Christopher Beltran is a successful serial entrepreneur with a particular passion for working with communities in financial services that move the world forward in a positive way. Christopher serves on the board of the invite-only Change Makers Rule Breakers Community, a group of 30 global socially minded entrepreneurs that meet on Necker Island, Richard Branson’s personal island to spend time with Sir Richard and learn from each other.
Christopher started his first of several successful software companies serving financial institutions, out of his dorm room at Purdue University. He grew the company to serve over 7 countries, and eventually exited successfully. He has served as a technical and strategic advisor on a variety of software startups and helped them get acquired or grow in a profitable way. His background is in software architecture and leadership while his interests are in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality, Robotics, Storytelling, Blockchain platforms, and organizational modeling.
Christopher is an inaugural member of the Silicon Valley Blockchain Society, a private group in the bay area focused on channeling the right resources to the most impactful blockchain companies. Currently over $1.2 Trillion is represented in the group, with new ancillary chapters in over 15 major cities globally. He is an investor and advisor in a number of blockchain oriented companies and works hard towards helping industries realize the best ways of utilizing blockchain technology.
Christopher acts a Managing Partner of Syntrina Leadership (www.syntrinaleadership.com), an executive leadership development firm dedicated to bringing world class coaches to seasoned executives in the credit union and banking industries, healthcare, technology and more. He is also managing partner of Syntrina Capital, a fund dedicated to blockchain investments.
He received the Governor’s Award for Tomorrow’s Leaders by the Indiana Humanities Council and serves on the Dean’s Board at Butler’s Jordan College of the Arts. Christopher was an organizer of the inaugural TEDxPurdueU & TEDxIndianapolis events. He is also the most tenured mentor for entrepreneurship high school kids at the Purdue Entrepreneurship Academy and has taught at Purdue University graduate-level entrepreneurship.
He splits his time between Belvedere Island, California in the San Francisco Bay Area and other parts of the country. Christopher is excited to help new entrepreneurs on the technical or business strategy side of things or just to be a listening ear. More information about Christopher can be found at http://www.christopherbeltran.com
Sarah Canepa Bang is a credit union movement veteran with more than 35 years of experience at all levels of the industry. Although she retired in 2017 as the CO-OP Network’s EVP of Industry Relations, she continues to serve on several CUSO, CU and bank advisory boards and committees. She is the Chair of the national Credit Unions for Kids Advisory Board for the Children’s Miracle Network. She currently works with a variety of organizations on CUSO compliance issues, as a facilitator for planning sessions, on fundraising projects, and to provide background information to organizations inside and outside the industry.
Sarah began her career in 1983 at the Credit Union National Association in Madison, Wisconsin. During the mid-eighties she served as Education Director for the Oregon Credit Union League. In the late-eighties she joined Massachusetts CUNA and the New Hampshire Credit Union League as Vice President of Human Resources. She returned to the Oregon Credit Union League in 1990 and from there moved to FSCC in 1999 and then CO-OP Financial Services in 2012.
Kris has over 30 years of payment industry experience with some of the largest issuing banks in the United States, United Kingdom and Europe. She specifically focuses on various product lines, such as merchant services, credit cards (consumer, small business and commercial cards) and home equity. Her experience spans all working divisions within a bankcard operation: customer service, account management, collections, data analytics, fraud management, acquisition-retention, portfolio optimization, new business development, sales, new product development and operations. Kris joined FIS in 2013.
Kris launched the first successful cobranded card programs and has been a leader in risk-based pricing and target marketing using predictive data analytics. She serves on the Visa and MasterCard committees for the U.S. and U.K. and previously served on the Payments Council for the U.K. government. She has received various payment industry awards, including Best Travel Card, Best Cobranded Card and Best Private-Label Program.
Her approach uses performance data and trends to develop new products and offers and differs from other industry experts in its use of end-user interviews to analyze how they use payments and develop better products to take to market. In that vein, she firmly believes that testing new products in new markets and to new customer segments is key to the success and growth of a payments division.
Kris attended the University of Nevada Reno and California State University San Francisco, where she completed course work in business administration. She writes on industry-related topics, including aligning card programs to business segments, the importance of the commercial card value proposition, travel industry trends, amongst others. she regularly presents on subjects such as Payment Card strategy, Optimization of Payment growth, and the value of Supply Chain payments.
