Executive Team

CO-OP’s Executive Management Team represents a breadth of payments and financial services expertise in pursuit of a single mission: Helping credit unions thrive.

About Todd Clark

Todd Clark is President/CEO of CO-OP Financial Services, having begun his tenure on June 27, 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. 

About Nicholas Calcanes

Chief Operating Officer Nick Calcanes joined CO-OP in April 2017 from financial technology solutions provider Fiserv, where he was CIO for Financial Risk Management Solutions. His 25-year career in the financial services industry includes key technology leadership positions as CIO, Wholesale Credit and Client Technology, at Bank of America Corporation and CIO, Global Functions Technology, at Ally Financial. In these roles, Calcanes managed technology strategy and oversaw the IT functions for 1,000-plus person organizations and multi-millions in budgets. His experience includes transforming IT strategy to realign people, processes and technology across business operations, as well as increasing performance outputs. Calcanes’ focus at CO-OP is to elevate CO-OP’s technology strategy and build out infrastructure to continue its transformation as a digital company.

About Bruce Dragt

Bruce Dragt joined CO-OP Financial Services in November 2018 as Chief Product Officer. Dragt has specialized in growing technology-driven companies, both start-ups and large, established companies. In the two-plus years prior to joining CO-OP, he served as Executive Vice President, Product, for YapStone, a provider of electronic payment systems that help online and mobile companies with their payment transactions. Before that, Dragt spent more than 13 years holding multiple senior-level roles with First Data Corporation, including SVP, Global eCommerce-Merchant Products. Additional payments and financial industry experience includes work with i2 Technologies, Financial Settlement Matrix and Wells Fargo.

About James Hanisch

James (Jim) Hanisch has more than 35 years experience with credit unions and 40 years experience with payments and technology. Jim serves as President, CO-OP Network, with responsibility for long-term strategy and implementation of the expanding CO-OP ATM and CO-OP Shared Branch nationwide credit union network assets.

Hanisch, an Iowa native, arrived at CO-OP Financial Services in 2000. He has been involved with credit unions since the late 1970’s and CO-OP since 1986. Hanisch led the technology design for both the CO-OP ATM and CO-OP Shared Branch networks while at Deluxe Data Systems (now FIS). He had the privilege to learn about credit unions from industry icons Tom Griffiths, Robert Rose, Gary Wolters, Carrol Beach, Bill Broxterman, Ed Callahan, Tom Sargent, Rick Craig, Stan Hollen and Pat Jury. 

Prior to CO-OP, Hanisch has served as VP Application Service Provider Services for ACI Worldwide, VP Strategic Planning for USPI, VP Financial Institution Services for Deluxe Data, and VP Electronic Banking at Norwest Bank. He was involved in development of the FIS Connex and ACI Base 24 platforms, formation of several of the early mid-western EFT networks and was a founder and first president of the Diebold-TABS Advisory Group.

Hanisch serves on the board of and is a past chairman of the Electronic Funds Transfer Association. He was a member of the Federal Reserve Faster Payments Task Force. He serves or has served on the boards of RewardsNOW, Early Warning Systems, ResolverGroup, CUATM Services and Everlink.  He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a BA in Economics.  He lives in Upland, California with his wife Barb.   

About Cheryl Middleton Jones

Cheryl Middleton Jones joined CO-OP Financial Services as Chief People Officer in November 2018, bringing more than 20 years of human resources and change management experience within large organizations to help lead CO-OP’s transformation as a digital enterprise. Jones joins CO-OP from Discovery, Inc., a mass media company operating the Discovery Channel and others, where she was Senior Vice President of Human Resources. In this capacity, Jones was responsible for defining and executing strategy and creating consistent structures, systems and operating plans involving 4,000 employees around the world. Earlier this year, she oversaw Discovery, Inc.’s global HR transformation following the acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive. Prior to joining Discovery, Inc., in 2011, she worked for ING, the financial services company, from 2001-2011; and Honeywell, the high tech company, from 1994-2001.

About Mathew Kardell

Chief Revenue Officer Mathew Kardell joined CO-OP in April 2017, Previously, he was Senior Vice President and General Manager (SVP/GM) of STAR Network Relationship and Sales at First Data Corporation. He is a veteran of the payments and financial services industry with more than 25 years in high-performing revenue-generation and business development roles. At First Data, Kardell most recently was responsible for the company’s STAR Network client relationships with merchants and financial Institutions, with network transactions experiencing double-digit percent growth in 2015. Prior to that position, he was SVP/GM of Financial Institution Relationships and New Business Development, managing more than $1 billion in revenue and spanning more than 4,000 financial institutions in North America. In addition, Kardell has extensive experience in the credit union space, having managed those strategic relationships during his tenure at First Data. 

About Dean Michaels

Dean Michaels joined CO-OP Financial Services in December 2017 as Chief Strategy Officer.

When Dean was added to the CO-OP leadership team, Todd Clark, President/CEO, remarked: “Strategic business partnerships and acquisitions are central to CO-OP delivering on its promise to the industry to quickly deliver seamless, secure and advanced digital solutions. The acquisition of TMG (April 2017) is a prime example of how we are building CO-OP to be the most comprehensive payments and financial technology provider to credit unions.

Dean brings extensive corporate development background and expertise in the arena of payments technology and networks,” said Clark. “He will work closely with me and our executive management team to make determinations on partnership development, mergers and acquisitions, and in identifying areas of growth via strategic investment.

Prior to joining CO-OP, Michaels held leadership roles at First Data Corporation, including Head of Business Execution for STAR Network and Head of Finance for First Data’s U.S. Merchant Acquiring Business. In addition, Michaels led the development of First Data’s Smart Routing and Network Routing partnership programs, driving new revenue through network routing solutions developed in response to the Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation II governing debit card interchange fees and routing. In previous roles, Michaels led First Data’s merchant-acquiring Small Business Cross-Sales and Retention organizations.

Michaels has also worked for JP Morgan Chase. There, he was responsible for evaluating and improving the effectiveness of consumer banking cross-sales campaigns, including profit and loss responsibility for JP Morgan Chase’s branch and call center cross-sales programs.

Michaels holds an MBA from New York University and a BBA from Adelphi University of Garden City, N.Y. 

About Samantha Paxson

Samantha Paxson is Chief Experience Officer for CO-OP Financial Services (www.co-opfs.org), architect of the company’s go-to-market brand and customer experience strategy, delivered through message, product, value chain and systems. An accomplished speaker and thought leader, Paxson founded CO-OP THINK, an innovation content platform empowering the evolution of mission-driven financial services. 

Over her 20 year career, Paxson’s focus has been on the intersection of technology, purpose and experience to evolve the organization and meet the needs of the market. Paxson is a proponent of intraprenuership: innovating on the space between functional areas, by brokering tight relationships and strategies between a network of teams – transforming the organization for ongoing algorithmic improvement across the ecosystem. Dedicated to the growth of the CO-OP brand, she's helped boost and secure a 15 point NPS (Net Promoter Score) hike, transforming her function to be a digital content and experience powerhouse, and creating the largest industry following in owned and earned channels. 

Paxson is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in Journalism and Social Sciences. She is also an advisor to the OpenIDEO Challenge on “Financial Empowerment,” a USCCU Board Member, CUNA Marketing Awareness Board Member, NCUF Board Member, CUCollaborate Board Member and CMNH Board Member.

About Kari Wilfong

In July 2006, Kari Wilfong joined CO-OP’s executive team as the Chief Financial Officer. Now serving as Chief Financial Officer/Chief Administrative Officer, Wilfong’s main focus is on financial security, as well as the strategic, organic and future financial growth and development of CO-OP. She is also responsible for the advancement and management of enterprise-wide accounting, finance, information technology, risk management and security. 

Wilfong's duties at CO-OP include extensive experience in acquisitions and investments, most recently with business partners Alkami Technology, Inc., of Plano, Texas, and Finivation, of New York, New York. Wilfong is also a member of Ongoing Operations of Hagerstown, Maryland, and provides financial guidance to other companies in which CO-OP holds a strategic investment. 

Wilfong held various leadership roles at Western National Group and USIWest in Irvine, Calif., and began her career at Frankeberger & Company in 1991 as a Support Staff Accountant. She is a certified public accountant and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration, with an academic achievement award, from Loyola Marymount University. In 2015, Wilfong completed her Executive MBA from Claremont Graduate University with high honors, focusing on strategy and leadership (separate certificates received for both leadership and strategy).  

Executive Team

CO-OP’s Executive Management Team represents a breadth of payments and financial services expertise in pursuit of a single mission: Helping credit unions thrive.

About Todd Clark

Todd Clark is President/CEO of CO-OP Financial Services, having begun his tenure on June 27, 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. 

About Nicholas Calcanes

Chief Operating Officer Nick Calcanes joined CO-OP in April 2017 from financial technology solutions provider Fiserv, where he was CIO for Financial Risk Management Solutions. His 25-year career in the financial services industry includes key technology leadership positions as CIO, Wholesale Credit and Client Technology, at Bank of America Corporation and CIO, Global Functions Technology, at Ally Financial. In these roles, Calcanes managed technology strategy and oversaw the IT functions for 1,000-plus person organizations and multi-millions in budgets. His experience includes transforming IT strategy to realign people, processes and technology across business operations, as well as increasing performance outputs. Calcanes’ focus at CO-OP is to elevate CO-OP’s technology strategy and build out infrastructure to continue its transformation as a digital company.

About Bruce Dragt

Bruce Dragt joined CO-OP Financial Services in November 2018 as Chief Product Officer. Dragt has specialized in growing technology-driven companies, both start-ups and large, established companies. In the two-plus years prior to joining CO-OP, he served as Executive Vice President, Product, for YapStone, a provider of electronic payment systems that help online and mobile companies with their payment transactions. Before that, Dragt spent more than 13 years holding multiple senior-level roles with First Data Corporation, including SVP, Global eCommerce-Merchant Products. Additional payments and financial industry experience includes work with i2 Technologies, Financial Settlement Matrix and Wells Fargo.

About James Hanisch

James (Jim) Hanisch has more than 35 years experience with credit unions and 40 years experience with payments and technology. Jim serves as President, CO-OP Network, with responsibility for long-term strategy and implementation of the expanding CO-OP ATM and CO-OP Shared Branch nationwide credit union network assets.

