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L-R (clockwise): Ayaz Bhaiyat (Kinecta FCU), Diana Pham (SchoolsFirst FCU), Misty Ridenour (Mocse CU), Joshua Stoltzfus (Redwood CU), Jennifer Topzand (Frontwave CU), and Paul Woointranon (Farmers Insurance FCU).
L-R (clockwise): Ayaz Bhaiyat (Kinecta FCU), Diana Pham (SchoolsFirst FCU), Misty Ridenour (Mocse CU), Joshua Stoltzfus (Redwood CU), Jennifer Topzand (Frontwave CU), and Paul Woointranon (Farmers Insurance FCU).

Filene Announces Credit Union Leaders for i3 Program

Six of the credit union industry’s most innovative leaders from California have come together to form the newest cohort of the Filene i3 Program, with the program experiencing the highest number of applications in its 19-year history — its most competitive year ever.

These six are part of a larger newest-cohort group of 29 credit union leaders from across the nation, also known as “Wave 19.” Filene i3 — originated by the Filene Research Institute — is a two-year innovation leadership program equipping top credit union professionals with the mindset, tools, and network to lead and shape “the credit union of the 21st Century.”

Hailing from California and joining the ranks of more than 325 credit union leaders already within the Filene i3 community are:

  • Ayaz Bhaiyat, director of information technology (IT) operations and end-user technologies for Kinecta FCU.
  • Diana Pham, innovation project manager for SchoolsFirst FCU.
  • Misty Ridenour, director of information technology for Mocse CU.
  • Joshua Stoltzfus, finance manager for Redwood CU.
  • Jennifer Topzand, vice president of marketing for Frontwave CU.
  • Paul Woointranon, call center manager for Farmers Insurance FCU.
  • (Other “Wave 19” leaders from across the nation can be found here)

“It is our pleasure to welcome the next generation of credit union leaders into Filene Research Institute’s i3 program,” said Filene President and CEO Mark Meyer. “We are thrilled to have each of these innovators be part of the network of Filene, and we look forward to spending the next two years growing and innovating together with them. These individuals are joining an impressive network of I3 alums and innovators, and we can’t wait to see what they bring to the program.

Through this cohort-based program, participants learn cutting-edge innovation competencies grounded in three core categories. By engaging the diverse perspectives of members, staff, stakeholders, and subject-matter experts to co-create new solutions, participants learn skills essential for facilitating innovation. Through the process of exploring and iterating new ideas to gain insight, reduce risk, and validate solutions, participants become experienced at accelerating learning. Finally, mobilizing people and resources to inspire action is practiced for leading change.

Participants create impact through their work in cross-functional teams to explore and address some of credit unions’ most pressing challenges as identified by Filene’s Think Tank and backed by research from Filene’s Centers of Excellence. View the findings from last year’s i3 teams on six complex challenges facing credit unions.

The new i3 cohort begins a two-year development journey following Filene’s GAC Breakfast later this month, and will present progress-to-date to the credit union industry at Filene’s big.bright.minds in December.

Filene i3 Wave 17 completes its second year in the program this year. A ceremony will be held for the graduating i3 class on April 11 with all active i3 participants and their organizations invited join in celebration of Wave 17’s accomplishments. Learn more about the program and learning modules at

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