CO-OP Financial Services chooses three finalists for THINK Prize

CO-OP Financial ServicesCO-OP Financial Services recently announced that it has chosen three credit union employees as finalists for the $10,000 grand prize presented by MasterCard in the CO-OP THINK Prize 2014 competition.

The contest awards individuals for their development of unique business plans aimed at helping credit unions compete in the financial services market.

Judges from CO-OP and Filene Research Institute chose three finalists from 20 semi-finalists: Sanam Kazi, the project coordinator at Chicago Patrolmen’s Federal Credit Union, was chosen for her project involving a customizable website for financial education; Christopher Whalen, a marketing and e-services specialist at Connex Credit Union in Connecticut, was chosen for his mobile business plan; and Brett Wooden, the senior vice president of marketing and IT at Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union in Texas, was chosen for his plan to develop financial literacy in young children.

“This is the fourth year of the CO-OP THINK Prize, and this year, we have the greatest depth of ideas in competition history,” CO-OP President and CEO Stan Hollen said. “The entries can take any form and these ideas—emphasizing technology to educational marketing, including to the very young—reflect the diverse creative thinking we are seeking to inspire.”

The winner will be announced on May 21 at the THINK 14 Conference at the Sheraton New Orleans. The THINK Conference will be held May 19-22. Registration costs $679 for credit union employees and can be completed at

Entry scoring will be based on the critique of judges, online voting by credit union employees and on-site voting by conference attendees.

CO-OP is the largest credit union service organization in the country in terms of the number of credit unions, assets and members.

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