Hanisch, an Iowa native, arrived at CO-OP Financial Services in 2000. He has been involved with credit unions since the late 1970’s and CO-OP since 1986. Hanisch led the technology design for both the CO-OP ATM and CO-OP Shared Branch networks while at Deluxe Data Systems (now FIS). He had the privilege to learn about credit unions from industry icons Tom Griffiths, Robert Rose, Gary Wolters, Carrol Beach, Bill Broxterman, Ed Callahan, Tom Sargent, Rick Craig, Stan Hollen and Pat Jury. 

Prior to CO-OP, Hanisch has served as VP Application Service Provider Services for ACI Worldwide, VP Strategic Planning for USPI, VP Financial Institution Services for Deluxe Data, and VP Electronic Banking at Norwest Bank. He was involved in development of the FIS Connex and ACI Base 24 platforms, formation of several of the early mid-western EFT networks and was a founder and first president of the Diebold-TABS Advisory Group.

Hanisch serves on the board of and is a past chairman of the Electronic Funds Transfer Association. He was a member of the Federal Reserve Faster Payments Task Force. He serves or has served on the boards of RewardsNOW, Early Warning Systems, ResolverGroup, CUATM Services and Everlink.  He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a BA in Economics.  He lives in Upland, California with his wife Barb.   

About Cheryl Middleton Jones

Cheryl Middleton Jones joined CO-OP Financial Services as Chief People Officer in November 2018, bringing more than 20 years of human resources and change management experience within large organizations to help lead CO-OP’s transformation as a digital enterprise. Jones joins CO-OP from Discovery, Inc., a mass media company operating the Discovery Channel and others, where she was Senior Vice President of Human Resources. In this capacity, Jones was responsible for defining and executing strategy and creating consistent structures, systems and operating plans involving 4,000 employees around the world. Earlier this year, she oversaw Discovery, Inc.’s global HR transformation following the acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive. Prior to joining Discovery, Inc., in 2011, she worked for ING, the financial services company, from 2001-2011; and Honeywell, the high tech company, from 1994-2001.

About Mathew Kardell

Chief Revenue Officer Mathew Kardell joined CO-OP in April 2017, Previously, he was Senior Vice President and General Manager (SVP/GM) of STAR Network Relationship and Sales at First Data Corporation. He is a veteran of the payments and financial services industry with more than 25 years in high-performing revenue-generation and business development roles. At First Data, Kardell most recently was responsible for the company’s STAR Network client relationships with merchants and financial Institutions, with network transactions experiencing double-digit percent growth in 2015. Prior to that position, he was SVP/GM of Financial Institution Relationships and New Business Development, managing more than $1 billion in revenue and spanning more than 4,000 financial institutions in North America. In addition, Kardell has extensive experience in the credit union space, having managed those strategic relationships during his tenure at First Data. 

About Dean Michaels

Dean Michaels joined CO-OP Financial Services in December 2017 as Chief Strategy Officer.

When Dean was added to the CO-OP leadership team, Todd Clark, President/CEO, remarked: “Strategic business partnerships and acquisitions are central to CO-OP delivering on its promise to the industry to quickly deliver seamless, secure and advanced digital solutions. The acquisition of TMG (April 2017) is a prime example of how we are building CO-OP to be the most comprehensive payments and financial technology provider to credit unions.

Dean brings extensive corporate development background and expertise in the arena of payments technology and networks,” said Clark. “He will work closely with me and our executive management team to make determinations on partnership development, mergers and acquisitions, and in identifying areas of growth via strategic investment.

Prior to joining CO-OP, Michaels held leadership roles at First Data Corporation, including Head of Business Execution for STAR Network and Head of Finance for First Data’s U.S. Merchant Acquiring Business. In addition, Michaels led the development of First Data’s Smart Routing and Network Routing partnership programs, driving new revenue through network routing solutions developed in response to the Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation II governing debit card interchange fees and routing. In previous roles, Michaels led First Data’s merchant-acquiring Small Business Cross-Sales and Retention organizations.

Michaels has also worked for JP Morgan Chase. There, he was responsible for evaluating and improving the effectiveness of consumer banking cross-sales campaigns, including profit and loss responsibility for JP Morgan Chase’s branch and call center cross-sales programs.

Michaels holds an MBA from New York University and a BBA from Adelphi University of Garden City, N.Y. 

About Samantha Paxson

Samantha Paxson is Chief Experience Officer for CO-OP Financial Services (www.co-opfs.org), architect of the company’s go-to-market brand and customer experience strategy, delivered through message, product, value chain and systems. An accomplished speaker and thought leader, Paxson founded CO-OP THINK, an innovation content platform empowering the evolution of mission-driven financial services. 

Over her 20 year career, Paxson’s focus has been on the intersection of technology, purpose and experience to evolve the organization and meet the needs of the market. Paxson is a proponent of intraprenuership: innovating on the space between functional areas, by brokering tight relationships and strategies between a network of teams – transforming the organization for ongoing algorithmic improvement across the ecosystem. Dedicated to the growth of the CO-OP brand, she's helped boost and secure a 15 point NPS (Net Promoter Score) hike, transforming her function to be a digital content and experience powerhouse, and creating the largest industry following in owned and earned channels. 

Paxson is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in Journalism and Social Sciences. She is also an advisor to the OpenIDEO Challenge on “Financial Empowerment,” a USCCU Board Member, CUNA Marketing Awareness Board Member, NCUF Board Member, CUCollaborate Board Member and CMNH Board Member.

