NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.-Internet Archive FCU has a secret weapon: a board that is jam-packed with serious expertise, including a few faces who will be very familiar to the credit union community:
* Carla Decker-CEO of DCFCU and one-time nominee to the NCUA board.
* Jim Conroy-recently retired from CU*Answers.
* Avi Ray-Local and retired VP and counsel from Deutsche Bank AG.
* Brewster Kahle-founder of Internet Archive and creator of the "if you like this, you might also like this" functionality for Amazon.com.
* Greg Ritter-New Brunswick small business leader.
* Jacques Cressaty-CFO of Internet Archive and former banker.
* Jordan Modell-IAFCU's CEO, with more than 20 years in financial services, including tenures at Citibank, American Express, Chase and Bank New York
In addition to its powerhouse board, the CU has a shortlist of board alternates who serve as official advisers to the credit union:
* Carmen Perez Simon-Former CEO of ERDA CU.
* Jill Peterson-helped turn around several CUs, including Bakelite Employees CU and Fairleigh Dickinson University FCU; works for CU Members Mortgage.
* Jean Stockton-Local church official.
And the support doesn't end there. IAFCU also has a couple of CU mentors: Charles Rogers of Progressive CU in New York City and Shirley of Renaissance Community Development FCU, Somerset, N.J.
"I am enamoured with the credit union spirit," Modell told Credit Union Journal. "When Affinity CU (Basking Ridge, N.J.) heard about what we were doing, they donated furniture and other equipment to us," he said. "When was the last time you heard about a bank donating stuff to another bank? I don't think so."
All of these strategic connections will be key to IAFCU's success, Modell said. Another boon: CU*Answers is donating its "credit union-in-a-box" services to IAFCU for the first two years. That will allow the start-up to offer a full set of products and services on Day 1, Modell noted. Everything from online banking to ATM cards and share accounts. "We're also hoping to join the shared branching system soon, too."