2023 Synergent Connect Conference | Agenda

Monday, September 25

11:30 am-12:30 pm: Lunch Buffet

12:30 pm-12:45 pm: Welcome and Opening Remarks
Cris Wescott, Interim President/CEO – Synergent
Tyler Hudson, Chief Information Officer – Synergent

12:45 pm-1:45 pm: What Matters Now: All People Seen. All Voices Heard.
Adam Lee, Senior Manager – DEI Services – TruStage

The “All People Seen, All Voices Heard” mantra is core to the multi-year What Matters Now™ research, developed and digested specifically for credit unions. With contributions from nearly 10,000 multicultural and multigenerational participants across the country, facilitators will share identity-rich data, insights, and action steps for helping your members and community achieve financial wellbeing. Lee will share highlights from this this research, which includes the Native American, Native Alaskan and Indigenous and Multiracial consumer perspectives, providing insight into how the pandemic has impacted consumer finances. The research aims to provide credit unions with knowledge that will help us better serve all consumers and live into our founding purpose of people helping people. 

1:45 pm-2:00 pm: Break

2:00 pm-3:00 pm: The Credit Union Renaissance
Caroline Vahrenkamp – Director of Advisory Services – Filene Research Institute

Credit unions are facing a uniquely challenging environment. At the same time, new opportunities are emerging for credit unions to embrace their strengths and grow through a revitalization of consumer and cooperative finance defined by humanism, innovation, and transformation.

Emerging Consumer and Industry Trends   

What are the pressures on the credit union business model today? An uncertain operating environment and accelerating competition, new forms of digital delivery, high levels of product commoditization with increasingly transactional relationships, and a fixed cost structure all mean that credit unions must rethink how they do business. Meanwhile, a fragmented financial services landscape and shifting consumer behaviors—from embedded finance to main-street investing to the future of workmean that credit unions must also rethink how they deliver solutions to meet consumers’ needs at the point of need. 

Key Areas of Focus in 2023 and Beyond: Price, Product, Promotion   

A focus on pricing, products, and promotion will drive credit union success. Effective pricing-on lending and deposits-can yield stronger returns and provide needed strategic flexibility. Diversifying products-in alignment with members’ shifting and emerging needs-can create new markets and growth opportunities. And embracing data to better understand and reach members through personalized offers and experiences can foster loyalty and trust.

3:00 pm-3:15 pm: Break

3:15 pm-4:15 pm: Concurrent Breakout Sessions (Choose One)

Creating Community Impact with Only a Stick of Gum, a Paperclip, and a Pocketknife: Adam Lee, Senior Manager – DEI Services, TruStage

Credit unions are often faced with limited resources when launching community impact initiatives. Teams often must scale back efforts or end initiatives all together when resources are not approved or an inability to make decisive decisions interrupts momentum. But starting with an expensive, complex idea, with top-down oversight, doesn’t have to be the only way to embark on a community impact initiative. Sometimes, you can start with readily available resources and passionate individuals. Just like MacGyver did with a stick of gum, a paperclip, and a pocketknife to solve a complex problem!

Join this fun, interactive workshop to learn the basics of an organizing framework called Strategic DoingTM, developed by Ed Morrison and scaled at Purdue University. Your facilitator, Adam Lee, is a trained Strategic Doing practitioner. Adam will share his passion for this framework, and MacGyver, to inspire participants to take on more with only what is at hand. Adam will challenge participants to practice this framework in a small group and generate a feasible community impact initiative before the session ends!

A Deeper Dive: Solving the Puzzle of Credit Union Growth – Caroline Vahrenkamp, Director of Advisory Services – Filene Research Institute

This breakout will include a presentation and facilitated discussion on how credit unions can find unique solutions to the key strategic opportunities described in the earlier keynote presentation.

5:30 pm-6:30 pm: Social Hour
Hosted bar sponsored by Synergent, Tricorp, and TruStage

6:30 pm-8:00 pm: Dinner Buffet

Tuesday, September 26

8:00 am-9:15 am: Breakfast & Opening Remarks
Cris Wescott, Interim President/CEO – Synergent
Tyler Hudson, Chief Information Officer – Synergent

9:15 am-10:15 am: FedNow Update
Brandon Krebs, Technical Product Manager – Jack Henry

FedNow®, the Federal Reserve’s new system for instant payments, went live on July 20, 2023, and is now available to credit unions and other financial institutions. Through this flexible platform, members can send instant payments through their depository institution accounts 24/7. In this presentation, Krebs will discuss in detail what FedNow is, how it works, and potential use cases for the FedNow rail. He’ll also provide an update on where the FedNow pilot is today with both the Federal Reserve and Jack Henry.

10:15 am-10:30 am: Break

10:30 am-11:30 am: Get to Know the Next Generation of Digital Consumers
Jordan Gardner, Account Executive – Northeast Region – Visa

Did you know that Americans will spend 4.6 hours a day on their phone in 2023? In this session, Gardner will discuss how to meet them where they are and give them what they want: by providing robust mobile apps with key features to help with payments, budgeting, and advisory services.

11:30-12:15 pm: Lunch

12:15 pm-1:45 pm: Money Movement Panel Discussion
Brandon Krebs, Technical Product Manager – Jack Henry
Keith Gray, Vice President – The Clearing House

Joni Hopkins, Vice President – Federal Reserve Financial Services

RTP® and FedNow® continue to accelerate in financial institutions on the network, use cases, and transaction volume. Join this session to get an update on how FIs and their customers are using RTP, FedNow, and faster payments in general, and to better understand all the considerations and steps you need to take to leverage the benefits of each for your members.

1:45 pm-2:00 pm: Break

2:00 pm-3:30 pm: Concurrent Breakout Sessions (Choose One)

Synergent Core User Group

CEO Forum

Approximately 3:30 pm: Adjourn