Executive Forum

May 12-13, 2022 | Lexington Marriott City Center | Lexington, KY

Lexington Marriott City Center
121 West Vine Street
Lexington, Kentucky 40507

The Kentucky Credit Union League is proud to host an executive-level gathering for credit union leaders across the state. 

The Executive Forum is a one-day event with insightful presentations, timely updates and open discussion among your peers who are all facing similar challenges and looking to share best practices and experiences.


Attendance is limited to League-affiliated and associated credit unions. This conference is a special occasion for CEOs and their Executive Teams to come together for valuable education and networking opportunities. 






Sponsored by:

5:30 p.m. Networking Reception
6:00 p.m. Dinner at Jeff Ruby's (Must RSVP to attend)



8:30 a.m. Breakfast
9:10 a.m. Welcome & Announcements
9:15 a.m. Recruit, Retain, Mentor, Motivate - Shari Storm, Category 6
10:00 a.m. Morning Break
10:15 a.m. Economic Update - Mike Schenk, CUNA
11:00 a.m. Leveraging Culture and Risk to Improve Strategic Planning - Jeffrey Dato, Volcorp
11:45 a.m. Lunch w. Legislative Update - Kyle Hagerty, Kentucky Credit Union League
12:30 p.m. Mining for Growth - Joel Hartzler, Filene*
1:15 p.m. Building Successful Fintech Partnerships - Brian Kaas, CUNA Mutual Group
2:00 p.m. Afternoon Break
2:15 p.m. Roundtable Discussion
3:30 p.m. Closing Remarks




Education Sessions

Conference Attendee $479.00


SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE.  To apply for a scholarship, please click here 



We have secured a room block at the following hotel:

Lexington Marriott City Center
121 West Vine Street
Lexington, Kentucky 40507

ROOM RATE: $179 per night
Reservation Deadline: April 18, 2022

Reservations on a first-come, first-serve basis. 





Recruit, Retain, Mentor, Motivate 

How can you recruit and retain talent when you don't have the budget to pay what your competitors can? How can you make your company more attractive to great employees within your current limitations?

This stand-out session shares advice on building morale, mentoring rising stars, and keeping teams motivated over the long marathon that our jobs often are, that is immediately actionable. 

During this fun, interactive session you will learn how to:

  • Recognize where you are on the communication continuum and use that understanding to appropriately and effectively communicate with others.
  • Personalize your communications so that people are more responsive to your message.
  • Temper your responses so that you act with high executive function in difficult situations.
  • Give your team the opportunity to be their best selves and to rise to the occasion when needed.
  • Determine the most appropriate duties for each of your team members.
  • Orchestrate an environment where employees go the extra mile for the company.
  • Use celebrations to solidify a healthy culture, motivate teams and enhance the work atmosphere.
  • Build a team of problem solvers.

About the Speaker

Shari Storm
CEO, Category 6 Consulting

Shari spent 16 years as an executive at a Seattle credit union, where she oversaw marketing and IT.

Her proudest accomplishments at Verity Credit Union included being named an Innovator of the Decade by Net.Banker, heading up the successful Verity Mom campaign, and participating in Filene's prestigious i3 program.

Her first book, Motherhood is the New MBA: Using Your Parenting Skills to be a Better Boss was published by St. Martin's Press. With almost 20,000 copies sold, it has been translated into Mandarin and purchased for publications in four countries. The book has received tremendous press, including Time and Redbook magazines, Martha Stewart's radio, BusinessWeek online, the Costco Connection and the cover of the Metro News New York, to name a few.
Shari has been named a Woman of Influence by CU Times. She has been featured in American Banker, Credit Union Management, and The CEO Report.

She is now the CEO of Category 6 Consulting, which specializes in developing strategy with a strong focus on culture, marketing, and fintech.

Shari received her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and her MBA from Seattle University.


Economic Update 

CUNA Chief Economist Mike Schenk takes an in-depth look at current hot topic issues affecting credit unions.

About the Speaker

Mike Schenk
Deputy Chief Advocacy Officer for Policy Analysis and Chief Economist
Credit Union National Association (CUNA)

Mike Schenk has over 35 years of experience in the financial services industry. In 1992 he joined the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) – the largest and most influential national trade association advocating for America's credit unions. There are over 5,000 credit unions nationwide, with 120 million memberships and over $1.6 trillion in assets

Mike is Deputy Chief Advocacy Officer for Policy Analysis and Chief Economist for CUNA and conducts economic research and supports CUNA’s public relations and advocacy efforts.  His analyses regularly appear in trade publications such as Credit Union Magazine.  He also is a frequent contributor to the financial media.

Mike serves on the board of the Filene Research Institute, an independent, non-profit consumer and cooperative finance think tank. He also serves on the board of Summit Credit Union in Madison, Wisconsin – a $4.2 billion financial cooperative with over 200,000 members.  Mike serves as Board Chair and has Chaired the credit union’s Asset-Liability Management and Risk Management/Internal Audit Committees. 


Leveraging Culture and Risk to Improve Strategic Planning

The business world has become more complex, interconnected, and, well, risky over the last several decades. The proliferation of technology – a digital transformation – has drastically altered the way organizations operate and connect with their constituents, impelling business leadership to achieve an appropriate risk vs. reward balance in order to compete effectively.

A wide array of for-profit entities – e.g. banks, FinTechs, non-financial institutions offering financial services, etc. – have targeted our membership, utilizing their deep pockets and broad reach to steer them towards an all-digital experience. All the while, credit unions face unprecedented risk daily with excess liquidity balances, compressed interest rates, talent attrition, regulatory change, cybersecurity concerns, unreliable partnerships, pandemics, and more.

