Your credit union is sitting on a veritable gold mine of member data -- after all, who knows more about your members’ financial lives than you do?
What could you accomplish for your organization and your members if you could tap into this data, access insights, and execute on them?
Rely on Blesson Abraham to help you find out.
Co-founder of data analytics firm SavvyIntel (acquired by AdvantEdge Analytics), Blesson has spent years showing credit unions how to uncover and deliver on the promise of big data.
Blesson’s helped credit unions of all sizes leverage data to drive operational efficiencies, enhanced member service, and a stronger bottom line -- both as an employee at Baxter Credit Union and as a credit union partner. And now he’s brought that experience and data-centric know-how to AdvantEdge Analytics.
Blesson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Northern Illinois University.
When Blesson isn’t uncovering data-driven insights you can find him on the golf course or watching his favorite Chicago baseball team (and, no, it’s not the Cubs!).
Data nerd-tastic facts about Blesson: He and his team of hardworking data gurus have more than 50 years of big data experience and have spent a combined 25 years helping big data make a big difference for the credit union system.
When you’re looking for an external partner -- especially in an area as sensitive and dynamic as data analysis -- you need a resource that delivers consistency, transparency, strategic vision, and a track record of secure, efficient day-to-day operations.
In short, you need a company whose business operations are headed by Tarrian Cale.
Tarrian offers more than two decades of experience providing strategic and tactical leadership and has an impressive track record when it comes to managing change. We count on Tarrian -- and you can too! -- to keep your data analytics humming along smoothly.
Prior to joining CUNA Mutual Group, Tarrian worked as an HR professional at UnitedHealth Group and Fiserv, where he first gained exposure to the world of financial services.
Tarrian holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Bowling Green State University.
Tarrian spends his free time trying to keep up with his sports-loving offspring—currently exploring soccer, baseball and swimming --or kicking back to enjoy an NCAA football game.
Data nerd-tastic facts about Tarrian: Although Tarrian is relatively new to the worlds of credit unions and big data, he’s no stranger to big numbers. His professional career has included direct oversight of hundreds of employees, providing strategic and leadership support for thousands, and strong experience with multi-million dollar operational budgets.
Great data meets great execution when Emily Engstrom’s on your team. Emily knows just what it takes to turn data insights into effective programs (with measurable results) and every project benefits from her dedication, hard work and go-to-market skills.
Before joining the AdvantEdge team, Emily held a variety of roles with CUNA Mutual Group. She helped credit unions throughout the Midwest manage lending compliance and operations and oversaw sales planning strategies for a number of CUNA Mutual Group products and services.
Emily started her system career with one of the Midwest’s premier credit unions—$2 billion Summit Credit Union—where she honed her skills in lending, operations, retail branches and underwriting.
When she’s not helping credit unions execute on data insights, you might find Emily running, traveling or spending time with family and friends.
Data nerd-tastic facts about Emily: She’s married to a fellow credit union fan, whom she met when they both worked at a credit union. Emily describes them as “super credit union nerdy” and confesses that credit unions are a frequent topic of conversation around their dinner table.
Think data analytics is dynamic? Consider the legal swirl surrounding it. Concerns about privacy, security, and how consumer data is gathered and used, are legitimate and complicated. And that’s why we’re so happy to have Carolyn on our team.
Before joining AdvantEdge, Carolyn spent nearly a decade overseeing CUNA Mutual Group’s corporate governance activities and its corporate compliance and ethics program. She also has extensive experience in IT-related legal issues, having served as an intellectual property attorney and as a contract attorney who specialized in IT contracting.
Prior to joining the credit union system, Carolyn was in the Wisconsin legislature for almost 10 years. There she worked with various state representatives and senators and served as the committee clerk for the Assembly Public Health Committee.
Carolyn earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her bachelor’s degree in political science and business administration and management from Edgewood College.
How does Carolyn like to spend her free time? With four kids under the age of 10, she’ll have to get back to you on that in a few years. Carolyn does make time to dedicate many of her non-working hours to the Wisconsin Chapter of the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association, where she’s on the board of directors. She’s also the Governance Council president for the Verona Area International School (a 50/50 Mandarin/English immersion charter school).
