Three Credit Union Employees Are Finalists For 10000 Co Op Think Prize 14



RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif., March 3, 2014 - Three highly innovative-thinking credit union employees are vying for a $10,000 grand prize presented by MasterCard, as CO-OP Financial Services has named the finalists in the CO-OP THINK Prize 14 competition.

The three finalists were selected from 20 semi-finalists by judges from CO-OP Financial Services and Filene Research Institute. The contestants submitted comprehensive business plans for unique ideas to help the credit union movement compete successfully in today's financial services market.

The three finalists and their business plan titles include:

  • Sanam Kazi, Project Coordinator; Chicago Patrolmen's FCU (, Chicago, Ill. "Customizable Website for Financial Education to Credit Union Members."
  • Christopher Whalen, Marketing and E-Services Specialist; Connex Credit Union (, North Haven, Conn. "Mobile One: A Complete Financial Solution."
  • Brett Wooden, SVP of Marketing and IT; Cy-Fair FCU (, Houston, Texas. "Embrace a Child's Imagination to Develop Financial Literacy."

"This is the fourth year of the CO-OP THINK Prize and this year we have the greatest depth of ideas in competition history," said Stan Hollen, President/CEO, CO-OP Financial Services. "The entries can take any form and these ideas - emphasizing technology to educational marketing, including to the very young - reflect the diverse creative thinking we are seeking to inspire."

The winner of the CO-OP THINK Prize 14 will be announced May 21 at the THINK 14 Conference, being held at the Sheraton New Orleans in the Crescent City, May 19-22, 2014. Registration for the event is $679 to credit union employees, and may be completed at

Scoring of the winning entry will be based on the critique of judges from CO-OP Financial Services and Filene Research Institute; online voting by credit union employees at; and on-site voting by registered THINK 14 Conference attendees.

Details on the entries by the three finalists can be viewed at

For more information on the THINK 14 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 helps 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