TUSTIN, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, the largest credit union serving school employees and their families, today announced that Diana Pham, Innovation Project Manager with the Credit Union, was selected for the Filene Research Institute’s prestigious i3 program, a two-year innovation leadership program equipping top credit union professionals with the mindset, tools and network to lead and shape the credit union of the 21st century.
This year, 29 leaders were selected from the highest number of applications received in the program’s 19-year history, joining the ranks of the more than 325 credit union industry innovators within the exclusive i3 community. Participants create impact through their work in cross-functional teams to explore and address some of credit unions’ most pressing challenges, as identified by Filene’s Think Tank and backed by research from Filene’s Center of Excellence.
“When high-performing leaders like Diana participate in forward-thinking programs such as i3, they bring back knowledge and new ways of thinking that will contribute to a better Member and teammember experience,” said Bill Cheney, chief executive officer of SchoolsFirst FCU. “Innovation is key to our ability to improve and evolve as a Credit Union so we can help our Members achieve financial security by serving them through their channel of choice.”
Mark Meyer, Filene’s President & CEO, added, “We are thrilled to have next gen innovators like Diana become part of the i3 network of Filene, and we look forward to spending the next two years growing and innovating together with them. These individuals are joining an impressive network of i3 alums and innovators, and we can’t wait to see what they bring to the program.”
Through this cohort-based program, participants learn cutting-edge innovation competencies grounded in three core categories. By engaging the diverse perspectives of members, staff, stakeholders, and subject-matter experts to co-create new solutions, participants learn skills essential for facilitating innovation. Through the process of exploring and iterating new ideas to gain insight, reduce risk, and validate solutions, participants become experienced at accelerating learning. Finally, mobilizing people and resources to inspire action is practiced for leading change.
Filene’s i3 program provides industry leaders and innovators with a methodology to creatively apply innovative ideas through incubation and implementation. Collectively, the i3 community thinks forward and changes lives by leading innovation initiatives that bring about new products, processes, and business models to strengthen members’ financial well-being.
SchoolsFirst FCU has a longstanding commitment to supporting education and training in innovation among teammembers. Prior to Ms. Pham’s selection to i3, five other Credit Union teammembers have been part of previous i3 cohorts. In addition, Alex Hsu, Vice President of Planning & Change Management for SchoolsFirst FCU, was honored as winner of the 2021 CUES® Emerge program for his pitch around the creation of an Innovation Center of Excellence, an adaptable framework that can be scaled for use at any size credit union. Sponsored by CUES (Credit Union Executives Society) and Currency, a financial education provider for credit unions, CUES Emerge is an emerging leader program that combines online learning, peer collaboration and a competition component.
About SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union
SchoolsFirst FCU is the fifth largest credit union in the country. Serving school employees and their families, the organization is dedicated to providing World-Class Personal Service and improving the financial lives of its Members. Today they serve more than 1.3 million Members with a full range of financial products and services — from savings and loans to investment, retirement and insurance products. SchoolsFirst FCU was founded in 1934, when 126 school employees pooled $1,200 and established a Member-owned cooperative to help improve each other's lives. In 2022, the Credit Union reported nearly $28 billion in assets and remains the largest credit union in California. For more information about SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, visit schoolsfirstfcu.org.