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Full Agenda Announced! 2019 Symposium + Annual Meeting

March 21, 2019

annual meeting speakers

By now, you probably have heard about our 2019 THE FUTURE IS NOW Credit Union Symposium & Annual Meeting. The full agenda was just recently made available and we are excited to be hosting an event that addresses how credit unions can prepare for the future, in hour-long, bite-sized chunks, right here in Denver. Three of the nation's top credit union speakers will be presenting - Frank Diekmann of CUToday, John Ainsworth of CULedger, and John Best of BIG (Best Innovation Group). Space is limited so be sure to RSVP today.

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Full Agenda

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019
8:30am to 1:30pm MDT

8:30 - 9:00am: Breakfast Buffet

9:00 - 10:00am: Keynote Speaker Frank Diekmann Founder of CUToday, "2020 Vision: 20 Things to Be Thinking About in the Year Ahead"

10:10am - 11:00am: John Ainsworth, CEO of CULedger, "More than Blockchain: Distributed Ledger Technology will Define the Credit Union Industry of Tomorrow"

11:10am to 12:00pm: John Best, CEO of Best Innovation Group, “The Art of Artificial Intelligence” 

12:00pm - 12:30pm: Lunch

12:30 - 1:00pm: Doug Burke, President/CEO of CU Service Network, "The Future of CU Service Network"

1:00pm - 1:30pm: CU Service Network Annual Meeting

The Lakeview Room 
12 Lakeside Ln, Denver, CO 80212

Speaker Lineup

frank diekmann

2020 Vision: 20 Things to Be Thinking About in the Year Ahead


In this fast-moving session, Cooperator-in-Chief Frank J. Diekmann will cover topics every credit union leader should be thinking about as they plan for the years ahead, ranging from culture to marketing to technology to having fun, and more.

About Frank Diekmann:

Frank J. Diekmann is Cooperator-in-Chief and co-founder of, a digital news and collaboration platform that is now the #1 provider of organic reporting, opinion, analysis, video and other resources to credit unions than any other provider.

Mr. Diekmann has an extensive background in credit union industry reporting and editing. Prior to founding, Mr. Diekmann founded Credit Union Journal, and prior to that cofounded Credit Union Times. Before covering credit unions, Mr. Diekmann covered the nation’s banking industry. He began his editorial career working as a sports reporter with the Cincinnati Post, before making the natural segue into credit unions.

Mr. Diekmann is a frequent speaker, having addressed CU meetings from Sydney to Prague and all of the U.S., and also regularly serves as a judge in various organizations’ marketing and awards competitions. He is the only journalist to ever graduate from the National Credit Union Foundation’s Development Education program, and is now certified as an International Credit Union Development Educator.

A graduate of the University of Cincinnati, Diekmann is also the author of three books: Cathode Ray’s, The Bawl Game and The Flip Flop.


John Ainsworth

More than Blockchain: Distributed Ledger Technology will Define the Credit Union Industry of Tomorrow


The internet. Social media. Mobile computing. Big data. Cloud. IoT. What do all of these things have in common? Each one was a revolution in itself and helped define the dawn of the digital revolution. So…what’s next? Distributed ledger technology – and it’s already here.

You probably know it as the base of blockchain, but it is so much more than that, and credit unions need to take a serious look at this radically different platform. CULedger, a distributed ledger platform created and owned by credit unions, will help you understand how to take your credit union into the next phase of the digital revolution through distributed ledger technology.

About John Ainsworth:

John Ainsworth serves as president and CEO of CULedger, a credit union-owned CUSO that focuses on delivering innovative applications on a global distributed ledger platform for credit unions. In this position, Ainsworth brings his wide breadth of expertise to develop and enhance CULedger’s growth strategy. He plays a vital role in its launch of innovative and game changing applications on a global distributed ledger platform for credit unions. Along with his executive team, Ainsworth will focus on the company’s capitalization, industry relationships and corporate development.

Prior to joining CU Ledger, he served as executive vice president of North America markets at MasterCard Worldwide, where he was responsible for managing the independent bank and credit union segments. He previously held the position of senior vice president of global accounts, where he managed business development activities for one of MasterCard’s largest and most complex global members including debit, RFID, prepaid, acquiring and commercial segments.   

Ainsworth is a seasoned financial services executive whose background includes more than 30 years of product and sales management experience with major financial organizations, such as SunTrust Banks and Visa International. Having led and mentored sales forces specializing in strategic solution sales, he is credentialed with national recognized commercial sales programs such as Huthwaite and Miller Heiman.

Ainsworth attended the University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University and American Institute for Banking.

Learn more about CULedger here and here.


John Best

The Art of Artificial Intelligence 


John Best will explain how AI will change the future of finance forever...and what you as a credit union need to do to prepare for that. 

About John Best:

John Best is a thought leader and “outside the box” innovator recognized throughout the FinTech arena, with a particular affinity for credit unions.  John is the founder and CEO of the financial technology firm Best Innovation Group (BIG), which focuses on industry-wide code sharing and API prototype development. John and his Team at BIG, in partnership with CUNA and the Mountain West Credit Union Association, launched the CULedger network, a groundbreaking collaborative initiative harnessing the power of distributed ledger (blockchain) technology for the benefit of the credit union movement. 

Prior to going BIG, John spent over a decade at Wescom Credit Union and Wescom Resources Group, serving as Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President.  John lives in Colorado Springs, where he spends whatever spare time he can carve out playing guitar, crashing drones, and binge watching Star Wars and The Walking Dead.

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