Jim Bengtson

Jim Bengtson joined 1st Gateway Credit Union in 2015 after serving on the Board of Directors for three years. Prior to joining 1st Gateway, he was a buyer at a privately held retail department store for 15 years. Jim graduated from Mount St. Clare College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Over the years, he has found time to serve on a variety of boards and committees, most notably with the United Way, Chamber of Commerce, and Junior Achievement.


Born and raised in Clinton, Iowa, Jim 

continues to call Clinton his home with his wife, Angela, and two children. In his free time Jim enjoys hiking, running, biking, attending hockey games and traveling with his family.

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2021 IIG Participants

Check out these industry leaders who are working to bring innovative ideas to credit unions across the state!

Kayla Bills

Kayla Bills has enjoyed working at CENT Credit Union in Mason City since August of 2018. Before her job as a member service representative, Kayla earned her Bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Northern Iowa and taught general music and band at West Central Community School and Fredericksburg Elementary School.


In her free time, Kayla enjoys making crafts, gardening, performing in local music groups, and spending time with friends and family. Kayla is excited to be a part of the 2019 Iowa Innovation Group and is looking forward to meeting new people and continuing to learn from her colleagues and peers. 

Brad DeHeer

Brad DeHeer is the Branch Manager of Serve Credit Union in Des Moines, Iowa. He has been in financial services for thirteen years and part of the credit union world for six years. Brad strongly believes in being a part of the solution when it comes to helping credit union members reach their financial goals. He served on the Board of Directors for the Pleasant Hill, Iowa Chamber of Commerce for two years and was a Crasher at the 2016 Iowa Credit Union Convention.

Brad has been married to his wife, Heather, for four years and has two boys, Alex and Eric. During the family's free time, they enjoy going on walks and watching Hawkeye football.

Kari Dake

Kari Dake is a loan officer with Financial Plus Credit Union. Kari enjoys helping members achieve financial goals and truly believes that she is helping young members build credit for brighter futures. Kari has worked at FPCU for almost five years. She started as a teller with no prior experience, but knew that she wanted to make FPCU a career! With determination and motivation, Kari was able to move up quickly. She went from being a Teller/MSR into a Collection position and then moved to to her current position as Loan Officer, where she's been for over two years.


In the summer, you will find Kari at the lake with her husband and two kids! When it’s cold, they enjoy watching football and binge worthy shows on Netflix.

Fran Duncan

Fran Duncan is a Consumer Underwriter for Greater Iowa Credit Union. She’s been with the indirect lending department for the past three years. Prior to joining Greater Iowa Credit Union, she held many positions for a large national bank, including a teller position, personal banker and branch manager throughout her 14 years of service. Some of her accomplishments with the bank include being an ambassador during an acquisition in New Mexico where she helped train and prepare existing staff for a conversion, as well as leading her division in sales for two years straight.


When away from the office, she enjoys being outdoors and biking, hiking and kayaking with her five year-old daughter, Pepper.

Kaley Hansen

As the Member Service Representative Receptionist, Kaley Hansen gets to interact and build strong relationships with members every day at Lennox Employees Credit Union. She also provides administrative support to the loan department and is the Social Media Coordinator.


Kaley was born and raised in Marshalltown, Iowa. After attending college at the University of Iowa, she lived in Chicago and Nashville, specializing in Marketing and Sales. Since returning to her hometown, she feels she has really found her passion working in the credit union industry. In her free time, Kaley enjoys  actively playing sports, craft nights with the girls, going on walks with her son, and spending time with her family.

Michelle Hoppenjan

Michelle Hoppenjan is the Training Teller Supervisor at Ascentra Credit Union. Michelle is passionate about what she does because she believes every teller should have the resources to be the best they can be. She believes that the more knowledge and confidence you have, the better you can serve credit union members.

Michelle recently celebrated 15 years of service with Ascentra. Working with people and their professional development has always been a passion of Michelle’s. Making a difference with the front line staff is an experience that is truly rewarding for her. 

Kelly Jones

Kelly Jones started her credit union career at Des Moines Metro Credit Union in 2007 as a member service representative. In 2012 she was promoted to collections officer and in 2019 she was promoted to accounting and operations manager. She received her bachelor's in business administration, finance and accounting from Grand View University in Des Moines, IA.

In her spare time, Kelly enjoys riding her bicycle on local trails, target shooting with her mother, shopping, being with friends and family and doing anything outside in the nice weather. She has countless TV shows she enjoys watching when she gets the time.