About Kari Wilfong

In July 2006, Kari Wilfong joined CO-OP’s executive team as the Chief Financial Officer. Now serving as Chief Financial Officer/Chief Administrative Officer, Wilfong’s main focus is on financial security, as well as the strategic, organic and future financial growth and development of CO-OP. She is also responsible for the advancement and management of enterprise-wide accounting, finance, information technology, risk management and security. 

Wilfong's duties at CO-OP include extensive experience in acquisitions and investments, most recently with business partners Alkami Technology, Inc., of Plano, Texas, and Finivation, of New York, New York. Wilfong is also a member of Ongoing Operations of Hagerstown, Maryland, and provides financial guidance to other companies in which CO-OP holds a strategic investment. 

Wilfong held various leadership roles at Western National Group and USIWest in Irvine, Calif., and began her career at Frankeberger & Company in 1991 as a Support Staff Accountant. She is a certified public accountant and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration, with an academic achievement award, from Loyola Marymount University. In 2015, Wilfong completed her Executive MBA from Claremont Graduate University with high honors, focusing on strategy and leadership (separate certificates received for both leadership and strategy).  

Executive Team

CO-OP’s Executive Management Team represents a breadth of payments and financial services expertise in pursuit of a single mission: Helping credit unions thrive.

About Todd Clark

Todd Clark is President/CEO of CO-OP Financial Services, having begun his tenure on June 27, 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. 

About Nicholas Calcanes

Chief Operating Officer Nick Calcanes joined CO-OP in April 2017 from financial technology solutions provider Fiserv, where he was CIO for Financial Risk Management Solutions. His 25-year career in the financial services industry includes key technology leadership positions as CIO, Wholesale Credit and Client Technology, at Bank of America Corporation and CIO, Global Functions Technology, at Ally Financial. In these roles, Calcanes managed technology strategy and oversaw the IT functions for 1,000-plus person organizations and multi-millions in budgets. His experience includes transforming IT strategy to realign people, processes and technology across business operations, as well as increasing performance outputs. Calcanes’ focus at CO-OP is to elevate CO-OP’s technology strategy and build out infrastructure to continue its transformation as a digital company.

About Bruce Dragt

Bruce Dragt joined CO-OP Financial Services in November 2018 as Chief Product Officer. Dragt has specialized in growing technology-driven companies, both start-ups and large, established companies. In the two-plus years prior to joining CO-OP, he served as Executive Vice President, Product, for YapStone, a provider of electronic payment systems that help online and mobile companies with their payment transactions. Before that, Dragt spent more than 13 years holding multiple senior-level roles with First Data Corporation, including SVP, Global eCommerce-Merchant Products. Additional payments and financial industry experience includes work with i2 Technologies, Financial Settlement Matrix and Wells Fargo.

About James Hanisch

James (Jim) Hanisch has more than 35 years experience with credit unions and 40 years experience with payments and technology. Jim serves as President, CO-OP Network, with responsibility for long-term strategy and implementation of the expanding CO-OP ATM and CO-OP Shared Branch nationwide credit union network assets.

Hanisch, an Iowa native, arrived at CO-OP Financial Services in 2000. He has been involved with credit unions since the late 1970’s and CO-OP since 1986. Hanisch led the technology design for both the CO-OP ATM and CO-OP Shared Branch networks while at Deluxe Data Systems (now FIS). He had the privilege to learn about credit unions from industry icons Tom Griffiths, Robert Rose, Gary Wolters, Carrol Beach, Bill Broxterman, Ed Callahan, Tom Sargent, Rick Craig, Stan Hollen and Pat Jury. 

Prior to CO-OP, Hanisch has served as VP Application Service Provider Services for ACI Worldwide, VP Strategic Planning for USPI, VP Financial Institution Services for Deluxe Data, and VP Electronic Banking at Norwest Bank. He was involved in development of the FIS Connex and ACI Base 24 platforms, formation of several of the early mid-western EFT networks and was a founder and first president of the Diebold-TABS Advisory Group.

Hanisch serves on the board of and is a past chairman of the Electronic Funds Transfer Association. He was a member of the Federal Reserve Faster Payments Task Force. He serves or has served on the boards of RewardsNOW, Early Warning Systems, ResolverGroup, CUATM Services and Everlink.  He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a BA in Economics.  He lives in Upland, California with his wife Barb.   

About Cheryl Middleton Jones

Cheryl Middleton Jones joined CO-OP Financial Services as Chief People Officer in November 2018, bringing more than 20 years of human resources and change management experience within large organizations to help lead CO-OP’s transformation as a digital enterprise. Jones joins CO-OP from Discovery, Inc., a mass media company operating the Discovery Channel and others, where she was Senior Vice President of Human Resources. In this capacity, Jones was responsible for defining and executing strategy and creating consistent structures, systems and operating plans involving 4,000 employees around the world. Earlier this year, she oversaw Discovery, Inc.’s global HR transformation following the acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive. Prior to joining Discovery, Inc., in 2011, she worked for ING, the financial services company, from 2001-2011; and Honeywell, the high tech company, from 1994-2001.

