Niagara Regional FCU hits the jackpot in Las Vegas

Left, Donna Wick, CEO, and right, Katie Iglewski, marketing director, both of Niagara Regional FCU, celebrate their “Shark Tank” win with Daymond John, star of the ABC’s Shark Tank, during Alloya Corporate FCU’s Credit Union Executive Leadership Symposium earlier this month.

Donna Wick and Katie Iglewski of Niagara Regional FCU recently hit it big in Las Vegas. But they weren’t gambling in “Sin City.” They were doing quite the opposite, actually, promoting the credit union’s “Swipe & Save” program.

Wick, CEO, and Iglewski, marketing director, attended Alloya Corporate FCU’s Credit Union Executive Leadership Symposium earlier this month, and participated in a session called “Piranha Pool.” The event featured investor Daymond John, founder/CEO of FUBU, presidential ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, star of ABC’s Shark Tank and CEO of The Shark Group. The event also included two other credit union CEO “piranhas” and was moderated by Tim Bruculere, CFO of Alloya Corporate FCU.

“Katie and I both presented our ‘Swipe & Save’ program, doing a skit of an older person’s version of struggling with a checkbook (me) and how the program works for them and a younger person’s take (Katie) on why the program works for that age group as well,” explained Wick. “It was very well received and we had many compliments on it as well as inquiries from other CUs on how they can implement that program for themselves.” 

How the program works, is that every time a member swipes their debit MasterCard, the transaction is rounded up to the next dollar amount and the difference is automatically deposited into their Swipe & Save account.

While Wick said that she wasn’t nervous about the actual presentation, she may have been a bit starstruck. “I’ll tell you this, I wasn’t the least bit nervous presenting to our CU friends in the audience, but my knees were knocking on stage because I was so overwhelmed by the fact that a huge celebrity was on stage with us ready to have direct dialogue and that’s what got me a bit tongue-tied in the very beginning, and I made the slip of asking if anyone had struggled with an ‘addiction’ instead of ‘addition,” she said. “That was the ice breaker needed, however, as everyone laughed and we relaxed a bit.”

Wick said that at the end of their presentation, the panelists all asked questions about the program, and that it was “a more subdued vibe,” not like what you see on Shark Tank. She said that all of the questions were easily answered and just gave more insight to how the program works.

Iglewski agreed, and said that “being invited to present was so surreal – we were treated like royalty the entire time and received so many compliments on our presentation. The best part was how many credit unions came to us afterword, asking questions about the program and telling us they can’t wait to implement something similar at their credit union.”

While Wick and Iglewski were up against a $2 billion-asset credit union that ultimately walked away with the grand prize, Alloya Corporate FCU granted them $10,000 for their efforts. “That news was very exciting,” Wick said, also commending Iglewski on her efforts putting together the presentation. “I think she did a stellar job!”

Iglewski said that the $10,000 prize money will be used to promote the credit union and bring more awareness about credit unions to the community “in hopes that they’ll utilize our great programs, like Swipe & Save!”

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