Akamine William Akamine is vice president of compliance and risk management at Hawaii State FCU. He has been with Hawaii State FCU since 2001. Bill’s team oversees the Bank Secrecy Act program, compliance reviews on the deposit and loan programs, business resumption planning and vendor management programs. Since 2013, Bill has conducted and reported on Enterprise Risk Management, and he has most recently designed operational risk self-assessments. A certified compliance officer, Bill is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and from time to time, teaches business courses during the evening hours. He loves dogs, and is active in a training club. He started his financial industry career as a bank economist. 
Arnold2 Mark Arnold is an acclaimed speaker and expert in branding and strategic planning for credit unions. He helps credit unions achieve their goals with insight and energized training. Mark speaks regularly to audiences around the country on many topics, including branding, marketing, strategy and leadership. Mark is also the founder of On the Mark Strategies, a consulting firm specializing in branding and strategic planning. Prior to founding On the Mark Strategies, he served as a senior executive at a large credit union in the Dallas area and oversaw and planned strategies for multiple departments including marketing, business development, human resources, training and member investments.

Monica Belz is president/CEO of Kauai Government Employees FCU. Her experiences in the credit union industry include strategy development, branding, market entry, global development projects, marketing, and community development initiatives such as spearheading financial literacy and entrepreneurship programs. She achieved her Credit Union Development Educator designation through the National Credit Union Foundation, World Young Credit Union Professional, and participated in the CRASHER Program with the Cooperative Trust. She holds a Global MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a BA in Communications from Vanguard University of Southern California.


Pablo DeFilippi leads Inclusiv’s membership development and engagement strategies and manages Inclusiv/Network, a network of community development finance practitioners that provide valuable consulting services to CDCUs. He has more than 20 years of experience in community finance, working with regulated financial institutions both in the domestic and international arena. He managed the World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. International Remittance Program, a world-wide initiative to provide alternative remittance services to consumers both in the US and in recipient countries through the credit union system. He holds a B.A. in Social Studies from Universidad de Chile, as well as a Professional Accounting Certificates from Baruch College and New York University. He has a Masters of Business Administration from Pace University, and is a graduate of CUNA’s Management School and NCUF’s Social Impact Management Institute. He is also a Credit Union Development Educator and a UK Credit Union Development Educator.

Fitchett Dorie Fitchett is the regulatory officer at Hawaii Credit Union League.  She has over four decades of experience working for and serving the needs of Hawaii’s credit unions. She assists credit unions with regulatory compliance activities, which includes publishing the weekly InfoSight eNewsletter, conducting Bank Secrecy Act training, and researching answers to specific compliance questions. Dorie is certified as a Credit Union Compliance Expert and Bank Secrecy Act Compliance Specialist.

Roger Grannis has devoted his career to mastering the art and science of communicating with sales teams. He brings high energy, high content, and high humor to every engagement, whether it’s delivering a keynote, leading a consulting engagement, teaching a workshop, or coaching an executive. For 30 years, Roger’s work has been driving sales growth at companies such as Gartner, GE, Wells Fargo, PepsiCo, Symantec, Vertex, The Royal Bank of Scotland, and Foot Locker. Roger genuinely cares about your success. He will work hard to understand your goals and challenges and deliver a customized solution that will maximize your return on every dollar spent.


Kevin Herring is a managing partner at Ashford & Wriston.  He focuses on commercial litigation, escrow contracts, eminent domain, title insurance, insurance defense, and technology law. Kevin has been involved in the representation of a variety of insurance companies, land owners, businesses, credit unions and individuals. He won a jury verdict in excess of $800,000 in a case involving the forgery of an insurance application; obtained an arbitration award in excess of $9M in a construction defect case; secured federal trademark registration for a publicly traded financial institution; obtained a judgment in excess of $1M against a commercial tenant that breached a shopping center lease; prepared license agreements for the use of trademarks, software and other intellectual property; won summary judgment in federal court for an escrow company in a case involving alleged TILA violations. 

Steven Houle 100 Steven Houle is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the Advisory Service and setting its long-term strategic direction. He also works directly with credit unions to assist them with their strategic financial and investment management endeavors. Steven joined the Catalyst Strategic Solutions team in 2006. Previously, he worked at Concentra Financial, where he was responsible for managing the investment and derivative portfolios of client financial institutions, including credit unions, in Western Canada. His other key roles included analyzing interest rate risk simulation results and key performance indicators of client credit unions and recommending appropriate strategies while considering the balance sheet positions and the economic environment. Steven graduated from the University of Regina with a bachelor's degree in business administration. He holds Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Financial Risk Manager (FRM) designations.