About Mathew Kardell

Chief Revenue Officer Mathew Kardell joined CO-OP in April 2017, Previously, he was Senior Vice President and General Manager (SVP/GM) of STAR Network Relationship and Sales at First Data Corporation. He is a veteran of the payments and financial services industry with more than 25 years in high-performing revenue-generation and business development roles. At First Data, Kardell most recently was responsible for the company’s STAR Network client relationships with merchants and financial Institutions, with network transactions experiencing double-digit percent growth in 2015. Prior to that position, he was SVP/GM of Financial Institution Relationships and New Business Development, managing more than $1 billion in revenue and spanning more than 4,000 financial institutions in North America. In addition, Kardell has extensive experience in the credit union space, having managed those strategic relationships during his tenure at First Data. 

About Dean Michaels

Dean Michaels joined CO-OP Financial Services in December 2017 as Chief Strategy Officer.

When Dean was added to the CO-OP leadership team, Todd Clark, President/CEO, remarked: “Strategic business partnerships and acquisitions are central to CO-OP delivering on its promise to the industry to quickly deliver seamless, secure and advanced digital solutions. The acquisition of TMG (April 2017) is a prime example of how we are building CO-OP to be the most comprehensive payments and financial technology provider to credit unions.

Dean brings extensive corporate development background and expertise in the arena of payments technology and networks,” said Clark. “He will work closely with me and our executive management team to make determinations on partnership development, mergers and acquisitions, and in identifying areas of growth via strategic investment.

Prior to joining CO-OP, Michaels held leadership roles at First Data Corporation, including Head of Business Execution for STAR Network and Head of Finance for First Data’s U.S. Merchant Acquiring Business. In addition, Michaels led the development of First Data’s Smart Routing and Network Routing partnership programs, driving new revenue through network routing solutions developed in response to the Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation II governing debit card interchange fees and routing. In previous roles, Michaels led First Data’s merchant-acquiring Small Business Cross-Sales and Retention organizations.

Michaels has also worked for JP Morgan Chase. There, he was responsible for evaluating and improving the effectiveness of consumer banking cross-sales campaigns, including profit and loss responsibility for JP Morgan Chase’s branch and call center cross-sales programs.

Michaels holds an MBA from New York University and a BBA from Adelphi University of Garden City, N.Y. 

About Samantha Paxson

Samantha Paxson is Chief Experience Officer for CO-OP Financial Services (www.co-opfs.org), architect of the company’s go-to-market brand and customer experience strategy, delivered through message, product, value chain and systems. An accomplished speaker and thought leader, Paxson founded CO-OP THINK, an innovation content platform empowering the evolution of mission-driven financial services. 

Over her 20 year career, Paxson’s focus has been on the intersection of technology, purpose and experience to evolve the organization and meet the needs of the market. Paxson is a proponent of intraprenuership: innovating on the space between functional areas, by brokering tight relationships and strategies between a network of teams – transforming the organization for ongoing algorithmic improvement across the ecosystem. Dedicated to the growth of the CO-OP brand, she's helped boost and secure a 15 point NPS (Net Promoter Score) hike, transforming her function to be a digital content and experience powerhouse, and creating the largest industry following in owned and earned channels. 

Paxson is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in Journalism and Social Sciences. She is also an advisor to the OpenIDEO Challenge on “Financial Empowerment,” a USCCU Board Member, CUNA Marketing Awareness Board Member, NCUF Board Member, CUCollaborate Board Member and CMNH Board Member.

About Kari Wilfong

In July 2006, Kari Wilfong joined CO-OP’s executive team as the Chief Financial Officer. Now serving as Chief Financial Officer/Chief Administrative Officer, Wilfong’s main focus is on financial security, as well as the strategic, organic and future financial growth and development of CO-OP. She is also responsible for the advancement and management of enterprise-wide accounting, finance, information technology, risk management and security. 

Wilfong's duties at CO-OP include extensive experience in acquisitions and investments, most recently with business partners Alkami Technology, Inc., of Plano, Texas, and Finivation, of New York, New York. Wilfong is also a member of Ongoing Operations of Hagerstown, Maryland, and provides financial guidance to other companies in which CO-OP holds a strategic investment. 

Wilfong held various leadership roles at Western National Group and USIWest in Irvine, Calif., and began her career at Frankeberger & Company in 1991 as a Support Staff Accountant. She is a certified public accountant and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration, with an academic achievement award, from Loyola Marymount University. In 2015, Wilfong completed her Executive MBA from Claremont Graduate University with high honors, focusing on strategy and leadership (separate certificates received for both leadership and strategy).  

Executive Team

CO-OP’s Executive Management Team represents a breadth of payments and financial services expertise in pursuit of a single mission: Helping credit unions thrive.

About Todd Clark

Todd Clark is President/CEO of CO-OP Financial Services, having begun his tenure on June 27, 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. 

About Nicholas Calcanes

Chief Operating Officer Nick Calcanes joined CO-OP in April 2017 from financial technology solutions provider Fiserv, where he was CIO for Financial Risk Management Solutions. His 25-year career in the financial services industry includes key technology leadership positions as CIO, Wholesale Credit and Client Technology, at Bank of America Corporation and CIO, Global Functions Technology, at Ally Financial. In these roles, Calcanes managed technology strategy and oversaw the IT functions for 1,000-plus person organizations and multi-millions in budgets. His experience includes transforming IT strategy to realign people, processes and technology across business operations, as well as increasing performance outputs. Calcanes’ focus at CO-OP is to elevate CO-OP’s technology strategy and build out infrastructure to continue its transformation as a digital company.