Carol A. Cosby is retired with 35+ years in the payment industry. Her last ten years, Carol was an Executive Vice President at Mastercard responsible for Issuer relationships. While at Mastercard, Carol managed several key global financial institutions, flipped several large regional banks to the Mastercard brand, and started the IBCU division which specifically focused on the payment technology and needs of Credit Unions and Independent Banks. Prior to joining Mastercard, Carol spent seven years with J.P Morgan Chase as a Senior Vice President responsible for the bank’s branded portfolio. This $17B portfolio included cards cross-sold to all other business line customers within the franchise. Carol has also spent time on the acquiring side of the card business as a Senior Vice President of Sales for NOVA Corporation who was purchased by US Bank. Early in her career Carol worked for Visa, MBNA and Bank of Virginia in Relationship Management, Product Development and Operational Efficiency.
Now as a retiree, Carol is active in two company boards, SRM and Switch.com. Additional she enjoys leisure time at her vacation home on the Chesapeake Bay, playing pickleball several times week, is always willing to travel the world, and gives back by volunteering with several organizations. She resides in Midlothian, VA a suburb of Richmond.
Tony del Fierro, SVP/Chief Digital Officer, leads the Digital Enterprise (DE) Teams of Sound Credit Union including Digital Banking, Core Systems, Interoperability and Application Development, Technology Infrastructure, Service Desk, Business Systems Operations, Business Intelligence, Digital Strategies and Analysis. Tony and the DE team played key roles in the 2018 Bellevue Branch Transformation and Digital Banking Conversion. Tony’s passion for digital transformation and his entrepreneurial spirit are contagious. His projects consistently promote innovative strategies, team building, operational excellence, planning and technical execution. Tony attended Loyola University in New Orleans, studying Business Administration and International Business and received management training from the Marriott Corporation and the Culinary Institute of America.
Dan Gisolfi is an innovation agent who thrives on stewarding the incubation of novel business and technology concepts through all phases of the technology adoption lifecycle. Leveraging his technical and business acumen coupled with deep and trusted client relationships, Mr. Gisolfi partakes in all aspects of a nimble end-to-end engagement process to influence others and realize a vision. His enthusiasm, passion and persistence about the maturation of new ideas are key characteristics of a catalyst for disruptive change.
As a high-energy technical leader with diverse engineering, development lab and worldwide field experience, Mr. Gisolfi offers over 15 years of results-oriented technology evangelism that has impacted products, customer strategies and industry standards. He works closely with customers evolving and refining innovations using a tight feedback loop from customer experience to technology, graduating to solution/product.
Mr. Gisolfi can be described as an intensely focused and organized player-coach that leads project teams through an innovate-incubate-iterate-integrate-repeat cycle so that they can react, change direction when necessary, fail fast at times, but more importantly learn and deliver results. He has a proven track record in all phases of the innovation lifecycle (define, discover, develop, demonstrate) as well as business development and negotiating experience to help bootstrap clients/partners with emerging technologies that can have immediate business impact.
Nicky Hickman is an innovation and identity specialist with more than 20 years of international experience in digital transformation projects. A passionate advocate of transparency and the democratisation of data, Nicky is a named inventor and frequently sought as a contributor and speaker. Nicky is the CEO and founder of inglis jane, a UK-based company delivering fast ROI digital transformation for global businesses. She is also a mentor at the School For Communication Arts and a volunteer with the Sovrin Trust Framework Working Group, and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. You can connect with Nicky at linkedin.com/in/nickyhickman.
Mr. Dee W. Hock is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer Emeritus of Visa Inc. Mr. Hock began his career in branch and Regional Management Positions in National Consumer Finance and Investment Companies. He served as Vice President and General Manager of the Bankamericard Department of the National Bank of Commerce in Seattle, Washington and became Chairman of the National Executive Committee of 160 US BankAmericard issuing banks. This position led him to found Visa Inc. He has been Member of Advisory Board at ModoPayments, LLC since June 13, 2017. He is an adviser, speaker and writer working to develop and bring into being new, Chaordic concepts of societal organization that more equitably distribute power and wealth and are more in harmony with the human spirit and biosphere. He has authored the "Birth of the Chaordic Age," revised second edition entitled 'One From Many," and "Autobiography of a Restless Mind.
