Casebine Community Credit Union is Matt Brown's first experience in the credit union movement. He has been there for almost six years as the IT Specialist / Digital Marketing Strategist. Prior to working at Casebine Community, Matt moved his way up the ladder in radio from a part-time Board Operator to the Program Director for a Top 40 station. He also worked at a local IT company.
Outside of his “real job” at the credit union, Matt co-owns a live video production company and is active on the Board of Directors for two local non-profits, Burlington Riverfront Entertainment and Burlington SnowBull.
2021 IIG Participants
Check out these industry leaders who are working to bring innovative ideas to credit unions across the state!
Prior to moving to Iowa in 2019 and joining the ViClarity team, Anthony Cooper worked at SAFE Credit Union for 8 years as a Member Service Representative, Account Service Representative, and Operations Solutions Specialist. Anthony has a bachelor's degree in Finance-Risk Management and MBA from California State University. His favorite part about working in the financial industry is that he feels he can truly make a positive difference in the world each day he goes to work.
Outside of his professional life, Anthony enjoys spending time with his family, friends, and his wife. They enjoy outdoor activities like camping, hiking, and kayaking during the summer and doing weekend road trips during the winter months.
Edith Diaz has been with Ascentra Credit Union for 5 years. She started off as a teller and is now the Branch Manager in the Moline office. She values working for a credit union that listens, cares, and does what is right for their members. Edith finds it satisfying to get a smile or a thank you from a member after helping them rebuild their credit and giving them a second opportunity.
Edith has a two children, a daughter, Jocelyn and a son, Joseangel. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with family and friends. Edith also enjoys watching Law and Order and SVU and says that she is actually addicted to the show.
Kari Diedrich is a Branch Manager and Lender with 1st Gateway Credit Union. She has worked there since 2011. Working with the Indirect Lending program is Kari's favorite aspect of the job. She works in a smaller branch, which has allowed her to gain very strong relationships with members and really take advantage of the “People Helping People” credit union motto.
Outside of work, Kari and her fiancé, along with their adorable 3-year-old son, own a horse property where they spend every minute outdoors. She barrel races horses competitively, which has allowed her to travel the countryside a lot. When Kari is not taking care of horses, she loves all things sports, especially Wisconsin basketball and Las Vegas Raider football.
Patrick Dodge has been in the financial industry for 10 years. After 5 years with big national banks, joined DuTrac Community Credit Union, hoping that the credit union space would allow him to focus more on people than profit. At DuTrac, he has built strong relationships with members by prioritizing their interests and cultivating sales through service, and he's very fortunate to lead a team that fully embraces this mission.
Patrick, his wife and two daughters live north of the Quad Cities, and Patrick serves as County Liaison on the Board of their HOA. He enjoys a few hobbies as time permits, including music, playing the guitar, woodworking and roasting coffee beans.
Jana Erickson was born and raised in Mason City. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa and joined CENT Credit Union in March of 2019. Jana has a major passion in helping others live happy and positive lives each day, and in that has taught herself how to do the same. She places a large importance in helping people understand that no one person or situation are the same whether that be in finances, work, or relationships, but they’re also all equally important in one’s daily life.
Jana has made Mason City her forever home, living there with boyfriend, Myles, and 5-year-old goldendoodle, Hattie May. In Jana's “spare time,” you can find her learning the ins and outs of boxing, serving tables at one of their local restaurants, or spending quality time with friends and family.
As the Senior Marketing and Community Relations Manager for Greater Iowa Credit Union, Lauren Fay gets to be involved in many different areas of the credit union and member experience. Since her start in the financial world with GICU two years ago, the company has evolved tremendously. She greatly enjoys the hands-on and personable aspects of her position. Getting to work directly with other non-profits to bring support and awareness to their causes, while also spearheading day-to-day, creative and strategic decisions.
Lauren is originally from eastern Iowa, attended Iowa State University, and has called Ames home ever since. She loves spending time outdoors with her dog, Marvin, knocking home improvement projects off her to-do list, attending local concerts, collecting far too many house plants, and going on adventures with close friends.
Tiffany Jones began working with Fort Dodge Family Credit Union in August of 2014 as a full-time Teller Member Service Representative. Since then, she has worked in various positions, including Lead Teller, Collections/Delinquency, and currently as a Loan Officer. Tiffany enjoys the lending side of the credit union and serving members, especially those in need. Helping others is a passion.
Tiffany has three daughters, two granddaughters, and another granddaughter on the way. She was born and raised in Fort Dodge. Tiffany lived in Arizona and Colorado for a few years, but moved back to be close to family. She enjoys camping, volleyball, bowling, and hanging out with friends and family.