About Bruce Dragt

Bruce Dragt joined CO-OP Financial Services in November 2018 as Chief Product Officer. Dragt has specialized in growing technology-driven companies, both start-ups and large, established companies. In the two-plus years prior to joining CO-OP, he served as Executive Vice President, Product, for YapStone, a provider of electronic payment systems that help online and mobile companies with their payment transactions. Before that, Dragt spent more than 13 years holding multiple senior-level roles with First Data Corporation, including SVP, Global eCommerce-Merchant Products. Additional payments and financial industry experience includes work with i2 Technologies, Financial Settlement Matrix and Wells Fargo.

About James Hanisch

James (Jim) Hanisch has more than 35 years experience with credit unions and 40 years experience with payments and technology. Jim serves as President, CO-OP Network, with responsibility for long-term strategy and implementation of the expanding CO-OP ATM and CO-OP Shared Branch nationwide credit union network assets.

Hanisch, an Iowa native, arrived at CO-OP Financial Services in 2000. He has been involved with credit unions since the late 1970’s and CO-OP since 1986. Hanisch led the technology design for both the CO-OP ATM and CO-OP Shared Branch networks while at Deluxe Data Systems (now FIS). He had the privilege to learn about credit unions from industry icons Tom Griffiths, Robert Rose, Gary Wolters, Carrol Beach, Bill Broxterman, Ed Callahan, Tom Sargent, Rick Craig, Stan Hollen and Pat Jury. 

Prior to CO-OP, Hanisch has served as VP Application Service Provider Services for ACI Worldwide, VP Strategic Planning for USPI, VP Financial Institution Services for Deluxe Data, and VP Electronic Banking at Norwest Bank. He was involved in development of the FIS Connex and ACI Base 24 platforms, formation of several of the early mid-western EFT networks and was a founder and first president of the Diebold-TABS Advisory Group.

Hanisch serves on the board of and is a past chairman of the Electronic Funds Transfer Association. He was a member of the Federal Reserve Faster Payments Task Force. He serves or has served on the boards of RewardsNOW, Early Warning Systems, ResolverGroup, CUATM Services and Everlink.  He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a BA in Economics.  He lives in Upland, California with his wife Barb.   

About Cheryl Middleton Jones

Cheryl Middleton Jones joined CO-OP Financial Services as Chief People Officer in November 2018, bringing more than 20 years of human resources and change management experience within large organizations to help lead CO-OP’s transformation as a digital enterprise. Jones joins CO-OP from Discovery, Inc., a mass media company operating the Discovery Channel and others, where she was Senior Vice President of Human Resources. In this capacity, Jones was responsible for defining and executing strategy and creating consistent structures, systems and operating plans involving 4,000 employees around the world. Earlier this year, she oversaw Discovery, Inc.’s global HR transformation following the acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive. Prior to joining Discovery, Inc., in 2011, she worked for ING, the financial services company, from 2001-2011; and Honeywell, the high tech company, from 1994-2001.

About Mathew Kardell

Chief Revenue Officer Mathew Kardell joined CO-OP in April 2017, Previously, he was Senior Vice President and General Manager (SVP/GM) of STAR Network Relationship and Sales at First Data Corporation. He is a veteran of the payments and financial services industry with more than 25 years in high-performing revenue-generation and business development roles. At First Data, Kardell most recently was responsible for the company’s STAR Network client relationships with merchants and financial Institutions, with network transactions experiencing double-digit percent growth in 2015. Prior to that position, he was SVP/GM of Financial Institution Relationships and New Business Development, managing more than $1 billion in revenue and spanning more than 4,000 financial institutions in North America. In addition, Kardell has extensive experience in the credit union space, having managed those strategic relationships during his tenure at First Data. 

About Dean Michaels

Dean Michaels joined CO-OP Financial Services in December 2017 as Chief Strategy Officer.

When Dean was added to the CO-OP leadership team, Todd Clark, President/CEO, remarked: “Strategic business partnerships and acquisitions are central to CO-OP delivering on its promise to the industry to quickly deliver seamless, secure and advanced digital solutions. The acquisition of TMG (April 2017) is a prime example of how we are building CO-OP to be the most comprehensive payments and financial technology provider to credit unions.

Dean brings extensive corporate development background and expertise in the arena of payments technology and networks,” said Clark. “He will work closely with me and our executive management team to make determinations on partnership development, mergers and acquisitions, and in identifying areas of growth via strategic investment.

Prior to joining CO-OP, Michaels held leadership roles at First Data Corporation, including Head of Business Execution for STAR Network and Head of Finance for First Data’s U.S. Merchant Acquiring Business. In addition, Michaels led the development of First Data’s Smart Routing and Network Routing partnership programs, driving new revenue through network routing solutions developed in response to the Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation II governing debit card interchange fees and routing. In previous roles, Michaels led First Data’s merchant-acquiring Small Business Cross-Sales and Retention organizations.

Michaels has also worked for JP Morgan Chase. There, he was responsible for evaluating and improving the effectiveness of consumer banking cross-sales campaigns, including profit and loss responsibility for JP Morgan Chase’s branch and call center cross-sales programs.

Michaels holds an MBA from New York University and a BBA from Adelphi University of Garden City, N.Y. 

About Samantha Paxson

Samantha Paxson is Chief Experience Officer for CO-OP Financial Services (www.co-opfs.org), architect of the company’s go-to-market brand and customer experience strategy, delivered through message, product, value chain and systems. An accomplished speaker and thought leader, Paxson founded CO-OP THINK, an innovation content platform empowering the evolution of mission-driven financial services. 