Brian Kaas is president and managing director of CMFG Ventures, LLC and oversees all aspects of CUNA Mutual’s venture capital program. He also serves as the vice president of corporate development at CUNA Mutual Group.  Brian is responsible for evaluating and executing a broad range of acquisitions and other strategic transactions for the organization.  He serves as a board member for several financial technology start-up companies and is a frequent speaker on emerging fintech trends.  Brian has a broad range of legal and corporate experience, particularly in the areas of complex commercial transactions including mergers, acquisitions, reinsurance and corporate restructurings. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School with a Juris Doctorate and also received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in Public Policy and Administration with an emphasis in Legal Affairs.

Cheryl Lawson Cheryl Lawson is executive vice president of compliance review for JMFA NEXT GENERATIONCheryl Lawson is executive vice president of compliance review for JMFA NEXT GENERATIONOVERDRAFT PRIVILEGE® and other profitability programs. Her expertise is focused on helping JMFAclients fulfill all regulatory requirements and consumer protection expectations. Cheryl’s impressivebackground includes more than 30 years of experience in global information technology andfinancial operations, as well as consulting, communications, training and project management.Cheryl earned her bachelor’s in English from Carnegie-Mellon University, followed by an MBA fromRice University. She is a sought-after authority for compliance issues at numerous industry events.
Freddy Ludiazo

Freddy Ludiazo,Vice President of Client Services at Intech, a Honolulu Firm serving local Businesses and Credit Unions by providing IT Services and Cybersecurity Protection. Freddy  is a 15 years Technology Executive with focus on education for the non-tech users.

Special Agent Liam McGrail is currently assigned to the FBI Honolulu cyber squad.  Current focus is on criminal cyber intrusions and cyber financial crimes. Past work has also included white collar, virtual currency, and fraud cases.  Prior to serving in the FBI, Special Agent McGrail was a US Army Officer,  and consultant at Accenture

Nakamoto Jon Nakamoto is vice president of internal audit at Hawaii State FCU.  He reports to the Supervisory Committee and supports the Committee by performing internal audits of credit union operations.  He has reviewed internal controls and performed internal audits of financial institutions for over 30 years.

Stephen Nelson is vice president of credit union support at Utah Credit Union Association.  He has worked in the credit union industry for 19 years, spending most of his time at the Utah Credit Union Association, presenting about and consulting with credit unions on many hot-button topics: strategic planning, business continuity, data analytics, cyber security, volunteer duties, and now CECL. 


Mary Ann Otake is chief operating officer at Hawaii First FCU.  She spent the last 18 years immersing herself in the credit union movement. Mary Ann is a graduate of Western CUNA Management School and played an instrumental role in helping Hawaii First obtain its Community Development Financial Institution certification. Additionally, she helped with the planning and grant writing initiatives that led to seven CDFI awards totaling $4.1 million. Along with performing various in-branch responsibilities, Mary Ann helped Hawaii First become the first financial institution in the state of Hawaii to be recognized as an approved Blue Zones Worksite, an accomplishment that led to the creation of the credit union’s WELLth First employee wellness program. While she’s worked to make Hawaii better for others, she also managed to obtain her Development Educator designation. She is a firm believer and advocate for “People Helping People.”


Jennifer Sims is vice president of learning and development at Hawaii State FCU.  She has been in the financial industry for over 29 years.  Her experience covers both frontline branch and back office operations in areas of teller, new accounts, consumer loans, branch management, and training and development.  Her responsibilities at Hawaii State FCU include overseeing the planning, development and implementation of training and education, and career development initiatives throughout the credit union.  Jennifer is a certified Credit Union Development Educator from the National Credit Union Foundation and graduate of Western CUNA Management School.  She is vice president of Financial Education Alliance of Hawaii and has served on the board and instructor since 2002.


Randall Smith is the co-founder and publisher of CUInsight.com, the host of The CUInsight Experience podcast, and a bit of a wanderlust. As the publisher of CUInsight.com he looks for innovative ways to spread the credit union message, connect people, and keep the credit union community informed. Randy is a Credit Union Development Educator and works with credit unions, leagues, associations, and partners on a variety of topics including media relations, public relations, business development and strategic thinking to get new ideas off the ground. Put simply, Randy likes to create and foster new ideas and watch them grow.

Wong1 Mary Wong is senior vice president and general counsel at Hawaii State FCU.  She joined Hawaii State FCU from the Honolulu law firm of Ashford & Wriston LLP, where her practice focused on financial institutions. She has represented a number of credit unions and banks and the Hawaii Credit Union League in management and operations. Wong has practiced with Ashford & Wriston since 1991 and served most recently as a partner of the firm. Wong earned her bachelor’s degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. In the community, Wong serves on the board of directors of the Hawaii International Dyslexia Association, and is a former board member of the Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus and Honolulu Zoo Society. Wong is a member of the American Bar Association and Hawaii State Bar Association and has been recognized for her pro bono work in civil rights and education.