YOUR NEWS: Fitzsimon’s Yakusheva named to Filene Research Institute’s innovation group

The i3 innovation program fosters development of new ideas for credit unions

AURORA | Polina Yakusheva, vice president of marketing and business development at Fitzsimons Credit Union in Aurora, has been named to Filene Research Institute’s i3 innovation program, which fosters the development of new ideas and innovations for credit unions.

Yakusheva and 15 other credit union executives from around the country will serve a two-year term that kicks off at Filene’s “big.bright.minds” event in October, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Credited for developing more than 200 innovative concepts in its first decade, Filene i3 has helped save consumers millions of dollars, brought new efficiencies to credit unions and even changed a few laws. The program is headed up by Andrew Downin, Filene managing director of innovation. The new i3ers will emphasize prototype testing and implementation following concept innovation.

“Constant innovation is critical for credit unions to meet the needs of today’s consumers,” Downin said. “Testing prototypes for desirability and scalability are equally critical steps in the innovation process. Added rigor around our new build cycle to allow further prototype testing will help ensure new innovations can be successfully implemented to solve the problems they were designed to address.”

“I am thrilled and grateful for this opportunity,” Yakusheva said. “The chance to be part of a group that has already effected so much positive change for our industry is truly exciting.”

Historically, Filene accepts less than 20 percent of the applicants into the program. Filene i3 members commit to ideating, building and testing several innovation concepts, piloting two ideas in their credit unions, attending two national meetings per year and participating in regular group work.