Data nerd-tastic facts about Carolyn: A self-described “double nerd,” she lives for corporate governance(!) and is thrilled to apply that fascination to the always changing world of data analytics.
Ready to leverage data to drive improved efficiencies and enhanced member retention and profitability? Count on Sidd to show you the way.
A CUNA Mutual Group employee since 2011, Sidd has tackled a wide variety of data-related assignments. Most revolved around enterprise architecture, which gave him a holistic view of the organization’s strategies, processes, and information technology. Sidd also led the build-out of the Digital Service and Trustage properties and is ITIL-v3 certified.
Before bringing his data skills to the world of credit unions, Sidd was a senior systems architect with Compuware Corporation—where he oversaw distributed application development and architecture—and an IT manager and senior web artichitect at HSA Home Warranty, where he played a pivotal role in growing their organization. Sidd has a reputation for curiosity and drive, and his eye for detail makes him an invaluable member of the AdvantEdge Analytics team.
Sidd received his Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Telecommunications (BE) from the College of Engineering in Pune, India, where he received a full academic scholarship.
When Sidd isn’t using data to help credit unions tackle their biggest challenges, you can find him on the couch cheering on his favorite sports teams: the Packers, the Badgers and the Indian Cricket Team.
Most people don’t know that Sidd played cricket for the under-16 squad of the Indian national cricket team. Want to talk bowling and fielding strategies? Sidd’s your man.
Data nerd-tastic facts about Sidd: Sidd has a photographic memory – test it out and see for yourself!
Data matters. But it tends to matter more if there’s a talented storyteller who can interpret the data, give it context, and share it in a way that lets stakeholders understand just what that data is trying to say.
Meet Anne Legg. Storyteller extraordinaire. Credit union expert, thought leader, and champion.
Over the years, Anne has helped credit unions of all sizes understand their data and leverage it to create transformational business strategies. And she has an enviable track record of turning data into solutions—solutions that tackle the challenges of today’s competitive and highly regulated and disrupted business climate.
A credit union veteran, Anne has written extensively on the credit union business model and business strategy. She’s served on various credit union organizations’ boards and been a contributing author to CUNA’s Environmental Scan, the credit union industry’s leading strategic planning guide.
Anne is a graduate of the University of Iowa and holds a Master’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from National University, San Diego.
When she’s not digging into credit union data you can find Anne honing her storytelling skills at her local library, a storytelling festival or a big-data meet-up group.
And when she’s not tapping into the power of stories, Anne is probably biking, swimming, hiking, running or (literally) getting down and dirty in a tough mudder competition.
Data nerd-tastic facts about Anne: She’s worked closely with 75% of the core processors in the credit union space and recently used big data to help a credit union client record its highest loan volume in history.
Ready to see where data could take your credit union? Put Eric and his team of data rock stars to work!
As our chief technology officer, Eric leads 18 initiatives designed to help credit unions improve ease of doing business, generate new business value, and drive enhanced member engagement. Prior to joining AdvantEdge, he held a number of positions at CUNA Mutual Group including Director of Transformation, Enterprise Large Account Technology Lead and Director of Innovation.
Before bringing his passion for excellence to the credit union system, Eric held various positions with Life Time Fitness, Awakened Innovations, TEAM Informatics, and Trade Wizard LLC. He’s been founder and co-founder of multiple startups that delivered everything from algorithmic financial trading software that calculated price changes in nano-seconds to health-oriented social engagement platforms that generated an impressive boost in customer retention rates.
Eric graduated from the University of Minnesota - Carlson School of Management with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management of Information Systems.
When Eric isn’t using data and technology to drive organizational improvement, you can find him behind a boat -- wakeboarding, wake surfing, water skiing, or flyboarding -- or hitting the road or the trails on his bike.
Data nerd-tastic facts about Eric: Eric has always been a self-starting go-getter: He started college at age 15 (with an impressive 52 college credits already completed) and his first company at age 20.
Wish you had a crystal ball that could provide the sure-fire next steps to drive your credit union’s digital transformation? We’re happy to bring you the next best thing: Shazia Manus.