Over her 20 year career, Paxson’s focus has been on the intersection of technology, purpose and experience to evolve the organization and meet the needs of the market. Paxson is a proponent of intraprenuership: innovating on the space between functional areas, by brokering tight relationships and strategies between a network of teams – transforming the organization for ongoing algorithmic improvement across the ecosystem. Dedicated to the growth of the CO-OP brand, she's helped boost and secure a 15 point NPS (Net Promoter Score) hike, transforming her function to be a digital content and experience powerhouse, and creating the largest industry following in owned and earned channels. 

Paxson is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in Journalism and Social Sciences. She is also an advisor to the OpenIDEO Challenge on “Financial Empowerment,” a USCCU Board Member, CUNA Marketing Awareness Board Member, NCUF Board Member, CUCollaborate Board Member and CMNH Board Member.

About Kari Wilfong

In July 2006, Kari Wilfong joined CO-OP’s executive team as the Chief Financial Officer. Now serving as Chief Financial Officer/Chief Administrative Officer, Wilfong’s main focus is on financial security, as well as the strategic, organic and future financial growth and development of CO-OP. She is also responsible for the advancement and management of enterprise-wide accounting, finance, information technology, risk management and security. 

Wilfong's duties at CO-OP include extensive experience in acquisitions and investments, most recently with business partners Alkami Technology, Inc., of Plano, Texas, and Finivation, of New York, New York. Wilfong is also a member of Ongoing Operations of Hagerstown, Maryland, and provides financial guidance to other companies in which CO-OP holds a strategic investment. 

Wilfong held various leadership roles at Western National Group and USIWest in Irvine, Calif., and began her career at Frankeberger & Company in 1991 as a Support Staff Accountant. She is a certified public accountant and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration, with an academic achievement award, from Loyola Marymount University. In 2015, Wilfong completed her Executive MBA from Claremont Graduate University with high honors, focusing on strategy and leadership (separate certificates received for both leadership and strategy).  

Executive Team

CO-OP’s Executive Management Team represents a breadth of payments and financial services expertise in pursuit of a single mission: Helping credit unions thrive.

About Todd Clark

Todd Clark is President/CEO of CO-OP Financial Services, having begun his tenure on June 27, 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. 

About Nicholas Calcanes

Chief Operating Officer Nick Calcanes joined CO-OP in April 2017 from financial technology solutions provider Fiserv, where he was CIO for Financial Risk Management Solutions. His 25-year career in the financial services industry includes key technology leadership positions as CIO, Wholesale Credit and Client Technology, at Bank of America Corporation and CIO, Global Functions Technology, at Ally Financial. In these roles, Calcanes managed technology strategy and oversaw the IT functions for 1,000-plus person organizations and multi-millions in budgets. His experience includes transforming IT strategy to realign people, processes and technology across business operations, as well as increasing performance outputs. Calcanes’ focus at CO-OP is to elevate CO-OP’s technology strategy and build out infrastructure to continue its transformation as a digital company.

About Bruce Dragt

Bruce Dragt joined CO-OP Financial Services in November 2018 as Chief Product Officer. Dragt has specialized in growing technology-driven companies, both start-ups and large, established companies. In the two-plus years prior to joining CO-OP, he served as Executive Vice President, Product, for YapStone, a provider of electronic payment systems that help online and mobile companies with their payment transactions. Before that, Dragt spent more than 13 years holding multiple senior-level roles with First Data Corporation, including SVP, Global eCommerce-Merchant Products. Additional payments and financial industry experience includes work with i2 Technologies, Financial Settlement Matrix and Wells Fargo.

About James Hanisch

James (Jim) Hanisch has more than 35 years experience with credit unions and 40 years experience with payments and technology. Jim serves as President, CO-OP Network, with responsibility for long-term strategy and implementation of the expanding CO-OP ATM and CO-OP Shared Branch nationwide credit union network assets.

Hanisch, an Iowa native, arrived at CO-OP Financial Services in 2000. He has been involved with credit unions since the late 1970’s and CO-OP since 1986. Hanisch led the technology design for both the CO-OP ATM and CO-OP Shared Branch networks while at Deluxe Data Systems (now FIS). He had the privilege to learn about credit unions from industry icons Tom Griffiths, Robert Rose, Gary Wolters, Carrol Beach, Bill Broxterman, Ed Callahan, Tom Sargent, Rick Craig, Stan Hollen and Pat Jury. 

Prior to CO-OP, Hanisch has served as VP Application Service Provider Services for ACI Worldwide, VP Strategic Planning for USPI, VP Financial Institution Services for Deluxe Data, and VP Electronic Banking at Norwest Bank. He was involved in development of the FIS Connex and ACI Base 24 platforms, formation of several of the early mid-western EFT networks and was a founder and first president of the Diebold-TABS Advisory Group.

Hanisch serves on the board of and is a past chairman of the Electronic Funds Transfer Association. He was a member of the Federal Reserve Faster Payments Task Force. He serves or has served on the boards of RewardsNOW, Early Warning Systems, ResolverGroup, CUATM Services and Everlink.  He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a BA in Economics.  He lives in Upland, California with his wife Barb.   

