Events Calendar

2022 Lending School - Virtual Conference
From Thursday, April 07, 2022 -  09:00am
To Friday, April 08, 2022 - 01:00pm

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Our virtual 2022 Lending School will deliver the expert insights and hands-on training you need to take your lending program to a whole new level! Join us for one or both days of this high impact, interactive and informative session.

Conference Agenda:

Thursday, April 7     
9:00am - 1:00pm       Specialized Consumer Loan Sales Training
Jessica Vartanian, Senior Consultant, CU Lending Advice
1:00pm - 2:00pm   Green Lending
Inclusiv and NYSERDA
Friday, April 8    
9:00am - 1:00pm   Specialized Consumer Underwriting Training
Don Arkell, Owner, CU Lending Advice

 DAY 1

Specialized Consumer Loan Sales Training

This remote course covers the interview/sales portion of the loan interview. This training is primarily focused on building a performing loan and maximizing cross-sales and ancillary sales.


  • What Must Happen on Every Call
  • What a Good Notes Page Looks Like
  • Closing with the Relationship in Mind
  • Appropriate Cross-Sell Methods
  • Building Confidence over the Phone and Online
  • How to Take a Risk Based Loan Application
  • Reducing Risk through the Loan Interview
  • Selling Ancillary Products
  • Asking for Cash Down
  • Building a Performing Loan

Green Lending

Increasingly, credit unions are offering green and clean energy loan products to help grow and diversify their membership and loan portfolios, lower the energy costs for their members, and create more resilient energy systems in their communities. Despite the recent widespread growth in the clean energy sector, many credit unions do not have the tools or training to get started with these offerings. To address this gap, Inclusiv and the University of New Hampshire (UNH) offer a free 8-week virtual Solar Lending Professional Training and Certificate program for credit unions.

Cheryl Fatnassi, lead instructor for the Inclusiv-UNH Solar Lending Professional program and former CEO and President of Opportunities Credit Union in Vermont, will teach you more about this growing trend. Cheryl will walk you through how adding green loan products can benefit your credit union, share tips and tricks for how to get started, and explain how she built a green lending program for her own credit union.

 DAY 2

Specialized Consumer Underwriting Training

Selling in a credit union environment requires a specialized skill set and approach. Loans are the ‘life blood’ of the organization and the organization needs to be setup to deliver them in the most effective manner.

There are 3 stages to every loan application, the sales effort, underwriting and processing. This training focuses on evaluating risk (underwriting) and covers the underwriting portion of the loan interview.


  • Principles of Successful Loan Decision Making
  • Bankruptcy Predictors
  • Lending on Old Collateral
  • Loan Amount Guidelines
  • Total and Unsecured Debt Ratio Analysis
  • Lending to Young Borrowers
  • Lending to Self-Employed Members
  • The Proper use of Co-Signers
  • Real Risk Factors vs. Not-so-Real Risk Factors
  • Underwriting Higher-Risk Loans
  • The Underwriting Approaches Needed for Higher-Risk Loans
  • Principles of Successful Loan Decision Making
  • Debt Consolidation Loans

Educational Investment:

Credit Unions Over $50 Million in Assets:

  • One Day Registration - $199 per person
  • Full Conference - $399 per person

Credit Unions Up to $50 Million in Assets:

  • One Day Registration - $99 per person
  • Full Conference - $199 per person

The New York Credit Union Foundation is proud to support New York credit unions with up to $50 million in assets by underwriting this special rate on Association events. To learn more about the Foundation and its programs, click here.

Registration Deadline: April 1, 2022


ArkellDon Arkell, Owner, CU Lending Advice

Don first worked with Brett Christensen at Clark County Credit Union as one of his original hires and a member of his first sales team. While at CCCU, Don quickly moved through the ranks at the credit union, working in all areas of Sales and Lending. He eventually founded a CUSO owned by CCCU– Members Auto Brokerage Service, Inc.
Don joined up with Red Rocks Credit Union in Highlands Ranch, CO in 2007 and helped RRCU to establish a vibrant sales culture while transforming the Credit Union from full retail delivery to offering 100% of consumer loans and member service through remote delivery channels. This effort drove down operational expenses, reduced the FTE count, increased loans, total assets and net income.

During the difficult economic times of the last decade, Don navigated the organization through the muddy waters of the mortgage business by overhauling the entire Real Estate Lending program. Focusing on the core values of the organization, Don completely rebuilt this vital area of the organization by implementing a successful Consultative Lending strategy. Don’s efforts are credited with turning this failing area around and growing into the most profitable area of the credit union.

Don’s unique leadership style and passion for Sales and Leadership have made him a sought-after speaker, trainer and strategist. He works with credit unions around the country helping them grow their loan programs, organizational design, lending technology and strategic planning.

VartanianJessica Vartanian, Senior Consultant, CU Lending Advice

Jessica first began working with Credit Union’s almost a decade ago after spending the first part of her career managing retail branches in the ‘big bank’ space and working in public education.

In 2012, Jessica joined Don at Red Rocks Credit Union in Highlands Ranch, CO. During her time at RRCU, Jessica progressively moved through various roles leading the Sales Teams, Contact Center, Business Development, and Information Technology.

During her tenure, Jessica led the credit union Sales Team to organization-high loan growth, successfully established in-depth referral programs within the contact center and branches, and spearheaded numerous enterprise systems conversions-driving organizational efficiency while reducing operational expenses.

Her ability to marry technology and process automation, combined with her background in education enabled her to develop strategies that both equip credit unions with the technology and process automation needed to thrive; while simultaneously training and empowering teams for exceptional member experience and sales/lending acumen.

Over the years, Jessica’s work has received multiple awards and accolades throughout the credit union industry making her a sought-after speaker, trainer, and mentor.

Jessica earned her bachelor’s degree in Education. In addition, she is a certified adult trainer and facilitator; receiving certification in both in-person and virtual adult learning. In 2019, she completed a graduate program from the Said School of Business at Oxford University focusing in the area of Fintech.

FatnassiCheryl Fatnassi, Representative, Opportunities Credit Union

Cheryl Fatnassi is the former CEO and President of Opportunities Credit Union in Winooski, Vermont from 2008 until 2019. Cheryl was the COO for Opportunities until March of 2008. She has over 38 years of experience working in financial services and was formerly Senior VP for IT Systems & Planning at Banknorth Group, where she managed technology, retail banking, CRA and compliance.

She serves on a number of local and national boards advocating for low-income and under-served members of her community, promoting fair housing, job creation and access to affordable financial services. She has led successful capital campaigns and attracted social investments to effect change in the community she serves. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a bachelor’s degree in French and Economics and the New England School of Banking at Williams College.

Thank you to our sponsor!



Cancellation Policy:

A refund of the amount paid, less an $75 administrative fee per registrant, will be given for all cancellations submitted via email to ten or more business days prior to the start of the session. No refunds will be granted if the cancellation is received after that time frame. Substitutes will be accepted any time prior to the start of the program at no additional cost. Simply email, listing the new participant and who they will be replacing.