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Management & Staff

John Bratsakis
John Bratsakis
President/CEO

John Bratsakis is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association (MDDCCUA).


Prior to joining MDDCCUA, Bratsakis was the Senior Vice President of Baxter Credit Union in Vernon Hills, IL. There he was influential in developing new business relationships with key sponsor companies for the $1.5 billion asset credit union. Bratsakis was also responsible for representing the credit union at the state and national level regarding governmental/regulatory affairs, as well as managing multiple departments within the credit union. He has also served on the Illinois Credit Union League and Service Corporation Board of Directors for over 10 years, serving as Chair from 2008 to 2010. John is currently a representative of the CUNA Governmental Affairs Committee.


Prior to Baxter Credit Union, John was President & CEO of Community Trust Credit Union, a $160 million credit union in Gurnee, IL. He has also held management positions with United Federal Credit Union in Michigan as VP of Operations from 2005 – 2007 and a variety of management positions with Teachers Credit Union in Indiana.

John is also involved with the Z-Center for Sexual Abuse, serving for 7 years and as a past Treasurer, and also a member of the Greek Orthodox Chicago Diocese Board and the Archdiocese Finance Committee.

Jennifer Simmons
Jennifer Simmons
Chief Membership Officer

Jennifer Simmons is the MDDCCUA Chief Membership Officer. Jennifer’s current responsibilities include the oversight of MDDCCUA’s dues supported programs including legislative and regulatory advocacy and credit union consulting initiatives. She provides support to member credit unions on operational issues; policies and procedure development and facilitates strategic planning sessions. Jennifer is responsible for the administration of the Association governance including the annual election of the board of directors in accordance with the bylaws. She also provides training to credit union volunteers on board roles and responsibilities. As Chief Membership Officer, Jennifer also serves as the staff liaison to the DC, Suburban and Western Chapters of MDDCCUA. Jennifer began her credit union career in 1986 as a teller and has since held multiple positions within credit union operations including collections, member service, loans, branch management, sales and business development. She joined the MD & DC Credit Union Association in June 2006.

Ruth Ann White
Ruth Ann White
Chief Financial Officer

Ruth Ann White currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer for the Maryland & District of Columbia Credit Union Association and its subsidiary.  Ms. White has been with the Association since August 1994 starting as the Administrative Assistant and taking on her current duties January 2006.  Ruth Ann is responsible for the finances, investments and production of financial statements for the Maryland & District of Columbia Credit Union Association.  She is also responsible for the overall administration of the MDDCCUA and its subsidiary CU Services, Inc.’s offices and facilities, manages all human resources functions including payroll, benefits administration and insurance coverage.

Previous to the Association Ruth Ann worked for SECU as an Executive Secretary in the administration office from January 1993 to July 1994. She also worked for the Maryland Credit Union League from September 1984 to September 1987 as the receptionist and then the administrative assistant before leaving to raise her then one year old son.

Ms. White serves on the board of directors for Central CU of MD, Inc. as their Treasurer.

Ruth Ann resides in Westminster, Maryland with her husband Kevin, their son Matthew and grandson Matthew Jr. She also operates a home-based kennel raising and breeding standard and miniature poodles; and assists her son in running his full service music and video production company.

Glen Cooney
Vice President, Advocacy & Legislative Affairs
Dawn Johnson
Dawn Johnson
Vice President, Sales & Training

Dawn M Johnson currently serves as the Vice President of Sales & Training for the Maryland & DC Credit Union Association. Johnson oversees a training department that conducts over 65 training opportunities a year. In addition, she works to identify and build relationships with businesses to provide valuable business alliances to benefit affiliated credit unions.

She has over 22 years of experience in the Financial Services Industry. She specializes in business development, organizational & strategic planning, commercial lending and human resources. While serving as a branch management professional, she honed her sales & service techniques and commercial lending creating successful growth models for her employer.

Johnson earned her undergraduate degree in Human Resource Management from the University of Baltimore.

Bridget S. Betts
Bridget S. Betts
Director of Marketing and Communications

Bridget Crawley Betts is the Director of Marketing & Communications and oversees all marketing, branding strategies and media relations for the Association. She is responsible for strengthening credibility, enhancing visibility and promoting the value of credit unions.

Bridget has over ten years of public relations, marketing and special event experience, along with a background in television and film production. Bridget holds an MBA in marketing from the Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in mass media from Clark Atlanta University. During the course of her career, she has worked at companies such as Turner Broadcast System, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, D&R International, Fox News Channel, O’Keefe & Company and United Way of Central Maryland.

She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and the American Marketing Association and has been on the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism Nomination Committee and a Howard County Volunteer Center Board Member.
 

Andre Lucas
Andre Lucas
Director, Compliance

André A. Lucas also referred to as Smokey in his former years as a collector, is the Director of Compliance. Andre’s current responsibilities include an active involvement in consulting with affiliated credit unions on operational issues; policies and procedure development, and federal and state compliance issues. André also provides training in the areas of Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and Collections, and conducts on-site BSA testing/reviews for affiliated credit unions. André began his career in the financial industry as a Loan Officer/Collector with American Finance Company in 1977. Spending a large portion of his workweek collecting in the field, André quickly became recognized for his strong ability to collect face-to-face and recover collateral.

André began his credit union career as a Collection Officer with Pentagon Federal Credit Union in January, 1984. In July, 1986 he accepted the position of Collections Manager with CommonWealth One Federal Credit Union (formerly AMC FCU) in Alexandria, Virginia. During his twenty years with CommonWealth One FCU, André was one of the first elected officers for the Capital Area Collection Managers Roundtable Group; serving as the first Chairman from 1995 through 1998, Vice Chairman in 2000, and again as the Chairman in 2001 and 2002. His involvement with the roundtable also led him to Chair the committee that provides assistance and Collections training to small credit unions.

Originally from Washington, DC, Andre graduated from Mackin High School and went on to serve three years active duty in the United States Navy. André currently holds CUNA’s Credit Union Compliance Expert (CUCE), and Bank Secrecy Act Compliance Specialist (BSACS) designations. During his credit union career he has developed a close affiliation with the Capital Area Collection Managers Roundtable, the Capital Area Compliance Roundtable, and the Bank Secrecy Act Compliance Roundtable. André is currently a Deacon and the Minister of Transportation at the First Baptist Church of North Brentwood, Maryland. He is married, has two adult children.

Sarah Turner
Sarah Turner
Director, Credit Union Miracle Day

Sarah Turner is the Director of Credit Union Miracle Day, Inc., the title sponsor group of the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run which benefits Children’s Miracle Network and its affiliated children’s hospitals. For five years, she served as Secretary on the Board of Directors of Credit Union Miracle Day, Inc. Prior to the merger of the Maryland & DC Leagues in 2006, she was employed by the D.C. Credit Union League for 23 years and was responsible for compliance, governmental affairs, education and planning. She is a member of the World Council of Credit Unions Advisory Council and is a Certified Credit Union Executive and Credit Union Development Educator. She holds a BA in Government from Mount Vernon/GWU, Washington, DC. She lives in Oakton, Virginia with her husband, Gary.

Tia Cassel
Internal Auditor
Binh Garcia
Binh Garcia
Accounting Assistant

Binh is the accounting assistant for the Association and is responsible for the billing and invoicing for the Association.  Binh brings over eight years in the financial services industry; starting out as a teller for Central Pacific Bank in Hawaii. After moving to Maryland, she held positions with SECU and the Register of Wills for Anne Arundel County before working in the accounting department for the Association. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, University College in Social Science. 

Cynthia Hereth
Executive Assistant