Employees Of Three Credit Unions Named Finalists Of 10000 Co Op Think Prize 13



RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (March 11, 2013) - With a $10,000 grand prize presented by MasterCard at stake, three finalists have been named for the CO-OP THINK Prize 13, a competition created by CO-OP Financial Services to inspire innovative solutions to the issues confronting the credit union industry.

The three finalists and their business plan titles include:

  • Robert Baron, Director of Marketing, Technicolor Federal Credit Union (, Burbank, Calif.: "Virtual Teller System."
  • Andree Kirk, Online Services Administrator, San Francisco Federal Credit Union (, San Francisco, Calif.: "Shared Member Application Platform."
  • Deborah Larson, Branch Manager, Dakota Plains Credit Union (, Enderlin, N.D.: "Switch Kit App."

"We congratulate the three finalists, who have worked hard to develop their business plans since we received their initial idea at the end of September," said Stan Hollen, President/CEO, CO-OP Financial Services. "The CO-OP THINK Prize 13 promotes creative thinking on challenges facing our movement, and we have three very thoughtful approaches to consider."

The three finalists were selected from among 25 semi-finalists by judges from CO-OP Financial Services and Filene Research Institute. The winner of the CO-OP THINK Prize 13 will be announced on May 2 at the THINK 13 Conference, being held at the Swissotel in Chicago, Ill., April 29-May 2. The $679 registration is open at

The winner will be based on scoring by the CO-OP Financial Services and Filene Research Institute judges; online voting by credit union employees at open March 26-April 19, and on-site voting by registered THINK 13 Conference attendees.

CO-OP Financial Services will be working with the finalists to produce a video that helps the entrants to explain their idea. This video will be made available on the THINK website for the online voting period and shown at the THINK 13 Conference. The three finalists themselves and a guest of each are invited to the THINK 13 Conference, with CO-OP Financial Services covering their travel and lodging costs. 

The business plans of CO-OP THINK Prize entrants can take any form - such as an innovative application of technology, a new process for back office efficiency or a fresh approach to industry advertising and marketing. Though the ideas can vary widely, the judging criteria for entries are based on four main standards - impact, creativity, aggregation (the application of the idea across the industry) and implementation (the ability to be adopted).

For more information on the CO-OP THINK Prize 13 and to register for the THINK 13 Conference, visit

About CO-OP Financial Services

Based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and founded in 1981, CO-OP Financial Services is the nation's largest credit union service organization in terms of number of credit unions, assets and members. The company specializes in helping credit unions thrive by providing products and services that make it more convenient for members to do business with them. With a motto of "Be There. Be More," CO-OP's products fall into three business lines, including "Locations," (ATM, shared branching and call center services); "Card Payments" (debit and credit processing) and "Mobile/ Virtual" (mobile, online, check imaging, bill pay services). To learn more visit