Management & Staff
John Bratsakis is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Maryland and District of Columbia Credit Union Association (MD|DC CUA).
John has a 28 year history in the Credit Union movement and has an extensive background in credit union operations and advocacy. Bratsakis joined the MD|DC Credit Union Association in 2011 as President/CEO. Prior to joining the Association he 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 $2.5 billion credit union and represented 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 a Board Member and Secretary for AACUL, along with being Chair of AACUL’s Communications Task Force. He also serves on the systemwide CUNA Awareness Committee, and is an InfoSight Board Member and Chair of the Plexcity Board. John has sat on the National Credit Union Roundtable and CUNA Governmental Affairs committees.
Preceding Baxter, 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.
Michelle Byrnie-Parker serves as the Director of Communications and Marketing and is responsible for overseeing all marketing, branding strategies and media relations to enhance the visibility and promote the value of credit unions and the Association.
Michelle has 25 years of experience as a communications professional. She has worked as a broadcast journalist and has served in a variety of senior level communications positions within Maryland state government, most recently as deputy communications director for the Office of the Maryland Comptroller. Michelle was also press secretary for Governor Parris N. Glendening and communications director for the Maryland Department of General Services. In those positions, she was responsible for serving as a spokesperson, developing communications and media strategy, as well as coordinating events and marketing materials for public policy initiatives. She has also worked in the non-profit sector as public relations manager for Maryland Public Television and marketing manager for Bethesda Transportation Solutions.
Michelle started her career as a journalist, first as an intern on NBC’s TODAY show, then landing her first job at a Capitol Hill news bureau and later working as a news producer for WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Syracuse University and lives in Ellicott City with her husband and two daughters.
Glen Cooney, MD l DC Credit Union Association’s Vice President, Advocacy & Legislative Affairs, brings to the association a distinguished political advocacy career coupled with extensive knowledge of Capitol Hill. Past experience includes Sr. Consultant of Public Policy for HITN-TV in Washington, DC where he led the policy office, representing the networks’ interests before Congress, federal agencies and with industry stakeholders.
Prior to that, he was VP of Public Affairs for E-Copernicus, a Washington, DC-based government affairs firm, where he developed and executed legislative and public affairs policies for clients across numerous industries, including financial services, health care, telecommunications, and transportation; representing their interests before Congress, agencies and in the media.
A seasoned professional in political campaigns, public relations and coalition building at the state and federal levels, Mr. Cooney has also worked extensively on grassroots outreach campaigns, mobilizing targeted constituencies to take action(s) with elected and appointed officials.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Merrimack College in North Andover, MA.
Leigh Philibosian has over 25 years’ experience in public relations, marketing, advertising and communications strategy.
From 1990 to 2010, she was Senior Vice President, Marketing, for Mid-Atlantic Corporate Federal Credit Union. In 2011 Leigh joined Visions, Ink., a strategic marketing firm for credit unions located in Clinton, MD as an Account Executive. Leigh currently serves on the Credit Union Miracle Day, Inc. Marketing Committee. She has also served on the National Association of Federal Credit Unions Awards Committee and Pennsylvania Credit Union Association Marketing Advocacy Steering Committee, which developed the highly successful iBelong branding campaign.
Leigh has a BS in public relations from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications.
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 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.
Chrystal Hunter is currently the Member Relations Coordinator and is responsible for the coordination of training and educational programs, supports MD|DC Credit Union Association's chapters, and currently serves as the staff liaison to the Young Professionals Network. Additionally, she works closely with the Vice President of Engagement to achieve membership recruitment, engagement and retention goals.
Chrystal brings ten years of experience in office administration supporting small to large organizations. After entering the non-profit sector, she managed the membership recruitment and retention activities of the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America, Inc. (NCBFAA). While with the NCBFAA, she assisted in the development and implementation of new member benefits and programs, and increased membership to over 1,000 members. In this capacity Chrystal also served as staff liaison for the Affiliated President’s Network.
Lauren Scott is the Administrative Assistant for the MD|DC Credit Union Association and aids in supporting all facets of the Association, as well as coordinating upcoming training and events.
Lauren brings over ten years of diverse experience in administration and customer service, supporting and developing everything from small privately owned businesses to large corporate companies, as well as, founding and cultivating her own. Her Associate’s Degree is in Interior Design, with a focus in Business Administration and Project Management. With over five years in the Property Management industry and ten years in the Design & Home Improvement field, she has honed her skills in conflict resolution, client retention and business development.