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!

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.

Sessions and Details

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.

1. Point-Counterpoint
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 and what they expect to come.

Register Now On-Demand Recording Available Now**

2. 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.

Register Now On-Demand Recording Available Now**

3. Seeking Capital
Speakers: Drew ErtmanMike McGinnis, Patrick Maloney
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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4. The State of the Northwest Economy
Speakers: Stephen LerchMark McMullen, Derek Santos
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.

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5. Using Data to Jumpstart Lending
One way to maintain strong lending amid strong share growth and low loan demand is to utilize your data in a smarter and more efficient way. Credit unions will hear from a leading financial data analytics firm on ways to improve how we use our data. In addition, we will hear from digital transformation leaders who pioneer the use of data with great success. 

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6. Point-Counterpoint Part 2
During this track’s first session, we highlighted three very different economic outlooks around how the economy would recover in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. John Trull, NWCUA VP of Regulatory Advocacy, moderates a follow-up discussion, bringing in different economic perspectives based on the insights and data available in December. A lot has already changed since August, and the economic outlook is quickly evolving. Use this critical learning to help plan for a variety of future economic scenarios. 

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** Access to On-Demand Recordings is reliant on the Pass or Track that your Credit Union has purchased. If you would like access to CU Learning TRAXX On-Demand Recordings please view pricing and registration or reach out to a member of the team.

Upcoming Session Dates and Times

Mark your calendar – dates, times, and information is now available for all sessions in the Financial Strategy Track! If you would like to add a session or sessions to your personal calendar, click here.

CU Learning TRAXX — Wednesday, October 7
1:00 - 2:30 p.m. PDTFinancial Strategy Session 4: The State of the Northwest Economy
CU Learning TRAXX — Monday, November 2
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. PSTFinancial Strategy Session 5: Using Data to Jumpstart Lending
CU Learning TRAXX — Wednesday, December 9
9:30 - 11:00 a.m. PSTFinancial Strategy Session 6: Point – Counterpoint Part 2

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

Did You Miss A Session? On-Demand Recordings Available Now!

Financial Strategy Sessions — Now Available On-Demand
Recorded From the August 5 Session
Point-Counterpoint, Part OneIn this session, gain valuable perspectives and use this critical learning to help plan for a variety of future economic scenarios.Access Now**
Recorded From the September 9 Session
Maintaining a Growth Trajectory in Troubling TimesThis 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.Access Now**
** Access to On-Demand Recordings is reliant on the Pass or Track that your Credit Union has purchased. If you would like access to CU Learning TRAXX On-Demand Recordings please view pricing and registration or reach out to a member of the team.


Drew Ertman
Managing Director of Global Capital Markets, Morgan Stanley

Drew Ertman is a Managing Director in Morgan Stanley’s Global Capital Markets (GCM) group and co-heads the Financial Institutions Group within Fixed Income Capital Markets (FICM). His issuer clients include banks, insurance companies, asset managers, brokers, and government sponsored enterprises. He is in his 31st year at Morgan Stanley. 

Since 2010, Ertman has been the Philanthropy Chairman for Global Capital Markets. In 2014, Ertman received the prestigious John J. Mack Award for Leadership. Ertman began his career on Wall Street at Kidder Peabody and joined Morgan Stanley in early 1990. 

Prior to his current role, Ertman ran Morgan Stanley’s U.S. government agency/supra/sovereign underwriting & trading desk. Prior to that, he worked on Morgan Stanley’s investment grade syndicate desk. 

Ertman is a CPA and graduated from Georgetown University in 1983 with a BSBA degree in accounting. In 1987, he earned his MBA from Harvard Business School in finance. 

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.

Stephen Lerch
Executive Director, Washington State Economic and Review Forecast Council

Stephen Lerch is the executive director of the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council. 

Lerch most recently held the position of Research Director at the Washington State Investment Board. He has a Ph.D. in economics from Johns Hopkins University. 

Previously, he has worked as an economist and researcher on public finance and health care issues in government (U.S. Congress, Joint Committee on Taxation; Washington State Department of Revenue) and the private sector (HCIA-Sachs/Solucient). He has also previously served as an interim director for the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council. 

Patrick Maloney
Principal & Founder  Occam Advisors 

Patrick Maloney founded Occam Advisors to help investors and entrepreneurs build companies and funds that combine impact and financial return and has been working at the intersection of capital and impact across sectors and asset classes for most of his career. Prior to forming Occam Advisors, he was a Principal with Imprint Capital, a leading impact investment advisor to foundations and high net worth families, where he was Head of Strategy as well as lead for the Energy & Environment practice area. Prior to Imprint, he was Program Director for The Lemelson Foundation, where he headed the Foundation’s investments in for-profit and non-profit organizations developing and distributing energy, water, agricultural and health technologies, primarily in the developing world. Before that, he worked for mission-driven investors in Silicon Valley, including Omidyar Network and  He started in finance at Barclays Global Investors, where he co-developed the world’s first exchange-traded fund risk-optimized to social, environmental and governance factors. He began his career with Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, recipient of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize.

Mike McGinnis
Senior Vice President, Chief Investment Officer -Catalyst Corp 

Mike McGinnis is a 25-year credit union industry veteran and is a frequent industry speaker. As Catalyst Corporate’s Senior Vice President and Chief Investment Officer, McGinnis is responsible for spearheading Catalyst Corporate’s asset liability management, investment, lending, balance sheet management as well as oversight of Catalyst’s numerous financial services which support over 1,350 credit unions.

Mark McMullen
Oregon State Economist, Oregon Office of Economic Analysis

Mark McMullen serves as the State Economist and director of the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis. The office provides objective forecasts of the state’s economy, tax revenue and population to advance the goals of the Governor, Legislature, state agencies, and the public. 
Prior to joining OEA in the fall of 2010, McMullen served as Director of Consulting at Moody’s Analytics, and was a researcher with the Congressional Budget Office. McMullen was an undergraduate at Pomona College and did his graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania. 

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.

Derek Santos
Chief Economist, State of Idaho – Division of Financial Management, Economic Analysis Bureau

Derek Santos received degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of Hawaii and Washington State University. He has spent his entire professional career with the State of Idaho. He joined the Idaho Public Utilities Commission in the fall of 1984. His primary responsibilities included reviewing and providing expert testimony on rate case filings. He began working for the Idaho Division of Financial Management in the summer of 1987, where he took on the responsibility of producing the quarterly Idaho Economic Forecast. He later was put in charge of forecasting the state’s product taxes and miscellaneous revenues. In the fall of 2010 Santos became the division’s Chief Economist. He is responsible for producing forecasts for all General Fund revenue sources. 

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. 

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 all access passes, session bundle options, and track bundle options.

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
Session 1: Point-Counterpoint Individual SessionRegular Price: $249Register Now
Session 2: Maintaining a Growth Trajectory in Troubling Times Individual SessionRegular Price: $249Register Now
Session 3: Seeking Capital Individual SessionRegular Price: $249Register Now
Session 4: The State of the Northwest Economy Individual SessionRegular Price: $249Register Now
Session 5: Using Data to Jumpstart Lending Individual SessionRegular Price: $249Register Now
Session 6: Point-Counterpoint Part 2 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 is providing professional development scholarships for credit union professionals interested in attending CU Learning TRAXX sessions. If credit unions need financial support to purchase an All Access Pass or Session Bundles, CEOs can apply for their entire 2020 scholarship award to go toward CU Learning TRAXX. Please reach out to Maija Noll for any questions on scholarship eligibility.

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.