Operational Innovation Track Overview

Credit union members expect their financial institutions to be one or two steps ahead, bringing them the best technology solutions that also are safe and reliable.

Offered as part of the CU Learning TRAXX program, the six 60- to 90-minute sessions in this track highlight the latest innovations and opportunities to anticipate so you can stay ahead of your members’ expectations.

This track offers a special focus on programming for information officers, innovation officers, technology professionals, experience officers, and more. Sessions will focus on operational and digital innovation, future-focused and up-and-coming technology, automated processes, maintaining member experiences and relationships in a digital landscape, 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 three sessions 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 relevant and future-focused 60- to 90-minute sessions, the Operational Innovation: Maintaining High-Touch Engagement in a Digital Environment track brings innovation and future-focused thinking to the forefront. 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.

Does a Culture of Innovation Truly Eat (Digital) Strategy for Breakfast…Find Out!
Speakers: Patrick Sells, Steve Schnall
Make a conscious decision to get out of your comfort zone, allow your team to make mistakes, and let the transformation of an innovative culture to take root. In this session, hear how Patrick Sells, a young banking executive took on a digital transformation for his financial institution. He shook the cobwebs out of a sluggish and dated organization and now they’re reaping the benefits. He took on the hearts and minds of his team, embraced pillars of change, and brought home the AB Digital Banker of the Year award. Join us and see if you’re ready to “Go out there and try it on for size!”
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Hands Free! The Future of Payments are Contactless
Moderator: Troy Stang
Speaker: Todd Clark
Although not new to the payments space, digital wallets, contactless payments, and contactless ATMs were not commonly adopted solutions in the U.S. market. Given the current environment, many credit unions are reporting renewed member interest in these solutions. This session features a powerful panel of industry experts uncovering the latest results in card transaction data while interpreting market feedback. Leave this session with a better understanding of the landscape and actionable next steps.
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Ushering in the New Digital Lending Landscape — Does your LOS Know RON (Remote Online Notary)?
Digital lending is more commonplace than ever before, which opens additional resources for all financial institutions. In this session, hear about innovation in the latest Loan Origination Systems and how Remote Online Notarization (RON) is being adopted currently in Idaho and Washington, and likely Oregon in the future. Explore how to hold onto those hard-earned loan relationships in an uncertain market.
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Information about the final three sessions in this track will be available in the coming weeks.

Session Dates & Times

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

Wednesday, August 5
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. PDTOperational Innovation Session One: Does a Culture of Innovation Truly Eat (Digital) Strategy for Breakfast…Come Find Out!
Wednesday, August 26
1:00 - 2:30 p.m. PDTOperational Innovation Session Two: Hands-Free! The Future of Payments are Contactless
Wednesday, September 23
1:00 - 2:30 p.m. PDTOperational Innovation Session Three: Ushering in the New Digital Lending Landscape! Does your LOS know RON?
3:30 - 4:30 p.m. PDTOptional Virtual Networking Happy Hour

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


Picture of Todd ClarkTodd Clark
President & CEO • CO-OP Financial Services

Todd Clark is President/CEO of CO-OP Financial Services, having begun his tenure in June 2016. 

Throughout his career, Clark has specialized in identifying technology gaps in the market and determining how emerging technology will fill those gaps, all with an aim of uncovering efficiencies for smaller financial institutions.

Prior to CO-OP, Clark spent 22 years with First Data Corporation, where he last held the position of SVP/Head of STAR Network and Debit Processing. In this capacity, he was responsible for the business unit’s profit/loss and led a team of more than 600 product, strategy, communications, strategic sales, technology, operations and support personnel. He also managed the Bank of America relationship as head of the financial institution group. 

Clark also has entrepreneurial experience, co-founding a start-up company called Core Data. This organization was sold to Concord EFS, which later merged with First Data. At the time of sale, Core Data had become the second largest ATM processor in the United States. He was also an executive with Cardtronics, Inc., and Feedzai.  

Clark holds a BA in economics from University of Texas at Austin. 

Patrick Sells
Chief Innovation Officer • Quontic Bank

Patrick Sells is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for helping scale organizations through marketing and technology.  As the Chief Innovation Officer at Quontic, Patrick is focused on helping create a unique culture coupled with innovative marketing and technology to power Quontic to embody the next generation of community banks. Sells blends together the desire to use technology to make the world a better place and change the perception of banking. He is an award-winning leader who has been recognized for digital innovation in banking earning American Banker’s Digital Banker of the Year Award and also named to Independent Bankers 40 under 40 list for emerging community banking leaders in 2020. Quontic is the adaptive digital bank that is federally chartered and digitally-focused with business in all 50 states. The bank is headquartered in New York City and has earned the U.S. Department of Treasury certification as a CDFI.