A credit union data pioneer, Shazia has a history of credit union data firsts. She oversaw the system’s first investment in leveraging offshore analytics capabilities and co-created the first member attrition model for credit unions using big data principles.
Those seem like data-centric achievements, but don’t let them fool you. To Shazia, the credit union member is first; data is but a means to an end. Having been both a credit union leader and provider, Shazia understands the cultural nucleus, business model, systems, and digital gaps of both credit unions and system technology providers.
Shazia spent nearly a decade at Greater Iowa Credit Union, ultimately as President/CEO. On the provider side of the aisle, she served as CEO for payments processor TMG and most recently as EVP, Chief Product & Strategy Officer for CO-OP Financial Services.
She began her academic career at University of Dhaka in Bangladesh before transferring to Iowa State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics. Shazia is also a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Executive Leadership Program; the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Executive Education; and the CUES CEO Institute.
When she’s not helping credit unions see how digital transformation can positively affect their members, Shazia is probably indulging in her favorite pastime: learning something new. Having completed a cake-decorating class, she continues to perfect her baking at home (ask to see one of her amazingly intricate designs); her piano lessons continue to inspire her; and she recently started studying with a Zen coach to improve her mindfulness practice. The common thread and one she embraces professionally too: an ability to lean on and learn from others.
Data nerd-tastic facts about Shazia: Although data might be stored as binary code, she doesn’t see it as binary or black-and-white. It’s messy and multi-dimensional -- and that’s just how she likes it!
Take a look at Mark’s professional credentials and you’ll quickly see two common threads: curiosity and technology. In every role, Mark has leveraged both to help his clients address their challenges and improve their operations.
Mark has worked with a wide range of companies, from start-ups to multi-nationals, in fields that include cooperative finance, money transmittance, mobile, and ecommerce. In a number of recent projects, he’s focused on using mobile device data to reduce fraud and enhance the user experience in real time—experience we’re excited to tap into for the credit union space.
Mark’s curiosity also drives him to look beyond technology when he’s helping clients navigate a challenge. He’s found the collaborative nature of credit unions to be an excellent way to help clients uncover and apply best practice solutions.
Mark is currently wrapping up the Executive MBA program at Penn State University (go Mark!) and holds a bachelor of science degree in Business Accounting from California Polytechnic State University.
When he’s not helping credit unions leverage their data,, you can find Mark spending time with his wife and their two children, working on a project around the house or outside enjoying a run or a swim.
Data nerd-tastic facts about Mark: Think mobile banking is all about smart phones? In the tech dark ages of 2000, Mark helped San Francisco’s Patelco Credit Union launch mobile banking on flip phones and Palm Pilots!
Should you trust your experience or trust the numbers? Chris Nicholas would be quick to point out the answer is typically “both.” To him, it is critical to combine deep business expertise with data and cutting-edge analytics to create actionable insight.
Chris has spent the last 20 years in consulting, application development, and data science. Over the past decade, he’s built multiple analytics and data programs from the ground up and most recently led analytics for TruStage Insurance at CUNA Mutual Group.
Before that, Chris built and led the data science organization at Nationwide Insurance and worked at management consultant KPMG serving a diverse mix of Fortune 50 clients in the U.S. and abroad.
Chris has a Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Connecticut and has completed graduate coursework at The Ohio State University.
Chris is an ardent believer in the power of data and feels it empowers each of us to better understand the world around us and make positive, measurable change at home and at work. His philosophy: “Start with the simplest thing that works, then make it work better.”
When Chris isn’t empowering his clients with his thoughtful approach to data and analytics, he’s probably in a trout stream, putting a few more miles on his road bike, or enjoying a home brew.
Data nerd-tastic facts about Chris: Chris and his team of data wizards tirelessly spin data and variables to create and fine tune our predictive models. In 2016, these models helped credit unions protect thousands of members.
What could your credit union achieve if you made data and collaboration part of your strategic game plan? Rely on Tim Peterson to help you find out.
Tim brings an extensive list of accomplishments to AdvantEdge Analytics. Prior to heading our staff, he was the chief information officer for CUNA Mutual Group where he led the company’s IT teams and supported its long-term strategic technology goals.