As an industry, how, then, do we ensure our relevance outlasts our ability to remain solvent? How can we stay true to ourselves and our membership, swiping away the challenges (yet, embracing the opportunities), while still achieving our intended purpose? One way is to embrace the intrinsic linkage between culture, risk, and strategy.

During this session, attendees will walk away with a better understanding of the importance of aligning culture and risk prior to the development and approval of your next strategic plan.

About the Speaker

Jeffrey M. Dato, ERM Fellow, MBCP
EVP & Chief Operating Officer

Jeffrey (Jeff) M. Dato, ERM Fellow, MBCP is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Office for VolCorp, overseeing Human Resources, Administration, Enterprise Risk, Information Technology, Business Development, Marketing & Communications, and Operations. He has been involved in Risk Management for over 30 years, starting as Crestar Bank’s (now Truist) first full-time contingency planner in 1989.

Mr. Dato is a graduate of the College of William and Mary (BBA – Accounting and Finance), earned the ERM Fellow designation from North Carolina State, and achieved the Master Business Continuity Professional (MBCP) certification from DRI International. Jeff has been married to his wife, Wynette, for 27 years, and blessed with four grown children.


Mining for Growth

In the midst of a long-term challenging economic environment combined with ever-changing consumer expectations, credit unions are looking for four new ways to solve the “balance sheet crunch”:

Member Acquisition: How can credit unions grow by adding acquisition channels and expanding membership?

Inclusive Lending: How can credit union shore up their loan growth by lending more inclusively and more deeply into their communities?

Deeper Member Engagement: How can credit unions leverage analytics to deepen member relationships?

New Revenue Opportunities: How can credit unions get creative with new revenue sources by evolving their non-interest income mix?

About the Speaker

Joel Hartzler
Senior Stewardship & Development Director

As Senior Stewardship & Development Director, Joel plays an integral role in developing and engaging with a diverse portfolio of members and contributors at Filene. His focus is on creating strong relationships and delivering the message that "research and analysis on issues vital to the financial services industry is needed to move forward."

Joel has been involved in the credit union industry for over 25 years. He started out working for a credit union data processing solution assisting and consulting with clients as they converted to a new platform. In leading these conversions, the exposure to the internal workings of a financial institution, their needs, and various department objectives gave him insight on what made a credit union successful and how it could become more valuable to its members. This led to a role of account management and sales where he was able to match what a credit union needed to the different solutions available in order to grow and serve members.

Joel is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in Finance and is a proud supporter of ISU athletics. When not attending an ISU game, he likes to be outside and stay active with softball, golf and tennis and with his 3 dogs. 


Building Successful Fintech Partnerships

Strategic fintech partnerships can open the door for credit union possibilities like increased loan volume, accelerated time to market, enhanced member experience, improved productivity, and more. However, finding the right partner for your credit union is key. Join this interactive session to gain tips for building and maintaining successful fintech partnerships Hear specific examples of how credit unions are partnering with fintechs to boost lending, accelerate growth, increase engagement, grow membership and enhance member experiences. Finally, see how the CMFG Ventures Discovery Fund is supporting early-stage fintech companies led by BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and women founders to help expand financial inclusion within the credit union system.

About the Speaker

Brian Kaas
VP, Corporate Development
CUNA Mutual Group

Brian Kaas is vice president of Corporate Development at CUNA Mutual Group. He is responsible for sourcing, evaluating and executing a broad range of strategic transactions for the organization. Additionally, Kaas serves as the president and managing director of CMFG Ventures, LLC and oversees all aspects of its venture capital program. Kaas joined CUNA Mutual Group in 2012.

Prior to joining CUNA Mutual Group, Kaas was a partner at Foley & Lardner and a member of its Insurance & Reinsurance and Health Care Industry teams. Kaas has a broad range of legal and corporate experience, particularly in the areas of business, transactional and regulatory insurance law. Kaas has substantial experience in complex commercial transactions including mergers, acquisitions, reinsurance restructurings and reorganizations of insurance companies and other business entities.

Kaas graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School with a Juris Doctorate. He also received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in Public Policy and Administration with an emphasis in Legal Affairs. Outside of work, Kaas has served as a board member and general counsel to the Downtown Business Association in Milwaukee, WI.


Roundtable Discussion 

Join us for open discussion among your peers about topics and issues.  Share your stories and ask your questions! This session will begin with full group dialogue and we will end with breaking into smaller specialized groups. 

About the Facilitator

Richard Gose
Chief Political Officer
Credit Union National Association (CUNA)

For the past 33 years, Richard Gose has worked as a Political Affairs and Trade Association professional. He has applied his experience of campaign politics, grassroots activation, a well-developed understanding of the legislative process, and his expertise with targeted communications to advance the political operations for three major trade associations – the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the American Insurance Association (AIA), and currently, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).




Badges Must Be Worn

Badges are specially marked to determine admission to conference activities.


Casual to Business casual. Be sure to bring a sweater or light jacket, as personal comfort levels may vary.

Cancellation Policy

Refunds will be issued until 14 days prior to the conference less a $100 administration fee per person. No refunds for cancellations within 14 days of event.  Substitutions accepted anytime. All cancellations/substitutions must be submitted in writing.

Code of Professional Conduct

The registrant agrees to conduct his/herself in a cordial manner. KCUL will not tolerate any registrant who creates a disturbance; is disrespectful to any other registrant, any member of KCUL, its speakers and attendees, exhibitors, volunteers or staff. KCUL reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to investigate any complaint and to dismiss any registrant found by KCUL, in its sole discretion, to have violated the Code of Professional Conduct, without refund of registration fees. 

Safety and Wellness

The Kentucky Credit Union League is committed to hosting a safe event that brings the credit union community together. To ensure the highest level of safety for all attendees and guests we encourage anyone who is feeling unwell or has had exposure to COVID-19 is encouraged to stay home.