Evan Karsjens

Evan Karsjens grew up in and around Des Moines, graduating from Colfax-Mingo High School and then the University of Northern Iowa.  Evan has been with Affinity Credit Union for five years, helping the people of central Iowa with anything and everything related to their financial well-being. He takes great pleasure in watching members and teammates learn, grow, and achieve their visions of success. 


Outside of work, Evan spends most of his time with his wife and three kids.  He loves to experience all that life has to offer, from movies on the couch to 3,000-mile road trips and everything in between. 

Natalie Liedman

Natalie Liedman is a public affairs coordinator at PolicyWorks Iowa. She assists clients with social media, event management, public affairs, advocacy and grassroots communications. For her job, she must stay up-to-date on legislative issues with credit unions and hopes to be a voice for credit union members.

Natalie is a graduate of Iowa State University, where she received her B.S. in public relations and B.A. in Spanish. In her free time, she is a BODYPUMP group fitness instructor and Junior Achievement volunteer.

Dan McGovern

Dan McGovern was born and raised in Dubuque, Iowa. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Social Sciences Education. Dan decided teaching wasn’t where he wanted to be, and found his way to Alliant Credit Union where he enjoys working in the financial industry.


Dan also enjoys watching his favorite sports teams: the Iowa Hawkeyes, Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears. He and his wife enjoy traveling, golfing, bowling and spending time with their two dogs.

Arman Samardzic

Armin Samardzic has been working at Veridian Credit Union just short of ten years. He started as a teller doing basic monetary transactions. After some lateral movement, Armin is now reviewing statuses of delinquent loans to initiate appropriate action with the goal of benefiting both Veridian Credit Union and the member.

Armin earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics with a Finance minor from the University of Northern Iowa in 2012. He moved to Waterloo, IA with his family in 1997 from Bosnia, and has lived there since. Some hobbies include: keeping up on different TV series, playing and watching sports, and traveling.

Sarah Scherrman

Sarah Scherrman joined Dupaco Community Credit Union in summer of 2015 as a Teller Service Associate. In 2016, Sarah joined the Training Team and now currently holds the position of Training Coordinator. She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a BA in Interactive Digital Studies. Sarah assists with leading “Dupaco Experience” sessions for new Dupaco staff that submerges them into Dupaco's history, the Dupaco brand and the culture and philosophy that moves Dupaco forward.

Sarah resides in Dubuque, where she was born and raised, with the rest of her family. Sarah spends a lot of her time on the river soaking up the summer sun.

Teresa Whitehead

Teresa Whitehead has been with Community 1st Credit Union in Pella serving as a Personal Representative since 2013. One of her main roles is to service loan applications for the company’s suite of consumer products.  She also works with the branch staff to educate members on financial literacy with savings and smart lending. 


Teresa, originally from the Pella area, graduated from Iowa State University with her B.S. focusing on Community and Public Health.  When not working she enjoys spending time with her husband  Zachary and their very active 3 year-old daughter, Evelyn. Aside from spending time with her husband and daughter, she is a devoted Iowa State Cyclone and Chicago Cubs fan and enjoys watching games as often as she can.

Caroline Williams

Caroline Williams is a Branch Manager at Collins Community Credit Union. Her career in the financial industry began at Federal Employees Credit Union, before the credit union merged with Collins Community Credit Union. Within the first year of working at Collins, Caroline received the Hawkeye Award, which represents great achievement and leadership. Caroline has transformed one of Collins’ newest branches into becoming the top producing Collins branch in the Des Moines area.


Caroline enjoys spending time with her husband and three children. They enjoy the outdoors and family game nights. Caroline also enjoys staying active with CrossFit and volleyball.

Carmen Wooley

Carmen Wooley is an Accountant II at Affiliates Management Company. She graduated from Iowa State University with her bachelor’s degree in Communications and Business in 2013. In 2017, she attended Simpson College for her bachelor’s in Accounting. School just keeps calling Carmen's name, because she has recently started working to attain her master’s in business administration.


Carmen recently got married to her husband, Chris, in the fall of 2018. They have an energetic German Shorthair Pointer who loves to go on runs and walks. Carmen likes running, biking, and enjoying craft beers at one of the many great breweries in Des Moines with friends. She has completed two half marathons and hopes to complete another this year.

Caroline enjoys spending time with her husband and three children. They enjoy the outdoors and family game nights. Caroline also enjoys staying active with CrossFit and volleyball.

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7745 Office Plaza Drive North, Suite 170, West Des Moines, IA 50266

Tel. 800.860.6180

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