Storm Vogelsong And Weidler Named Finalists In First Annual Co Op Think Prize Competition

Storm, Vogelsong and Weidler Named Finalists in First Annual CO-OP THINK PRIZE Competition


The judging standards for this new award are based on the entry's potential positive impact on the industry, its creativity, and its ability to be shared and implemented by all credit unions.

Representing diverse professional backgrounds and geographic areas, the three finalists are:

  • Shari Storm, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, for Verity Credit Union of Seattle, Wash. Her entry is a business plan for the Squirrel smartphone application.
  • Candace Vogelsong, Marketing Specialist, for Community Powered FCU of Newark, Del. Her business plan addresses social media.
  • Matt Weidler, IT Asset Coordinator, for Evangelical Christian Credit Union of Brea, Calif. His business plan centers on cellular ATM access.

"We created the CO-OP THINK PRIZE to inspire innovative approaches to the issues confronting the credit union movement" said Stan Hollen, President/CEO. "We knew we would get great ideas and we urge everyone in the industry to come to THINK 11 at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim, Calif., and find out for themselves."

The three finalists will present their ideas to an audience expected to exceed 500 at the THINK 11 Conference on Tues., May 17. Voting on the winner will be conducted by a panel of judges from CO-OP Financial Services and the Filene Research Institute, as well as registered conference attendees. In addition, credit union industry employees - even those not attending THNK 11 - can view the entry videos and cast votes on-line at from April 15-May 6. The winner will be declared during the conference's awards gala the evening of May 17.

The CO-OP THINK PRIZE was introduced last April at the THINK 10 Conference. Initial entries were required by Oct. 15 and from these, 25 semi-finalists were asked to provide business plans by Dec. 31. All semi-finalists received a $150 gift card from MasterCard, a sponsor of both the CO-OP THINK PRIZE and the THINK 11 Conference.

Storm, Vogelsong and Weidler will now work with a professional video production company provided by CO-OP Financial Services to present their plan on-line and in a conference setting. The $10,000 in seed money is being awarded to help the winner bring their idea to reality for the benefit of their credit union and the entire movement.

Biographies of the finalists and capsule descriptions of their entries can be found at, as well as the video presentations starting April 15. Registration for the THINK 11 Conference can also be done at, and it is free to credit union employees.

About CO-OP Financial Services

Based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., CO-OP Financial Services is the industry leader in access and convenience products for credit unions. Nearing 30 years of credit union service, CO-OP connects credit union members to their accounts through network services, payment processing, e-commerce, shared branching and call center services. With a total of 3,000 credit union members, 30 million cardholders, 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs, 4,000 shared branch locations and two billion annual transactions, CO-OP Financial Services is the nation's largest credit union service organization, offering the tools, counsel and leadership to help credit unions prosper. To learn more, visit Follow CO-OP on Twitter at: and keep up with industry issues via the CO-OP Insight Vault blog at: