CU Water Cooler


Our event was a great success! Thanks to all of our speakers, sponsors, organizers and audience for an inspired event.


Purpose  |  People  |  Progress

The theme of Disruption ’17 by CU Water Cooler is positive disruption—how the world is changing credit unions and how credit unions can change the world. Widely considered the TED Talks of the credit union movement, Disruption ’17 brings the top thinkers, leaders and doers in co-operative finance, technology, research and innovation together for a two-day event like no other. We’ve put together a stellar speaker line-up and agenda and we'll be exploring how the credit union purpose, people and progress are being disrupted.


People before profits is the 100-year-old purpose of credit unions. Does this hold up in 2017?  Does the system architecture need to adapt? How do community impact and financial education fit into the overarching purpose of credit unions? 


There is a war for talent going on inside the credit union industry. With half of the standing CEOs set to retire, how will the leadership of credit unions adapt and change? How do we create and nurture culture? How do we engage, retain and recruit top talent?


There are now more Fintech startups than there are credit unions in the United States. How do credit unions keep up and collaborate with these disruptive forces? How will our product offerings evolve and how will we market our relevance?

We picked a venue limited to 175 attendees. Based on past CU Water Cooler events, the audience will be a mix of CEOs, VPs, managers and specialists from all parts of the credit union including leadership, marketing, IT, operations and HR. Plus, we always attract a number of progressive consultants and technology vendors. We encourage you and your peers to attend. You will find the content and conversations stimulating and useful.


Two days of top-notch speakers await

An agenda filled with fresh topics and thought-provoking talent. The line-up includes a mix of outside experts and industry insiders. We guarantee that each speaker will have something unique and interesting to share.

Keynote: Douglas Rushkoff


Media theorist, author, documentarian and world-renowned public intellectual, Douglas Rushkoff has spent his prolific career thinking about how new media and technology are impacting culture, business and the economy. Named one of the world’s 10 most influential thinkers by MIT, Rushkoff has written 15 bestselling books and coined such concepts as “viral media,” “social currency” and “digital natives.” His talks are a culmination of his pioneering work, and an infallible source of what’s to come.

Meet our headliners

Our PechaKucha Speakers

At the center of the movement 

Madison, Wisconsin is known as one of the "best college towns" and one of the "happiest cities in the world." It's also know as "credit union mecca" and is home to many of the credit union movement's key associations and organizations including WOCCU, CUNA, CUNA Mutual, CUES and Filene Research Institute to name a few. We couldn't think of a better place to get together to discuss the future of credit unions! 

© Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau; clockwise from left: Focal Flame Photography, Emily Mills, Emily Mills and Joey Reuteman

© Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau; clockwise from left: Focal Flame Photography, Emily Mills, Emily Mills and Joey Reuteman

The venue and travel

We've all been to too many conferences in beige hotel conference rooms, sitting on uncomfortable stacking chairs, looking at crooked little screens, listening to awful sound and eating rubber chicken. We feel strongly that where we hold our events is as important as who's on the agenda—that's why we're excited to be at the Majestic Theatre, a legendary music venue in the heart of downtown Madison. This convenient location is 15 minutes from the Dane County Regional Airport.

© Majestic Theatre

© Majestic Theatre


Our block of rooms is now full at the Hyatt Place Downtown Madison, however there are other hotels in the area. The Best Western Premier ParkThe Madison Concourse Hotel and Hilton Madison Monona Terrace are all within a five-minute walk to the Majestic. Also, Airbnb is an inexpensive alternative.


Majestic Theatre
115 King Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53703


Planning your trip

For those traveling by plane, there is no need to rent a car. There are plenty of hotels within walking distance. Entertainment and dining options are also a short walk away. Grab a cab to and from the airport and you'll be set!

Our sponsors

Title Sponsors

Currency is a credit union-focused marketing firm. Our unique programs—It’s a Money Thing and Young & Free—focus on helping credit unions raise awareness, build relationships and foster financial empowerment with young adults and families. Our It’s a Money Thing program helps credit unions exceed the fifth co-operative principle—providing education and financial training for members and staff.

A productive frontline staff cannot be left wondering “what’s important?” or “how am I doing?” GameFI leverages game mechanics to drive frontline engagement with strategic priorities, shorten the employee performance feedback loop, make training fun, and optimize productivity, while building a sales and service culture.

