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Speakers

2023 Wisconsin Connect Speakers Are Below

Check Back Soon for Speakers for the 2024 Conference

John Koskinen

Chief Economist, Wisconsin Department of Revenue

John Koskinen serves as Chief Economist for the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.John has testified on the Wisconsin economy before multiple standing committees of the state legislature. He has presented on Wisconsin’s economic outlook to various groups including state and regional economic development associations, colleges and universities, financial institutions and trade associations. He is a frequent commentator on the Wisconsin economy for a variety of media outlets throughout the state and the country.Prior to joining the Department of Revenue in 2007, John served as the Staff Economist for the Governor’s Budget Office, Wisconsin Department of Administration from 1979 to 2007. He has also served in the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau and the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. John has his B.A. and M.A. in Economics from Marquette University. He has done additional graduate studies in Economics at Northwestern University and computer science at the University of Wisconsin.

Doug Benzine 

Vice President of Finance and Operations, The Alliance

Doug Benzine joined The Alliance in 2022 as VP of Finance and Operations where he oversees the claims and customer service, finance, MIS, and HR departments, as well as business planning and reporting. 

Doug has over 30 years’ experience in business finance and organizational operations, including VP of Operations at WPS Health Solutions, where he orchestrated the expansion of the fastest-growing, most profitable division of the organization from 275 employees to more than 800 while managing the largest federal Veteran Affairs (VA) health claims administration contract in the nation using a $95 million budget that processed 18 million medical claims per year. 

Doug earned his BBA in finance at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, and his MBA from UW-Madison’s school of business. Benzine has lived, worked, and served the Madison area for most of his career, serving on the Board of Directors for several organizations, including Summit Credit Union, Wind River Financial, and the Benzine/Anderson Foundation. 

John Dabbs

Senior Account Executive, Illuma

John Dabbs, J.D. is Senior Account Executive of Illuma, a CUSO specializing in real-time voice authentication and fraud prevention solutions for credit unions. A veteran of corporate legal and fraud mitigation workflows within financial services, John employs proven customer success techniques to deliver optimum impact to Illuma’s credit union clients and their members. The company’s flagship Illuma Shield™ platform replaces traditional knowledge-based authentication with an effortless and secure voice biometric solution, delivering an elevated member experience, enhanced security, and improved operational efficiency. Illuma Shield™ is frequently showcased at Finovate events and has recently won awards from VentureTech, CreditUnions.com, and NACUSO. 

Mike Duncan

CEO, Bankjoy

Mike Duncan is a seasoned entrepreneur and technology leader with expertise in banking and payments technology. He is the founder and CEO of Bankjoy, a digital banking platform backed by Y Combinator and Bessemer Venture Partners. Prior to starting Bankjoy, Mike honed his expertise in banking and payments software, serving clients in the government, corporate, and non-profit sectors. He holds a degree in computer science from Kettering University. Mike is a Credit Union Times Trailblazer 40 and below, recognized for his impact and leadership in digital transformation.

Eric Earle

Executive Benefits Specialist, TruStage

Eric is a registered representative of LPL Financial, offering products and services as part of the executive benefit plans at Cuna Mutual Group, a company that specializes in the design, implementation, financing and ongoing administrative support of supplemental executive benefit programs (SERPs) specifically tailored to credit unions. He is located in Oregon, Wisconsin. He brings to Cuna Mutual Group his experience in the financial services industry since 2005.

 

Eric joined Cuna Mutual Group in 2008 as a retirement and investment specialist and was promoted in 2010. Prior to joining Cuna Mutual Group, he worked as a financial advisor at AXA Advisors, from 2005-2008.

Eric holds a Bachelor’s of Science in finance and a Bachelor’s of Art in economics from St. Cloud State University. He is FINRA Series 7 and 66 securities registered with LPL Financial, and holds life, accident and health insurance licenses.

Kim Jankowski 

Client Solutions Director, La Macchia Group

Kim Jankowski is a former community banking executive with over 30 years of experience at community, regional and national financial organizations. Her major strengths include business and retail banking knowledge, financial literacy, bank administration, community engagement, marketing, business development, and networking. Kim is a National Branch Transformation Specialist for the Vivalociti Division of La Macchia Group, a 20 plus year firm that leverages data to integrate technology and showcase personalized branded messaging to financial clients.

Melina Kambitsi, Ph.D. 

Senior Vice President, Business Development and Strategic Marketing, The Alliance

Dr. Melina Kambitsi joined The Alliance in 2017 and leads the team responsible for membership growth and retention of the cooperative. Dr. Kambitsi comes to The Alliance from Network Health in Milwaukee and Menasha, Wisconsin. where she was chief sales and strategy officer. In this role, she was responsible for sales and underwriting, strategic planning, product development and risk-based contract analytics. Earlier she was senior vice president of sales at Blue Cross Blue Shield in Honolulu, Hawaii and the vice president of sales, marketing and product development at Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Dr. Kambitsi currently serves on National CooperativeRx’s Board of Directors. 

