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Bankers ‘Rapid-fire’ Roundtable

In a fast-paced discussion, a panel of bank executives will share insights and opinions about pressing issues in financial services and their impact on the customer experience.


Gayle Ekstrom | SVP/Business Analysis & Innovation | Republic Bank of Chicago

Gayle Ekstrom is SVP/Business Analysis and Innovation at Republic Bank of Chicago, where she works at the intersection of business strategy, process, and technology. Working in the retail banking sector over the past twelve years as both a business leader and consultant, she has extensive experience in analyzing business problems and designing strategic solutions. Gayle previously worked in the telecom industry and was granted numerous patents for her inventions. She holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois and an MBA in Business Policy and Behavioral Science from the University of Chicago.

Rich Finn | Vice President of Deposit Operations | Discover

Rich Finn is the Vice President, head of Deposit Operations at Discover. With $50MM+ in Deposits and well over 1MM customers, Rich is tasked with setting the strategy and delivering the capabilities to help fuel Discover’s growth in the years to come. Rich has spent 10+ years focusing on the customer experience in a variety of areas, including Operations, Digital Experience, and Product Strategy covering both the credit card and consumer deposits businesses. Rich is passionate about driving differentiated experiences across a variety of products and channels as he oversees functions including Application and Onboarding, Money Movement, General Services, and several regulatory processes.

Michelle Shelton | Chief Experience Officer | Great Lakes Credit Union

Michelle Shelton, Chief Experience Officer at Great Lakes Credit Union, holds more than 20 years of experience leading key functions within financial institutions across the US and Canada. She has held a variety of leadership positions at institutions Royal Bank of Canada, one of the world’s largest banks; Georgia United Credit Union, where she was Chief Marketing Officer; and SCE Federal Credit Union, where she was Chief Experience Officer. Currently making ‘waves’ as Chief Experience Officer at Northern Illinois-based Great Lakes Credit Union, which serves members digitally and also within its 12 branches, Michelle is tasked with bolstering its marketing and community outreach programs and developing a best-in-class member experience across all channels.


Will Hernandez | Media Strategist | BackBay Communications

Will Hernandez is a Media Strategist in the Financial Technology group for BackBay Communications, a public relations, content marketing and branding firm focused on the asset management, fintech, impact investing and private equity industries. Prior to joining BackBay, Will wrote about the banking, fintech, and payments industries for 12 years, most recently as a technology reporter for American Banker. He also served as the editor for Mobile Payments Today for almost five years.

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