Our Consultant Team


CU Breakthrough™ draws on the collective expertise of the CDCU movement to help all credit unions expand their outreach and impact in underserved communities. Our experienced consultants can help your credit union to meet the needs of new and emerging markets within your field of membership.

Susan BrunnerCUDE

Susan is principal of Susan Brunner & Associates, LLC, specializing in planning and implementing community development initiatives. Susan applies entrepreneurial concepts and business development skills to build strategic collaborations and partnerships that promote economic opportunity for credit unions, businesses, organizations and communities. Susan’s experience as a small business owner for more than twenty years along with her extensive experience in marketing as well as non-profit and community development, brought her to the credit union industry more seven years ago… Read More

Scott Butterfield 225 pixels
Scott Butterfield

Scott Butterfield’s passion for the credit union movement is deeply rooted in a belief that the movement’s future success depends largely on maintaining its unique philosophy: “not for profit, not for charity, but for service.” For more than 100 years, this service-first approach has made credit unions a welcome alternative to profit- driven institutions, and Scott believes credit unions have never been more vital than they are today. Scott is a trusted advisor to the leaders of more than 45 credit unions located throughout the United States, from Alaska to Louisiana… Read More

Luis resized
Luis Caballero

Luis Caballero has more than 15 years of experience working in the credit union industry and non-profit sector.  Throughout his career, Mr. Caballero has implemented successful asset building programs and lending initiatives specific to the needs of LMI consumers and underserved communities.  Some of these initiatives include: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA), Low Income Tax Clinic, Affordable Housing Programs, Financial Education Programs, Individual Development Accounts (IDA), Alternative Payday Loan Programs, Affordable Auto Loan Programs, Hispanic outreach  programs, and the CDFI Fund FATA program. Mr. Caballero’s grant writing efforts … Read More

Steven Dahlstrom photo
Steve Dahlstrom

Steven L. Dahlstrom is the principal of S. L. Dahlstrom Consulting.  Dahlstrom is the recently retired CEO of the Spokane Teachers Credit Union (STCU).  Over his 30 year career at STCU, Dahlstrom guided the credit union’s growth from $20 million to over $1.5 billion in assets.  Dahlstrom’s accomplishments range from election to CUNA’s Board of Directors to being named Credit Union Professional of the Year by the Washington Credit Union League. Dahlstrom is available to consult on executive coaching, strategic planning, organizational development and project planning… Read More

Bob Fenner better 250 pixels
Robert Fenner

Robert Fenner’s experience includes 37 years as an attorney for the NCUA, the last 27 of those years as NCUA’s chief legal officer. Fenner’s experience in credit union law and regulation as well as examination and supervisory issues is unparalleled. Professional recognition includes the NCUA Board’s Gold Medal for Meritorious Service and the Federal Bar Association’s Banking Law Committee’s Richard Peterson Award for contributions to financial institutions law and policy. Fenner is available to consult on strategic planning, the legal and fiduciary responsibilities of directors and officers, regulatory compliance, FOM expansion, low income designation and applications to state and federal… Read More

Tammie Hoy CUB photo 250 pixels
Tammie Hoy

As President of Together Consulting, Tammie Hoy Hawkins provides leadership and guidance to non-profit, for profit, and government entities focused on community economic development initiatives. Utilizing over 15 years of community development experience, Tammie provides direct technical assistance and consulting services in the areas of non-profit capacity building, affordable housing, neighborhood development and revitalization, community development finance and asset building. Prior to founding Together Consulting, Tammie worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. As the Federal Reserve Bank’s Regional Community Development Manager, Tammie was responsible for community economic development outreach and… Read More

Blake Myers 250 pixels
Blake Myers

Blake Myers is a credit union consultant working primarily with CEOs of innovative, mid-sized credit unions with under $250mm in assets. Blake is an avid supporter of the credit union movement, and is proud to devote his time and energy to help some of America’s most successful credit unions forge a pathway to a brighter economic future for America and lead the way in creating a new era for both consumers and the broader credit union industry. Blake works primarily in the areas of strategic planning, data analysis, product development, marketing and… Read More

