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  • Writer's pictureJohn San Filippo

MDT E3 2024: Key Executive Insights

By John San Filippo

 

Member Driven Technologies (MDT), which was named Tech CUSO of the Year by the 2023 Finopotamus Tekkie Awards, held its annual E3 (Engage, Educate, Evolve) user conference May 20-22 in Detroit. In addition to its exclusive interview with CEO Larry Nichols, Finopotamus also spoke with Vice President of Fintech Solutions Pete Major, Chief Project Officer Dan Schneider, and Vice President of Project and Consulting Solutions Tracie Loudermilk to gain additional insight on MDT’s go-forward strategy. Major, who has 15 years of experience with Jack Henry’s Symitar core platform, was hired by MDT in April of 2023. Schneider, formerly MDT’s vice president of project management, analysis and training, was promoted to his current position in November 2023. Loudermilk, formerly MDT’s senior manager, project management & consulting services, was also promoted to her current position in November 2023.

 

Welcome to the Jungle 


Pete Major

According to Major, MDT sought him out when the CUSO decided it needed to take a more consultive role with its credit union clients in terms of fintech adoption. “We want to be our clients’ tour guide in the fintech jungle,” Major told Finopotamus. “If you think about it, 20 years ago, there were maybe 10 technology providers or categories that a credit union needed to provide its basic services. Today, you're lucky to get away with 80. You need at least 80 different technology providers to just have your basic services.” He added that number can run as high as 150, depending on the institution.

 

Major described the situation as “overwhelming” for all but the largest credit unions. “It's hard enough to just do your day-to-day job,” he noted, “but if you're having to look out for technology solutions to keep your credit union competitive, that's almost impossible. So that's what my charter is. Our goal is to bring technology solutions to our credit union so they can compete.”

 

This includes a rigorous vetting process for each potential fintech partner. “We have a very intense due diligence process that starts with discovery and goes through financial security, technology, and architecture,” Major told Finopotamus. “We vet their integrations on how well they integrate to Symitar. The process continues through training, updating our systems, running through a beta process with our clients and then launching for delivery for our clients.”

 

Expanded Role 


Tracie Loudermilk

Loudermilk, who reports to Schneider, explained that MDT offers both broad and targeted consulting engagement. “We offer targeted consulting engagements where if a credit union needs our assistance with a specific area – maybe there's a specific department that may be struggling or just not operating as efficiently, or maybe they're looking to expand offerings – we can come in and work with the credit union on that specific targeted area and help them to reach their goals,” she told Finopotamus.

 

“We also offer full consulting engagements where we will have a business consultant sit with every single department, watch their operations, look at how they're using the core, just a holistic overview of what that department is doing,” she continued. “Then we provide a very detailed report about four to six weeks after the engagement with all of the recommendations, everything that we observed, all the recommendations that came out of it.” 


Dan Schneider

“Coming out of that, we have a lot of recommendations for credit unions and we want to help them with those recommendations,” added Schneider. “What we've learned is, we can give the credit union 50,000 things they should do – then they put [those recommendations] on the shelf. We want to help them actually execute and get a good return on investment on the engagement. So now we're also offering to run that as a project, almost like a conversion project.” This approach helps ensure that changes are properly implemented.

 

“Our resources have a significant amount of credit union experience,” continued Loudermilk, underscoring the value of MDT’s project management services. “They understand credit unions. They can work with them on their challenges. We've realized in these last few years that we have a significant amount of expertise that we can now take outside of core conversions and mergers and leverage that in a consulting fashion.”

 

According to Schneider, MDT now has the breadth and depth of experience that will allow the CUSO to offer these consulting and project management services outside the MDT core base. “We have that knowledge that we can take outside of our core base as well,” he told Finopotamus. “If there's credit unions that need some support for going through a merger project or even support during a conversion project that they may be doing with Symitar or another core, we have the expertise. We know how that works. We are opening up our business to support those engagements with non-core MDT clients. A merger is a merger is a merger and we've been doing it for 20 years now.”

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