Financial Strategy Track Overview

A sound financial strategy is critical to delivering tangible value to your members.

Offered as part of the CU Learning TRAXX program, these six 60- to 90-minute sessions bring you the latest updates on the economy, help you navigate the path forward, and share strategies for maintaining a growth trajectory.

CFOs, CEOs, credit and investment officers, and accounting professionals will find exceptional value in the six sessions offered in this track. Programming will focus on the future of the credit union industry, the impact of economic outlooks and forecasts on credit unions, navigating difficult financial times, diversifying portfolios, and more, including just-in-time content to ensure you’re staying ahead of the curve!

During live sessions, attendees will have the opportunity to network with their credit union peers and industry experts on the cutting-edge CU Learning TRAXX digital platform. All registration options include access to live sessions and on-demand access to post-session recordings, so you can learn at your own pace and at a time that’s convenient for you!

More information about confirmed sessions can be found below. Information about the final session will be shared soon – future sessions will be designed based on attendee feedback and industry updates, to ensure the programming meets you where you are and where you’re going.

While the sessions in this track are designed with a specific audience in mind, credit union professionals of every level and discipline will find them valuable.


Consisting of six 60- to 90-minute sessions, the Financial Strategy Riding the Economic Wave of Opportunity track focuses on everything credit unions need to maintain and continually improve their financial health. Information about confirmed sessions can be found below, with more session information coming soon! Future sessions will be designed based on attendee feedback and just-in-time programming, to ensure that sessions offer you the information you need, when you need it.

Speakers: Jason Haley, Steve Rick, John Worth
John Trull, NWCUA VP of Regulatory Advocacy, moderates this essential discussion. Gain valuable perspectives and use this critical learning to help plan for a variety of future economic scenarios. This session is a two-part series, with the first discussion taking place in August. In December, we’ll re-examine the current economy, hearing from our original panel on what they know now and an what they expect to come.

In this session, three economists share their individual perspectives on COVID-19’s long-term economic impact:

  • The recovery for credit unions will be rapid and perhaps even back on track before the end of 2020, resulting in a V-curve trend.
  • We’ll see a U-shaped recovery, with real upward momentum showing up in the fourth quarter. Credit unions will face significant challenges for at least 18 months.
  • We’re at the very beginning of a long recession and what that means for credit union operations.

Register Now *We are offering one CPE Credit for this session. Please see the CPE Credit dropdown below for more information.

Maintaining a Growth Trajectory in Troubling Times
Speaker: Darius Mirshahzadeh
This session is all about the future of credit unions, featuring Darius Mirshahzadeh, author of “The Core Value Equation” — a framework to drive results, create limitless scale, and win the war for talent. Mirshahzadeh is a capitalist with a conscious, entrepreneur, and former CEO of The Money Source, a nationwide technology-driven mortgage company founded in 1997. He served previously as senior vice president of wholesale lending at Pacific Union Financial, is a graduate of MIT’s entrepreneurial master’s degree program, and founder of Twin Capital, a retail mortgage brokerage bank he founded with his twin brother and a friend. They grew Twin Capital into a 150-person business over a seven-year period.
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Seeking Capital
During this session, advance your understanding of what investors are looking for when they make placements and the types of yields they expect. Most Northwest credit unions, ranging in size from under $10 million to nearly $4 billion, can accept secondary capital. With the NCUA’s Subordinated Debt rule expected to be finalized before the end of 2020, all credit unions will have access to subordinated debt that may count as regulatory capital.

There is growing investor appetite to make subordinated debt placements in credit unions. Opportunities include large mainstream placements; a recently announced program by Catalyst Corporate; social investors, such as OCCAM Advisors, which just this year made a placement in a Northwest credit union; and placements that advance DEI-specific initiatives, such as those offered by Inclusiv.
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The State of the Northwest Economy
In this thought-provoking session, we examine the Northwest’s economy, holistically, and how forecasts differ for Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Chief economists examine COVID-19’s economic impact in our three states, how the pandemic has affected state revenues, and how our states will address potential budget shortfalls. By understanding the economic challenges facing Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, credit unions can gain a deeper sense of their members’ challenges while taking steps to protect them, as well as the credit union as a whole.

