The Future Industry leaders of Tomorrow – Meet Our THINK 19 Crashers

April 4, 2019 CO-OP Financial Services

A few weeks back we announced that, for the second year in a row, CO-OP would be bringing the Crasher program to THINK 19 in partnership with Filene Research Institute and The Cooperative Trust.

This year we received applications from so many outstanding candidates and after much careful deliberation – we are excited to announce our THINK 19 Crashers!

These Crashers embody the enthusiasm, drive and commitment to excellence that will continue to define and propel the credit union movement forward.

In addition to having the opportunity to meet and mingle with innovators and thought leaders like CUNA CEO Jim Nussle, Jose Andres, Seth Godin and Bradley Leimer, they will also receive personal mentoring from CO-OP leaders and credit union executives who are a part of CO-OP’s Co-Creation Councils.  

Meet our THINK 19 Crashers:

Arpi Andzhunyan, Accountant II

Farmers Insurance Federal Credit Union, California

Describe Yourself in 3 Words: Motivated, outgoing, hard-working

Why Crash THINK? “It excites me to know that I will be given the opportunity to meet with many individuals within my age group and actually build a valuable network.  Attending this conference will allow me to share my vision amongst peers from who I will develop the ability to think outside of the box.”


Mike Barakat, System Admin I

Coastal Credit Union, North Carolina

Describe Yourself in 3 Words: Passionate, caring, connector

Why Crash THINK? “This conference [will] be a wonderful opportunity to meet the knowledgeable leaders of this industry to learn about our past and present in order to create a bright future.”

Tamarah Brooks, Member Service Representative

The Family Credit Union, Iowa

Describe Yourself in 3 Words: Sassy, innovator, leader

Why Crash THINK? “I’m driven to expand and educate the youth on how important credit unions are for now and the future. I believe our members are the top priority and if I get chosen, I would come back home and serve them better.”

Joe Cacioppo, Security Analyst II

CO-OP Financial Services, Georgia

Describe Yourself in 3 Words: Passionate, kind, articulate

Why Crash THINK?  “I’m looking forward to gaining insight into how technology drives credit union growth at THINK 19.”

Remie Cruz, Deposit Services Manager

Wright-Patt Credit Union, Ohio

Describe Yourself in 3 Words: Driven, kind, supportive

Why Crash THINK? “I would love to network with other like-minded credit union professionals to discuss/learn how credit unions can continue to stay relevant while being good stewards of our member’s money.”

Alicia Disantis, Marketing Program Manager

CU Service Network, Colorado

Describe yourself in 3 words: Curious, creative, compassionate.

Why Crash THINK? “For the past seven years, I have watched the THINK Conference evolve from a product-oriented, operational event to a wildly-progressive brainstorming symposium. I want to be part of it – attend the workshops, see the speakers and collaborate with the best individuals the credit union movement has to offer. ”

Aleasha Ford, Fulfillment Officer II

Spokane Teachers Credit Union, Washington

Describe Yourself in 3 Words: Passion for learning

Why Crash THINK? “My home is in the credit union industry, and I can’t think of a better opportunity to strengthen the movement and empower myself as a young credit union professional than attending this conference.”

Madison Hersom, Implementation Manager

CO-OP Financial Services, Iowa

Describe Yourself in 3 Words: Positive, easy-going, curious

Why Crash THINK?  “THINK [will] provide an opportunity to gain insight into our clients and their members. Not only can I internalize this experience to become a better employee and improve client experience, but I can share what I learned with my team.”

Joshua Josephson, Deposit Product Manager

Canvas Credit Union, North Carolina

Describe Yourself in 3 Words: Fun, analytical, professional

Why Crash THINK? “It would be great to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing our industry with other credit union professionals. It would also be beneficial to hear how the guest speakers addressed these issues in their own industries or positions, and how I can apply those same techniques to my role.”

Kaitlyn Newlin, Contracts Manager

CO-OP Financial Services, California

Describe Yourself in 3 Words: Curious, ambitious, tactical

Why Crash THINK? “I’m looking forward to going to THINK so that I can build relationships with our customers, network with industry and emerging leaders, and continued to be inspired!”

Dain Stevens, Payments Manager

WECU, Washington

Describe Yourself in 3 Words: Passionate, trustworthy, caring

Why Crash THINK? “Ideally, I’d like to be mentored by someone in product development or data analytics to get an inside look at how another organization handles these disciplines.”

Christopher Taylor, Card Services Supervisor

Elevations Credit Union, Colorado

Describe Yourself in 3 Words: Enthusiastic, hard-working, friendly

Why Crash THINK?  “As I grow in my career, areas I am wanting to learn more about include strategy, risk and project/product implementation.  I’m looking for guidance as to what would be most impactful for me to learn to support my strategic initiatives.”

Choua Yang, Assistant Consumer Loan Manager

Hiway Federal Credit Union, Minnesota

Describe Yourself in 3 Words: Kidding, not kidding

Why Crash THINK? “I am one of the committee members for the Hiway Young Professionals. Our committee focuses on keeping our young professionals engaged in credit union events and activities. I’d love to see what I can learn and bring back home with me that will be of value to Hiway.”


Congratulations to all of our Crashers – we can’t wait to see you at THINK 19!

Meet the THINK Crashers along with 800+ credit union professionals at THINK 19 – May 6-9 in Miami Beach, Florida. Register now for the credit union industry’s premier thought leadership conference:

The original article The Future Industry leaders of Tomorrow – Meet Our THINK 19 Crashers can be found on Insight Vault.

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