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2018 Accolade Users’ Conference

You’re invited to the fourth annual Accolade Users’ Conference on March 19-21, 2018, at Mansion on Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia. Featuring unique events and fantastic food, this conference will heighten your knowledge of balance sheet management, provide networking opportunities with your peers, and offer the ability to earn CPE credit.



Monday, March 19

12:00 p.m. — Pre-Conference Workshop – Registration and Lunch

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Pre-conference (optional)
These pre-conference sessions will help you get more out of your partnership with Accolade. Each session will focus on the application of our three advisory service areas.

1:00 p.m.  Interest Rate Risk Essentials
Aaron Rouse, VP, Chief Financial Officer, Accolade

Designed for credit-union executives, this session will explore the key items you need to know about interest rate risk.

2:00 p.m.  Credit Risk Concepts
Aaron Rouse, VP, Chief Financial Officer, Accolade

Risked-based pricing has been around for a while now, but how do you actually set what those rates should be? This session will discuss how to quantify the costs/risks that should feed into your risk-based pricing model.

3:00 p.m.  Go Beyond the Investment Portfolio
Michael Gampp, Senior Balance Sheet Advisor, Accolade

Managing your balance sheet is about more than just the investment portfolio. This session will review several key components of balance-sheet management.

6:00 - 7:00 p.m.  Welcome Reception

Tuesday, March 20

8:00 a.m.  Breakfast

9:00 a.m.  Lighting the Way Forward
Joe Ghammashi, CRP, CRISC, Board Chairman, CEO, Accolade

Hear our CEO’s view on the future of credit unions and Accolade’s unique role within the cooperative movement.

9:30 a.m.  Accolade Update
Aaron Rouse, VP, Chief Financial Officer, Accolade

Accolade continues to grow and develop new ways to help our members succeed. Meet a few new staff members and hear about our plans for the future.

10:00 a.m.  Good Times, Risky Times: An Economic Outlook
Cristian deRitis, PhD, Senior Director, Moody’s Analytics

The U.S. economy continues to perform well, and near-term prospects remain positive. In this session, we will explore the fundamental sources of strength in the U.S. economy, as well as the emerging risks to the long-term outlook. We will consider how much longer the expansion can continue and the factors that might end it. Special attention will be paid to the impact of the economy on the overall financial system and credit unions in particular.

11:00 a.m.  The Changing Credit Union Landscape
The financial services industry is rapidly changing. What will the future look like for credit unions? What are the challenges we face, and who will succeed?

12:00 p.m.  Lunch

1:00 p.m.  Building a Winning Marketing Plan
Amanda McMeans, Owner, TwoScore

Do you find that your marketing plan repeats the same things year after year? Do you feel like marketing is an unprofitable expense? This session details the must-have elements of a successful plan for marketing to be the most important and profitable investment your credit union makes. Our credit union clients who follow this proven formula are currently outpacing their peers by 133.97% in loan growth and 98.99% in 12-month growth of average member relationships.

2:30 p.m.  Key Elements of an MBL Program
Panelists: Keith Eiden, EVP, Lending, Superior Credit Union and Jeff Lyons, VP of Lending, Desco FCU

Are you considering adding member business lending to your loan portfolio? Or do you have concerns about your existing program? Join us for this panel discussion on key elements of an MBL program, and learn what two successful credit unions are doing in this area.

3:45 p.m.  Sessions conclude

4:30 p.m.  Trolley Tour of Savannah (optional)
Enjoy learning about the culture and history of Savannah during this private sightseeing excursion

6:00 p.m.  Gingerbread House Festivities
Built in 1899 by Cord Asendorf, this magnificent house is considered among the finest examples of Steamboat Gothic architecture in America. Today, the Gingerbread House is one of Savannah’s leading event venues. We’ll enjoy elegant Southern dining along with a skilled dueling piano performance.

Wednesday, March 21

7:30 a.m.  Breakfast

8:15 a.m.  A Practical Approach to Implementing CECL
Melissa Ashley, EVP, CFO, Corporate One FCU

This session will review a practical and reasonable approach for credit unions to implement CECL.

9:00 a.m.  Credit-Loss Modeling (for more than just CECL)
Aaron Rouse, Accolade, and Chris Urbanic, P360

CECL requires a forward-looking, credit loss estimate. With all the effort and data put into that number, let’s use it for more than just accounting. This session will apply tools that Accolade has developed from its credit loss model to go beyond an accounting entry and help you better manage credit.

9:45 a.m.  Roundtable: How to Build and Manage a High-Yield Loan Portfolio
In this interactive session, rotate between three roundtable discussions on origination, underwriting, and servicing for a high yield loan portfolio.

11:00 a.m.  The Little Things Matter
Mark Robinson, Comedian, Magician and Motivational Speaker

Learn how a magician starts with an impossible goal and works backwards to find solutions. Professional magician, comedian and motivational speaker Mark Robinson reveals this along with audience-interactive examples of how easily we are distracted from what we should be focused on. Learn how important the “little things” are to someone’s impression of your company and how to create “wow” moments for your customers.

12:30 p.m.  Closing remarks & Lunch
Joe Ghammashi, Accolade

*Schedule subject to change.

Agenda Speakers CPE Information Hotel & Travel


  • Registration is free for Accolade clients. Attendees need only pay for their own transportation and accommodations.
  • For additional guest registrations and CUAnalytics clients, a $500 fee will apply.
  • Spouses/partners of clients may attend evening events only for a fee of $250.

Please note: Due to the size of conference facilities, we must limit attendance to 75 participants. Registration is on a first come/first-served basis.

Cancellation Policy

In order to keep this event free of charge, we regretfully must charge a $200 fee for cancellations received after Monday, March 5, 2018 or for “no shows”. Cancellations must be provided via email to accoladeevents@accoladeadvisory.com.  Please cancel your room reservations directly with the hotel.

Your conference registration is transferable to another person at your credit union by notifying Accolade at accoladeevents@accoladeadvisory.com.