Before that, Tim served as an executive vice president at Wellmark where he was responsible for the Business Technology Services division and led a multi-year transformation initiative that focused on consumer-facing, distribution, product, and back-office capabilities.
Tim also spent 12 years at UnitedHealth Group, where he held senior management roles in its health analytics and consumer business (Optum). He played a key part in their strategic transformation from B2B to B2C through several mergers, acquisitions, and organic growth.
Tim earned his MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, and his BBA, in Management Information Systems, from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.
Tim’s commitment to the technology space goes beyond the office. He was a 2012 appointee to the State of Iowa Technical Advisory Council, and Tim currently serves on the Madison Health Tech Advisory Board for the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce.
When Tim’s not leveraging data to drive strategic transformation you’ll find him enjoying time with his family or clearing brush at his hobby farm.
Data nerd-tastic facts about Tim: Tim has nearly two decades of experience in the land of IT and a reputation for innovation and transformation. Check out his LinkedIn page for a complete overview.
When insights are everywhere, you need a hands-on data connoisseur who can screen out the static and focus on the meaningful.
We count on Raj Rathi. Raj has significant experience in trading and the financial industry, spent nearly decade helping credit unions navigate data-driven strategy, and was the co-founder of data analytics firm, SavvyIntel (acquired by AdvantEdge Analytics).
At AdvantEdge, Raj heads up data platform development. He keeps his eye on the ever-changing business landscape in credit unions -- everything from underwriting, lending originations, branch performance management, product pricing, credit committee, and ALCO -- and ensures our platforms reflect the dynamic environment they live in.
Raj received his master’s degree in engineering from SGGS Engineering college in India. He then earned his MBA in finance. In 2007, he became a Chartered Financial Analyst® charter holder (CFA).
When Raj isn’t getting life lessons from Warren Buffet or the Dalai Lama (two of his favorite inspirations), you might find him enjoying the serenity of a national park (he’s visited more than 20) or listening to a Tim Ferriss podcast.
Data nerd-tastic facts about Raj: He has a passion for mentoring data technology to help credit unions leverage data easily and efficiently. He is obsessed with bringing simple solutions for complex problems.
Ask Tammy Schwartzer what role she plays in credit unions’ digital transformation and she sums it up in a word: coach. To her this title perfectly captures the mix of marketplace knowledge, holistic team building, and proven strategic skills she brings to our credit union partners.
Tammy believes her role is especially crucial at a time when credit unions are keenly aware of data’s importance but not always sure how to uncover the best data and use it effectively. Work with Tammy and she’ll turn your data tsunami into a resource that’s easy to understand and apply. And you’ll have the measurable results to prove it.
Before joining the AdvantEdge Analytics Insight Activation team, Tammy was a senior-level marketing strategist at CUNA Mutual Group. In this role she helped a variety of credit union marketing leaders and teams delve into and address their business objectives and marketing challenges—and data analytics played a critical role. For example, Tammy was instrumental in the design of a data-based lead generation strategy that used data modeling to identify high-opportunity prospects and drive marketplace penetration for credit-union based wealth management programs.
Her track record for turning data into results is long and proven and we’re excited to turn Coach Tammy loose on your data challenges.
Tammy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and mass communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
When she’s not helping credit unions turn data insights into results, you might find Tammy indulging her passion for American history. There’s nothing Tammy likes better than digging into the past to get a better understanding of the people and personalities who shape the future. Sound familiar?
Data nerd-tastic facts about Tammy: She’s been using data to inform her strategies since the days when most data collection relied on focus groups, census information and sponsored research (and wishes a younger Tammy could have access to even a fraction of the digital DNA available to marketers today!). One standout project: using data to help a fledgling waterpark resort identify and connect with a unique and underserved market and successfully reinvent their brand.
When you’re competing with fin-tech, deep-pocketed tech giants, and banks with a few more digits in their asset column, data isn’t just important—it’s vital.
John understands that. And it’s why he spends his days showing credit unions how they can leverage the power of data to do what they do best: improve their members’ lives.
