Sites, Sounds & Flavors of New Orleans!

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Travel Day - Have a Safe Trip Home!!

Register Early & Save!