Prior to joining Quontic, Sells served as the CEO/Owner of the Sells Group, a marketing and technology agency based in Indianapolis that helps clients with digital customer acquisition.  Sells Group ranked #701 in 2016 for Inc.’s 5000 fastest growing businesses. He also co-founded Cognito Road, a leader in the predictive data industry. In addition, Sells is active in the not-for-profit space helping lead and advise several different organizations. He has served on the board at United Way Indianapolis, Boy Scouts of America Crossroads Council, Generosity New York, and the Sagamore Institute. He has served as the co-chairman of the Governor’s Luncheon for Scouting in Indianapolis, the largest fundraiser for the Boy Scouts nationwide. He helped start and build the Super Service Challenge into a national program that raised and gave away over $30,000,000 alongside their national spokesperson, Drew Brees.

Steve Schnall
Founder & CEO • Quontic Bank

Steve Schnall is a serial entrepreneur, founded NYC-based Quontic Bank, the adaptive digital bank, in 2009 with a vision to transform traditional retail banking into customer-centric digital commerce. 

Schnall has been instrumental in the acceleration and growth of Quontic since its inception. He has transformed the bank into a profitable, well-capitalized, philanthropic, digital financial institution that does business in all 50 states. One of Schnall’s most significant successes was earning Quontic the U.S. Treasury’s designation as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) due to its focus on lending in low-income neighborhoods and to low-income individuals, gig economy workers, and small business owners. As a CDFI, Schnall’s mission for Quontic is to embrace the diversity of circumstances that exist in its customers’ lives while providing innovative, adaptive banking services to elevate their financial strength.  

As a serial entrepreneur, Schnall has always had a passion for business startups and serving the communities in which they reside. He has a proven track record of founding several successful private and public companies across a variety of industries.  In addition to Quontic Bank, he established New York Mortgage Trust, a publicly-traded mortgage REIT and national mortgage finance company; Fit Athletic Holdings, a California based luxury health and fitness chain; Realmor Capital, a NYC-based real estate investment and development firm; and Restaurant.com, an early-stage dot-com. 

Schnall is also a founding director of Urban Angels, a nonprofit organization that provides 100,000 meals to the homeless every year, and serves on the board of The Arthur Project, a nonprofit which is redefining youth mentoring through an unprecedented type of intervention. He is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization and YPO Big Apple Gold. 

Schnall graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He resides in Tribeca, Manhattan with his wife and two sons. 

Picture of Troy StangTroy Stang 
CEO & President • NWCUA

Troy Stang serves as the President and CEO of the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA), the trade association representing more than 180 not-for-profit, member-owned credit unions in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. More than 7.3 million consumers—55% of the northwest population—are members of those credit unions.

Under Stang’s leadership, the Association is focused on nurturing an innovative public policy environment to ensure cooperative financial services are a relevant choice in the marketplace. In addition to legislative and regulatory advocacy, the Association provides public relations, compliance, and professional development to participating credit unions.

Stang has led Northwest-based credit union trade associations for over a decade. Prior to this, he served in President George W. Bush’s administration as senior staff to the US Treasury Secretary. He has extensive hands-on financial institution experience in large and complex credit unions across the nation.

Stang is passionate about building awareness of credit unions and their not- for- profit structure as financial cooperatives, the value of the tangible benefits they generate and deliver to their members, and the impact they have in communities they serve. 

Stang holds a Master’s degree from The College of St. Scholastica in St. Paul, Minnesota, a Bachelor’s degree from Concordia University in St. Paul, and an Associate of Applied Science degree from St. Cloud Technical College in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Stang also earned Credit Union Development Educator (CUDE) distinction from the National Credit Union Foundation. 

Pricing & 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 full Operational Innovation: Maintaining High-Touch Engagement in a Digital Environment 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 Operational Innovation Track
Access to all six live sessions in the Operational Innovation track, along with on-demand access to the post-session recordings!
Regular Price: $1,099

Small* Credit Union Price: $989
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Does a Culture of Innovation Truly Eat (Digital) Strategy for Breakfast…Find Out! Individual SessionRegular Price: $249Register Now
Hands-Free! The Future of Payments is Contact-less Individual SessionRegular Price: $249Register Now
New Digital Lending Landscape! Does your LOS know RON? 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 Operational innovation track, please contact Jason Smith, VP, Strategic Resources.