John has spent his entire career helping credit unions evolve and build value for their members. He’s worked in credit unions, for system service providers, for CUSOs, and for credit union charitable organizations. John is a seasoned data and analytics strategist with deep experience helping C-level professionals understand how technology, software, and analytics can improve efficiency and member value.
John holds a degree in economics from Wesley College in Delaware and a Master’s in Business Administration from Wilmington University.
John is passionately committed to the credit union difference and believes deeply in the value credit unions bring to financial services. He’s excited to prove how embracing data and analytics will help credit unions evolve and better meet member needs.
When he’s not showing credit unions how to harness the power of data, you can find John spending as much time as possible with his kids, coaching youth baseball, and serving on non-profit boards, including the POWER of Play Foundation, which serves foster children, and the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation, which serves at-risk youth in the Carolinas.
Data nerd-tastic facts about John: Remember when multi-factor authentication via biometrics and retina scans was something you only saw in sci-fi movies? John helped make it an everyday reality for credit unions with his work on the AnchorID platform.
Jason Veenker likes to describe what he does as “making lives better, one credit union member at a time.”
His path to accomplishing that? Technology, data, and exceptional storytelling.
Jason has spent years working with some of the world’s top companies to learn what it takes to keep their businesses thriving and competitive. He’s seen time and again that while the right data matters, organizations will only use it appropriately if they understand the insights behind the numbers and what to do with them. Jason sees himself as a data translator who connects the dots and shares the data story in a way that drives understanding, action, and results.
He comes to AdvantEdge Analytics from ForeSee with a deep background in predictive customer experience analytics for the financial sector. There Jason helped capture, develop, and share best practices through thought leadership, research, and business development. Prior to that Jason served as a trusted advisor to Fortune 500 organizations at Gartner where he delivered advisory services for IT, marketing, and supply chain executives.
One thing that’s become crystal clear to Jason during the time he’s spent working in the system: No one beats credit union members for loyalty. Jason believes a combination of loyalty and data analytics will make credit unions an unbeatable force in the financial services space. And he’s excited to drive that transformation for our credit union partners.
Jason earned a bachelor’s in marketing and an MBA from Azusa Pacific University. He also holds certificates in Customer Analytics and Business Analytics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
When he’s not tackling a client’s data challenges, you’ll probably find Jason in his garage. Between trying to figure out how to build whatever finishing touch his wife designed for their next event or family gathering, or tackling DIY furniture builds, Jason keeps busy attempting to deliver on grand creative ideas.
Data nerd-tastic facts about Jason: Several years ago, Jason mastered the Rubik’s cube and can solve the puzzle in less than three minutes. However, he has no designs to take on the world record of 4.22 seconds.
“I’ve spent my career helping credit unions uncover and apply the benefits of data. I’ve seen the critical role it plays in identifying better strategies for credit union management—and how it can help credit unions improve members’ lives.”
When it comes to meeting your members’ financial needs, there’s a big difference between having a stockpile of data and knowing how to turn it into meaningful insights. And that’s why you need Lorrie West, strategy guru and data expert, on your side.
Lorrie has always been passionate about the power of data and the importance of credit unions. After all, her grandmother helped found one. And she personally spent 31 years years there, starting as a teller and working for decades as a senior business analyst. Building on that success, Lorrie was later one of the founders of a CUSO that helped create and market Technology Navigator, a reporting and analytical solution for credit unions.
In her role as an AdvantEdge Analytics’ client strategist, Lorrie calls on the many years she spent helping both her own credit union and others leverage data insights to drive enhanced strategies and tactics.
Lorrie holds an M.B.A. from the Campbell University, Lundy-Fetterman School of Business.
When Lorrie isn’t helping credit unions uncover meaningful data trends you can find her sewing, crafting, swimming and doting on her grandchildren. And she’s so committed to children and their welfare that she spent 10+ years as a member of a pre-school board.
Data nerd-tastic facts about Lorrie: Although she originally planned on a career in accounting and operations, once Lorrie saw the difference data could make—especially through the “magic” of Marketing Customer Information Files (MCIFs), which cluster member data into identifiable, actionable groups—she was hooked on analytics.