2023 Connect Conference
September 25-26, 2023
Samoset Resort | Rockport, ME
Registration is now closed for Synergent Connect 2023. We are looking forward to seeing credit union partners from across the country for this two-day event that will be packed with valuable information presented by industry renowned speakers and subject matter experts. Credit union staff members will have the opportunity to learn about the latest products and strategies, network with credit union colleagues from across the country, and be inspired, all while gathering on the beautiful coast of Maine.
Jordan Gardner, Account Executive for Visa, is a leader in digital payments. He has almost two decades of experience in strategy building and resolving pain points within fintech and financial services. Jordan currently serves as the Regional Account Executive for Visa Inc., overseeing the Northeast portfolio. Jordan comes from the banking world and first started off his career as a Navy Federal Credit Union Branch Manager in 2006. Due to his vast experience in banking, Jordan can find solution-oriented approaches within the payments ecosystem and trends to help community banks and credit unions grow and thrive.
Keith Gray is a Vice President with The Clearing House with responsibility for Strategic Partnerships. Mr. Gray works with these partners to facilitate launching and supporting their payment related initiatives, as well as supporting banks and credit unions directly as they plan and execute their strategies to leverage RTP and other networks. During his 20+ year career, Mr. Gray has worked extensively with financial institutions of all sizes, as well as financial technology companies on emerging payments initiatives, mobile solutions, and online banking applications. He worked with multiple early-stage organizations bringing new products to market.
Joni Hopkins is a Vice President for the Federal Reserve’s Product & Relationship Management Group, part of the Federal Reserve Financial Services Area. Her responsibilities include engaging and collaborating with community financial institutions throughout the U.S. to help define and prioritize system improvements that advance payment speed, efficiency, and security. Hopkins has been with the Federal Reserve System for over 25 years. She was awarded the EPCOR Marquis Award for outstanding leadership, innovation and excellence in the development, implementation or advancement of electronic payments and risk mitigation solutions and is known as a champion for electronic banking services.
Brandon Krebs is a Technical Product Manager at Jack Henry with over 20 years of experience in financial technology. For the last decade his focus has been on real-time payments over multiple P2P payment systems. While working for FIS, Brandon oversaw the development and implementation of Zelle for more than 130 institutions and the development of a real time disbursements payment product. He later worked on real-time payments development with Payrailz LLC, until their acquisition in 2022. Today, Brandon is working to integrate RTP, FedNow, and other real-time payment rails into Jack Henry’s Payrailz Digital Payments Platform. He is also a member of the US Faster Payments Council.
Adam Lee is the Senior Manager for TruStage DEI Services. He is developing and launching products that will support credit unions’ DEI journeys. Adam has been working in the credit union system for nine years as a former Senior Project Manager for CUNA Mutual Group and as the Incubator Director for Filene Research Institute. At Filene, Adam led a team to test and scale innovative products that advance financial equity. Prior to his time with credit unions, Adam supported communities as a Senior Consultant for Deloitte’s Federal Strategy and Operations Division and as a leader in two AmeriCorps community service programs. Adam lives in Madison, WI with his two daughters and dog Hudson.
Caroline Vahrenkamp is the Director of Advisory Services for the Filene Research Institute. She brings 20+ years of experience in and around credit unions to Filene. With her extensive background in finance, marketing, and product development, Caroline is on a mission to support credit union innovation and find trends and patterns in consumer behavior that will lead to the development of new products and services to transform the credit union industry. Prior to her work with Filene, Caroline was at Raddon where she was responsible for consumer research and strategic advisory services. Her past roles also include CFO at Clackamas Federal Credit Union and SVP of Marketing and Member Experience at Elements Financial.
Make Your Travel Arrangements
How To Get Here
By car, the Samoset Resort is just under two hours north of Portland, Maine, and just over an hour from Bangor, Maine. If arriving by plane, fly into the Portland International Jetport (PWM) or Bangor International Airport (BGR).
Where To Stay
Consider coming early and/or stay a day or two extra to enjoy autumn in Maine! The room block at the Samoset Resort is now full, but we recommend the following hotels in the area: