Our Staff

Jeff Olson, President/CEO 
Jeff Olson was named the President/CEO of the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas in August, 2015. Prior to that, he was the EVP of Governmental Affairs since 2008. Jeff also serves on the Credit Union Foundation of the Dakotas Executive Committee and is Vice Chair on the board of directors for Pactola, a lending CUSO owned primarily by credit unions in the Dakotas. Before his work with credit unions began, Jeff was a partner in an advertising and marketing firm, was the executive director of the Bismarck-Mandan Homebuilders Association, and also worked in both radio and television as an on-air personality in both North Dakota and Minnesota. He has also worked with the ND Governor’s Office, as a political strategist and consultant.

Jeff is the proud father of two young athletes, and most of his free time is spent cheering them on at their numerous sporting events and activities. He is an accomplished downhill skier, enjoys cooking and fine wine, and logs more miles and overnight stays in his credit union advocacy efforts than any other person in the CUAD office – and more than he cares to count.

 

Karla Clark, Chief Financial Officer
Karla Clark (no relation to Kent) is CUAD’s CFO and VP of Operations. Besides handling all accounting related aspects at the Association, she manages to organize and administrate all human resource functions as well, including payroll and benefits. Then, she tackles anything else that comes up under the “all other duties as assigned” category. Her organizational skills and precision are a true asset, especially during annual audits. Yes, even the Association has to make it through those darn audits! Karla’s tenure at CUAD goes back to 1993, when newly married, she made the move to Bismarck. She began her career with ProData, the old data processing arm of the league, moving into accounting shortly thereafter. Prior to working for the Association, she worked as an accountant at Fargo VA FCU.

Karla hails from Hillsboro, ND and is a NDSU alumni – GO BISON! Along with her husband and their teenage son, she enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors. The family loves to fish, hunt, and golf, and of course, wintertime means hockey. Their yellow Labrador Retriever, Koda, keeps Karla on the walking path early mornings and again most evenings. Any “downtime” she has is quickly filled with family, friends, cooking and baking, or happily working a Sudoku puzzle.
 

Amy Kleinschmit, Chief Compliance Officer, Legal Counsel
Amy Kleinschmit grew up in the small town of Tea, South Dakota. She attended the University of South Dakota, graduating with a double major in Criminal Justice and Psychology. Amy later attended and graduated from USD School of Law. Following this, she worked for a short time at a small law firm in Sioux Falls, and then joined the CUAD team in September of 2009.

As the VP of Compliance, Amy’s responsibilities cover more than just legal affairs. She reads and analyzes vast amounts of proposed and final rules, and guidance before summarizing for her weekly “Compliance Update” articles in the Memo. She is the author behind CUAD’s many comment letters, fields compliance questions, performs BSA reviews, and is the “point” person for AffirmX – CUAD’s compliance solution for credit unions.

In her free time, Amy enjoys spending time with her family and pets. Her hobbies include cooking, camping, kayaking, and sailing – she is a bit of a pirate aficionado – which explains why random pirate trivia has been known to creep into her compliance training, from time to time. (Avast, ye!)
 

Jay Kruse, Chief Advocacy Officer
As a native born South Dakotan, he grew up in De Smet, and now resides in Dell Rapids, working out of the CUAD South Office in Sioux Falls. He is a registered lobbyist in both North and South Dakota, and focuses his time on legislative advocacy and overall government affairs affecting credit unions in the Dakotas. Jay can proudly say he has spent his entire career in the credit union movement, working in internal auditing and as controller for a Sioux Falls area credit union prior to his work with CUAD. Jay has been with the Association since 2015. His expertise (besides government and advocacy) extends to compliance, as he is a designated Credit Union Compliance Expert (CUCE). He also provides strategic planning support to CUAD member credit unions.

Jay enjoys spending his free time with his fiancée Teri and their three dogs: Kota, Zazu, and Hadley. He is a huge Oklahoma Sooners fan, following the football and basketball programs throughout the entire year. BOOMER SOONER! Jay also likes to spend time outdoors and hunting - when it doesn’t conflict with OU football!

 

George McDonald, Chief Officer of Strategic Services
Originally from Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes, George McDonald settled in Williston, ND and began a career in broadcast television after graduating from the University of North Dakota (UND) in Grand Forks. The media world transplanted him to Bismarck, and eventually he made a career move to corporate communications and public relations.

With his background in communications and marketing combined with event management and production, as well as his experience in service and business partnerships, George brings his unique skill set and relationship skills to the Association and the credit union movement, to provide strategic and creative solutions for our credit union members.

George and his wife, Lynette, have two children: Courtney, a recent UND graduate; and Ian, who is currently attending college and playing baseball. George says, “Our whole crew is ruled by our Persian cat Gizmo.” In his free time, you will find George with his family at their lake cabin, watching the Twins or Vikings, and of course, cheering for the UND Hockey Team.
 

Lori Welder, Director of Communications
Lori joined the CUAD staff just in time for the 2019 New Year. She brings more than 20 years of experience in marketing as well as graphic and media design to the association. As Director of Communications, she oversees all areas of our member communications, social media, and marketing efforts. She is a graduate of Bismarck State College and Moorhead State University, as well as the Women’s Leadership Program of Bismarck – Mandan. She is an active volunteer for Meals on Wheels and United Way, and serves on the advisory board for the Bismarck State College Computer and Technology program. 

Lori grew up on Long Island, New York until her family relocated in Bismarck when she was in middle school. She considers herself a Bismarck native after living in North Dakota for over 30 years now! In her free time, you are likely to find Lori mountain biking or riding endless miles of gravel in North Dakota. When she’s not biking, you can find her hiking, camping, painting, cooking, or spending time with family and friends. 

Shawn Brummer, Communications/Media Specialist 
Shawn Marie Brummer is primarily responsible for the daily electronic communications from CUAD, the Memo. She has been with the Association since 2011; prior to that she worked for 11 years with Midwest Corporate Federal Credit Union as a member service consultant. Besides the Memo, Shawn is responsible for the daily operations of the CUAD owned website, CU Social Good. She promotes CUAD and Dakota credit unions via social media, and also writes and distributes many of the press releases from our office. She actively works behind the scenes promoting CU4Kids and fundraisers for our three Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in the Dakotas.

Shawn works remotely from her home in Brainerd, MN where she lives with her husband and an 8 lb. Papillon who essentially “runs the house.” She has two adult children, both married, and one grandson. She is a self-described home-body who enjoys reading, cooking, sewing, needle crafts, and finishing the crossword puzzle from the newspaper every day before diving into work.


 

Debbie Kruckenberg, Member Support Specialist
The year was 1976, nine months after graduating high school a new career was born.

Debbie has only worked one full time job, CUAD being that job and she wouldn’t change it for the world. Since then, she's worn many hats, all which have taught Debbie a lot about herself and the industry. She will never forget Mr. Paulson, her former boss telling her, “Remember that the credit unions are your boss, you work for them.” Debbie has since tried to remember just that, in everything she does for the industry. In her 41 years at the association, she has met some great people, and have seen a lot of changes.

When she's not at the CUAD office, Debbie loves to garden, cook, and work on craft projects, mostly crocheting and counted cross stitch. Her newest craft, is Swedish Weave, making blankets for family and friends. In addition, Debbie enjoys spending time with family and friends watching sports, all the Minnesota professional teams. Debbie has been married to her sports loving husband 30 years this year and together have two grown children and two grandsons.