Harkley named 2015 CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec


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Jimese Harkley, philanthropy and community relations manager at $1.3 billion America's First Federal Credit Union in Birmingham, Ala., was named the 2015 CUES Next Top Credit Union Exec (NTCUE) this morning.

Photo (from left): Jimese Harkley, CUES CEO John Pembroke, CUES Chair Joseph F. Hearn, CCE, and Deedee Myers, PhD., CEO of challenge sponsor DDJ Myers Ltd.

Harkley's project idea about a "Community First Campaign" was chosen from a group of international applicants, all age 35 or under, who had been selected by a team of judges as Finalists in September. As one of five Finalists, Harkley's blog and video updates over the past few months provided the industry with an insight into the project's progress, and culminated with a final presentation Monday at CUES' CEO/Executive Team Network. Harkley emerged the winner after a four-part scoring process that included judging panel results, a measurement of her social media engagement, plus audience and online voting.

Harkley is a frequent volunteer in her community, and has won awards for her philanthropic efforts in Birmingham. Her project idea combines fundraising with a financial literacy initiative that impacts the lives of not only credit union members, but non-members as well. In her presentation, Harkley provided suggestions for how credit unions of any size could implement similar programs of their own.

CUES president/CEO John Pembroke said, "Attendees at our CEO/Executive Team Network conference were excited that Jimese Harkley and the rest of this year's NTCUE Finalists demonstrated the future of the credit union movement is strong and the plans and ideas coming from the next generation of leaders are solid and achievable."

The other four Finalists were:

Harkley wins a $20,000 educational prize package that includes registration, accommodation and economy airfare to any two of CUES' coveted CEO Institutes - one in 2016 and one in 2017 - and two remote coaching sessions from CUES Supplier member, strategic partner and challenge sponsor DDJ Myers Ltd. of Phoenix.

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