George Hofheimer arms credit unions in the U.S., Canada and Australia with the creative, yet practical, ideas that meet the needs of today’s financial consumers. He leads five research centersfocused on topics of critical importance to the future of consumer finance, oversees an innovation think tank, guides a financial product incubator and is consistently in the field working with individual institutions to create a positive consumer impact. Prior to joining Filene, George spent eight years leading the executive education function for the Credit Union Executives Society (CUES). Before his career in consumer finance, George lived in the former Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan working for such disparate organizations as the Peace Corps, Price Waterhouse, and Qora-Tepa Village School. He previously served as board president at Willy Street Coop, a $40 million, 35,000-member natural foods cooperative. George earned an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Jeff is a member of BCUs Executive Leadership team and is responsible for technology strategy and execution. He is a graduate from Lawrence University with a degree in economics and has worked at BCU since 1997. Jeff began his career as a Management Trainee at Waste Management. From there, he moved to Sara Lee and then to Caremark prior to joining BCU. At those organizations, he participated on numerous critical projects and gained a broad-base of technology, manufacturing, project, risk-mitigation, management knowledge and experience.
Jeff is active on numerous credit union industry committees and advisory boards including the Governance Committee for CUFX, Symitar Strategic Advisory Board, NCU-ISAO Leadership Board, SMA Advisory, and CU-Ledger Advisory. He formally contributed on the PSCU Technology Advisory Group and CUNA Technology Council Executive Committee. He also benefits by being active outside the CU industry through the Technology Executive Network. Jeff received the Trailblazer & IT Executive of the Year Award from the Credit Union Times. Most recently, BCU ranked #11 among small sized organizations for being one of Computerworld’s 100 Best Places to Work in IT.
Ryan Lee is the founder and principal of Equivince, an industry leading technology consulting firm that focuses on technology staffing and permanent placement within the financial technology (fintech) industry. Ryan has a passion for finding talented technical resources and pairing them with existing business opportunities. With over 15 years of experience, he has earned a reputation for going above and beyond to understand the business’ needs and requirements and to find candidates with the right skill set and cultural fit for any work environment.
As an advisor, Ryan will be assisting CULedger and the credit union industry in recruiting highly skilled technical professionals and providing educational services to those interested in the distributed ledger landscape.
Lance provides legal and policy strategies surrounding the highest priority issues of at the Credit Union National Association. Lance leads a team that researches and develops policy positions on cyber security, payments and technology and advocates for these positions before Congress, regulators, the press, coalitions, and association members.
Peter joined the Royal CU executive team in 2013 and brings with him a wealth of technology engineering, sales and technology leadership experience. He has more than 30 years of experience in senior level technical and technology leadership positions with Cray Research, Cisco Systems, Hospital Sisters Health System, and Royal CU. Pete’s passion for technology and excellence is well recognized among his peers. His proven leadership and success in designing, building and implementing complex technology solutions has also been recognized by industry leading organizations. He is a two time recipient of Cray Research’s Leadership and Innovation Award and also a recipient of the Cisco Systems Engineer of the Year and Technical Excellence Awards. Pete has a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology and graduate studies in Electrical Engineering.
Peter has also contributed to the Credit Union movement since joining Royal CU serving in a variety of industry roles with CUNA Technology Council, CU Ledger Technical Advisor, CUNA CUFX Architecture Committee, Fiserv DNA Technology Advisory Committee, and NCR Client Advisory Committees. He is recognized as a leading technologist in distributed ledger technologies, digital trust and privacy frameworks, big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. He is a recognized technology leader, educator and speaker in the financial industry.
Megan is the Director of Financial Inclusion for WOCCU, the global trade association for credit unions and financial cooperatives which has 68,000 institutional members in 109 countries reaching 235 million people. WOCCU's historical mission focuses on building localized networks to meet social objectives and improved economic livelihoods. Members in the WOCCU network instill trust and are integrated foundations of the social fabric. Our development programs grow financial markets in developing economies, promote financial inclusion, strengthen institutions and provide policy and regulatory support. Megan is responsible for growing WOCCU's portfolio of financial inclusion activities and advising on the integration of digital strategies into WOCCU's development programs. WOCCU has ongoing projects in East and West Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, with two new initiatives just launched in Southeast Asia with partners including the Gates Foundation, USAID, UNCDF and the World Bank.