Audience Interaction Sponsor

TMG is dedicated to creating customized payments and processing solutions for financial institutions and the consumers they serve. Driven by a spirit of flexibility and collaboration, TMG tailors innovative credit, debit, ATM, prepaid and digital solutions to the needs of its clients. From patent-pending consumer support technologies to expert guidance on portfolio growth strategies, TMG provides personalized solutions that give clients a competitive advantage in an evolving payments landscape. Simply put, TMG makes life easier for financial institutions and their consumers.

Happy Hour Sponsor

In 2008, several leading credit unions and credit union service organizations (CUSOs) took a hard look at private student lending in America and believed they could work together to provide a better solution to help students and families pay for college. Credit Union Student Choice was born out of that mission, and today hundreds of credit unions have partnered with Student Choice to offer innovative private student lending and student loan refinance programs that focus on people before profits.

Video Spot Sponsors

CUNA Mutual Group helps people plan, protect and invest for their future—regardless of their financial standing. The company was founded more than 80 years ago by credit union leaders who were looking for an insurance and investment partner they could trust. Today, CUNA Mutual Group helps credit unions and hardworking Americans build financial security through commercial and personal insurance products; lending and payment security solutions; and risk management, retirement, investment and marketing services.

Brought to you by Currency Marketing, It’s a Money Thing is a full library of effective and affordable financial education content designed to engage and teach young adults while setting your credit union apart. This quality content is ideal for posting to your credit union’s website and social networks and a great way to connect with local educators and students.

Established in 1977, PSCU is the nation’s leading credit union service organization (CUSO). The company was recognized as CUSO of the Year in 2016 by the NACUSO. PSCU’s products, financial services solutions and service model collectively support over 850 Owner credit unions representing more than 20 million credit, debit, prepaid, online bill payment and mobile accounts; protect over 2 billion transactions annually from fraud; and optimize credit union performance and growth. Comprehensive 24/7/365 member support is delivered through call centers located throughout the United States.

The National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation) is the charitable arm of the U.S. credit union movement and works as a catalyst to improve people’s financial lives through credit unions. Through grants and programs, the Foundation is strengthening financial well-being, igniting passion and instilling knowledge about the credit union difference, and uniting resources to help credit union people during disaster. Donations to the Foundation ultimately enable credit unions to help their members reach life-changing goals and achieve financial freedom.

Speaker Intro Sponsors

Member Loyalty Group is a CUSO that helps credit unions drive bottom-line results through organization wide Voice of the Member programs. Member Loyalty Group was formed by leading credit unions in 2008 to develop a common member loyalty benchmark for the credit union industry and was recognized as the 2012 winner of NACUSO’s Collaboration & Innovation Award. The CUSO has an exclusive relationship with Satmetrix, the Net Promoter® company, to provide credit unions with the most effective tools for managing a Voice of the Member program to collect and act on member feedback that increases loyalty, growth and retention.

Winner of the 2016 NACUSO Next Big Idea Award, and named by American Banker’s Bank Technology News (BTN) as "One of the Top Ten Technology Companies" to watch, Rate Reset provides innovative Loan Acquisition, Retention and Reset Software (LRS™) to credit unions and mortgage companies. The company’s software provides a borrower-initiated interest rate-resetting loan feature that is an alternative to the traditional refinance for both mortgages and auto loans.

TwoScore is a marketing firm made up of former credit union marketers with a mission to help small credit unions thrive and stay relevant. We work exclusively with credit unions under $100 million in assets and help them achieve their strategic goals through marketing. TwoScore makes having an affordable and experienced VP of marketing possible for small credit unions, which helps them achieve the market advantage and sustainable growth they need.

Sponsorship opportunities

Speaker Intro

Introduce speaker
(first-come, first-choice)
1 sponsor ticket
Logo on website
Mentions from stage
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Video Spot

We play your promo video
(up to 2 minutes) during event
1 sponsor ticket
Logo on website
Mentions from stage
Logo on sponsor slides



7 minute product demo on stage during event
2 sponsor tickets
Logo on website
Mentions from stage
Logo on sponsor slides



We can work with you to develop a custom sponsorship package that fits your budget and your goals

Various Options

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