T Ratigan headshot cropped
Terry Ratigan

Terry Ratigan leads fundraising efforts for the Federation and plays an important role in program development, training, technical assistance, managing the Federation’s Housing Counseling Network and the Federation’s advocacy work. As a member of the CU Breakthrough consulting services team, he provides expertise on CDFI certification, recertification, grant writing, strategic planning CDCUs around the country. In 2008, Terry worked with Bill Myers to develop the Emerging Markets Review (EMR), an analytical tool that helps credit unions to grow by expanding services throughout their field of membership.  In 2009 he developed a statistical random sampling methodology for  … Read More

CUB Sarah cropped
Sarah Sanders

Sarah Sanders has worked to improve the organizational strength and financial position of nonprofit organizations and CDFIs for over eight years. Sarah has extensive experience conducting market research and recommending growth strategies. She has assisted over 30 mission-driven organizations with market analyses tailored specifically to their organizational needs. She is an effective fundraiser and has obtained over $30 million in government and foundation grant funding and tax credit authority for clients. Sarah is an experienced group facilitator who enjoys guiding strategic planning exercises, board working sessions, classroom training and delivering research findings and project presentations… Read More

Sheila 225 pixels
Sheila Schat

Sheila Schat has spent fifteen years working with innovative nonprofit organizations finding solutions to America’s most pressing social issues. She is dedicated to increasing impact through direct service and advocacy efforts, and expanding reach through digital strategies. For ten years, Schat oversaw community development and asset building programs at a community development credit union in Santa Cruz, California. While there, she worked collaboratively to integrate financial products and services, free legal services, and social services to effectively address long-term family financial stability. Schat also managed a credit union 501(c)(3) affiliate and raised over $9 million for diverse organizations… Read More

Adam Schwartz photo 225 pixels
Adam D. SchwartzCUDE

Adam D. Schwartz is the founder and principal of The Cooperative Way a consulting firm dedicated to improving the operations of cooperatives by utilizing the seven cooperative principles and to solving cooperatives needs for capital. He has served cooperatives from different sectors for 20 years and has extensive knowledge of the key ingredients that lead to sustainable success for cooperative businesses. Adam has provided strategic guidance to purchasing co-ops and credit unions on how to grow membership and provide better service. He has worked with electric and… Read More

Deirdre
Deirdre Silverman

Deirdre Silverman is a principal in South Danby Consultants, specializing in strategic planning, group facilitation, needs assessments, program design and evaluation, and grant proposals. She has provided consulting services for a variety of public and private organizations in the fields of asset building, financial services, housing, substance abuse, youth and mental health services. Deirdre retired from Alternatives Federal Credit Union, where she was the Director of Community Programs from 1997-2011. She was responsible for securing grant income and program-related investments to support the credit… Read More

Randy Thomposn 9-24-13 250 pixels
Randy Thompson

Since 1987, Randy C. Thompson has been providing commercial lending training and support to credit unions throughout the US, including training through the state Credit Union Leagues of Utah and Idaho.  In 2013 Thompson received the Kim Bannon Eternal Flame award from the California Credit Union League in recognition of his service and support to credit unions.  Thompson is available to consult on asset liability management, assessment of lending programs, profitability models, strategic planning, marketing and training.  Thompson is President/CEO of Thompson Consulting & Training, Inc… Read More

Star
Star Wilbraham

Star Wilbraham is a consultant that advises organizations on strategic planning and implementation, market development, business operations, and proposal writing tactics. Ms. Wilbraham has specific experience working with community development financial institutions (CDFIs) including credit unions, banks, and loan funds. Previously, Star worked with Partners for the Common Good developing a start-up, online-based enterprise for connecting lending partners and at the U.S. Treasury’s CDFI Fund providing senior level analysis and… Read More

Mel photo at 225 pixels
Mel West

Mel West is President of Prosperity Logic; a performance-consulting firm that specializes in assisting clients to build assets and achieve prosperity using its Prosperity Business Model. An advocate for developing and implementing performance improvement strategies, Mel provides consulting and executive coaching services with over 20 years of management experience with leadership roles in the financial services industry, manufacturing, and the military. Areas of expertise include operations, marketing, sales, finance, human resources, compliance, quality management, and community development. As a facilitator for strategic planning and training sessions… Read More

Stay Connected

Sign up to recieve news & updates from The Federation