Michael Palage is an intellectual property attorney and an information technology consultant who holds a B.S.E.E from Drexel University and a J.D. from Temple University. Mr. Palage has been actively involved in ICANN operational and policy matters since its formation in both an individual and leadership role, including a three-year term on the ICANN Board of Directors. Mr. Palage is currently President and CEO of Pharos Global, Inc. which provides consulting and management services to domain name registration authorities and other technology related companies in connection with Internet governance issues. He has testified before the United States Congress and as an expert witness in numerous Federal and State Court proceedings.
Over the past three years, Mr. Palage has been actively involved in the emergence of blockchain/distributed ledger technology as a co-founder in InfoNetworks, LLC. Mr. Palage has spoken about technical and governance issues involving this technology in various national and international venues during this time including but not limited to: ICANN (Abu Dhabi); ESCWA/UN (Beirut); Colorado IP Bar (Denver); and Merge Domain Conference (Orlando). Mr. Palage has also author/co-authored several documents on the blockchain and distributed ledger technology.
Vince is a consummate relationship-builder and payments industry veteran whose tenure at FIS has included serving as Executive Vice President of the International division and as Chief Operating Officer of North American Card Services. In his current position, Pavese has responsibility for Business Development, encompassing transformational deals within IFS Payments.
Pavese’s noteworthy roster of customers includes CSCU and ICBA, a few of FIS’s largest clients, as well as Co-Op, Visa and Mastercard. Throughout Pavese’s career, he has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to answering client needs all over the world with the most efficient and cost-effective solutions. Whether at home or abroad, Vince has a way of fitting in and engaging others, hitting the ground running with whatever is on his plate.
Pavese has an MBA from the University of South Florida and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Miami. Always interested in learning and improving, he is also a graduate of the Emory University Goizueta Business School Executive Development Program. Pavese’s personal philanthropic mission has led him to the position of Board Chair for the Big Borthers/Big Sisters of Tampa Bay.
In his over 25-year professional career, Scott’s extensive experience as a Manager, Senior Manager and Director at two Big Four audit firms and one national consulting firm has led him to drive his own licensed, nationally operating boutique CPA Firm based in Bellevue, WA specializing in cyber security audits. He audits and advises companies that issue website security certificates to 2/3 of the worlds publicly addressable websites. He has served as external auditor for such Fortune 150 companies as Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Paccar. He represented the US delegation to ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 27. In 2013, he led a study group authorized by ISO to analyze global PKI standards, Procedures and audit practices. This has led to the redrafting of ISO/IEC TR 14516: Guidelines for the use and management of trust service providers. He is an advisor to the US Federal government on PKI Audit and has architected the Trust Assurance Framework for a global identity blockchain.
I bought my first stock when I was 12, have been actively trading and investing since 2005, and became the youngest licensed investment advisors in the State of Arizona in 2007. With over 15 years of investing experience, to say trading and investing is a calling would be an understatement.
I earned my degree in Computational and Mathematical Finance, and have leveraged it to help develop proprietary trading algorithms for our family’s wealth management business. Giving back to the financial community is important, and I spend free time advising early-stage startups pro bono, as well as sit on multiple advisory boards.
After entering the crypto space in early 2017, my background in PC hardware allowed me to become an equity partner in a mine, supporting operational and financial optimization. The prospect of building out the largest global arbitrage platform in the crypto space was the foundation for why we co-founded Block by Block Capital. Since then, I’ve lead our expansion from arbitrage and mine optimization consulting into a global firm with the one-stop-shop ability for investment and growth activities, including bringing companies to market and driving post-launch operations that deliver value.
Drummond has spent over two decades in Internet identity, security, privacy, and trust frameworks. He joined Evernym as Chief Trust Officer after Evernym acquired Respect Network, where he was CEO, co-founder, and co-author of the Respect Trust Framework, which was honored with the Privacy Award at the 2011 European Identity Conference. Drummond is a Trustee and Secretary of the Sovrin Foundation, where he serves as chair of the Sovrin Trust Framework Working Group. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Decentralized Identity Foundation and co-editor of the DID (Decentralized Identifiers) specification in the W3C Credentials Community Group. He has served as co-chair of the OASIS XDI Technical Committee since 2004, the semantic data interchange protocol that implements Privacy by Design. Prior to starting Respect Network, Drummond was Executive Director of two industry foundations: the Information Card Foundation and the Open Identity Exchange. He has also served as a founding board member of the OpenID Foundation, ISTPA, XDI.org, and Identity Commons. In 2002 he received the Digital Identity Pioneer Award from Digital ID World, and in 2013 he was cited as an OASIS Distinguished Contributor.
Elizabeth M. Renieris (CIPP/US, CIPP/E) is an entrepreneurial attorney, thought-leader, and strategic consultant who is passionate about emerging technologies and their impact on privacy, identity, society, and collective consciousness. She is particularly interested in the unique challenges posed by blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLT), as well as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. In her role as Global Policy Counsel, Elizabeth advises Evernym on both foreign and domestic legal and policy challenges, particularly as they relate to self-sovereign identity (SSI), trust frameworks, and data protection and privacy matters. Elizabeth is particularly focused on reaching a “new deal on data” that is user-centric, user-controlled, and privacy-enhancing. As a polyglot who has lived and worked in five countries on three continents, Elizabeth has a global perspective on law and policy.
In prior roles, Elizabeth has counseled global technology companies and startups alike on all aspects of data protection and privacy laws, technology transactions, and global regulatory compliance strategies as an attorney with major multinational law firms such as Perkins Coie and White & Case, as well as in various in-house and public-sector roles. In addition to her legal and consulting work, Elizabeth is a frequent public speaker and actively involved in a number of academic initiatives through the MIT Media Lab, the Stanford CodeX Project, and various Legal Hackers chapters. She is also an active participant in the European Commission's EU Blockchain Observatory. Elizabeth obtained her BA from Harvard University, JD from Vanderbilt University Law School, and LLM from the London School of Economics.
Joyce Searls is a serial entrepreneur whose business, management and marketing instincts have been successfully applied across diverse industries, including apparel, hospitality, real estate, and technology.
In 1994, following 25 years as a fashion industry professional, Joyce co-founded The Searls Group, with husband Doc Searls, renowned journalist and Internet visionary. As Managing Partner, Joyce is a co-collaborator, editor, advisor and key strategist, with discretionary oversight of all projects.
Additionally, Joyce and Doc co-founded the non-profit, Customer Commons in 2013, dedicated to restoring the balance of power and trust between individuals and the organizations that serve them by advocating for personal agency in the digital world. She is also a trustee of The Sovrin Foundation.
With more than 30 years of financial services experience, Mark is a highly respected industry thought-leader and a renowned public speaker. He is the founder and CEO of Sievewright & Associates, offering research, consulting and speaking services designed to help credit unions design and execute successful business growth strategies.
In April, 2017, Sievewright & Associates launched the Strategic Leadership Series, an annual membership service providing clients with monthly information and actionable insights relating to the most relevant and impactful industry developments, innovations and trends. Sievewright also offers consulting and facilitation support to credit unions’ Strategic Planning processes and meetings.
During his career, Mark has held senior leadership positions at HSBC in London, MasterCard International in Brussels, Payment Systems Inc. (where he served as CEO), TowerGroup (where he served as CEO), and Fiserv (where he served as Vice Chairman and, previously, president of the company’s Credit Union Solutions division). At Fiserv, Mark and his team of 1,500 associates supported the technology needs of more than one-third of America’s credit unions.
Since 1999, Mark has worked with numerous credit unions in the successful formulation and execution of their strategic plans. He has spoken at more than 250 financial services and client events, and is the recipient of a number of industry awards. In 2010, he was merited the Ambassador Award by the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) for helping credit unions better understand and capitalize on their market strengths; and, in 2015, he finished runner-up in Credit Union Times’ 25th anniversary contest to find the most influential leader in the credit union movement since 1990.
A native of Wales, U.K., Mark emigrated to the United States in 1997 and is a U.S. citizen.
Mark Weber is a national thought leader and trusted advisor to the financial services and fintech industries. He is the CEO of Weber Marketing Group, a national data analytics, strategic branding and digital marketing firm with 34 staff in Seattle, Boston and Atlanta.
Mark advises leaders of the largest US and Canadian credit unions and fintech firms in business intelligence, brand positioning, and growth-marketing strategies that help organizations engineer competitive market differentiation, digital innovation and organizational transformation to increase relevance and performance.
Mr. Weber is on the Advisory Board of fintech provider Switch, a machine learning payments integrator; Navigator, a Biz Intelligence and data analytics platform; and is a Board member of Agros Int’l, an NGO building agri-business farming villages for the rural poor in Latin America.