Dr. Kambitsi received her bachelor’s in international studies and her master’s and doctorate degrees in economic geography at The Ohio State University. She speaks Greek fluently as well as four other languages (Spanish, French, Romanian and Russian). 

Tim Klatt

Director of Retail Strategies, La Macchia Group

With over almost 20 years of experience in market research and business intelligence, Tim began his career consulting for Home Depot as well as national restaurant chains such as Burger King, KFC, Taco Bell, and Pollo Tropical. In addition to Director of Retail Strategies Tim is also the Head of Vivalociti at La Macchia Group, where he leverages data to integrate technology and showcase personalized branded messaging to financial clients. Since joining La Macchia Group, Tim has exponentially expanded his breadth of expertise, becoming a leader in the financial industry, participating in industry colloquiums, focus groups, and round tables.

Jesse Kohl

President of InterLutions, Corporate Central Credit Union

Jesse started his career in the movement during college while interning at a credit union. He fell in love with the “people helping people” philosophy and has played an instrumental role in leveraging the collaborative spirit of credit unions to build innovative services that drive down costs. 

In August of 2002, Jesse joined Corporate Central as a Business Development Executive and soon-after was promoted to leadership roles in the marketing, sales, and strategic alliance departments. In 2016, Jesse joined the executive leadership team at Corporate Central and was named President of the CUSO InterLutions. 

With nearly 20 years of experience working in the credit union movement, Jesse is proud of the accomplishments credit unions have achieved over the years and believes there is tremendous opportunity for all credit unions to become wildly successful. 

Jesse graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Finance. 

Mike Mares

Account Executive, Eltropy

Mike Mares is an Account Executive for Eltropy, the leading Digital Conversations Platform. Mike lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and has experience both working for and serving Financial Institutions for over 30 years. Mike has worked with more than 800 Financial Institutions worldwide, leveraging his wealth of experience in branch operations, lending, and digital services. Today, his primary focus is helping community financial institutions to become more efficient, increase service levels and empower these institutions to be superstars as they access and implement new solutions for their members.

Ben Maxim

Chief Technology Officer, Reseda Group

Ben Maxim joined MSUFCU in 2007 as a web developer and rose through the ranks to his current dual roles as Chief Digital Strategy and Innovation Officer for MSUFCU and as Chief Operating Officer for MSUFCU’s wholly owned credit union service organization (CUSO) Reseda Group. He is responsible for assessing emerging business trends and technologies; providing strategic direction for existing and future digital channels; and facilitating innovation throughout MSUFCU, including leading its innovation center, The Lab at MSUFCU. He is also responsible for the technology, product, growth and sales at Reseda Group.  

Maxim earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a professional certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Stanford University. He was honored as Finopotamus’ 2022 Tekkie Awards Technologist of the Year. He completed Filene Research Institute’s innovation leadership program, i3, in 2023. Maxim also serves as an advisor and board member to multiple fintechs. 

Patrick McElhenie

Chief Sales Officer, Trellance

Patrick joined Trellance in December of 2021 as Chief Sales Officer where he leads teams that execute efforts around sales, client success, and partnership management. Prior to Trellance, he held various leadership roles within CUNA Mutual Group for over 20 years across both sales and product management. Over time, he has built relationships and a reputation as a knowledgeable, personable and trusted leader. Patrick has also become a familiar face for his contributions to industry events, conferences and webinars on a regular basis. He holds a Business Degree from the University of Kansas and is an avid boater and outdoorsman 

Ryan Ohendalski

SVP of Sales, Kasasa

Ryan Ohendalski is the SVP of Sales at Kasasa, a leader and advocate for community credit union innovation. With expertise in retail and consumer growth, Ryan has worked with hundreds of credit unions for over 15 years. He has specifically advised them on the latest consumer trends, market innovations, and most importantly, how to compete in this ever-evolving industry. Ryan currently works for Kasasa, where he helps deploy retail solutions that help grow younger, engaged members for credit unions. When he’s not at work, Ryan enjoys spending time with his wife and three kids. They live outside of Austin, Texas, where they enjoy the outdoors and traveling as a family.

Jason Ritzenthaler

Chief Investment Officer, Members Trust Company

Jason graduated from Florida State University with dual degrees in Finance and Management Information Systems. With 20+ years experience in the financial services industry, Jason has collaborated with global portfolio managers and industry experts at the CFA European conference and Harvard University. Since joining MTC in 2005, Jason has provided analytical research and investment strategy for our model portfolios. Jason is a member of the CFA Institute, CFA Society of Chicago, CFA Society of Madison and Chicago Council on Global Affairs.