CO-OP Partners with Innovators, Engages Public to Help Credit Unions Fulfill Purpose at THINK 16

Embracing Social Mission, Technical Innovation Opening Unique Opportunities For Credit Unions With Today’s Consumer

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif.--()--In an age when many consumers are distrustful of big banks, CO-OP Financial Services is helping credit unions capitalize by partnering with cutting-edge companies to update the industry’s traditional focus on “people helping people.”

Credit union employees, speakers from organizations outside of the industry and consumers will come together for THINK 16, May 3-6 at the Hotel Del Coronado in the San Diego area. The four-day conference will provide a forum for presenters and audience to discuss and find solutions to financial challenges facing the modern consumer, including a live brainstorming session between credit union attendees and more than 40 local consumers.

“For nine years now, THINK has attracted world-class thought leaders to continue raising the bar on the credit union difference over all other financial services,” said Stan Hollen, President/CEO of CO-OP. “The goal each year is to develop and inspire impactful solutions for the needs of credit union members. This year’s conference is more interactive than ever, with a new emphasis on audience collaboration with our speakers to improve the financial lives of today’s consumer.”

Studies show Americans are looking for financial institutions that offer technology, serve as an advisor and play a positive role in the community. At THINK 16, CO-OP will unveil CO-OP Purpose – a new corporate social responsibility program that includes financial literacy education outreach, philanthropy, collaboration and research. CO-OP is marrying the fintech revolution with mission by partnering with the National Credit Union Foundation and other potential partners on the financial literacy components.

In addition, CO-OP has engaged the research firm Mission Measurement to demonstrate how corporate social responsibility programs can be profitable – with External Director Perry Yeatman highlighting at THINK 16 measurable success from companies such as Kraft and Unilever.

CO-OP is also partnering with global design firm OpenIDEO to bring design thinking, collaboration and transformative innovation to credit unions nationwide. The Credit Union Innovation Project from CO-OP and powered by MasterCard gives credit unions and OpenIDEO’s global community a unique means to collaborate on and execute ideas to meet the true needs of consumers.

CO-OP helps credit unions offer viable alternatives to big banks for the modern consumer with innovative, secure digital payment products, a nationwide surcharge-free ATM network of 30,000 ATMs and 5,400 shared branch locations.

Credit unions provide consumers with more accessibility to loans – and at better rates – than banks, and the majority offer free checking. In addition, because these institutions are not for profit, credit unions can focus on service instead of driving income for shareholders. A recent study in Consumer Reports showed that 93 percent of credit union customers (members) are highly satisfied versus 69 percent for the four biggest national banks. Filene Research Institute also found that 85 percent of members feel their assets are completely safe at their credit union, while only 68 percent of banking consumers feel the same about their institution.

The THINK 16 line-up of featured speakers include:

  • Scott Bales, “digital shift” futurist and THINK 16 co-host.
  • Sara Critchfield, Founding Editorial Director of Upworthy and THINK 16 co-host.
  • Ted Gonder, co-founder and CEO of MoneyTHINK; who will describe how to apply the power of a simple idea to dream big and do good.
  • Whitney Hess, empathy coach; encouraging attendees to exercise empathy to help better meet the needs of members.
  • Leila Janah, Founder and CEO, Sama and Laxmi; explaining how to influence and inspire others to work at things that matter.
  • Tom Kelley, Founder and General Manager of IDEO; discussing proven principles and strategies for unleashing creative potential.
  • Polly LaBarre, Founding Member, Fast Company magazine; explaining why attendees cannot be content with doing things a little better than the competition.
  • Robert Richman, Co-Creator, Zappos Insights; discussing how to use the techniques of culture hacking to make fast organizational shifts.
  • Max Schorr, co-founder and community director of GOOD; explaining how to make the leap from informing people to giving them tools that make a difference.
  • Gary Vaynerchuk, Co-founder of VaynerMedia, a social media-focused digital agency; discussing how technology can enable credit unions to grow significantly and quickly.
  • Perry Yeatman, External Director, Mission Measurement; describing how mission-driven organizations can profitably track charitable and business results.

Live video streaming will be available for two presentations during the event: Gary Vaynerchuk of VaynerMedia speaking from 3:30-5 p.m. on May 3, and Tom Kelley of IDEO speaking from 10-11:30 a.m. on May 4. The streaming is available at:

For more information, visit

About CO-OP Financial Services

CO-OP Financial Services is a financial technology company that supports 3,500 credit unions and 60 million members by providing a cutting-edge suite of customizable tools and services. The company was the first in its industry to merge purpose, innovation and technology to help credit unions advance the industry mission of people helping people. To learn more visit


CO-OP Financial Services
Bill Prichard, APR
Sr. Man., P.R. & Corp. Comm.
800.782.9042, ext. 3450

Release Summary

The credit union industry is coming together for the THINK 16 conference starting tomorrow, May 3-6, in the San Diego area.


CO-OP Financial Services
Bill Prichard, APR
Sr. Man., P.R. & Corp. Comm.
800.782.9042, ext. 3450