Information about the final session in this track will be available in the coming weeks.

Session Dates and Times

Mark your calendar – dates and times are now available for the first three sessions in the Financial Strategy track! Remaining sessions will be added over the next few months to ensure programming is timely and relevant. 

Wednesday, August 5
9:30 - 11:00 a.m. PDTFinancial Strategy Session One: Point-Counterpoint, Part One
Wednesday, September 9
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. PDTFinancial Strategy Session Two: Maintaining a Growth Trajectory in Troubling Times
12:00 - 12:30 p.m. PDTOptional Virtual Networking Lunch
Wednesday, September 23
2:30 - 3:30 p.m. PDTFinancial Strategy Session Three: Seeking Capital
3:30 - 4:30 p.m. PDTOptional Virtual Networking Happy Hour

Have a scheduling conflict? No worries! You can access recorded sessions anytime.


Jason Haley
CIO • ALM First

Jason Haley is ALM First’s Chief Investment Officer, joining the firm in 2008. He heads ALM First’s Investment Management Group (IMG) and is portfolio manager for the Trust for Credit Unions mutual funds. Haley and his team are responsible for leading the investment process and investment theme development for the firm. Haley also oversees all capital markets activities, including portfolio management, trading, market research & commentary, and execution of hedging and funding strategies for the firm’s depository clients.

Haley holds a MBA with a concentration in finance and a BBA with a concentration in marketing, both from The University of Mississippi.

Darius Mirshahzadeh 
CEO • The Money Source

One of nation’s highest-rated CEOs by Glassdoor, Darius Mirshahzadeh has cultivated a company renowned for “Growing Happiness.” He has led a cultural revolution in this industry that reverberates well beyond its scope, and has been recognized in the New York Times and Inc. Magazine for innovation in corporate culture. He’s even writing a book about how-to build a core value driven organization. He was recently named one of HousingWire’s Rising Stars and prior to his time at TMS, Darius founded Twin Capital Mortgage which was ranked as the “40th fastest-growing privately-held company in America” by Inc. Magazine. His business insights have been published in the Huffington Post,, and Forbes.

Steve Rick
Director and Chief Economist • CMG

Steven Rick is a director and the chief economist for CUNA Mutual Group in Madison, Wisconsin. His primary responsibilities include conducting strategic research, analysis, and forecasting of the financial services industry with special emphasis on the consumer and credit union markets.

Rick’s forecasts serve as a starting point for the strategic planning process and help to create a clear understanding of the underlying trends and links between the general economy, the financial services industry, and CUNA Mutual Group’s policy owners.

Rick publishes the Credit Union Trends Report, a monthly “pulse check” on the economic state of the credit union movement. He has authored a textbook on asset-liability management for credit union executives.

Before joining CUNA Mutual Group, Rick was the senior economist for CUNA & Affiliate’s Economics & Statistics Department for 22 years. Rick also serves on the Board of Directors of the University of Wisconsin Credit Union, a $2 billion financial institution.

Rick holds a senior lecturer position with the Economics Department at the University of Wisconsin – Madison where he teaches Money & Banking and Macroeconomics courses. He is also the facilitator and instructor for CUNA Management School’s Stanford Bank Game, a computerized bank simulation, and has 2 years’ experience as a bank simulation advisor for the Prochnow Graduate School of Banking.

Rick has a B.A. in Economics from Moorhead State University; a B.S. in Finance from Moorhead University; and a M.S. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He is also obtained a Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

John Worth Ph.D.
EVP Research and Investor Outreach • Nareit

John D. Worth is the Executive Vice President for Research and Investor Outreach at Nareit. In this capacity he leads Nareit’s internal and external research efforts and directs Nareit’s investor outreach and education initiatives. Nareit’s research focuses on the role of REITs and real estate in diversified portfolios and commercial real estate market dynamics. The investor outreach program brings Nareit’s research insights to U.S. and global institutional investors.

