Home About Us About Credit Unions Governmental Affairs Education Information Center Credit Union Services




Annual Convention

and Expo

May 18-20, 2015






John Tippets

Hearts of Courage


From Seattle, WA on New Year's Eve, December 1942, Joseph Tippets wrote to his wife, Alta, in Anchorage, Alaska, his letter concluding "...Godspeed our quick reunion and I hope I beat this letter to you! " That was not to be the case.


Hearts of Courage brings to life the amazing true account of the 1943 Gillam plane crash in the wilderness of southeast Alaska. Pilot Harold Gillam, with five others, including CAA engineer, Joseph Tippets, had left Seattle on January 5th en route to a scheduled refueling stop near Ketchikan when disaster struck. For four passengers, the harrowing events that followed required tremendous courage, enormous ingenuity, perseverance and many small miracles. It was a month of enduring sub zero temperatures and with little food, until an ultimate dramatic rescue. Using historical photographs and numerous other illustrations, along with his father's first-hand descriptions, John Tippets' presentation is a source of inspiration to all who hear it.  


"An astonishing story of unparalled bravery and faith!"  Stephen R. Covey, Author of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” 


"In our lives personally and professionally, most Credit Union leaders deal with various occasions and levels of adversity. For all who experience challenges and difficult times, Dad's story should be a source of motivation to persevere and to prevail." John Tippets 

John Tippets holds a B.A. and Master’s Degree in Business, with an emphasis in Finance, from UCLA. Mr. Tippets spent 42 years in the airline industry, 17 plus of those years as the President/CEO of the American Airlines Federal Credit Union in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas. The AA Credit Union grew from $1.0 Billion to $5.0 Billion over that period serving members worldwide and with branches from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Honolulu, Hawaii. Mr. Tippets retired from there in 2008.

Mr. Tippets has been active in the credit union community; serving frequently as a speaker/panelist and on many trade associations, forums and committees. He served terms with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors Thrift Institutions Advisory Council, the Fannie Mae's National Advisory Council; the NAFCU Board of Directors and the PULSE Network Board of Directors.

Upon retirement in 2008, he authored and published “Hearts of Courage,” a book about the miraculous 29-day survival story of his father Joseph Tippets, a former CAA/FAA employee, who was on a plane that went down in Alaska in January 1943. He has enjoyed opportunities to do presentations of his Dad’s story to numerous groups and conferences. “There are lessons for everyone in a story of this nature, particularly about perseverance in times of adversity” said John Tippets.

In late 2009, coming out of retirement, Mr. Tippets became the President/CEO of North Island Credit Union in San Diego, California. With the support of a very talented North Island Credit Union leadership team there was a significant North Island recovery over the next three years from lows (measured as a net worth ratio below 4%) to a net worth ratio exceeding 8%. “On what was in our control we did quite well”, but with caution Mr. Tippets pointed out that “many factors in the economy are beyond the Credit Union’s control and those have remained very troubling and challenging. North Island is however now viable and has options that they didn’t have at all three years before.” With the ship now righted, John has recently retired again; and has passed the baton at North Island to a new CEO.


Steve Stasiukonis

Malware Mules and Money

Financial Crimes using the Internet have dramatically increased.  The use of crime-ware applications like Zeus, Phoenix, Spy-Eye and Citadel have wreaked havoc against financial institutions and their customers.  Ethical Hacker and Social Engineer, Steve Stasiukonis from Secure Network, will explain how these applications in combination with social engineering and hacking techniques are leveraged against you and your credit union.  The presentation will cover actual cases that involved these applications as well as explain in detail how the crimes were committed. 

Additional content includes:
- What is the crime-ware tool kit comprised of.
- How the crime-ware kit delivers the malware needed to infiltrate systems.
- How spam and phishing emails can lead to identity and financial loss
- How the compromised systems are tracked by the hacker.
- How authentication controls of the victim are compromised.
- How compromised authentication is used to move money.
- How money mules are recruited
- How money mules collect and transfer stolen funds.
- What you need to know, to not become a victim.

Steve Stasiukonis serves as President of Secure Network Technologies, focusing on Penetration Testing, Information Security Risk Assessments, Incident Response and Digital Investigations. Steve has worked in the field of Information Security for over fifteen years, specializing in the use of technology to identify information security vulnerabilities, assessing risk and the collection and interpretation of digital network intelligence. As a part of that experience, Steve is an expert in Social Engineering.


He is listed in Wikipedia as one of the most notable Social Engineers and has written and demonstrated actual social engineering efforts involving pretexting, phishing and physically compromising banks, data centers and other highly secure operations and facilities.


Steve carries numerous security certifications by various organizations and also serves as a columnist for Information Week magazine and DarkReading.


Steven Rick

Economic Update


Steven Rick is the Chief Economist for CUNA Mutual Group in Madison, Wisconsin. His primary responsibilities include conducting strategic research, analysis, and forecasting of the financial services industry with special emphasis on the consumer and credit union markets.

Steve’s forecasts serve as a starting point for the strategic planning process and help to create a clear understanding of the underlying trends and links between the general economy, the financial services industry, and CUNA Mutual’ s policyowners.

