Crasher Class of 2014

Alvin Byers
Accounting Specialist / Financial Analyst
Wildfire Credit Union

Alvin Byers, an Accounting Specialist and Financial Analyst, has been with Wildfire Credit Union since 2008. He will graduate from Northwood University in June 2014 with a Bachelor’s in both Accounting and Management. Alvin initially started as a co-op like employee, working during his lunch hour within the student-lead high school branch and after school at the main branch in Saginaw as a teller. After graduating high school, he came on board as a part time teller while continuing his education before transitioning into the Accounting department in 2010. His responsibilities include fixed income investment evaluation, asset-liability management testing, and research analysis. Post-graduation, he plans to look into mentoring programs, teaching, and youth development while continuing to expand his credit union knowledge base. Outside of work and school, Alvin enjoys athletics (watching and participating), spending time with his wife (Patience), along with preparing for their first child (due September 2014!).

Austin Ashley
Digital Media Coordinator
Astera Credit Union

Austin stays pleasantly busy as Astera Credit Union’s Digital Media Coordinator; coordinating Astera’s social media, graphic design, and website (which saw a complete overhaul this spring-check it out at!) Austin also chairs the Youth Committee and collaborates with the rest of the Marketing Department to create campaigns that spread the word about Astera’s Brighter Solutions and the Credit Union Difference. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Michigan State University in Studio Art in May of 2012 and worked in the advertising department of the Lansing State Journal before coming to Astera.

Austin lives in Lansing with his husband and two dogs, he grew up on a sesquicentennial farm, his favorite color is purple, he loves to cook, and his favorite dinosaur is the brontosaurus.

@artsyaustin  /

Erin Shupe
eServices Manager
Lake Michigan Credit Union

Erin is the eServices Manager for Lake Michigan Credit Union in Grand Rapids. She has a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Florida State University (GO NOLES!) and a law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Erin started working at LMCU in 2007 as a teller, then moved to the Call Center, and then helped to build the eServices Department, a new department for LMCU at the time. The eServices Department launched in August of 2011, and has been growing rapidly since then. Erin’s team handles all member services aspects of the virtual branch services at LMCU – Online membership applications, Live Chat, Member emails, Online banking issues, Mobile App, Secure Messaging.

Erin considers herself a “locavore” and a foodie and loves exploring the neighborhoods, food, and activities that Grand Rapids has to offer. She likes to stay active and enjoys running, hot yoga, cooking, reading, and spending time with her husband and their pets – a pit bull/lab mix and a cat. She is always up for a challenge and loves to learn new things.

@ErinShupe  /

Hassan Abdallah
Lead Compliance Specialist
Community Choice Credit Union

Hassan Abdallah serves as the Lead Compliance Specialist at Community Choice Credit Union in Farmington Hills, MI. He is a life-long Michigander born and raised in Metro-Detroit. Hassan is currently a full-time JD student at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Auburn Hills, MI. He received his bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University in 2012 in Economics.

Hassan first began his career at Community Choice as a Contact Center Advisor. After 6 months in the Contact Center he was promoted to my current position in Compliance and Risk Management. A core of his responsibilities includes overseeing all compliance operations, vendor management, vendor contract relationships, compliance training and internal auditing.

This April, Hassan received his CUCE (Credit Union Compliance Expert) designation after attending and completing the CUNA’s Regulatory & Compliance School. “Working full-time and attending graduate school full-time has been one of the most exhausting challenges I’ve ever faced-but every day is more exciting and I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s given me a huge advantage over other young professionals and students as I am able to take both what I learn from work and what I learn from school and apply them accordingly to either one respectively.”

In his free time Hassan enjoys spending all his time with his family and close friends. Hassan plans that after receiving his Law Degree to practice Regulatory & Compliance Law and potentially serve on the legal counsel of a Credit Union or Financial Agency.

Jeremy Prins
Business Development Manager
Consumers Credit Union

Jeremy is the Business Development Manager serving Grand Rapids for Consumers Credit Union. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Calvin College. Prior to working for the credit union, Jeremy worked at Macatawa Bank for eight years. He began as a Teller upon graduating college and subsequently held Personal Banker and Assistant Manager positions before becoming a Branch Manager and Assistant Vice President. Jeremy accepted the role of Business Development Manager for Consumers Credit Union in January of this year. His responsibilities for Consumers include serving businesses in every way possible! Whether it’s loans, deposits or workplace education, Jeremy’s goal is to keep his business members focused on their business while he takes special care of their banking needs. When he is not hard at work, he enjoys spending time and traveling with his lovely wife, playing/watching hockey, rocking out with his rock band “Forrester” and attending church. He can only be found on inland lakes during the summer. He is a dog lover and generally indifferent towards cats. 

