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Convention & Exposition Speaker Line-up

Credit union representatives from Missouri and Oklahoma will enjoy top-notch speakers during the Credit Union Convention & Exposition October 2-4 at Big Cedar Lodge. The Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA) and the Credit Union Association of Oklahoma (CUAOK) are excited to offer the following line-up of speakers:

Mahir Momand 

Session: Credit Union Growth in Afghanistan
Mahir Momand is the Chief Executive Officer of Islamic Investment and Finance Cooperatives Group (IIFC Group), which is a national association of the network of the Cooperatives in Afghanistan. Momand comes from the Microfinance industry of Afghanistan and is one of the very first people who started with MISFA, the apex body for Microfinance in Afghanistan. Momand has extensive experience working in the financial sector and is the financial advisor to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Labor Affairs. Mr. Momand has also served as financial advisor to one of Canada’s active NGOs based in Toronto. The IIFC Group was established by Momand with the support of WOCCU in 2009.

Dr. Roger Tutterow,
Professor of Economics, Mercer University

Session: The Economic, Political and Business Climates
Dr. Roger Tutterow’s analysis of the economic, business and political environments have been featured in a variety of media including Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, New York Times and on major networks like CNN, CNBC and NBC. In addition to his work in academia, Dr. Tutterow has served as a consultant on financial economics and statistical modeling for corporate clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to closely-held businesses. He has provided expert testimony on economic, financial and statistical matters in state & federal court and before the Georgia Public Service Commission.

Brett Christensen, 
CU Lending Advice, LLC Owner

Session: Are You Lending Like a Bank or Like a Credit Union?
Brett Christensen works directly with credit unions in the U.S and Canada teaching and consulting on various lending topics to professionals that work in the credit union industry. His personal and entertaining speaking style have also made him a popular and sought out speaker in the credit union industry. Prior to forming his own company, Christensen worked as a lending consultant and trainer for Lending Solutions Consulting, Inc.

James Robert Lay,
Session: Looking Outside to Grow Inside
Session: Cross Channel Marketing: Finding the Right Mix for Your Market

In February of 2002, during his sophomore year at San Jacinto College, James Robert Lay founded PTP NEW MEDIA from his bedroom. Selling off his band equipment, he started the company as a way to help pay for school. Since then, PTP NEW MEDIA has helped credit unions build relationships with members by combining offline, online, internal and external marketing channels. He is also behind the movement to help make credit
unions fashionably cool with CU*SWAG and was named the first “CU Times Trailblazer 40 Below” of 2012.

Ken Walsh,
 Chief White House Correspondent for U.S. News & World Report

Session: So, it's an Election year? What that Means for Credit Unions
Kenneth T. Walsh is a veteran political reporter, a Washington insider, and an authority on American presidents having covered Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama for U.S. News & World Report. He joined the magazine in 1984 as a congressional correspondent and has covered the presidency, presidential campaigns, and national politics since 1986. Walsh is also the author of five books:

  • Family of Freedom: Presidents and African Americans in the White House
  • From Mount Vernon to Crawford: A History Of The Presidents and Their Retreats
  • Air Force One: A History of the Presidents and Their Planes
  • Ronald Reagan: Biography
  • Feeding the Beast: The White House Versus the Press

Walsh has won the two most prestigious awards for White House coverage: the Aldo Beckman Award in 1991 and 2007, and the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency in 1992, 1998, and 2009.

John O’Leary, Rising Above Founder
Session: Ignite Life and Passion, Enjoy Real Meaning and Fulfill Your Potential
John O'Leary's life is proof of the power of the human spirit. As a nine-year-old boy, he was burned on 100 percent of his body and given less than a one-percent chance of surviving the first night. Despite the odds, O'Leary is now a college graduate, business owner, philanthropist, proud father and husband. Find out his secrets for a meaningful and passionate life. He is the 2007 recipient of the St. Louis University Distinguished Young Alumni Award and the 2006 Energizer “Keep Going” Hall of Fame inductee. He shares this award with baseball great, Cal Ripken, Jr. In 2009, O’Leary was named one of the Top Ten "Most Interesting" People in St. Louis.  His professional focus as an international speaker began with the writing, release and poignant response from his parents’ book, Overwhelming Odds. Because of this book, O’Leary felt compelled to embrace his past, rise above his fears and share his message with others.

Mike Beall and Gary Jones
Session: What’s Your Opinion? Hot Topics
Association presidents Mike Beall (Missouri) and Gary Jones (Oklahoma) are teaming up for an interactive general session. Beall joined MCUA in November 2010 after serving as president/CEO of the Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association (MDDCCUA). Beall is credited with conducting the first merger between state credit union associations, which joined the Maryland and D.C. leagues. Jones became president of CUAOK in September of 2010. He previously served as president/CEO of Wilserve CU in Tulsa until his retirement in 2007.

Peggy Nalls & Amy McLard, MCUA Advocacy & Legislative Affairs
Session: Election Preview
Session: Late-Breaking News: Legislation & regulation

With more than 30 years of credit union lobbying experience between them, Peggy Nalls and Amy McLard will provide insight on the federal and state political landscapes. As Chief Advocacy Officer, Nalls oversees state and federal advocacy efforts and communicates with elected officials on behalf of credit unions. Her accomplishments include organizing grassroots efforts for the federal 1998 Credit Union Membership Access Act and grassroots strategy as well as work on legislative language for Missouri’s two field-of-membership bills passed in 1998 and 2007. McLard serves as the Vice President of Federal legislative Affairs keeping in constant contact with federal offices to ensure credit union issues are in the forefront of legislators’ minds.  During her tenure at MCUA, McLard developed several statewide programs including the "No Hats, No Hoods, No Sunglasses" robbery prevention program and the "Credit Unions Make the Difference" political campaign. 

Amy Bucaida, MCUA Communications & Marketing VP
Session: Missouri Statewide Consumer Outreach Campaign
Amy Bucaida joined MCUA in February 2011 and oversees multiple projects including the new statewide awareness campaign. Prior to joining MCUA, Bucaida worked in sales and marketing for CUNA Mutual Group. Marketing credit unions has always been a passion of hers. For six years Bucaida owned a consulting business that helped numerous credit unions across the country maximize their marketing budgets.


Click here to register and learn more about the Convention & Exposition.