Prior to joining Nareit, Worth founded the Office of the Chief Economist of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) from 2010 and 2015. As Chief Economist he focused on building and leading a team that monitored macroeconomic and microeconomic risks. The Office of the Chief Economist developed advanced models to assist in risk identification and policy development. Worth also served as a member of the investment committee of the $12 billion NCUA insurance fund and member of the NCUA’s 401(k) investment committee. Worth led NCUA’s participation on the Financial Stability Oversight Council, the organization composed of the heads of the federal financial regulators and charged with identifying risks to financial stability. 

Prior to joining NCUA, Worth spent nearly a decade at the U.S. Treasury where he served as the Director of the Office of Microeconomic Analysis and served as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Microeconomics during 2008. At Treasury, Worth led a team that oversaw policy development and research on a broad range of issue including entitlements, health care, housing issues, and private pensions. He was a primary author of the Bush Administration proposal that became the Pension Protection Act of 2006. After 2006 Worth was deeply engaged in housing and financial crisis response, including the development and execution of TARP programs. Worth was one of the primary architects of the Obama Administration homeowner assistance and mortgage modification programs. 

Worth has also working as a consultant for Welch Consulting and the RAND Corporation. Worth is a graduate of George Washington University and holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Southern California. 

CPE Credit Offering

NASBA CPERegistry logoNorthwest Credit Union Association is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: 

For more information regarding our administrative  policies such  as a complaint and refund please contact our offices at 800.995.9064 x 220  

As our programming develops, and is approved by the National Registry, we will add sessions that qualify for CPE Credits.  

Currently we are offering CPE Credits for the following:  

Point-Counter Point – August 5, 2020 
John Trull, NWCUA VP of Regulatory Advocacy, moderates this essential discussion. Gain valuable perspectives and use this critical learning to help plan for a variety of future economic scenarios. This session is a two-part series, with the first discussion taking place in August. In December, we’ll re-examine the current economy, hearing from our original panel on what they know now and an what they expect to come. 

After this session participants will:   

  • Understand the current economic landscape.
  • Understand what the future economic landscape may look like using three economic forecasting perspectives.
  • Be able to utilize the information shared as a basis for future income projections on investments, loans, and fees. 

CPE Credit Offered: One
Field of Study: Economics – Technical 
Delivery Method: Group Live  Online due to COVID-19 
Previous work experience and background knowledge is recommended.  

Participants must attend the event on the session day, stay for the duration of the session, and engage in event surveys and event polls to qualify. 

Pricing and Registration

CU Learning TRAXX are offered with a variety of registration options. While each track is designed with a specific audience in mind, credit union professionals of every level and discipline will find them valuable.

Register now for the Financial Strategy: Riding the Wave of Economic Opportunity track for full access to all six sessions in this track. All registration options include access to live sessions and on-demand access to post-session recordings, so you can learn at your own pace and at a time that’s convenient for you! During live sessions you’ll also have the opportunity to network with credit union peers and interact with industry experts.

Information about additional registration options can be found here, including session bundle options. Single session registration will be available soon!

Full Financial Strategy Track
Access all six live sessions the Financial Strategy track, along with on-demand access to the post-session recordings!
Regular Price: $1,099

Small* Credit Union Price: $989
Register Now
Maintaining a Growth Trajectory in Troubling Times Individual SessionRegular Price: $249Register Now
Point-Counterpoint Individual SessionRegular Price: $249Register Now
Seeking Capital Individual SessionRegular Price: $249Register Now

*Small Credit Union = $100 million or less in assets

Scholarship Opportunities

Continued education and training of credit union employees helps keep the credit union movement vibrant and competitive.

The Northwest Credit Union Foundation provides professional development scholarships awarding up to $1,000 per year for selected applicants. Learn more on the NWCUF website.

Cancellation Policy

Registrations may be canceled and refunded up to 30 days in advance of a session. Alternately, registrations may be transferred to another user up to one day in advance of the meeting. Please reach out to [email protected] for assistance with canceling or adjusting your registration.


For assistance with registration, please email [email protected]. A member of our team will be in touch shortly.

For questions about the programming offered in the Financial Strategy track, please contact John Trull,  VP, Regulatory Advocacy.