Matt Kantro is the Director of Credit Risk at Linn Area Credit Union in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Matt started at Linn Area in July of 2017 as the Director of Credit Solutions after stints as both a Loan Officer and Loss Mitigation Analyst in commercial collections. After three years with Linn Area, he contributed to the integration of their Centralized Underwriting platform and, in addition to leading the Credit Solutions team, also now leads the Centralized Underwriting team as well. Matt looks forward to being a part of Linn Area and its bright future.
Matt lives in Cedar Rapids with his wife, Valerie, and their two children, James and Sadie. When he isn’t outdoors with his family and their dogs, Maddux and Gracie, Matt enjoys woodworking, golf, and watching football. (Go Hawks!)
Mariko Kurobe was born and raised in north central Illinois. She attended the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and earned her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Human Resources. Mariko started as a Teller at Dupaco Community Credit Union in October 2017, and is currently the Operations Assistant at a Dubuque branch.
When Mariko is not at work, she likes spending time with her dog, Finley, as well as listening to podcasts, cooking, and working on projects around the house. She also volunteers at Dubuque’s Multicultural Family Center, helping organize and supervise teens and “tweens” during evening activities.
Chelsie Madden is a Branch Manager for Town & Country Credit Union in Avoca. Chelsie has served 10 years in the financial services industry and has specialized skills in organizational leadership, customer service, branch productivity, employee coaching and increased sales. Chelsie has strong proficiencies in business and consumer lending, implementing policies and procedures, and sales management.
Chelsie is an Avoca native. She graduated from Buena Vista University with a BS in Business and Organizational Leadership. Chelsie currently resides in Avoca with her husband, Charles, and three children. She is a Teammates mentor, Board Member for the Avoca Public Library, on her church's Audit Committee, and head of the Economic Revitalization Committee for Avoca Main St. In any free time, Chelsie can be found playing golf or at the dirt track races watching her husband compete.
Julia Michalec is a Loan Officer at Metco Credit Union with a focus in consumer lending and new memberships. She has worked at Metco for 4 years and has been in the financial industry for 6 years. Julia enjoys working with members and helping them get on a path of financial success as well as guiding them along the way to reach their dreams. Julia also serves as Secretary of the Cedar Valley Chapter of Credit Unions.
Outside of work, Julia enjoys working out and running. She hopes to start participating in races soon in the Cedar Rapids area and around the Midwest with her boyfriend, Dustin. They enjoy traveling, cheering on the Hawkeyes, and spending time with their three cats, Marcel, Pete, and Stanley. Julia also likes to spend time outdoors and with family, especially her three nephews.
Andrew Quandt is the Loan Manager with North Star Community Credit Union in Cherokee. He has been with North Star Community for two and a half years and has been in the finance and banking industry for eight years. In his position, he enjoys being able to build relationships with the members and assist with their financial needs and goals. Andrew attended the University of Northern Iowa and received a degree in Finance and Real Estate.
Andrew resides in Le Mars with his wife, Cayla, and two children, Nora and Luca. In his free time, Andrew enjoys spending time with his family and rooting on the Kansas City Chiefs and UNI Basketball team.
Michael Rettig-Garcia is a native Iowan from north central Iowa. He has worked in the credit union industry for eight years, and it is in credit unions that he has found his passion. Michael began working as a Teller at a small credit union in Des Moines, and it is there that the values and philosophy that credit unions share of "People Helping People" ignited something in him. From that point on, he has tried his best to live that motto not only in his professional life but in his personal life as well.
Michael has since moved to Collins Community Credit Union where he has grown into the role of Branch Manager over the last three years. His goal is to foster an environment of innovation, trust, inclusion, and growth.
Lekeisha Veasley became the Community Inclusion Strategist for Veridian Credit Union in February 2018. Lekeisha received her Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science and International Relations from Wartburg College and a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Northern Iowa. She is also a Certified Community Action Professional (CCAP) for demonstrating mastery in 21st century leadership, management, and addressing the causes of poverty. She has a Housing Development Finance Professional Certification from the National Development Council. Lekeisha possesses a Community Lending & Homeownership Professional Certification from NeighborWorks Training Institute. Lekeisha also earned a certification as a Results Oriented Management Accountability (ROMA) Trainer.
Lekeisha served on numerous committees/boards, and is currently a board member for Iowa Habitat for Humanity. She has previously been involved with the advisory council for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, the Iowa Homeownership Education Project board and the Highway 63 Community Development Corporation board.
Drew Walswick was born and raised in Mason City. He attended the University of Northern Iowa and received his Bachelor of Arts
degree in Marketing, Advertising and Digital Media. After graduating, Drew took on a part-time teller position at North Iowa Community Credit Union. He applied himself and quickly moved from part-time to full-time. Drew is now the credit union’s Marketing Data Analytics
Specialist. He was promoted to this new position in order to assist the credit union
by providing useful information gathered from their members. Drew is an analytical
thinker, and working with numbers and data is what he loves to do.