About Cheryl Middleton Jones

Cheryl Middleton Jones joined CO-OP Financial Services as Chief People Officer in November 2018, bringing more than 20 years of human resources and change management experience within large organizations to help lead CO-OP’s transformation as a digital enterprise. Jones joins CO-OP from Discovery, Inc., a mass media company operating the Discovery Channel and others, where she was Senior Vice President of Human Resources. In this capacity, Jones was responsible for defining and executing strategy and creating consistent structures, systems and operating plans involving 4,000 employees around the world. Earlier this year, she oversaw Discovery, Inc.’s global HR transformation following the acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive. Prior to joining Discovery, Inc., in 2011, she worked for ING, the financial services company, from 2001-2011; and Honeywell, the high tech company, from 1994-2001.

About Mathew Kardell

Chief Revenue Officer Mathew Kardell joined CO-OP in April 2017, Previously, he was Senior Vice President and General Manager (SVP/GM) of STAR Network Relationship and Sales at First Data Corporation. He is a veteran of the payments and financial services industry with more than 25 years in high-performing revenue-generation and business development roles. At First Data, Kardell most recently was responsible for the company’s STAR Network client relationships with merchants and financial Institutions, with network transactions experiencing double-digit percent growth in 2015. Prior to that position, he was SVP/GM of Financial Institution Relationships and New Business Development, managing more than $1 billion in revenue and spanning more than 4,000 financial institutions in North America. In addition, Kardell has extensive experience in the credit union space, having managed those strategic relationships during his tenure at First Data. 

About Dean Michaels

Dean Michaels joined CO-OP Financial Services in December 2017 as Chief Strategy Officer.

When Dean was added to the CO-OP leadership team, Todd Clark, President/CEO, remarked: “Strategic business partnerships and acquisitions are central to CO-OP delivering on its promise to the industry to quickly deliver seamless, secure and advanced digital solutions. The acquisition of TMG (April 2017) is a prime example of how we are building CO-OP to be the most comprehensive payments and financial technology provider to credit unions.

Dean brings extensive corporate development background and expertise in the arena of payments technology and networks,” said Clark. “He will work closely with me and our executive management team to make determinations on partnership development, mergers and acquisitions, and in identifying areas of growth via strategic investment.

Prior to joining CO-OP, Michaels held leadership roles at First Data Corporation, including Head of Business Execution for STAR Network and Head of Finance for First Data’s U.S. Merchant Acquiring Business. In addition, Michaels led the development of First Data’s Smart Routing and Network Routing partnership programs, driving new revenue through network routing solutions developed in response to the Federal Reserve Board’s Regulation II governing debit card interchange fees and routing. In previous roles, Michaels led First Data’s merchant-acquiring Small Business Cross-Sales and Retention organizations.

Michaels has also worked for JP Morgan Chase. There, he was responsible for evaluating and improving the effectiveness of consumer banking cross-sales campaigns, including profit and loss responsibility for JP Morgan Chase’s branch and call center cross-sales programs.

Michaels holds an MBA from New York University and a BBA from Adelphi University of Garden City, N.Y. 

About Samantha Paxson

Samantha Paxson is Chief Experience Officer for CO-OP Financial Services (www.co-opfs.org), architect of the company’s go-to-market brand and customer experience strategy, delivered through message, product, value chain and systems. An accomplished speaker and thought leader, Paxson founded CO-OP THINK, an innovation content platform empowering the evolution of mission-driven financial services. 

Over her 20 year career, Paxson’s focus has been on the intersection of technology, purpose and experience to evolve the organization and meet the needs of the market. Paxson is a proponent of intraprenuership: innovating on the space between functional areas, by brokering tight relationships and strategies between a network of teams – transforming the organization for ongoing algorithmic improvement across the ecosystem. Dedicated to the growth of the CO-OP brand, she's helped boost and secure a 15 point NPS (Net Promoter Score) hike, transforming her function to be a digital content and experience powerhouse, and creating the largest industry following in owned and earned channels. 

Paxson is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in Journalism and Social Sciences. She is also an advisor to the OpenIDEO Challenge on “Financial Empowerment,” a USCCU Board Member, CUNA Marketing Awareness Board Member, NCUF Board Member, CUCollaborate Board Member and CMNH Board Member.

About Kari Wilfong

In July 2006, Kari Wilfong joined CO-OP’s executive team as the Chief Financial Officer. Now serving as Chief Financial Officer/Chief Administrative Officer, Wilfong’s main focus is on financial security, as well as the strategic, organic and future financial growth and development of CO-OP. She is also responsible for the advancement and management of enterprise-wide accounting, finance, information technology, risk management and security. 

Wilfong's duties at CO-OP include extensive experience in acquisitions and investments, most recently with business partners Alkami Technology, Inc., of Plano, Texas, and Finivation, of New York, New York. Wilfong is also a member of Ongoing Operations of Hagerstown, Maryland, and provides financial guidance to other companies in which CO-OP holds a strategic investment. 

Wilfong held various leadership roles at Western National Group and USIWest in Irvine, Calif., and began her career at Frankeberger & Company in 1991 as a Support Staff Accountant. She is a certified public accountant and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration, with an academic achievement award, from Loyola Marymount University. In 2015, Wilfong completed her Executive MBA from Claremont Graduate University with high honors, focusing on strategy and leadership (separate certificates received for both leadership and strategy).