Joe Batt
Member Service Representative
Lake Michigan Credit Union

Joe began his career in credit unions at First Community Federal Credit Union in Parchment, Michigan while he was attending Western Michigan University for his BBA in Finance. He started as a teller, and six months later was promoted to Member Service Representative. After graduating from Western in 2013, he moved to Holland where he now works for Lake Michigan Credit Union, still in the member service area. It was here that he truly realized credit unions were the place he belonged. He loves helping members and educating them to make their lives better and assisting them in whatever situation they may be in. Joe is very appreciative for all the opportunities for growth and knowledge he has been given at LMCU and loves working both with his co-workers and the members. One day, he would like to be in a management position to be that knowledge resource for his fellow LMCU crew and build an even greater bond with the members.

Along with this, community involvement is a big priority. During his education at Western, he held the position of Director of Finance for “Drive Safe Kalamazoo,” a student run non-profit organization on campus that would give safe rides home to students on the weekends. Getting out there and helping others is important both in the workplace and in life in general.

In his downtime, Joe likes to go home to Ludington to visit his family and see his amazing chocolate lab, Lucy. Spending time on the beach in his hometown during the summer is also pretty high on his to-do list. He also likes to go for runs, work out, watch movies and play video games with friends, eating out (who doesn’t like food?) and overall having a great time!

Jon Studinger
Frontline Teller
Limestone Federal Credit Union

Jon was born and raised in Manistique, MI. He went to college at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI. During that time, he was a member of the NMU Crew Team, a Resident Advisor at Spooner Hall, traveled abroad in Northern India, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science. Since then, Jon has moved back to Manistique and started working at Limestone Federal Credit Union in January of 2013. He currently works as a frontline teller, and enjoys getting to know members, learning the inner workings of credit unions, and joking around with his coworkers.

Jon volunteers at his local hospital as an EMT and as member of Schoolcraft’s Community Emergency Response Team. This spring, Jon is trying his luck as an assistant coach to the middle school track team. In his spare time, he enjoys baking, running, reading, and backpacking. One day, Jon would like to backpack in the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains, but settles for Pictured Rocks and the Porcupine Mountains in the U.P. as of now.

Jordan Kowalkowski
Financial Analyst
Filer Credit Union

I am relatively new to the credit union world having started as a Financial Analyst at Filer Credit Union last fall. However, I have been enjoying the experience, and I love working for a small credit union that allows me to wear multiple hats and try out my ideas.

Before credit unions, I worked for the US House of Representatives, in real estate, and as an efficiency analyst for a furniture company in Michigan. Five years ago, I would not have guessed I’d be where I am, but as so often happens, all of these different experiences lead me, in one way or another, to right where I am today, and I feel truly blessed to be here. I received my BA in Political Science from Hillsdale College and am currently working toward a MS in Finance from Penn State University.

In my personal time, I work hard as a husband of a beautiful wife and a father of four wonderful children. Interestingly enough, my wife and I currently have four kids under the age of four.

Mary Rose Giles
Business Development Officer
Alliance Catholic Credit Union

I am passionate and devoted to the CU movement and am thrilled to be able to join my fellow CU colleagues at AC&E this year!

I graduated from the University of Michigan in 2010 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, English and History. Upon graduation, I put my passion for non-profits and charitable causes to work by doing freelance development for a number of charities in Southeast Michigan. In 2012, I was hired by Alliance Catholic Credit Union to help build their Business Development department. As a BD Officer at ACCU, I am responsible for the development of sustainable and strategic relationships with area parishes, schools, charities and community organizations. I am constantly striving to create and implement innovative tactics that can reach new audiences and further awareness of the CU movement.

I live in Ann Arbor, MI and am an active member of the Young Leaders Society of Washtenaw County (an outreach of United Way). I also volunteer at an executive and board level with several local non-profits and charities.

@MaryRGiles  /

Stephen Daly
Sr. Loan Officer
Bay Winds Federal Credit Union

24 years old. Born and raised in Petoskey Michigan. Graduated Michigan State University with a degree in Finance. Started my career with Bay Winds Federal Credit Union as an accounting assistant. I currently serve as a loan officer in our Charlevoix Office where I also do compliance for our business program. Active with the Petoskey Area Jaycees and Leadership Little Traverse.  Big fan of the outdoors and especially skiing and boating.