Steve publishes the Credit Union Trends Report, a monthly “pulse check” on the economic state of the credit union movement. He has authored a textbook on asset-liability management for credit union executives.

Before joining CMG Steve was the Senior Economist for CUNA & Affiliate’s Economics & Statistics Department for 22 years. Steve also serves on the Board of Directors of the University of Wisconsin Credit Union, a $1.9 billion financial institution.

Steve also holds a senior lecturer position with the Economics Department at the University of Wisconsin where he teaches the money & banking and macroeconomics courses. Steve is the facilitator
and instructor of the Stanford Bank Game, a computerized bank simulation, for CUNA Management School. He also has two years’ experience as a bank simulation advisor for the Prochnow
Graduate School of Banking.

Mr. Rick has a B.A. in Economics from Moorhead State University; a B.S. in Finance from Moorhead University; and a M.S.in Economics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is also ABD Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.


Crystal Jonas

Hiring Young Professionals: How and Why and What to Do So Everyone Wins

“I skate to where the puck is going.” ~ NHL’s Wayne Gretzky’s response to the question “What makes you so successful?”

It’s official, as of 2015, Millennials now outnumber Baby Boomers, and we have five generations working side by side in the workplace.

Looking forward, it’s clear that for your Credit Unions to continue to thrive, you must be able to attract, inspire and retain young professionals (YPs). Not so easy if you’re stuck in what used to work.

No doubt about it, expectations have changed, and Credit Unions who step up with vision and clarity will not only attract the best new talent available, they will smoothly integrate this newest generation into the solid workforce already in place.

This program shows you how to do just that.

You’ll gain insight into:
• How to attract the best talent available, what they want might surprise you
• What YPs see as the “leadership gap” and how to bridge it
• Why rapidly shifting demographics demand a fresh approach to business as usual
• What do so everyone wins: how to smoothly integrate YPs while still honoring the contributions and needs of generations well established in your workplace

Seven-time published author and international speaker Crystal Jonas is the creator of “The Heart and Science of Success,” an accelerated approach to swift and sustainable achievement.


A former Assistant Professor at the US Air Force Academy, Crystal has been teaching and consulting since 1991, and travels the US and the world delivering programs to help people inspire themselves and others to elevate their attitudes and actions so they can do meaningful work and make the world a better place.


As a loyal and long-time credit union member, Crystal is a firm believer and supporter of financial democracy, and what credit unions can do for their members.


That’s why Crystal has a passion for helping credit unions and their employees be even more positive, productive and profitable.


On a personal note, Crystal has run three marathons and climbed Pikes Peak three times. Don’t ask her how long it took her, she’ll just say she made it across the finish line without oxygen and home without a stretcher.


Crystal and her husband Dan live in a log cabin in the foothills of Pikes Peak.



Silent Auction for Childrens' Miracle Network


Please bring a gift from your credit union or chapter. Proceeds will benefit the Children's Miracle Network.



Talking Business Breakfast and Private Exhibits


Two decision-makers from each credit union are invited to sign up for the Talking Business Breakfast and Private Exhibits. You'll enjoy a networking breakfast with exhibitors in a casual atmosphere, followed by an hour of private exhibit hall time. Prior sign-up and tickets are required so be sure to include the names of decision-makers on your registration form.




Young Professionals Luncheon

Rising professionals and next generation business leaders (under age 35) are invited to network and partner with each other at a lunch on Tuesday. Be sure to include on your registration form the names of young professionals who will attend.



Trade Show


Visit the exhibit hall where vendors from all over the country will be showcasing their latest products and solutions. Find out about the latest services, technologies, applications and resources available to improve your credit union. Win prizes and make new connections.



New This Year!


Your League's annual conference is now mobile! Get connected, stay up to date and make the most of your conference experience!


We will be utilizing a new mobile platform from Busyevent Mobile for this year's Convention to network with others & have a virtual tote bag for your handouts. You will be able to view the platform from your laptop as well as your mobile device.


Go to: http://busyevent.com/tennesseecreditunion

  • Click the ‘Attend’ button and create your account
  • Click the ‘Sign In’ button and search for TCUL
  • Click the link for Tennessee Credit Union and explore the Conference,
    connect with attendees, visit exhibitor booths, learn
    about sessions and more!

You Can Also Download the app for iOS or Android

  • Go to: http://busyevent.com/getbemo or
    • Search the App Store or Google Play for “BusyEvent” or
  • Once installed, search for Tennessee Credit Union , click the link and Sign In


Entertainment and Networking

Monday Night

Reception brought to you by your exhibitors

Silent Auction for Childrens' Miracle Network


Tuesday Afternoon

Choose one of three lunches:

- Past League Chairmen

- Young Professionals

- All attendees and registered guests

Tuesday Night

Evening in the Round show with Bill Whyte, Linda Davis and Lang Scott



Three of Nashville’s most talented singer/songwriters will perform an Evening in the Round. This intimate night of acoustic music, starring Grammy® award winner Linda Davis and hit songwriters Lang Scott and Bill Whyte, will be injected with hits, humor and a whole lot of down home appeal.

