Strum - Strategic Branding and Analytics
The new face of Weber Marketing Group

Blog Articles

Executive Innovation Summit in Seattle


executives from some of the US and Canada’s leading credit unions Gathered in Seattle for an exclusive Innovation Summit.

A very select group of C-level clients and CU industry leaders enjoyed late summer in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest for a premier gathering of thought leadership. Strum’s Executive Innovation Summit offered an opportunity like no other to learn about the latest trends and tactics from global brand leading speakers and peer organizations.

Topics included:

  • The emergence of investment-grade machine learning loan pools

  • Analytics insights into shifting retail consumer lifestyles

  • M&A trends in financial services

  • Leveraging AI, fintech partnerships and blockchain technologies

  • Building brand leadership amidst rising fintech competition

  • Sustainable corporate impact strategies


Strum also hosted a range of networking opportunities, gourmet dinners and Northwest wine tasting events.


Monday, September 16th

8:00am - 8:45am

9:00am - 10:00am
Inflection Points: The Challenge of Innovation & Building Brand Leadership
Mark Weber, Chairman & CEO, Strum

10:00am - 10:30am
Open Forum Discussion: Innovation, Growth & Leadership

10:45am - 11:30am
Key Trends & Critical Insights Into the Retail Banking Landscape
Jeffry Pilcher, President/CEO & Founder, The Financial Brand

11:30am - 12:00pm
Brand Repositioning to Inspire & Refocus Your Culture
Dawn Hagen, Sr. Leader, Brand, Culture & Storytelling, Microsoft

12:00pm - 1:00pm

1:00pm - 1:30pm
Client Shares: 15-minute Innovation Success Showcase

1:30pm - 2:15pm
The End of the Beginning: What’s Next in the Transformation of Financial Services
Neff Hudson, VP Corporate Development, USAA

2:15pm - 3:00pm
Team Discussions

3:00pm - 3:30pm
Building an Inclusive Financial System at Speed and Scale
Rodger Voorhies, President, Global Growth & Opportunity Division, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

3:30pm - 4:30pm
Summary & Takeaways

Tuesday, September 17th

8:00am - 8:45am

9:00am - 10:00am
Innovation, Business Intelligence & Road Mapping the “Last Mile” of Personalizing Member Experiences
Mark Weber, CEO & Chairman, Strum

10:00am - 10:30am
Insights from Monday
What are you road map issues? Challenges?

10:45am - 11:30am
A Huge Challenge Across the Nation: Need to Increase Financial Inclusion
Wije Wijegoonaratna, CEO , Aliya (fintech)

11:30am - 12:00pm
Enhancing Consumer Experiences with RPA and MI/AI
Chris Hopen, CEO, Switch (fintech)

12:00pm - 1:00pm

1:00pm - 1:30pm
Innovation Culture
Garrick Throckmorton, Chief Product & Services Officer, TeamTelligent

1:30pm - 2:15pm
Strum Panel

2:15pm - 3:00pm
Tackling Poverty to Inspire People and Reshape Your Organizations’ Culture
Chi-Dooh Skip” Li, ELM Founder, Agros International

3:00pm - 3:30pm
Session Pending

3:30pm - 4:30pm
Summary & Takeaways



Dawn Hagen
Sr. Manager, Employee Experience, Microsoft

Dawn leads Culture Stories and Brand at Microsoft. She partners with neuroscientists, organizational development experts and creative leaders to dream up ways to inspire employees and activate meaningful change. For the past four years she’s led Microsoft’s culture campaigns, work that has been cited as a best practice for culture transformation by The Gartner Report and featured by Fast Company as evidence of Microsoft’s culture change. Prior to joining Microsoft Dawn ran the global brand initiatives in San Francisco, as Account Director at McCann Worldgroup, a leading ad agency. Dawn has also served on the boards for arts organizations and global development NGOs and holds a Master’s in Non-Profit Management.


Rodger Voorhies
President, Global Growth & Opportunity Division, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Rodger leads the foundation’s efforts to alleviate poverty for millions of global families. His team focuses on making high quality digital financial services widely accessible, increasing agricultural productivity, promoting sustainable approaches to gender equality and bringing groundbreaking innovations to people in the developing world.


Neff Hudson
VP Corporate Development, USAA

Neff manages USAA’s equity investments in FinTech, InsureTech, Big Data & Security and Enterprise Infrastructure. He also oversees the commercialization and protection of USAA’s Intellectual Property portfolio. Hudson is a 20-year USAA veteran and lifelong member. He formerly served as Vice President, Emerging Channels where he led USAA’s award-winning mobile, tablet and voice-response channels as well as innovation efforts in emerging payments, social commerce, video and virtual agents.


Jeffry Pilcher
CEO/President & Founder, The Financial Brand

Jeffry Pilcher is CEO/President and founder of The Financial Brand, a media company in the financial industry launched in 2008 that delivers ideas and insights on a wide range of issues reshaping the retail banking today. Prior to launching The Financial Brand, Pilcher spent nearly two decades as a branding consultant. In his career, Pilcher helped transform hundreds of financial institutions across North America, including multi-billion banks and credit unions in both the United States and Canada.


Chris Hopen
CEO & Co-Founder, Switch

Chris Hopen is a technological visionary, serial entrepreneur, and innovative leader. He is currently the Co-founder and CEO of Switch, a financial technology company that increases transaction volume for issuers through flexible, cloud-based solutions that leverage patent-pending artificial intelligence algorithms. Prior to Switch, Hopen was the Co-founder and CEO at Tappin a Mobile File Sharing Company.


Chi-Dooh “Skip” Li
Principal, ELM Founder, Agros International

Chi-Dooh “Skip” Lee is a triple-threat, working as a lawyer, global philanthropist and builder of young leaders for over 40 years. He is the founder of tech law firm ELM and Agros International, a non-profit building up thriving rural villages in Central America through micro-credit lending, sustainable planning and entrepreneurship. He is the author of "Buy This Land."

Wije Wijegoonaratna
CEO, Aliya

Wije is a successful Wall Street macro investor, board member of SoFi, and evangelist of creating financial inclusion for consumers. He is the founder and CEO of Aliya Financial Technologies, which is building breakthrough solutions to online lending to compete with Quicken Loans.


Garrick Throckmorton
Chief Product and Services Officer at TeamTelligent and Principal Consultant at Throckmorton Leadership Consulting

Garrick recently served 5 years at Allegacy FCU as the AVP of Organizational Development and VP of Strategy, where he helped Allegacy achieve recognition in 2014 and 2017 for being one of the Top 100 Healthiest Workplaces in America and the Triads Healthiest Employer from 2013-2017. During his tenure he was a finalist in the CUES Next Top Credit Union Executive competition, created the award winning AllHealth Wellness Account in partnership with the YMCA, and played an integral role in Allegacy's brand articulation. Following his tenure at Allegacy, he joined Reynolds America Inc. as the Sr. Director of Learning and Development/Talent Management. In this role he led national learning and development initiatives, and global talent management integration projects. Garrick is now leveraging his human capital experience which also includes the pharmaceutical industry, higher education, and healthcare to assist organizations of all sizes to develop cultures that drive results.