Filene Names Five New Research Council Members

July 26, 2010

The Filene Research Institute has added five credit union CEOs to its research council.

The council helps decide which topics to research, volunteers to pilot Filene innovations, and works with Filene’s outside researchers to provide access and insights to the credit union system.

The new research council members are:

• Gerry Agnes, Elevations Credit Union, Boulder, Colo. Agnes is a CPA with 24 years of professional experience in the financial services industry. Prior to becoming CEO of Elevations Credit Union, he was with Altura Credit Union in Riverside, Calif., where he served in a series of positions, including president/chief operating officer; president of its subsidiary holding company that managed their insurance, mortgage, escrow and auto broker companies; and chief financial officer.

• Mary Madden, Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Madden has spent more than 20 years educating people on the value of belonging to a not-for-profit financial cooperative. Under Mary’s leadership, Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union has become the largest locally based financial institution in the Hudson Valley Mary has lead almost every area of the credit union, including operations, marketing, lending and human resources.

• Lily Newfarmer, Tarrant County Credit Union, Fort Worth, Texas. Lily currently serves as president/CEO of Tarrant County Credit Union; a community based credit union in Fort Worth, Texas, and has served in the credit union movement for over 25 years. Lily has served as a Board Trustee with the Texas Credit Union Foundation since 2001 and is currently the chairman. She has also served on Fiserv’s FutureSite Group and the DFW CU Awareness Council.

• Eugene Scymczak, Educators Credit Union, Racine, Wis. Scymczak began his career at Educators Credit Union in 1972 as a teller. Additionally over the years, Eugene has served as loan officer, vice president of consumer lending and senior vice president of operations. He has been president since 1994. Since Eugene’s first days as president, Educators has grown from $176 million to over $1.2 billion in assets and from 37,000 to over 90,000 members.

• Launi Skinner, First West Credit Union, Surrey, B.C. Skinner is new to credit unions but brings more than 20 years of business-building experience in both the U.S. and Canada, including a term as president and chief operating officer of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and president of the Starbucks U.S. stores division. As president of Starbucks U.S., Skinner oversaw 7,000 company owned stores and 3,400 licensed stores. In 2007, she was included as one of “Four Women to Watch” in Fortune Magazine's 50 Most Powerful Women feature.

These CEOs join the 27 currently serving members of the research council from credit unions large and small across North America.

“Access to credit union CEOs like these is invaluable to Filene. These are the folks who are out in the financial sea dealing with all the winds and cross currents every day,” says Mark Meyer, CEO of the Filene Research Institute. “There’s simply no better way for us to set and adjust our research agenda than by talking to those that will use the research.”