This enjoyable night of music will see each artist taking a turn at the microphone, playing songs and sharing the stories behind these hits. You can expect to hear some familiar tunes recorded by some of today’s hottest artists, as well as Whyte’s own brand of sometimes twisted but always funny songs.






Mills Conference Center


At the left end of the Gatlinburg Convention Center and accross from the Gillette


234 Historic Nature Trail

Gatlinburg, TN 37738





Clarion Inn & Suites

1100 Parkway

Gatlinburg, TN 37738




Standard Queen or King $147

King Suites $207


Check-In 3:00 p.m.

Check-Out 11:00 a.m.

Cut-Off Date Friday, May 1

Cancellation: 48 hours




Hilton Garden Inn

635 River Road

Gatlinburg, TN  37738





Double $149

Standard $160


Check-In 4:00 p.m.

Check-Out 11:00 a.m.

Cut-Off Date Friday, May 1

Cancellation: Cancellation policies may vary depending on the rate or dates of your reservation. Please refer to your reservation confirmation to verify your cancellation policy.




A note about rooms

Often hotel rooms book up fast and some folks find themselves on a waiting list for rooms. Usually we can accommodate everyone on the lists. So, if you find you have reserved more rooms than you will need, please do not cancel them. Contact Trish Patterson at tpatterson@yourleague.org or 800-572-7359, extension 1208. Provide the name of the hotel, the type of room and the nights reserved.

Remember to bring your letters of tax exemption





Sevierville Golf Club

1444 Old Knoxville Highway

Sevierville, TN 37876

$149 per player

Fee includes green fee, cart, practice range,breakfast, lunch, beverages, prizes and goodie bags.


Four man, best ball

Four man teams will be built by handicap, keeping team handicaps as equal as possible.

Prizes Sponsored by CUNA Mutual Group

1st Place

2nd Place

3rd Place

4th Place

$100 each player

$75 each player

$50 each player

$25 each player


$50 Closest to the pin

$50 Longest Drive

Par 3 Hole-In-One contests:

- $10,000 Cash

- Bose Wave Music System

- SUMO Driver or Irons

- $500 Visa Gift Card


Tentative Agenda

Subject to change so check back often


Monday, May 18    
7:00 a.m. Golfers' Breakfast Sevierville Golf Club
8:30 a.m. Golf Sevierville Golf Club
Noonish Golfers' Lunch Sevierville Golf Club
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Registration  
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Registration*  
8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Reception & Silent Auction Mills Auditorium
  *Please bring a gift from your credit union or chapter. Proceeds will benefit the Children's Miracle Network.  
Tuesday, May 19
7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Registration Open  
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Talking Business Breakfast - Tickets Required Mills Auditorium
9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Talking Business Private Exhibits - Tickets Required Tennessee Ballroom
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Exhibit Hall open to all registered attendees and registered guests Tennessee Ballroom
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Young Professionals Lunch with Crystal Jonas Meeting Room 1
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Past TCUL Chairmen's Lunch Gatlinburg Room
12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch for all attendees, guests and exhibitors Mills Auditorium
1:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Opening remarks Mills Auditorium
1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Economic Update Mills Auditorium
2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Hiring Young Professionals: How and Why Mills Auditorium
8:00 p.m. Evening in the Round Mills Auditorium
Wednesday, May 20
7:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. Voting delegate registration  
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. TCUL Annual Meeting Mills Auditorium
9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Malware Mules and Money Mills Auditorium
10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Hearts of Courage Mills Auditorium
11:45 a.m. Closing remarks and Prize Give-Away Mills Auditorium


Educational Investment

Registration $699

Early Bird Registration $599 for registrations received by May 1

Free* for Credit Unions with less than $5 million in assets. 

(*Guests and golf not included.)

Registration is limited to league-affiliated credit union personnel and their directors.

Guests $159

Guest registration includes Reception, Silent Auction, Exhibit hall, Tuesday Lunch, Tuesday Entertainment, Closing speaker and Prize give-aways.

Guest registration excludes credit union personnel, credit union directors, vendors and exhibitors.

Golf $149

Includes golf fees, cart, practice range, breakfast, lunch, beverages, snacks, give-aways and prizes.

Golf is available to registered attendees, registered guests and registered exhibitors.


Registration Form

Register Online


Exhibitor Information




Business casual. Be sure to bring a sweater, as personal comfort levels vary.


Questions or Special Needs

Call your CU Information Center at 800-572-7359 or 423-899-2425, extension 1208. Or e-mail Trish Patterson at tpatterson@yourleague.org.



Refunds will be issued until 10 days prior to the conference, less a $50 administration fee per person. Substitutions accepted anytime. All cancellations and substitutions must be submitted in writing.

Tennessee Credit Union League
P.O. Box 21550
Chattanooga, TN  37424-0550
Phone: 423-899-2425  or  800-572-7359
FAX: 423-899-8726
Contact Us
Official Web Site of the
Tennessee Credit Union League
Read our web site privacy policy.