Robert Baron Of Technicolor Fcu Voted Winner Of Co Op Think Prize 13



RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (May 3, 2013) - Robert Baron of Technicolor Federal Credit Union, Burbank, Calif., is the winner of the CO-OP THINK Prize 13, and recipient of $10,000, for his idea for a "Virtual Teller System."

The three finalists in the competition presented their ideas to attendees of THINK 13 in Chicago, Ill., the morning of May 2. Baron, Director of Marketing for Technicolor FCU, (, was announced the winner at the conference's Gala that same evening.

The two other finalists were:

  • 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."

The $10,000 award to Baron was presented by CO-OP Financial Services and CO-OP THINK Prize 13 sponsor MasterCard.

As Baron explained it to the judges in his business plan, "One of the biggest structural dilemmas the credit union industry faces is that 'banking hours' are usually the same as 'working hours,' making interpersonal engagement between members and credit unions more difficult. I have developed [a plan for] a secure virtual teller system that would allow members to visit any branch without ever having to leave their home or office, through video-conferencing from either a computer or mobile phone."

"CO-OP Financial Services congratulates all three of our finalists on their innovative ideas," said Stan Hollen, President/CEO of CO-OP Financial Services. "Our goal with the CO-OP THINK Prize is to promote and inspire creative thinking on industry issues, and each of the three final business plans were wonderful displays of that."

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 quickly). The three CO-OP THINK Prize finalists were selected by judges from CO-OP Financial Services and the Filene Research Institute.

The final decision on the winner was based on the voting of the judges, online voters and that of registered THINK 13 attendees.

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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