2022 League Board Candidates

At-Large League Director Candidates

In accordance with Credit Union League of Connecticut bylaws, mail-in ballots have been sent to all affiliated credit union CEOs to vote for At-Large Directors. A memo describing the voting process is included with the ballot. Below are the candidates, including their biographies and photos.

Candidates

At-Large

James Higgins

James Higgins
President & CEO, Skyline Financial FCU

"My involvement with the League has been an exciting one since 2018 when I first learned about it. I love all that the League is doing and honestly couldn’t wait for this opportunity to join as a director. While I don’t know all of you, I’d like to inform you a little more about my professional background. I started my professional career at 18-years-old working for a call center. By the time I turned 21, I was the director of operations and managed 170 FTEs. I loved the customer service industry and had an ambitious drive to grow professionally. When I graduated with an MBA from Albertus Magnus College out of New Haven Connecticut in 2016, I was not sure where my professional career would take me, but after 7 years in the call center world I know it was time for a change. I entered the world of sales for Indeed.com. This is where I learned the art of conversation and helping people. This just wasn’t my forever industry and outside of sales, the room for growth was limited with its vast competition of employees. I have always dreamt of being an industry leader; however, I didn’t know what industry that was going to be. It wasn’t until 2014, when I tripped into financial services working for Fiserv in a merchant sales role and was assigned a regional bank as my partner. After knocking on the small business doors and getting many of them to sign up and refer busines to the regional bank, I was eventually recruited by the regional bank. I worked at the headquarters as a vice president for a few years. I learned about branch operations, regulations, and the grave need to teach financial wellness. I was getting close, but it still wasn’t the professional home for me. I was recruited to be the Chief Operating Officer at FD Community Federal Credit Union. I never head of a credit union before working at one. It didn’t take long, but I knew instantly that this was my professional home going forward. Flash forward another four years and I was recruited to join Skyline Financial Federal Credit Union as President and CEO in 2021. My industry leadership has finally begun!

I love helping organizations and I love helping people. I won the Volunteer of the Year Award in 2017 for the 23rd Annual Malcolm Baldrige Chamber Awards put on by the Waterbury Regional Chamber. It was an exciting time to speak in front of 1,000 individuals who learned just a little bit more of my story. I hoped to inspire them to be more involved and do more great things. I’ve served on many boards such as: Waterbury Chamber Young Professionals, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Waterbury, Exchange Club of Greater Waterbury, Naugatuck Finance Board, Waterbury Finance and Review Commission, Main Street Waterbury, Mattatuck Museum, Western Elementary PTO, Hillside PTO, City Hill Middle School PTO, City Hill Middle School PTO, and the Moran/Nixon Chapter of the Credit Union League of Connecticut.

With that, I thank you for your time reviewing my short biography."


John Holt
John Holt
President & CEO, Nutmeg State Financial CU

John Holt is dedicated to the credit union movement within the State of Connecticut and nationally. His experience and passion for promoting financial education and inclusion among members has been a steering force in his position and organization’s success. As a driven leader, John is looking to become an At-Large Director to further his professional and personal passions of helping others.

John is the President and CEO of Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union. John maintains a versatile combination of proven success with sales, service and operations management. He has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry with 15 of those years in credit unions. He possesses a strong desire for helping members achieve their financial goals and a commitment to improving the communities the credit unions serves. He demonstrates a strong sense of business strategy, motivates change by building and guiding teams, and develops innovative products and services.

John brings a unique perspective to Nutmeg. John’s philosophy is to make the credit union more attractive by understanding the many different financial needs of the membership. John’s success in this realm comes from his previous long-standing experience as Executive Vice President of Dade County Federal Credit Union and before that as Director of Retail Banking at Hudson River Bank & Trust Company.

John joined Nutmeg as CEO in 2010 and continues to look ahead at industry and technological trends to bring success to the credit union. His vision is to become an industry leader in technology, making it easy for anyone to transact regardless of delivery channel. This approach inspired Nutmeg to create a technology CUSO. The formation of this CUSO included the acquisition of DaLand Solutions, a technology consulting firm who successfully serves credit unions across the country.

Under John’s leadership, the credit union has expanded its outreach to underserved communities. By becoming a designated Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Nutmeg has successfully transformed into an organization that serves higher volumes of low income and minority members while also maintaining strong financial stability. This growth has proven beneficial to the organization and to many families in the community.

John’s focus on innovative alliances also led to the creation of a partnership with the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles. This partnership allows CT residents to conduct DMV transactions inside select Nutmeg locations, a first among credit unions. This partnership has garnered unprecedented national and local exposure that will continue to grow with new shared locations.

In addition to his tireless work for Nutmeg, John continues to give back to the community by serving on many volunteer boards throughout the state including the Connecticut River Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Connecticut Channel 3 Kids Camp and Catholic Charities. Previously he served as the honorary Chair of the CT March of Dimes March for Babies event. John also serves as a committee member to the CUNA Regulatory and Legislative Committee and as a Vice Chair for the NASCUS Legislative and Regulatory Committee.

In his free time John enjoys running, working out, traveling and being in warm weather. He earned a Master of Business Administration from Western New England College, Springfield, MA and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, NY.


Karen Viets
Karen Viets
CEO and Treasurer, Metropolitan District Employees FCU

Karen Viets is CEO and Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan District Employees’ Credit Union in Hartford, CT. Karen has over 30 years’ experience iin financial services including 25 years in the Credit Union movement.

She has served the credit union community as Secretary and is currently the Treasurer of the CT Credit Union League. She has also served as Vice President of the Hartford Chapter, a volunteer for Financial Reality Fairs since their beginning, a member of the Cooperative Development Committee, and a supporter of the workability program. In 2008 Karen was selected to intern in Trinidad and Tobago as part of the League’s International Partnership.

Karen is certified as a Credit Union Development Educator through the National Credit Union Foundation in Madison, WI. She has put this certification into action. Her CUDE project and goal as a CU executive is to follow the cooperative principles and to train staff and members amount the importance of financial literacy for all.

MDECU is a single sponsor credit union, offering a full array of services, with $28 million in assets—close to the median asset size of Connecticut’s credit unions. Being from a small Credit Union that has benefited from League membership, Karen understands the importance of the partnership between Credit Unions and the League. She hopes to continue to bring an understanding of small credit union needs to the Board and to help other small Connecticut credit unions gain a full understanding of the value of the League.

Outside of the Credit Union, Karen has held various volunteer positions on youth boards in her community. She currently sits on the Granby Community Fund budget and admissions committee. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management/Accounting from Colby-Sawyer College in NH. She resides in Granby, CT with her husband and two children.